State Policy Network

Careers and Internships

About State Policy Network

State Policy Network (SPN) catalyzes thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored by high-performing, independent think tanks. We support the growth and success of a collaborative and entrepreneurial network of 65 independent state think tank affiliates and over 90 partners, connecting talented state leaders so they can learn, challenge, and grow together, while advancing state policy reform initiatives.

Current Openings:

Development Communications Associate

State Policy Network is building out its development communications capabilities by seeking a strong writer, creative thinker, and project manager to create compelling content that communicates the impact of SPN’s work to our growing base of generous supporters and future supporters.

The role is ideal for someone with a few years of professional experience who wants to learn more about how communications strategies support and contribute to fundraising and donor cultivation. You will gain hands-on experience with a variety of communications, including written content, impact reports, designed materials, digital fundraising, creative products, email marketing, and donor events, as well as other new and innovative strategies.

This role reports to the Director of Development Communications and is part of SPN’s development team. The development team works very collaboratively with all of SPN’s program teams, including our internal communications team.

Qualified candidates will have an interest in free-market principles and an appreciation for the idea that states serve as an important balance of power with the federal government. Candidates should have experience in either communications, content strategy, and/or publishing, writing, and editing. Experience writing for a donor audience is preferred. The successful candidate must sign a non-disclosure agreement upon hiring, given the sensitive nature of fundraising information and concerns regarding the privacy of donors.

This is a full-time staff position at SPN, complete with healthcare benefits, generous paid time off, opportunities for growth, and the option to work virtually. The office is located in Arlington, Virginia and easy access to the office is preferred but not required. If you do not live in the area, we will ask that you travel to the office once per quarter in addition to required travel at least four times a year for: SPN’s Annual Meeting; SPN’s staff retreat; and 2 development team retreats per year.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Writing email communications to donors (cultivation updates, welcome campaigns, prospect emails, and event invitations) and working in SPN’s email platform to measure results and maintain our database of donors.
  • Executing the marketing for donor events including online events like the “America at Its Best” show.
  • Putting together written content for donors, including case studies, letters, progress reports, and event materials, as well as web content.
  • Assisting Major Gift Officers with necessary follow-up content after donor meetings and special communications that require a personal touch (special mailings or follow-ups).
  • Assisting the Director of Development Communications with content/editing needs around major products like the SPN Annual Report, impact reports, and major gift proposals.
  • Help manage SPN’s development communications resources (Dropbox/Basecamp, database of products to use, updates, materials to file for future use).
  • Help manage the production of SPN News, our longstanding quarterly donor magazine, and the collection of SPN member updates for the publication.



  • Strong writing and editing abilities, as well as thorough attention to detail
  • 2-5 years of communications or development experience at a policy organization, nonprofit, or similar organization
  • Experience working with basic email marketing (Mailchimp) or similar digital platforms
  • Ability to take complex issues and distill into powerful messages for donors
  • Project management skills that demonstrate you can juggle multiple tasks and keep a project moving smoothly from execution to deadline
  • Self-starter, hard worker, and a congenial team member who is proactive at communicating in a virtual environment
  • Ability to travel at least 4x per year; for the virtual candidate this will be at least 8x times each year

Preferred, but not required:

  • Experience writing for a donor audience
  • Experience conducting interviews for stories
  • Digital marketing experience
  • Design skills in Adobe Acrobat, Illustrator, or Photoshop
  • Easy access to Arlington, VA, office for meetings and handling certain projects that are easier to execute in the office
  • Experience putting together personalized stewardship content, whether it be for donors, members, or customers, etc.

Application Requirements

Qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter detailing interest in position, relevant experience, and salary requirements
  • One writing sample
  • Two professional references

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market via this link:

There is no application deadline for this position. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. This job will remain posted on our site until it is filled.

Questions can be directed to Katy Gambella, Director of Network Engagement of Talent Market, who is assisting with the search:

While we thank all applicants in advance for their interest in this position, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. Only direct applications will be considered. No phone calls, please.

Talent Market is a nonprofit entity dedicated to promoting liberty by helping free-market nonprofits identify talent for critical roles. We provide free consulting and recruiting services to free-market think tanks, policy organizations, research centers, and capacity-building institutions dedicated to advancing the principles of limited government and free enterprise.

Managing Director (LaunchPad)

State Policy Network is seeking a Managing Director to join our fast-paced, growing SPN LaunchPad team. This position is ideal for a market-oriented, entrepreneurial candidate, with prior business or consulting experience in organization development, innovation, and growth strategies.

The Managing Director is a senior-level position responsible for continuing to build out, and scale up, SPN’s LaunchPad Project, ensuring the project’s ambitious vision translates into a best-in-class opportunity for social and business entrepreneurs to hone innovative solutions addressing pressing problems impacting human flourishing in the states. The director will be responsible for working with the LaunchPad team to successfully drive the project from strategy implementation through measurable impact. The role will require the development of the methodology and implementation for project recruitment, project selection, “Brain Trust” recruitment and engagement, Incubator Event content and program, as well as day-to-day program team management. Blending strategic thinking with business expertise, the director will work alongside entrepreneurs at each stage of the LaunchPad experience, helping them develop and implement strategies that accelerate their project’s implementation, growth, and outcomes.

This position reports directly to SPN’s Senior Vice President for Communications and can be remote or hybrid.

The LaunchPad Managing Director will also assist with recruitment and engagement of experts, mentors, and coaches in the LaunchPad community.

We have retained the Executive Search Practice group @RobertHalf for this search.

About SPN’s LaunchPad Project

State Policy Network’s LaunchPad is an ecosystem where social and business entrepreneurs hone innovative solutions to address pressing problems related to human freedom and civil society in the states. A Brain Trust of transformative thinkers, like-minded innovators, and veteran entrepreneurs help create this ecosystem.

We invite up to ten idea entrepreneurs to advance their project in an exclusive, intensive two-day LaunchPad in-person event, where participants pitch their idea to the Brain Trust.

In the months leading up to the two-day event, the SPN team will work with each project and project owner to prepare for the in-person event. This preparation process is called the DISCOVERY phase.

The two-day intensive is our INCUBATOR EVENT. Using a co-creation process, assumptions are tested, ideas improved, and an action plan is developed in concert with Brain Trust members.  Up to 50 Brain Trust members will be at the work session. These individuals are experts in their fields, successful entrepreneurs, and transformative thinkers. A handful will be grant-makers and investors. Brain Trust members are self-organizing and are free to choose where they lend their expertise.

Idea entrepreneurs who successfully complete the INCUBATOR EVENT, and who need key resources to successfully launch, advance to the INCUBATOR PLUS. There the project owner is provided the type of intense structure, training, mentorship, and investor networking required to potentially move toward remarkable success.


  • Develop and drive an executable and measurable vision along with strategic objectives for LaunchPad, in collaboration with SPN’s VP of Strategy and the Leadership Team of SPN.
  • Drive LaunchPad recruitment and selection process, ensuring a robust pool of high-potential projects (Note for future years: We anticipate 20-25 projects throughout the year, with at least 10 of those projects moving forward into the Incubator Plus or some level of engagement after the incubator event.)
  • Drive recruitment plan and engagement for Brain Trust members, in partnership with SPN VP of Strategy and Development Team lead.
  • Develop and execute an outreach strategy to build the LaunchPad pipeline, identifying and cultivating relationships with potential future partners.
  • Partner with Lead Facilitator throughout Discovery Phrase to work with selected project owners, as needed, to prepare for the Incubator event
  • Create and execute high-value LaunchPad Incubator event experience, in partnership with event project manager
  • Develop and manage the implementation of rich post-Incubator event programming, including the Incubator Plus, to ensure project owners with promising projects receive the support needed to move their idea toward a successful launch, including a customized needs assessment for each entrepreneur and project, and the crafting of individualized plans and related connections to assist entrepreneur in follow-up execution.
  • Continually track projects to note marketing and fundraising opportunities and provide information to key team members to capitalize on those opportunities; provide consistent communication and coordination about LaunchPad with SPN staff.
  • Develop and build coaching and mentorship bench, utilizing LaunchPad Brain Trust members. Build strong relationships with these existing partners and resources.
  • Oversee operations of LaunchPad Project team, including management of project budgets and program staff and contractors.


  • 8-10+ years previous work experience in business and project management, including scenario planning, and using
  • 8-10+ years previous work experience in business and project management, including scenario planning, and using optimization techniques to solve project and business problems.
  • A passion for social innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Entrepreneurial experience across multiple industry sectors preferred.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in policy, advocacy, business, marketing, and finance.
  • Strong knowledge of fundamental business concepts and excellent problem-solving skills with ability to set benchmarks and measures; evaluation methods; identify root causes related to positive or negative results; and recommend solutions and experiments to test project viability.
  • Able to cultivate, build, and maintain strong working relationships with individuals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent analytical skills and ability to use data and statistics to solve project and organizational problems along with strong Microsoft Office professional skills.
  • A Bachelor’s degree in Business, Management, Public Administration is required.
  • An advanced degree like a M.B.A., M.P.H, M.P.A., J.D. is preferred.

How to apply

If interested, please contact:

Kevin Hicar, Senior Principal, (202) 572-8312 or