State Policy Network

Careers and Internships

State Policy Network is a national nonprofit organization pursuing a vision of an America where personal freedom, innovation, opportunity, and a more peaceful society help all Americans flourish. State Policy Network was founded to support the growth of a collaborative and entrepreneurial network of state think tanks including 64 independent state think tank affiliates and over 90 associate partners. SPN works side-by-side with these leaders to catalyze thriving, durable freedom movements in every state, anchored with high performing independent think tanks. We do this by:

  • Incubating think tanks and accelerating their development through strategic planning, training, and coaching;
  • Connecting talented state leaders so they can learn, challenge, and grow together, with the aim of cultivating state solutions that collectively yield national impact; and,
  • Defending the 50-state think tank network by disseminating best practices, critical resources when members are attacked, and fighting assaults on free speech and donor privacy.

Full-Time Openings

Controller–Virtual Office

Reporting to the Operations Director, the Controller is responsible for oversight of all finance, accounting, and reporting activities.

The Controller will lead all day-to-day finance operations of a budget of $14 million including responsibility over accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll. The Controller will ensure that SPN has the systems and procedures in place to support effective program implementation and conduct flawless audits. The Controller will work closely with program leaders and their staffs, not only to educate them regarding finance and accounting procedures but also to explore how the finance function can better support program operations.

SPN is in a period of rapid growth. The Controller will partner with other staff to scale existing tools and processes to support current and future needs. The ideal candidate will thrive in an environment of rapid change.


  • Oversee all accounts, ledgers, and reporting systems ensuring compliance with appropriate GAAP standards and regulatory requirements.
  • Maintain internal control and safeguards for receipt of revenue, costs, and program budgets and actual expenditures.
  • Coordinate all audit activity.
  • Consistently analyze financial data and present financial reports in an accurate and timely manner; clearly communicate monthly, and annual financial statements; monitor progress and changes and keep senior leadership abreast of SPN’s financial status.
  • Assist in the annual budgeting and planning process; administer and review all financial plans and compare to actual results with a view to identify, explain, and correct variances as appropriate.
  • Support the Operations Director in engaging the board’s audit and finance committee around issues and trends in financial operating models and delivery.
  • Partner with the fundraising team to oversee all financial, project/program and grants accounting.
  • Manage organizational cash flow forecasting.


  • 5+ years of nonprofit accounting experience.
  • Personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and unwavering commitment to SPN’s mission; a proactive, hands-on strategic thinker who will own, in partnership with the Operations Director, the responsibility for finance.
  • Minimum of a BA in accounting.
  • Proficient with Intacct accounting software.
  • Solid experience coordinating audit activities and managing reporting, budget development and analysis, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, payroll, and accounting for investments.
  • Technology savvy with experience selecting and overseeing software installations and managing relationships with software vendors; advanced knowledge of accounting and reporting software.
  • Keen analytic, organization and problem-solving skills which allows for strategic data interpretation versus simple reporting.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills; experience in effectively communicating key data, including presentations to senior management, board or other outside partners.
  • Ability and desire to translate complex financial concepts to individuals at all levels including finance and non-finance managers.

Location: This role can work from home anywhere in the continental United States. Periodic travel is required to meet with other team members.


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

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Compensation requirements.

Materials should be emailed to Denise Stevenson at

Thank you in advance to all applicants for your interest in this position however, we are only able to contact those to whom we can offer an interview. No phone calls, please.

Event Manager

State Policy Network is seeking an event manger to join our fast-paced, growing events team. This position is ideal for a pro-liberty, entrepreneurial candidate with an interest in gaining valuable event planning experience and learning more about the state-based free market think tank network.

The event manager will work directly with our senior director of event strategy on event preparation, planning, and on-site execution for multiple events. The event manager will also assist with SPN’s Annual Meeting, which is one of the largest, premiere events in the Liberty Network, with over 1,300 attendees.

The event manager’s role advances SPN’s mission and strategic objectives by planning events that communicate SPN’s key priorities and training and builds stronger relationships with our constituents. This position will require management of the event from concept to completion.


  • Develop and drive event strategy for each programmatic event. For each event, develop key objectives, measurable goals and target audience to further advance organization mission
  • Ensure brand consistency of SPN and high-quality execution of each organization event.
  • Ensure the highest level of customer service to reflect SPN brand to both internal and external customers.
  • Drive overall event execution timeline, including all event-related activities from logistics (including food/beverage needs, travel and venue) to marketing timeline and program development.
  • Track event performance and metrics to evaluate event effectiveness.
  • Calculate, track and report event budget. Recommend adjustments as necessary throughout planning process to ensure event effectiveness and adjustments that may need to be made to achieve event goals.
  • Maintain and develop key vendor relationships in coordination with other event team members.


  • Strong interest in having a role that will further State Policy Network’s mission and impact
  • Problem-solving and management in time-sensitive situations
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic
  • Team player with upbeat personality
  • A strong ability to prioritize and balance multiple projects effectively
  • Registration and communications best practices with a high degree of customer service level commitment (experience with event registration platforms, including Cvent, is preferred)
  • Venue and vendor sourcing and management
  • Contract negotiation skills and experience
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills
  • Proficient knowledge of Excel, Power Point, Word, Salesforce, and cloud-sharing programs
  • Understanding of social media in event settings
  • College degree preferred
  • 2-5 years of previous experience

Time Commitment: Full-time; travel will be included; and some events that require on-site execution will occur outside of normal business hours.

Location: MD/DC/VA – Virtual


Please send your cover letter, resume, and references to Denise Stevenson at

Salesforce Administrator

The Salesforce Administrator is responsible for the overall administration and support for SPN’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. The successful candidate is not necessarily a technologist, but a person:

  • with a good understanding of how a CRM should and can be utilized across the organization.
  • who has skills using online technology and has the curiosity and expertise to learn a CRM and participate in the CRM community.
  • who is someone who wants to be a go-to person for the users; the candidate should be an advocate for the CRM within the organization and help to appropriately expand its use.
  • who takes data quality seriously and works to maintain a clean and unfettered database; this is NOT someone to monitor the database and tweak it for performance nor is it a data entry person.
  • who can work with users to translate needs into written processes and then functionality within Salesforce. Experience doing this with non-Salesforce experts is a must.
  • who understands the inner workings of a fundraising team and can position Salesforce to drive fundraising data and process needs.


  • 5+ years Salesforce experience
  • Familiarity with how Salesforce can be utilized to maximize fundraising success
  • Proven customer service orientation combined with the ability to work well with others
  • Creativity, initiative, excitement about the possibilities of the CRM
  • Strong spreadsheet skills
  • Excellent business analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work with people of varying technical skills
  • Previous experience in an end-user technical support role
  • Quick, analytical thinker
  • Ability to effectively communicate complex concepts

Location: This role can work virtually anywhere in the continental United States. Periodic travel is required to meet with other team members.


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

  • Resume
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the position/SPN’s mission, salary requirements, location preference, and travel availability

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market here.

Senior Director of Development

State Policy Network is seeking a Senior Director of Development to join our team. This position is ideal for a pro-liberty, entrepreneurial candidate with an interest in growing long term, sustainable relationships with major donors, while also managing a team of frontline fundraisers.

The Senior Director of Development will report directly to our Vice President of Development and will be responsible for the results of the major gifts and leadership giving programs.

The Senior Director of Development will ensure that the team of frontline fundraisers is executing at the highest levels, that goals are met and that SPN is engaging with individual donors to maximize impact. The Senior Director of Development will also be responsible for building new relationships and managing a portfolio of major donors.

The Senior Director of Development’s role advances SPN’s mission and strategic objectives by working closely with donors to align the donors’ goals with SPN’s mission and by coaching a team of frontline fundraisers to do the same.

The Senior Director of Development can be based in SPN’s Arlington, VA headquarters or in a virtual office. The qualified candidate will manage three donor relations managers and one leadership giving officer. The team will likely grow by one or two fundraisers in the next 6-12 months.


Manage the team: Responsible for results of leadership giving and major gifts program.

  • Coach and direct a team to meet fundraising goals and grow long term, sustainable relationships with donors
  • Host donor engagement brainstorming meetings with team
  • Ensure the team has developed donor engagement strategy for every major individual prospect/donor
  • Host table of gifts meetings with team
  • Ensure projections are in line with reality and keep them updated as changes occur
  • Work with Team Lead to ensure the timely capture and recording of data relating to the assigned prospect pool and team’s prospect pool

Manage a major gifts portfolio: Responsible for developing and managing a successful moves management strategy for your portfolio of 75+/- prospects with the capacity to make gifts of $25K to $1M. Territory may be nationwide.

  • Increase SPN’s fundraising capacity through the successful qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individuals having the capacity to make gifts of $25K to $1M
  • Build and advance strong personal and professional relationships with current donors and prospects that result in philanthropic contributions
  • Work independently and creatively to match donor interests with institutional priorities
  • Develop funding proposals and structure complex gifts, including planned gifts
  • Prepare briefings, stewardship plans/letters and other correspondence for prospects, collaborating with staff as needed
  • Motivate and support leadership and volunteers to solicit gifts
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of SPN’s funding priorities


  • 5+ years in development
  • 3+ years closing major gifts ($25,000+)
  • Personnel/team management experience
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • Strong interest in having a role that will further State Policy Network’s mission and impact
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and strong work ethic
  • Team player
  • A strong ability to prioritize and balance multiple projects effectively
  • Strong analytical skills, outstanding organizational skills, and superb attention to detail are a must
  • Must be able to maintain confidentiality
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work in fast-paced, high volume environment
  • Able to prioritize, multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of MS Office, Word, Excel and Outlook
  • Experience using Sales Force is a plus
  • Advanced Excel or database experience helpful
  • Ability to communicate with co-workers and business contacts in a courteous and professional manner; exhibit grace under pressure

This is a full-time position that includes 80% travel.


To apply, qualified candidates should submit the following application materials in one PDF document:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter detailing your interest in the position/SPN’s mission, salary requirements, location preference, and travel availability

Applications should be submitted to Talent Market here.

Questions can be directed to Claire Kittle Dixon, Executive Director 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. 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.