Requirements to Apply
Anyone interested in applying for the upcoming class of IDF must either apply online or mail in all of their application materials no later than the registration dates below. Applications must be completed in full (please contact us if your letters of recommendation need to mailed separately) as we cannot consider partially-completed applications.
Applicants must be Democrats between the ages of 21 to 36. That is to say, applicants must be no less than 21 years of age and no more than 36 years of age at the time of our kickoff party in January. Sadly, we are an all-volunteer organization with an extremely small budget; therefore, we are not able to accept applicants outside of that age range at this time. Because of our budget constraints, IDF’s core mission has been and will continue to be youth development and training in politics, much like Rock the Vote, the Young Democrats and the Washington Bus.
However, in the fall of 2013, we will test our first-ever “IDF Extended Learning” program which will be open to all ages and provide a highly-condensed version of our popular six-month program. This programming will be held at an out-of-state location and allows us to grow to a point where we can broaden our age demographics. It is likely “IDF Extended Learning” will become a permanent program in subsequent years and will remain open to all ages. The core six-month program will not change, however.
Political backgrounds and government experience are not required. We accept prospective applicants into the program from all walks, all demographics, all political experience levels and all personalities. Successful applicants are those folks that demonstrate interest and enthusiasm for the program while demonstrating what makes them unique. It’s that plain and simple and we cannot stress it enough.
Some applicants have extensive campaign experience but know little about policy or lobbying. Conversely, some applicants will be avid Huffington Post or MSNBC consumers but want more of an “inside experience” as it relates to politics. There is no political prototype we seek and there isn’t a particular political philosophy we prefer. We’ve accepted all stripes of Democrat: liberal, bluedog, progressive, and yes, even those purple-hued Democrats. Your enthusiasm, your attendance, and your full/active participation is what we seek.
There is a non-refundable $25 application fee (application fees increase to $40 if you apply after the “early application” deadline date).
Final selection of participants will be determined through an interview process, so you must be available in December for an in-person interview. Please check the IDF Calendar for the full recruitment calendar.
Applying to IDF Online
In order to apply online you’ll need to have a few items ready for prior to submitting your application. You’ll need a credit card for the application fee and you will need Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat versions of your cover letter, resume and at least one letter of recommendation. If you have all of your application materials together, you may submit them online using our online application tool. All materials must be submitted together and the $25 application fee paid (again, $40 if you apply after the early application deadline date) in order for the application to be accepted. Click here to apply online.
Mailing in Your Application Materials
If you cannot submit all of your materials together online or prefer to mail in a check and your materials instead, please submit the following:
- an application form
- a cover letter explaining your interest in the program
- a current resume
- at least one letter of recommendation
- $25 application fee (make checks payable to “Institute for Democratic Future”
- If requesting a scholarship, a letter explaining your situation
Submit Application Materials to:
Institute for a Democratic Future
P.O. Box 9100
Seattle, WA 98109
Deadlines and Timelines
- Applications for the Class of 2014 will be accepted starting on September 1, 2013 and must be postmarked or submitted online by November 12, 2013. This is considered the Early Application Period.
- If you cannot apply by November 12th, a ‘Late Registration Grace Period’ will be extended through Monday, November 18, 2013; however, the application fee then increases to $40 per applicant.
- All applicants will be interviewed by alumni and IDF Board members December 7th and 8th. Phone and Skype interviews will be allowed in exceptional circumstances.
- Applications are considered on a rolling basis, so please consider applying early.
- Only in exceptional circumstances will the Board of Directors consider late applications beyond the grace period.