Region: United States
Job Title: Senior Director, Supporter
Department: External Affairs (EA)
Reports to: Chief External Affairs Officer
Position Status: Full-time
Position Location: Cambridge, MA or Remote
Start Date: Immediate
Contact: Please apply directly
through Root Capital's career site
Reporting to the Chief External Affairs Officer, the Senior
Director, Supporter Engagement (SDSE) is a dynamic, hands-on, and
entrepreneurial executive leader with an established reputation and
success in leading delivery of cohesive resource mobilization
initiatives that optimize prospect recruitment and successful
funding from across individual supporter segments. The SDSE
will have broad experience of working with individuals and families
driven to support social enterprise and/or nonprofit missions, with
deep knowledge of and emphasis on mobilizing individual charitable
giving (from retail giving to principal gifts), strategic
philanthropy, family and multi-generational philanthropy, family
foundations, and social impact investors. They will be responsible
for communicating complex mission, enterprise-wide and program
objectives and strategies to sophisticated audiences.
The SDSE will lead a small team that successfully manages an
existing portfolio of highly engaged individual and family
supporters. They will be responsible for an ambitious and relevant
growth strategy for themselves and their team to test and develop
other individual supporter segments for Root Capital. It is
anticipated this will involve crafting appropriate value
propositions for new supporter segments, exploring opportunities
for more geographically diversified individual supporters, pipeline
building and creating innovative engagement opportunities that keep
our funders close to Root Capital’s work and success.
The SDSE will participate as a thought partner in creating
resourcing opportunities that include sourcing, structuring, and
executing innovative blended capital stacks designed to contribute
to Root Capital’s net assets, operational needs, delivery of
specific mission-critical programs, and its client
investment/lending capabilities. As such the SDSE will have a
demonstrated track record of translating often complex
opportunities into resourcing strategies and realized funding, and
of leading teams toward these goals. They will work in
collaboration with a broad constituency of Root Capital functions,
Executive and Board leadership, as well as the broader EA
department to coordinate and strengthen Root Capital’s proposition
and maximize the impact of private individual support.
Mission & History of Root Capital
Root Capital is a nonprofit whose mission is to grow rural
prosperity and build the resilience of farming families around the
world. We support the growth of agricultural enterprises so they
can transform rural communities. These businesses purchase crops
such as coffee, cocoa, or grains from smallholder farmers. With
growth, they become engines of impact that can raise incomes,
create jobs for the next generation of leaders, level the playing
field for women, and take urgent action against climate change.
We supply these businesses with vital credit and capacity
building to foster their growth and resilience. We work in
hard-to-serve communities where others don’t. To date, we’ve
distributed $1.5 billion to improve the lives of over 10 million
people in farming families.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Root Capital
currently has associated offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua,
Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya.
Responsibilities Fundraising – 60%
Executive Leadership and Team Management – 20%
- Design funding strategies and structures reflecting the
realistic potential of multiple individual supporter segments to
include the spectrum of individual charitable giving, strategic
individual philanthropy, family and multi-generational
philanthropy, family foundations, and social impact investors.
- Design and implement creative and comprehensive outreach,
solicitation and management plans for individual supporters and
prospects, simultaneously leading on cultivation and solicitation
of supporters, while also enabling the Supporter Engagement team to
drive existing and new supporter relationships. Expansion of Root
Capital’s network of individual supporters leading to significant
increases in funding will be a critical goal.
- Lead on establishing funding goals, benchmarks, and growth
strategies for Root Capital’s individual supporter portfolio, to
include metrics for testing, developing, and scaling newer
- As part of a broader strategy, pro-actively participate in the
individual supporter ecosystem, establishing effective
relationships with potential donors, funding collaboratives,
philanthropy and impact investing advisors, to represent Root
Capital’s mission and the opportunity it represents for impact and
social change within rural communities.
- Support the involvement of the CXO, and other Root Capital
staff (including the CEO), in individual supporter development and
relationship management with briefing materials, agendas,
background research and appropriate follow-up.
- Support and drive the active involvement of Root Capital’s
Board members and Board alumni in individual supporter development
and relationship management.
- Collaborate with the Communications & Marketing team to
develop integrated communications and marketing plans that provide
ample stewardship and cultivation touchpoints for existing
supporters and prospects.
- Synthesize Root Capital’s mission and programs into clear,
compelling presentations, proposals, and reports for individual
Strategic Planning, Administration and Financial Management
- Inspire, motivate, and challenge the Supporter Engagement team
through active mentorship, fostering an environment that encourages
new ideas and innovative approaches to reaching funding targets
through support development and relationship management.
- Lead the team’s effective management of the existing portfolio
of individual and family supporters and guide its strategies to
test and develop other individual supporter segments.
- Manage the performance and professional development of each
member of the Supporter Engagement team.
- Maintain familiarity with all aspects of Root Capital’s mission
and programs, representing Root Capital with confidence, clarity
and knowledge of goals and objectives, serving as a resource for
Supporter Engagement and EA colleagues.
- Collaborate with Root Capital colleagues and leadership towards
developing an overarching vision for private individual support at
Root Capital, articulating that vision to key internal stakeholders
to encourage and develop a cross-functional, multi-regional culture
of effective and innovative supporter engagement.
- Lead on the provision of assistance and informed professional
insight for various Root Capital teams on matters relating to
private individual philanthropy and support.
- Support organization growth and reputation by maintaining
strong working relationships with relevant entities and networks
that form the thought leadership ecosystem for social enterprises
and nonprofits at the intersection of agriculture, climate change,
gender equity, economic opportunity and innovative finance.
- Partner with the CXO to set annual, and more regular, goals and
KPIs for the Supporter Engagement team.
- With the CXO and other EA colleagues, lead on the development
and implementation of standards, tools, and procedures towards a
best-in-class approach to resource mobilization generally, and
private individual supporter funding specifically.
- Provide leadership for the Support Engagement team’s
participation in annual as well as long range planning and
strategizing at both an EA department level, as well as a Root
Capital enterprise level.
- Manage the Supporter Engagement team’s budget with commitment,
integrity, and accountability, working within Root Capital’s
standards for professional conduct.
- Monitor and analyze philanthropic and other mission-driven
funding trends so that market opportunities may be capitalized on,
ensuring that Root Capital’s individual supporter value proposition
remains compelling and competitive.
- Cultivate a data-driven culture within the EA department and
broadly at Root Capital through use of Salesforce and other
- Ensure Root Capital’s individual supporters and potential
supporters are managed and tracked through a comprehensive moves
- Oversee the maintenance of CRM and other records relating to
the individual supporter portfolio that contribute to comprehensive
tracking/reporting on the EA stakeholder universe
- Perform other relevant duties as assigned.
Required Skills and Experience
- 10+ years experience in successful fundraising, building
generative relationships, establishing a shared agenda and goals,
and securing resources for the long haul.
- Experience fundraising from diverse stakeholders, with a
grounding in the fundamentals of raising funds from individuals at
multiple engagement levels, from retail/public campaigns to
significant, transformative philanthropic investments – and points
- Demonstrable experience of working with individual supporters
utilizing innovative mechanism to support social impact and
- Understanding of the individual and family philanthropy
ecosystem, and experience of engaging with critical institutions
and intermediaries which facilitate effective individual and family
support, including philanthropy advisors, DAFs, wealth management
advisors, funding collaboratives, family offices etc.
- Comfortable directly soliciting significant philanthropic
investments directly from supporters, and/or through their
intermediaries, in support of social enterprise and/or nonprofit
- Comfortable facilitating and guiding solicitations by
relationship proxies, for example Root Capital’s CEO, enterprise
leaders, Board members, existing supporters etc.
- Successful record of engaging and guiding volunteers,
especially Board members, deepening their involvement in supporter
cultivation and solicitation.
- Keen understanding of how to use traditional and digital
content, including social media, to support the development of
retail and mid-tier supporters.
- Knowledge of how to integrate various supporter engagement
channels to support an effective, powerful, and evolutionary
supporter experience for a mission-driven organization.
- Ability to see the “big picture,” think strategically, and
translate strategy into targeted goals and actions with
demonstrated success in creating and expanding a culture of
successful supporter engagement.
- Deep knowledge of using financial data and analysis, budget
modeling, financial projections, and scenario planning to inform
- A polished communicator; able to craft and articulate nuanced,
sophisticated cases for support to diverse, global audiences and
- Experience of managing high-performing fundraising teams, with
evidence of mentoring and supporting the professional development
of team members.
- Experience of working with/in social enterprises and
innovative, complex nonprofits, and of their operating models and
approaches to mission delivery and development.
- Demonstrated ability to maintain positive, collaborative,
productive relationships with staff at all levels, and skilled at
leading different stakeholders, teams, and departments towards
consensus and understanding around planning, decision-making
- Ability to think creatively, take initiative, and work
independently, while also enjoying collaboration with diverse teams
- A commitment to Root Capital’s mission is essential, with
knowledge and understanding of issues and agendas related to
agriculture, economic opportunity and poverty reduction, gender
equity, climate change, and innovative finance, helpful.
- Spanish proficiency (written and spoken) is a plus but not
critical to the role.
- Applicants must be authorized to work in the United