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Senior Director, Supporter Engagement

Root Capital
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 1, 2022

Region: United States

Job Title: Senior Director, Supporter Engagement

Department: External Affairs (EA)

Reports to: Chief External Affairs Officer (CXO)

Position Status: Full-time

Position Location: Cambridge, MA or Remote US

Start Date: Immediate

Contact: Please apply directly through Root Capital's career site

Position Overview

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%
  • 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 supporter segments.
  • 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 supporter stakeholders.
Executive Leadership and Team Management – 20%
  • 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.
Strategic Planning, Administration and Financial Management – 20%
  • 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 internal tools/platforms.
  • Ensure Root Capital’s individual supporters and potential supporters are managed and tracked through a comprehensive moves management system
  • 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 in-between.
  • Demonstrable experience of working with individual supporters utilizing innovative mechanism to support social impact and change.
  • 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 missions.
  • 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 key decision-making.
  • A polished communicator; able to craft and articulate nuanced, sophisticated cases for support to diverse, global audiences and constituents.
  • 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 etc.
  • Ability to think creatively, take initiative, and work independently, while also enjoying collaboration with diverse teams and functions.
  • 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 States.

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