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Head of Philanthropy: Tostan International

Tostan International
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Sep 27, 2022



Client Overview: 

Tostan’s mission is to empower communities to develop and achieve their vision for the future and inspire large-scale movements leading to dignity for all. Tostan is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Dakar, Senegal and operates in five West African countries. 

Tostan’s flagship model, the three-year Community Empowerment Program (CEP), has already reached thousands of communities in both West and East Africa since 1991. Impacts that change lives are in areas such as education, health, economic empowerment, governance and the environment; Tostan has been particularly proud to play a significant role in the large-scale empowerment of women and girls and the community-led abandonment of harmful practices such as female genital cutting and child marriage. 

Strategically, the organization is committed to continuing to develop its core competency of empowering education and to documenting and scaling the sustainable impact it creates across a range of issues. The organization is currently engaged in a strategic planning process that will shape the organization’s strategic scale from 2023 - 2030. 

Job Title: Head of Philanthropy 

Company Location: Headquartered in Dakar, Senegal.


Position based in either 

Seattle WA, Portland OR, San Francisco CA, Los Angeles CA, Washington DC, or New York NY 


Reports To: Chief Partnerships Officer Board of Directors 

Elena Bonometti: Chief Executive Officer 

Kadji Diop: Chief Finance & Operations Officer 


Travel: Frequent travel to each coast in the US. Some travel to Senegal. 


Role Overview 

In this exciting new role, the Head of Philanthropy will build on Tostan’s successful portfolio of philanthropic donors, leading an ambitious strategy for donor acquisition. Tostan’s philanthropic supporters comprise trust-based philanthropists, family foundations and others who all believe in Tostan’s mission. 


Position Summary: 

As a hands-on leader and committed collaborator, the Head of Philanthropy will take the initiative to drive and lead Tostan’s work with a range of philanthropists, supporting the development of partnerships in support of strategic scale. This role will also need to reach an ambitious level of donor acquisition, in support of developing a pipeline of donors needed to deliver our new Strategic Engagement Plan, 2023 - 2030. 


With knowledge and experience within the philanthropy landscape, this person will bring expertise and enthusiasm to our thriving organization. They will be able to shape partnerships and build relationships that can advance Tostan’s strategic potential and programmatic excellence. 


This role is a member of the Partnerships Team, reporting to the Chief Partnerships Officer. This role has a peer colleague - Head of Institutional Partnerships, responsible for developing relationships with bilateral, multilateral, and institutional foundation donors. This role will collaborate closely with partnerships, programs, and finance colleagues, alongside the broader Senior Leadership at Tostan International and National Coordinators. 


Specific Responsibilities: 

Development of Philanthropic Partnerships 

  • Responsible for developing and implementing a philanthropic development strategy to contribute to Tostan’s strategic priorities. Responsible for raising philanthropic funds, to meet the needs of the 2023 - 2030 strategic plan. 
  • Ensure the stewarding relationships with existing partners and advance strategic opportunities for deepening and expanding relationships. 
  • Work closely with the Head of Institutional Partnerships to ensure that both teams are aligned and synergistic where appropriate - working together to achieve an annual target. 
  • Work closely with the Executive Team, the Senior Leadership team and the Board to attract new philanthropic funds, diversify income streams, and maintain a vibrant and robust pipeline for growth; ensure this pipeline is monitored effectively. 
  • Ensure that strong and committed relationships with donors are maintained and strengthened. 
  • Ensure the preparation and monitoring of philanthropic giving budgets and oversee information systems on these donor contributions. 


Leadership, Team Leadership and Operational Systems 


  • Serve as a core member of the Partnerships Team. 
  • Serve as a member of the Senior Leadership Team and Strategic Council. 
  • Contribute to the advancement of opportunities for network development, external partnership, and thought leadership, within the philanthropy space. 
  • Develop and lead the Philanthropy team. 
  • Provide line management, mentorship, and capacity development to staff to build the next generation of leaders. 
  • In close collaboration with the Partnerships, Programs and Operations teams, support the advancement of efficient, effective systems and processes for engaging partners. 
  • Develop and manage processes and systems to support effective management of philanthropic donors in collaboration with other teams. 


Key Selection Criteria: 

  • Master’s Degree preferred. 
  • English fluency is required, knowledge of working French is a plus; knowledge of a local language in which Tostan works is welcome. 
  • At least 10 years with experience in: philanthropic donor partnerships, sector strategic partnership development. 
  • At least 3 years needs to have been in a senior leadership role. 

Personal Characteristics Desired: 

  • An inspiring professional, strategic in outlook, and pragmatic in operation. 
  • Ambitious with a sense of urgency and passion, alongside personal credibility and gravitas. 
  • Ability to build strong relationships globally with evidence of partnership working to achieve high impact. 
  • Inspiring, inclusive, resilient, highly self-motivated, and detail-oriented. 
  • Excellent communication, interpersonal, analytical, and written communication skills with exceptional ability to communicate complex information in clear simple language. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English (working French, a plus). 
  • Relishes the opportunity to transfer knowledge and collaborate, as well as to lead, manage, coach, and mentor teams and individuals. 
  • Proven experience of securing demonstrable partnership outcomes, particularly with achieving income and building partnerships with philanthropists. 
  • Ability to build strong working relationships, both in-person and virtually. 
  • Team player, comfortable in working with multiple deadlines, under pressure, and in a multicultural environment. 
  • Believes strongly in Tostan's mission to empower communities to develop and achieve their vision for the future and inspires large-scale movements leading to dignity for all.


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