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Director of Partnerships

Segal Family Foundation
New Jersey, United States
$130,000.00 - $150,000.00
Closing date
Oct 7, 2022

About Segal Family Foundation

At Segal, we believe in a world where development is steered by grassroots leaders and power is shifted into the hands of communities. We work across Sub-Saharan Africa and strive to be true partners to our grantees. We want to change the power dynamics inherent in traditional philanthropy and prove that a new, more equitable, and responsive approach is not only more fair, but more effective. We support 300+ incredible organizations that are finding local and scalable solutions to Sub-Saharan Africa’s most pressing development challenges. We offer our grantee partners financial and capacity-building support, aimed at giving them a larger network of peer organizations and like-minded funders to share learnings and new opportunities as well as provide technical expertise. 


Our vibrant team works virtually across continents. We move fast and adapt quickly as we find new and exciting ways to push our mission forward. We’ve got a lot of ambition, and we are looking for team members that will continue to help us punch above our weight.


Our team in Africa is spread across five countries and is responsible for finding and nurturing our community of grantee partners. They also lead in implementing our unique Active Partnership model of funding and supporting our grantees, including our flagship program catering to very early-stage organizations: the Social Impact Incubator. Our global team is responsible for supporting our Africa-side operations and directing our evaluation, communications, and partnerships work.


About the role

Our Partnerships team is responsible for engaging and influencing other funders per one pillar of our Theory of Change. To date, our partnerships’ work has yielded ~$65 million in additional funding from other donors towards our grantee partners. Our flagship program for our more mature grantee partners, the African Visionary Fellowship, sits within the Partnerships team and is heavily oriented toward driving more funding to these exemplary organizations. The team also leads on platform building efforts as well as innovative collaborations with peer funders, such as Bosch Foundation, Hilton Foundation, UNICEF, and many others. These successes, however, have been wrought from fairly minimal investment in this work, and we are now looking to increase the size of the Partnerships team and the scope of its impact. Additionally, we are shifting from a relatively reactive model of donor engagement toward offering more proactive and well-publicized donor referral services. The new Director of Partnerships will facilitate this transformation and support the greater SFF team in developing the relevant systems, skills, and resources to dramatically increase SFF’s influence with other philanthropic funders.


What does success look like?

By the end of 2030, the Director will lead the way in increasing SFF’s influence with other philanthropic funders dramatically- for example, increasing the amount of leveraged funding (the funding that SFF believes it is responsible for driving from other funders to our grantees) from currently $20m/year to over $100m by engaging with hundreds or more fellow funders. This leveraged funding will give oxygen to hundreds, if not thousands, of locally-led visionaries across the continent. By 2030, the Director will have fundraised for SFF’s expansion from its current five hubs to ~ten by 2030. This fundraising could amount to more than $10m/year in additional capital to drive SFF’s growth. Finally, by the end of the decade the Director will help SFF and its grantees to increase their reach- for example placing them in a position to access any platform from Davos to UNGA to the New York Times to relevant government Ministries.  


In the next 2-3 years, the Director will oversee the buildout of the Partnerships team, numbering perhaps 5-8 extraordinary individuals based across the globe. The Director will oversee the construction of a robust backoffice system of tools to drive the work of donor engagement. During this time, the Director will also craft the strategy for SFF to directly fundraise in order to fuel its geographic expansion ambitions across Sub-Saharan Africa during the coming years.


Your responsibilities will include 

Lead SFF’s Partnerships Strategy (10%) 

    Finalize SFF’s multi year strategic priorities regarding partnerships and donor engagement in collaboration with SFF’s staff and Board of Directors Clearly communicate SFF’s org-wide partnerships strategies and priorities internally and ensure all teammates understand their individual roles and responsibilities to support these priorities  Maintain progress toward SFF’s partnerships and donor engagement goals, and ensure continuous strategy refinement over the years


Donor Engagement (30%) 

    Coordinate our proactive connections and influence with individuals funders 
      Lead donor research priorities, scoping and identifying potential funder friends and understanding their needs and interests Support the team and partner community to connect meaningfully with these funders, reaching hundreds of individual funders through regular check ins in-person or via phone Personally connect with individual funders to steward specific relationships (you will personally manage ~50-60 relationships)
    Coordinate our meaningful participation in the philanthropic sector 
      Lead our prioritization of and engagement with high-priority platforms (affinity groups, conferences, sector periodicals/journals, podcasts, etc.)  for the wider SFF team and partner community to access As desired, represent SFF personally on these platforms and support colleagues in preparing their participation/presence Contribute to the design and implementation of our own donor engagement platforms, e.g., our annual meetings, country-level gatherings, webinars, etc.


Grow SFF’s Philanthropic Advisory Services (20%)

    Lead the transition into a highly responsive donor advisory hub. There will be systems and processes to build and iterate that have to work for a highly distributed, diverse and busy team. You will lead collaborative and inclusive design journeys, ensuring team perspectives and needs are fully incorporated.
      Oversee the creation of an effective back-office system for all donor engagement across SFF: from meetings prep to ensuring outcome-oriented post-meeting follow-ups Oversee efficient systems to respond to unsolicited funder queries as volume increases Map out and clarify all team roles and collaboration points on fundraising/donor engagement at SFF. Define workflows that lead to seamless, smooth collaboration
    Build out SFF’s donor database and tracking system (currently in Salesforce) for team-wide adoption 
      Drive definition and adoption of processes to ensure the database is updated and contains information relevant to our strategies. This includes reorganizing existing information, researching new data as needed, and documenting our ongoing donor activities Lead in setting up a simple and effective referral system that helps link our grantee partners and funder friends in relevant ways
    Co-author SFF’s external advocacy and messaging content
      Work with our MEL and country teams to gather useful and compelling evidence, intel, data, and impact stories that can drive our donor engagement and advocacy strategies Partner with the Communications team to develop materials and resources (such as topical talking points, funder toolkit, donor newsletter, reports, etc.) that help other funders tap into our learnings on trust-based philanthropy Work with the Communications team to build awareness of our philanthropic advisory services  Ensure the team is aligned on SFF’s core messaging 


Team Management (20%) 

    Lead the build-out of the Partnerships team by aligning the structure to our ambitions and identifying key roles to hire.  Lead performance management of the Partnerships team and contribute to the evaluation of other team members who participate in donor engagement.
      The team currently includes the African Visionary Fellowship (AVF) Manager (based in Kenya) and an incoming Partnerships Officer (based in New Jersey).
    Support the career development of the Partnerships team through ongoing coaching and exploring pathways for growth Shape a team culture rooted in clear values, expectations, and feedback


Build the Donor Engagement Capacity of SFF’s Grantees and Team (10%) 

    Support SFF country offices and the African Visionary Fellowship team in building their own respective donor engagement strategies 
      Plan and oversee the execution of capacity development activities to meet the needs of our team Collaborate with the AVF Manager to strengthen the fellowship’s capacity building services  Assess the donor engagement needs and capacity of SFF grantees Develop effective and efficient systems for building the capacity of grantee partners
    Support our fast-moving and dispersed team to adopt new habits and mechanisms regarding reporting, tracking, and follow-up of donor engagement activities


Special Projects (10%) 

    SFF is a dynamic organization. Often our greatest impact comes from unanticipated projects or initiatives. We want team members who are eager to carefully consider unforeseen opportunities and capable of meeting unforeseen challenges. You will lead consideration of arising opportunities to achieve clarity and direction. 
      Examples of such projects include unsolicited offers of funding that require the input of the team or grantees as part of the considerations; opportunities to sponsor podcast series; opportunities to lead funder affinity groups, etc. 
    Support board priorities regarding donor engagement, including providing occasional strategy advice for SFF’s sister foundations, Focus Central America (FCA) and Focus for Health Foundation (FFH)

Who we are looking for


Required: You, as a Person and Teammate

    You are deeply and painfully aware of the challenges and historical power dynamics inherent in philanthropy and are passionate to continue working towards changing the field. You are aware of the personal discomfort this work can bring and have built resilience needed to engage and influence relevant stakeholders successfully. You balance impatient radicality with “playing the game to change the game” - and are choosing this mission with eyes wide open You live the values of Segal Family Foundation. Each one is essential to achieving our mission, and we want to see a history of your engagement with each To lead well in our environment:
      You thrive in dynamic work settings and are curious to pursue creative and disruptive opportunities, where things get messy at times - linear, robotic and predictable contexts turn you off  You are excited about overlapping roles, co-creation, and co-owning success and failure You are comfortable and strategic in delegation. You empower others to run and succeed with ideas independently! If your power rests on hierarchy and position, please don’t apply You are comfortable in the spotlight and savvy in elevating your peers to share it
    You are an SFF-style team player:
      We are a passionate team with lots of opinions. You must be comfortable engaging deeply to forge close-knit relationships, both virtually and in-person. You work well across cultures and time zones You are an open communicator, confident to share your ideas, opinions, and suggestions candidly while also open to new ways of thinking You are empathetic, observant of the needs of others, you ask and listen, and respond to the needs and challenges of your teammates


Required: Skills and Expertise

    Extensive successful fundraising experience (5+ years)
      You have previously overseen the creation and successful execution of long-term fundraising strategies for non-profit organizations  You relish the external side of donor engagement and fundraising. You are adept at fundraising calls, networking, pitching, and relationship building. You drive genuine and spirit-full conversations to win over hearts and minds You have a track record of success with engaging and influencing Western philanthropists, high-net-worth individuals, and private foundations
    Expertise in donor-facing advocacy and communications
      You recognize trends and draw insights from your funder-facing conversations with a track record of pursuing creative ideas, creating new opportunities, and driving mutual value You have experience weaving storytelling and impact data together to create a compelling narrative 
    Systems building
      Track record of using highly collaborative and inclusive approaches when creating (or improving existing) processes, systems and workflows that lay the groundwork for things to run smoothly at scale  You have successfully designed and overseen efficient workflows for smooth collaboration in distributed and busy teams  You have overseen a bulky database and implemented improvements to make sure it keeps working with a big team that wants different things
    Leadership and management experience 
      You have previously led a huge mandate with many moving parts and made strategic decisions to prioritize where time and energy should go to achieve desired outcomes You have experience managing a distributed team, ideally multicultural & multinational  You balance the need to be dynamic/opportunistic while offering your team a comfortable level of order and structure


Nice to Haves 

    Familiarity w/ the Impact Investment scene- both the what & the who Experience engaging and influencing Asian and African philanthropists



Why work with us

    Mission and Impact: We want to change the face of philanthropy while uplifting incredible local leaders (who we like to call rockstars). Every day we support local leaders changing the lives of their communities. Career Development: We hire ambitious people and support them to develop their skills and leadership potential. We support each other to grow and propel them even further in their career trajectory through self-elected opportunities and a competitive professional development stipend.  Autonomy: We hire smart and talented people and let them lead the way. You will get a team behind you for support and will be given the autonomy to execute. Work Hard, Play Hard: We put in the extra time and go the extra mile to support our grantee partners. But we also love to laugh, have fun, and enjoy the camaraderie we’ve built amongst our team.  Variety and Adventure: We support 300+ grantee partners across 20+ African countries. Regardless of how much you travel, you will get to experience new cultures, places, and exciting organizations across the continent. Benefits: We believe in supporting the wellbeing of our employees, so we offer health insurance (medical/dental/vision), pension contribution, generous and flexible paid time off, and support for ongoing professional development.


Other information

    The starting salary for this position will be $130,000-150,000 based on relevant experience. This full-time role is flexible in terms of location, with a logistical preference for North America (more specifically Eastern time zone). Residing in one of our African country offices (Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda) or Europe will also be considered. Working hours are flexible though the role requires weekly calls during business hours associated with New Jersey (EST) and East Africa (EAT).  Travel is a key component of the job with minimum travel of six weeks each year but ideally eight+ weeks, including attending conferences worldwide and time on the ground with our staff and grantee partners in East Africa.  African diasporans with existing work authorization in the US or Europe are highly encouraged to apply! We will agree on a six-month probation period with mutually agreed-upon performance and learning objectives, during which time you’ll be closely supported by the rest of the SFF team, especially the Exec Team.  Segal Family Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Want to apply? 

    Fill in the form under this link: The selection process includes case studies, personality tests, interviews, and reference checks. It will be carried out in collaboration with Edge, our HR partner based in Nairobi.  For any questions, feel free to reach out to Please take a look at our candidate guide under Based on the number of applications, only shortlisted candidates may be communicated with.

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