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Director of Development & Communications, Spark MicroGrants

East Coast home base preferred, (Remote position)
Founded in 2010, Spark MicroGrants works to build the economic and civic power of families facing rural poverty across East and West Africa. Spark’s key innovation - the Facilitated Collective Action Process (FCAP) - is a village planning and grant process that consists of curated weekly village meetings and a seed grant that families use to launch initiatives of their choice. This novel approach continues long after initial project completion, resulting in greater gender equity, a platform for authentic, local development, and a sustainable solution to effective poverty alleviation.

To date, Spark has reached 500+ villages across Uganda, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, Ghana, and Liberia. Community partners have achieved powerful and lasting results: the number of families who eat more than one meal per day doubles to 89%, household assets grow by 80% in the first year, and 85% of communities continue to meet and take action thereafter.

At a moment of exciting growth – including partnering with governments and NGOs to reach 12,000+ villages and 10M+ lives in the next decade-- the Director of Development & Communications will play a critical role in raising the capital and brand recognition needed to ultimately replicate our model globally. Reporting to the Executive Director, this hire will serve on the senior leadership team, build out a strong infrastructure for fund development and communications, and lead strategies to shift philanthropic capital away from prescriptive funding to community-first ones where communities facing poverty have the power to determine their own futures. Specifically, the Director of Development & Communications will:

Design, implement, and lead fundraising and communication strategies that drive growth and sustainability
  • In partnership with the Executive Director and leadership team, design and implement strategies and tactics to 1) raise $50M cumulatively between 2023 - 2026, 2) steward and increase support from existing institutional supporters, 3) position the organization for big-bet philanthropic opportunities and bringing on new institutional supporters.
  • Build and strengthen systems and processes for the full-cycle of donor prospecting, cultivation, and stewardship, inclusive of consistent tracking of donor data and revenue targets. Tightly manage a calendar of grant deliverables, stewardship touchpoints, and other donor milestones.
  • Lead a robust effort to research, qualify, and manage a pipeline of new donor prospects. Perform due diligence, conduct outreach, and design cultivation tactics that reflect an understanding of the prospect’s interests and fit with Spark's mission and vision.
  • Serve as the functional lead for communications, overseeing the crafting of high-use materials (ex. proposals, letter of inquiry, pitch decks, stewardship communications, annual reports) that leverage data, impact stories, and results. Build and maintain a library of high-use messaging and materials.
  • Provide oversight of Spark's brand identity, image, and positioning in the context of the broader field of community-driven development.
  • Work with external consultants as needed on branding and design projects.
  • Provide support to Executive Director in preparing board presentations, reporting on fundraising activity, and engaging board members as strategic thought partners in fundraising.

Serve as a senior leader, collaborative team member, and champion for Spark's mission and values
  • As a member of the senior management team, contribute to guiding overall organizational strategic direction, decision-making, prioritization, and goals.
  • Oversee all administrative/operational duties of the department, e.g. budget creation, expense monitoring, technology systems.
  • Manage and support the professional growth of a 3-member team, taking a facilitative and coaching approach to people management and team leadership.
  • Develop and maintain close coordinated relationships across all Spark teams and functions, fostering cross-team collaboration and transparency.
  • Operate from a place that centers our mission and values and models a deep respect for all Spark colleagues, partners, and communities.

  • You are an enthusiastic advocate for Spark's mission and values. You are inspired to build a global movement where communities are in the driver's seat of change. You thrive on a team that values community-driven and process-centered solutions, leadership through facilitation, authenticity, and a willingness to take risks. A personal connection to the countries where Spark operates is a plus.
  • You are a well-rounded development and communications professional. You bring at least 8 years of work experience with a track record of securing large gifts from foundations and growing an organization's donor base. You have led or worked closely with an organization's communications function. You are knowledgeable about fundraising systems, processes, and best practices.
  • You are a champion for strong infrastructure in order to drive strategic growth. You love building and optimizing systems and appreciate how consistent processes contribute to overall success. You approach your work through an analytical lens and effectively translate strategy into tangible activities.
  • You are a compelling writer, storyteller, and communicator. You are skilled in breaking down and communicating ideas in ways that inspire others to action. You leverage data and stories to create narratives that articulate the “why” behind an organization’s mission and impact. You are experienced in grant writing and creating print and online materials for targeted audiences.
  • You are a kind people leader who leverages individuals’ strengths, builds rapport easily, and fosters collaboration. You have experience in managing and coaching direct reports for high performance and accountability. You are successful in motivating, coordinating, and directing others towards a defined vision or goal. You are cognizant and appreciative of asks for others' time and talent.
  • You are a well-organized and tech savvy project manager. You are experienced in leading and prioritizing multiple projects and workstreams. You take pride in your work product and operate with a high attention to detail. You are proficient in donor relationship management and utilize technology to track donor data, activities, and fundraising goals.
  • You are an action-oriented, resourceful, and collaborative team member. You possess a “get it done” attitude, with the ability to stay focused and nimble in a dynamic environment. You work effectively across teams, time zones, and with people from diverse cultural backgrounds.

This is a remote position with a preference for hire to be based on the East Coast. The salary range is $120,000 - $140,000. Other benefits include:
  • Comprehensive Health insurance with Vision and Dental
  • Flexible, remote-friendly work environment, including one Friday off per month
  • Generous paid time off and sabbatical based on tenure
  • Professional Development Stipend to support employee growth
  • Technology stipends for laptop and mobile phones
  • Communication stipend
If this opportunity speaks to you, click Apply Now with 1) a cover letter that explains why Spark MicroGrants' work excites you and why this role is a fit for you, 2) your resume, and 3) a fundraising-related writing sample (e.g. a grant LOI, donor appeal, annual report.) Please address your cover letter to Sasha Fisher, Executive Director. We review applications on a rolling basis and strive to get back to applicants within two weeks.

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