Executive Brief

Director, Resource Development and Communications
Aga Khan Foundation USA

Director, Resource Development and Communications

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, AKF USA is seeking a new Director of Resource Development and Communications to lead the next phase of its longstanding work in building support among Americans for global development and raising funds for AKF USA’s programming.

The Director is a key member of AKF USA’s leadership team, responsible for refining and executing a national individual fundraising, public engagement, and communications strategy.

In this hands-on leadership role, the Director leads and manages a skilled team, providing direction and implementing a portfolio of existing and new initiatives designed to leverage our existing support base to reach out to new individual supporters in sustainable and scalable ways. In addition, the Director contributes to the development of AKF USA’s public positioning, including initiatives to engage the policy community and broader efforts to raise awareness among key public audiences. The Director is a key external voice for AKF USA, building and maintaining strong working relationships with a broad range of partners, constituencies, and communities, as described below.

Specific Duties

The Director will be responsible for accomplishing three inter-related goals:

1. Fundraising (Donations and Sponsorships)

Create and implement a strong, sustainable, and scalable individual giving program to support AKF USA’s long-term needs.

  • Building on the success of its current platforms, develop a robust portfolio of fundraising initiatives focused on increasing the sustainable flow of annual, undesignated  giving, with an initial focus on leveraging the networks of AKF USA’s existing supporters and unrivalled volunteer base, including by:
    • Managing a portfolio of individual giving prospects including identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
    • Executing a signature annual campaign backed by a robust data- and objective-driven business plan to incorporate digital fundraising, broad engagement, and potential in-person components as circumstances, impact, and business cases allow.
    • Managing a portfolio of corporate sponsors and engaging businesses and corporations to support AKF USA through sponsorships based by a thoughtful, thorough, and appealing sponsor recognition plan.
    • Assessing, modifying (if needed) and growing a nascent point-of-sale initiative, cultivating new retailers and improving results from current retailers.
    • Planning and coordinating a national gala dinner and regional dinner program.
    • Examining, modifying, and expanding tribute and legacy giving.
    • Planning and implementing a program of Giving Circles around AKF USA’s programmatic themes.
  • Raise awareness, understanding and support for AKF USA’s global mission, mandate, activities, and impact.
  • Build excitement, foster buy-in, and provide ongoing support to volunteer teams in seven regions, including orientation training, regular progress meetings, campaign planning, and reporting and data management support.
  • Initiate and support ongoing, systematic, and relationship-deepening stewardship, building a community of lifelong and multi-generational supporters who are emotionally and intellectually committed to the mission.
  • Apply industry best practices to develop and improve contact and relationship management across the organization.
  • In collaboration with other key stakeholders, leverage existing and implement new data platforms and systems to enhance fundraising outcomes, including the efficient collection and use of data to measure results and inform plans and the establishment of appropriate and cost-effective data and analysis systems and processes.
  • Work closely with the Director of Planned & Legacy Giving and the Regional Director of Programs & Partnerships (responsible for government and institutional fundraising) to ensure strong synergies.
2. Public Engagement

Executing an integrated portfolio of initiatives designed to raise awareness of and inspire involvement in AKDN’s global development efforts. This will include producing and distributing cutting edge content and developing programs that create a deep appreciation of AKF’s work among key constituencies.

  • Develop a strategic set of “Signature Initiatives” that establishes AKF USA as a thought leader in specific areas of global development, and highlights AKF USA’s role as an effective and distinctive partner in these efforts. The initiatives should seek to build relationships with and awareness among priority audiences, connecting appropriately to fundraising platforms, and demonstrating AKF USA as a distinctive “partner of choice” with institutional partners such as USAID, priority private foundations, and others.

  • Volunteer Management – will work closely with existing volunteers and engage new volunteers on a regular basis. Volunteer engagement will be within the AKF domain and outside of the AKF domain.

  • Introduce new audiences to international development and the work of AKF USA and supports their growth towards becoming champions, volunteers, and donors through key public engagement initiatives.

3. Corporate Communications

Strengthening AKF USA’s core corporate communications efforts. This will include organization-wide contact management, strategic counsel, tactical support to AKF USA’s initiatives and priorities, proactive media relations, editorial policies, issues management, intelligence gathering and foresight, and outreach partnerships.

  • Leads a proactive, thorough, and systematic relationship management strategy to strengthen ties with stakeholders and partners, including representing AKF USA in various contexts as required.
  • Works closely with AKDN and AKF global communications officials, as well as with colleagues and partners in countries with an AKDN presence, to coordinate initiatives, consult on issues, and triangulate risks.
  • Works closely with the CEO and other stakeholders to manage communications crises and issues.
  • Uses data and digital tools to monitor trends, shifts, and activities across the American public policy landscape.
  • Provides timely updates and advice to AKF USA’s governors, senior team, staff and other key leaders of any potential issues or important developments that could inform the Foundation’s focus, goals or workplans.
  • Builds strong communications infrastructure and capacity, supported by sound data, to be shared with other AKF offices.
  • Oversees strategy and editorial approach for key AKF USA communications channels and products, including AKFUSA.org, AKF USA social media accounts, and the annual report.
  • Supports the Regional Director of Programs and Partnerships to engage government and institutional funders through robust communications, strategic convening, and relationship management.

Candidate Profile

The ideal Director will have:

Resource Mobilization | Fundraising
  • A strong record leading teams to execute and deliver on revenue development strategies, with a strong “business-building” orientation, “test & learn” savvy, and appetite to develop and build strong, reliable executional machinery.
  • Broad experience in effective, large scale, grassroots donor management
  • Experience building and working with a committed team of diverse volunteers and providing motivation and support tools to enable them to fulfill their responsibilities.
  • The ability to develop and execute novel and innovative resource mobilization and fundraising strategies, ideally at a national level.
  • A disciplined, systematic, methodical and data/evidence-based approach to achieve desired outcomes and revenue targets.
  • Experience engaging, inspiring, and mobilizing a community of volunteers and the public to support large scale campaigns and events.
Public Engagement | Communications
  • Experience leading communications, including corporate communications, internal and external communications, community and volunteer relations, media relations, events planning and outreach, and new digital/social media platforms.
  • Digital and technological savvy to innovate, advance and scale AKF USA’s engagement and resource development efforts.
  • Some knowledge or awareness of government decision making and familiarity with public policy issues relevant to AKF USA’s work would be an asset.
  • Strong written and verbal communication and presentation skills.
Executive Leadership
  • A naturally supportive disposition defined by a high degree of humility, empathy, and professionalism.
  • Strategic foresight and exceptional facilitation and analytical skills to engage in and contribute to organization-wide decision making and managing a broad set of stakeholders.
  • Intellectual curiosity and highly sophisticated thinking, along with a broad understanding of, and interest in, the complex challenges of an ever-changing national and international environment.
  • Executive maturity, managerial intuition, and political acuity to grasp the nuances of, and help resolve, complex/difficult questions and challenges.
  • Experience working within complex systems and networks.
Team Leadership | Management
  • A collaborative and collegial approach to motivating, empowering and guiding teams working across in-person, hybrid, and remote environments.
  • Fosters an environment of creativity, collaboration, kindness, and candor to support innovation and excellence in project outcomes.
  • Initiative, creativity, and entrepreneurial skills.
  • A systems/process orientation with excellent project management and planning skills; comfort, energy, and aptitude to manage and prioritize demands of multiple/large projects.
  • Strong implementation skills.
  • Commitment to ensuring respect for gender equality and safeguarding within all aspects of leadership and management.

This is a remote position and the salary range for this position is $175K - $200K/year.

AKF USA is committed to advancing gender equality and inclusion through our programming and operations in the USA and overseas. AKF USA requires all employees to review and abide by the AKF Gender Equality Policy.

AKF USA recognizes the importance of safeguarding and is committed to ensuring it manages a wide range of risks such that beneficiaries, staff, other associates, and the organization as a whole are kept safe from harm. AKF USA requires all employees to review and abide by the AKF Safeguarding Policy.

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