Mercy Corps

Director (Foundation Partnerships)

Mercy Corps

Job Description

Mercy Corps is a leading global organization powered by the belief that a better world is possible. In disaster, in hardship, in more than 40 countries around the world, we partner to put bold solutions into action — helping people triumph over adversity and build stronger communities from within. Now, and for the future.

Program / Department Summary

Resource Development (RD) staff work to raise private funds, cultivating and maintaining relationships with private donors; define the agency’s brand, raising our public profile and sharing stories about our work by engaging with the media, the public, and our donors. The RD team includes several dozen dynamic professionals who possess a wide range of skills. We are passionate about Mercy Corps’ mission and dedicated to supporting our worldwide team that’s improving the lives of millions of people in 40+ countries. The rise in inequality, Covid-19, and fragility around the world mean that Mercy Corps is more needed than ever. In support of that mission, the Foundation Partnerships team manages Mercy Corps’ Fundraising relationships with major US foundations. We set bold agency-wide strategies and work closely with program colleagues around the world. We contribute to Mercy Corps’ strategies for strategic restricted funding, unrestricted funds and brand elevation. To support Mercy Corps’ priorities, the foundation portfolio contributes strategic revenue annually from a reputable and high value portfolio of foundation donors. By focusing on opportunities to work with such highly respected donors, the foundations portfolio aims to increase Mercy Corps’ profile and credibility as a 21st century partner for donors who are keen to support social impact at scale in our priority areas including market-led solutions to disaster recovery, Climate Change adaptation, youth employment, technology-informed development, and addressing the root causes of violent conflict. Foundation partnerships bring value to Mercy Corps via multiple elements - high-value philanthropic dollars for high-impact programming; building our profile with influential partners in the philanthropic landscape; and building towards landing game-changing ‘big bet’ investments ($10M+) to amplify Mercy Corps’ mission and create ground-breaking approaches to solving some of the most critical issues facing our world.

General Position Summary

Mercy Corps is recruiting for a Director, Foundation Partnerships who can generate revenue and impact for Mercy Corps by building partnerships with foundations based in the United States. The successful candidate’s entrepreneurial mindset and belief in our mission will allow them to focus their time, energy and insights on building best in class partnerships with leading foundations. At a time of rapid and exciting change in strategic philanthropy, this position will predominantly focus on building new partnerships with leading and emerging philanthropists/foundations, while also maintaining and growing a portfolio of existing partnerships. This position will understand how to broker and grow strong foundation partnerships, and leverage influence, expertise and connections across various Mercy Corps teams to create successful, durable relationships

Essential Job Functions

  • Develop, enhance and steward relationships with a portfolio of existing foundation donors to significantly increase giving levels and alignment with Mercy Corps’ priorities.

  • Grow the foundation portfolio: identify, cultivate, solicit and deliver bold and significant partnerships with major foundations, including major donor philanthropists with foundation-like giving vehicles.

  • Manage a donor portfolio to a bottom-line revenue goal, alongside responsibility for revenue projections for these partners.

  • Formulate and implement individual strategies for developing key partnerships and initiatives around programmatic priorities, mobilizing necessary internal and external resources to ensure all partnerships are effectively executed and partners’ needs are fully met. Includes significant proposal development work.

  • Effectively represent Mercy Corps to external audiences for both fundraising and profile elevation.

  • Make a significant contribution to the development and implementation of Mercy Corps’ evolving multi-year foundation strategy as part of the broader resource development vision.

  • Act as an internal expert on the philanthropic landscape, and channel the perspective of foundations in developing proposals and ideas with programmatic staff.

  • Lead or contribute significantly to internal collaboration on breakthrough solutions that can deliver social impact at scale for ‘big bet’ philanthropists.

  • Partnering across revenue streams (including corporate partnerships and major gifts) to maximize and leverage fundraising opportunities.

Knowledge & Experience

  • At least 10 years experience in Global Development, philanthropy, public Policy Advocacy, partnership/coalition development, or management consulting.

  • Demonstrated track record of fundraising success with major foundations or building strategic partnerships in a way that maximizes value for donor and recipient and builds profile with external audiences. Ideal candidate will have significant experience and professional network.

  • Deep knowledge of the international relief and development and philanthropic sectors.

  • Experience mobilizing executives and senior stakeholders for strategic donor engagement.

  • Strong written & oral communication skills for effective collaboration internally and successful proposals to donors.

  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to create and follow timelines for complex relationship management, research, writing, and editing.

Success Factors

  • Strategic, proactive, restless and forward thinking.

  • Ability to develop and lead foundation strategy within a complex environment, and a clear, focused, and ambitious vision for each partner in the portfolio.

  • Empathetic, humble leader with strong emotional intelligence.

  • Diligent, highly organized and results-focused.

  • Persuasive, articulate and confident.

  • Familiarity with global development issues highly desired.

  • Strong understanding of how to navigate cross-cultural relationships.

  • A deep understanding of the complexities of the challenges low-income communities face, and the current efforts to solve them.

Accountability to Participants

Mercy Corps team members are expected to support all efforts toward accountability, specifically to our program participants and to international standards guiding international relief and development work, while actively engaging participating communities as equal partners in the Design, monitoring and evaluation of our field projects.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Mary Stata, Managing Director Works Directly With: Corporate and Foundations Partnerships team, key stakeholders in Resource Development, Technical Support Unit, field teams in over 40 countries.

Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position can be based in the United States and requires up to 20% travel domestically and abroad. Mercy Corps team members represent the agency both during and outside work hours when deployed in a field posting or on a visit/TDY to a field posting. Team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner and respect local laws, customs and MC's policies, procedures, and values at all times and in all in-country venues.

Ongoing Learning

In support of our belief that learning organizations are more effective, efficient and relevant to the communities we serve, we empower all team members to dedicate 5% of their time to learning activities that further their personal and/or professional growth and development

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Achieving our mission begins with how we build our team and work together. Through our commitment to enriching our organization with people of different origins, beliefs, backgrounds, and ways of thinking, we are better able to leverage the collective power of our teams and solve the world’s most complex challenges. We strive for a culture of trust and respect, where everyone contributes their perspectives and authentic selves, reaches their potential as individuals and teams, and collaborates to do the best work of their lives. We recognize that diversity and inclusion is a journey, and we are committed to learning, listening and evolving to become more diverse, equitable and inclusive than we are today.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Mercy Corps is an equal opportunity employer that does not tolerate discrimination on any basis. We actively seek out diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be collectively stronger and have sustained global impact. We are committed to providing an environment of respect and psychological safety where equal employment opportunities are available to all. We do not engage in or tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender identity, gender expression, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability (including HIV/AIDS status), marital status, military veteran status or any other protected group in the locations where we work.

Safeguarding & Ethics

Mercy Corps is committed to ensuring that all individuals we come into contact with through our work, whether team members, community members, program participants or others, are treated with respect and dignity. We are committed to the core principles regarding prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse laid out by the UN Secretary General and IASC. We will not tolerate Child Abuse, sexual exploitation, abuse, or harassment by or of our team members. As part of our commitment to a safe and inclusive work environment, team members are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner, respect local laws and customs, and to adhere to Mercy Corps Code of Conduct Policies and values at all times. Team members are required to complete mandatory Code of Conduct elearning courses upon hire and on an annual basis.
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