International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

National Society Development and Volunteering Advisor (Financial Sustainability)

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

Job Description

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world's largest humanitarian organization, with 192 member National Societies. As part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, our work is guided by seven fundamental principles; humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality.

Organizational Context

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC or “the Federation”) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network. The Federation is a membership organisation established by and comprised of its member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Along with National Societies and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Federation is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. The overall aim of the IFRC is “to inspire, encourage, facilitate, and promote at all times all forms of humanitarian activities by National Societies with a view to preventing and alleviating human suffering and thereby contributing to the maintenance and promotion of human dignity and peace in the world.” It works to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people before, during and after disasters, health emergencies and other crises. The Federation is served by a Secretariat based in Geneva, with regional and country offices throughout the world. The Secretariat is led by the IFRC Secretary General and provides the central capacity of the International Federation to serve, connect, and represent National Societies. The Secretariat’s focus includes providing support to the IFRC governance mechanisms; setting norms and standards; providing guidance; ensuring consistency, coordination, and accountability for performance; knowledge sharing; promoting collaboration within and respect for the RCRC Movement; and expanding engagement with partners. The Secretariat’s headquarters is organized in three main business groups: (i) Partnerships, including Movement and Membership; (ii) Programmes and Operations; and (iii) Management Services. The Partnership Division is in turn organised in three Departments, each of them led by a Director. The Policy, Strategy and Knowledge department (PSK) is one of the departments comprising the unit on National Society Development and Volunteering (NSDV) with responsibility for the support provided by the Secretariat to its members to become agile, adaptive, well performing and competitive humanitarian organizations. The National Society Development and Volunteering Advisor is part of the NSDV team.

Job Purpose

Support National Societies in their transformations according to Strategy 2030 by developing and improving high quality National Society Development and Volunteering approaches, knowledge and systems, with a special focus on National Society Financial Sustainability.

The position contributes to the following transformations of Strategy 2030:

  • Transformation 1: Supporting and developing National Societies as strong and    effective local actors

  • Transformation 4: Working effectively as a distributed network

  • Transformation 7: Financing the future

Job Duties and Responsibilities

The position holder leads on the thematic areas of National Society Financial Sustainability.

In particular:

National Society Financial Sustainability

  • Further develop frameworks, guidelines, and other tools appropriate to guide and support National Societies in the area of NS Financial sustainability, with a special focus on aligning business models to NS mandate, strategic focus and priorities.

  • Ensure needs on NS Financial Sustainability are properly reflected in the existing and future mechanisms and virtual platforms (e.g. the Virtual Marketplace)

  • Develop and lead a NS financial sustainability action learning group of relevant National Societies, building wherever possible on existing initiatives; support the complementary development of skills and competences for interested National Societies; map technical skills as well as gaps in competences, promoting development of competences to address such gaps by National Societies, contributing to the effectiveness and efficiency of the wider NSD community of practitioners; promote alignment of offer in financial sustainability to existing identified needs.

  • Explore existing global partnerships with renowned business consultancy firms and others as appropriate on areas identified as priority by National Societies, and in close coordination with Partnership and Resources Development (PRD) establish new ones when appropriate and viable.

  • Provide guidance to regional offices to ensure all NSD support on financial sustainability provided by Movement and non-Movement (e.g. UN agencies) partners at country, sub-regional and regional levels, are in alignment to the expressed needs of National Societies, as demonstrated in the NSD Compact.

  • Provide guidance and ensure coherence among the complementary approaches on NS Financial Sustainability of other IFRC departments.

  • Ensure coherence of approach with other NSD support initiatives to National Societies, avoiding fragmentation and maximizing outcome.

  • Working closely with NSDV colleagues focusing on branch development, explore emerging needs for sustainable branches and suggest innovative approaches to address such emerging needs and opportunities.

  • When so requested by regional offices, and in close coordination with them, provide support to individual National Societies on their financial sustainability journey.

  • In close coordination with PRD department and others as appropriate, explore emerging opportunities for innovative sources of funding for NSD at global and regional level. Establish contacts with existing and emerging networks of practitioners working on innovative financing.

  • Identify, document and validate relevant knowledge and learning on NS Financial Sustainability, ensuring lessons learned, case studies, case videos etc are reflecting outcomes at country level and contribute to knowledge sharing.

Existing financing mechanisms

  • Contribute to the overall coherence of the existing mechanisms to finance NSDV (NS development funds such as NSIA, FiF, CBF) to become a diversified portfolio for investment by governments, responsible businesses, individuals, and crowds.

  • Ensure proper management of the existing NSD financing initiatives under her/his responsibility (to include Capacity Building Fund and Empress Shôken Fund).

  • Contribute to the National Societies Investment Alliance (NSIA) and others as assigned by the NSD manager.

Contribute to an effective, high quality global National Society Development team

  • Be a pro-active team member fostering a customer service-oriented culture, critical thinking and continuous improvement, innovation, high performance and cost effectiveness.

  • Provide progress reports on results against objectives, and risk analysis.

  • Foster a supportive and mutually respectful environment with colleagues in the Secretariat, Regions and National Societies to ensure a coherent IFRC NS development offer to all National Societies throughout the regions in line with the 2013 NS Development Framework and the NSD Compact.

  • Analyse trends, interpret key patterns from available datasets (e.g. OCAC, BOCA, PER, SAF, FDRS, GO, etc) and systemic organisational weaknesses proposing approaches to respond to emerging needs in the areas of competence.

  • Develop, support and pilot innovative initiatives in NSD ensuring action learning throughout the process.

  • Establish partnerships with relevant organizations and institutions of higher learning and participate in forums through which to acquire new knowledge and ideas.


  • Ensure the planning, budgeting and reporting of programmes and projects assigned to her/him are carried out in a timely and appropriate manner in accordance with the IFRC requirements, formats and standards.

 Provide National Society Development expertise to support field colleagues when required

  • In coordination with regional colleagues, be available to carry out missions to individual National Societies to support / complement regional efforts



  • University degree in economics, business studies, finance or similar


  • Postgraduate studies in International Relations / Organisational Development / Business Administration or similar



  • At least 7 years’ relevant experience in management at senior level and/or in business / strategy consulting

  • 5 years of relevant professional experience of progressive career development and growth, working in the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement

  • Proven ability in relation to organisational development and capacity enhancement, change management, and related aspects


  • Experience gained in a non-profit organisation or private sector (startup, social enterprise)

Knowledge, skills and languages

  • Able to undertake strategic thinking and translate this into practice

  • Able to work with due sensitivity in a multi-cultural environment and virtual or/and dispersed teams

  • Strong written and oral communication skills

  • Able to build partnerships and network effectively and to influence and inspire others including the membership, governments, other agencies, and own peers, staff, and partners

  • Focused on quality and standards, results, and accountability

  • Teamwork and trust-building for inclusive National Society relations

  • Proactive and demand-driven approach to finding creative and constructive solutions to difficult issues

  • Technical expertise in developing and/or implementing sustainable organisational business models

  • Technical expertise in other two areas of non-profit management and development, which could include (but not be limited to): governance and leadership development, strategy, membership development, volunteering development, youth organisation development, branch development, integrity and accountability, volunteer programme design, relationship development

  • Fluently spoken and written English

  • Good command of another IFRC official language (French, Spanish or Arabic)(Preferred)

Competencies and values

Communication, Collaboration & Teamwork, Judgement & Decision making, National Society & Customer Relations, Creativity, Innovation and ability to build trust among both the internal and external publics.


The Federation is an equal opportunity employer.

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