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Chief Development Officer

WEConnect International
Washington, DC
  • Posted: February 23, 2022
  • Full-Time

Location: Flexible, Washington, DC or New York Preferred

Position Summary

WEConnect international seeks an engaging and innovative fundraising executive to serve as the inaugural Chief Development Officer (CDO). As a leading global non-profit dedicated to advancing the lives of women across the world, WEConnect international helps drive money into the hands of women business owners by enabling them to compete in the global marketplace. In doing so, WEConnect International connects member buyers to women-owned sellers, enhances their capabilities to transact business, and instils confidence that sellers meet buyers’ standards for women-owned businesses. As WEConnect International continues to make great strides towards a vision of a world in which women have the same opportunities as men to design and implement business solutions that create wealth and the sustainable prosperity of their communities, the new CDO will play an instrumental role in helping them expand their overall impact and reach.

As a key member of the leadership team, the CDO will be responsible for creating and executing on a comprehensive fundraising strategy aimed at garnering tremendous support from a variety of funders and supporters. To this end, the CDO will provide the strategic vision, leadership, and oversight for the development function leveraging existing relationships while diversifying the current funding stream. In this highly visible role, the CDO will collaborate with a broad set of stakeholders including the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Strategy Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Regional Directors in order to significantly increase philanthropic support for WEConnect’s strategic initiatives. With overarching responsibility for WEConnect International’s fundraising efforts, the CDO will oversee all facets of development including major gifts, federal funding, multilateral projects as well as corporate and foundation support.

Reporting directly to the Chief Executive Officer, the CDO will have the unique opportunity to build a broad development function leveraging current relationships while expanding the funder base in order to empower WEConnect International to thoughtfully engage with supporters in delivering on its mission and vision.

WEConnect International

WEConnect International, a global non-profit, helps improve the lives of women across the world by supporting the growth of businesses that are owned, managed, and controlled by women. Since 2009, WEConnect International has provided education, certification, and connections to women-owned business around the world—all aimed at forging relationships with global corporations and other large buyers. WEConnect International has built a network of large member buyers representing over $1 trillion in annual purchasing power and are true pioneers in a global movement to expand opportunities for women-owned businesses through procurement policies and practices.

Core Values and Culture: As they continue to grow their impact, WEConnect International will attract and hold accountable members, partners, staff, and stakeholders based on these core values, which help to define their culture, brand, and operational strategies.

  • Embrace Diversity and Inclusion to Unleash Potential
  • Demonstrate Passion for Women's Economic Empowerment
  • Make a Positive Difference in the World
  • Deliver Stakeholder Value
  • Exemplify Integrity in Everything We Do
  • Pursue Teamwork with a Shared Vision and Purpose
  • Embrace Openness, Trust, and Candid Communication

Position Overview

The CDO will lead the philanthropic efforts of WEConnect international in order to grow and broaden the revenue stream. In this newly created role, the CDO will oversee all efforts and engagements of WEConnect International in the fundraising space. This role will be responsible for providing education and mentorship to staff involved in fundraising efforts across the organization. Furthermore, the CDO will leverage WEConnect International’s executive and regional teams for strategic outreach, engagement, cultivation, and stewardship of funders. Building on a proud history of fundraising accomplishments, WEConnect International is ready to capitalize on this success by dramatically accelerating growth in philanthropic support. As such, the CDO will be joining the organization at a critical juncture as it continues to expand its footprint and advance the lives of women around the world.

To put the key elements of success in place, the CDO will need to leverage the existing fundraising road map to develop a comprehensive plan focused on expanding revenue through individual, corporation, foundation, multilateral, and government partnerships. Co-Founder and CEO Elizabeth Vazquez is a well-recognized thought leader in the global effort to open doors to the corporate community for women-owned businesses and has an extensive ecosystem of connections that someone stepping into this role can build upon. Moreover, the executive team has deep knowledge and experience forging collaborations with key strategic partners within multilateral organizations and government agencies.

This leadership position requires that the individual is mission-focused, driven, strategic, collaborative, creative, and process-minded. They will serve as the primary mentor and thought leader around fundraising for the organization and build on approaches to leverage WEConnect International’s networks in the fundraising space. They will devise and execute strategies, establish key performance indicators, and optimize operations and technology to drive productivity and effectiveness.

Key Responsibilities

  • Formulate a long-term, fully integrated growth strategy in collaboration with executive leadership to meet the fundraising goals of the organization.
  • Devise annual and long-term fundraising strategies, projections, and budgets that align with institutional goals and promote WEConnect International’s values, programs, and contributions to the community.
  • Collaborate with the CEO, the leadership team, and regional staff in executing strategic outreach and engagement with potential and existing funders focusing on major gifts, foundations, corporations, multilateral organizations, and federal agencies.
  • Engage with Board members in support of WEConnect International’s development activities providing strategic leadership and thought partnership in concert with CEO.
  • Embrace WEConnect International’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Oversee day-to-day activities of the fundraising team and mentor staff to maximize their performance and grow in their abilities.
  • Enhance the image and visibility of WEConnect International at the local, national, and international levels by collaborating with internal marketing and external fundraising experts providing support related to messaging, strategy, and technology.
  • Oversee a stewardship effort to ensure funders fully understand the impact of their giving.
  • Ensure close collaboration with other operations, especially in the creation of proposal financials, budgets, and expenditure reports.

Professional Experience/Qualifications

The ideal candidate will have significant prior experience leading teams that raise millions of dollars from foundations and corporations coupled with a collaborative approach. They will have led efforts to secure philanthropic support from a variety of funding sources. They may have run foundation relations and/or a corporate partnership team at a larger organization with demonstrated success in growing contributed revenue. They will have guided all levels of leadership in securing six to eight figure grants or other forms of funding from foundations, corporations, multilateral organizations, or federal agencies. Other desired qualifications and leadership characteristics include:

  • 10+ years of experience in fundraising with a deep knowledge of foundations and corporations coupled with a minimum of 5 years’ experience in managing and growing fundraising teams.
  • Proven ability in project management, especially in submitting complex grant proposals such as those required by federal agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to leverage strategic interactions with funding decision-makers, such as foundation program directors, principals of family foundations, Corporate Social Responsibility teams, and program leads at federal agencies.
  • Experience in reviewing and refining fundraising operations, from budgeting to projections to tracking interactions, dashboards, reports, and deadlines in a CRM.
  • Understanding and experience in leveraging the expertise of regional staff in outreach and engagement of foundations and corporations.
  • Experience in communicating fundraising goals, strategies, and performance indicators to all levels of staff and Board.
  • Demonstrated leadership skills with the ability to oversee, mentor, and motivate staff around aggressive fundraising goals.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion as a foundational value central to WEConnect International’s mission.
  • Exceptional communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills coupled with the ability to relate to supporters, colleagues, and Board members.
  • Proven track record of creating high quality proposals and winning large grants from federal agencies and/or multilateral organizations is a plus.
  • Experience in fundraising for a global organization is a significant plus...

    WEConnect International


    Washington, DC
    20022 USA



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