Mercy Corps is hiring a Director, Foundation Partnerships – Africa (various locations): Apply Now!!


Location:  Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda or Where Mercy Corps operates in Africa   

Position Status: Full-time, Regular

About Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is powered by the belief that a better world is possible. To do this, we know our teams do their best work when they are diverse, and every team member feels that they belong. We welcome diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and skills so that we can be stronger and have long term impact.

Department and Team (Program / Department Summary)

The Development Department works to raise private funds, cultivating and maintaining relationships with private donors. The Department is composed of Foundation Partnerships, Corporate Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships and High Impact Philanthropy teams including several dozen dynamic professionals who possess a wide range of skills to engage and develop funding relationships. 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 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 global 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, and durable solutions to humanitarian and development challenges.

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.

The Position Description.

Mercy Corps is recruiting for a Director, Foundation Partnerships, who can generate revenue and impact for Mercy Corps by developing and growing high-value relationships with both existing and new strategic donors with a presence in Africa. The successful candidate will have experience with and knowledge of philanthropy in East Africa. Their 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.

The Director will 1) Raise funds for priority areas; 2) Grow existing global partnerships and develop new global and local ones that raise Mercy Corps’ profile on key priorities; and 3) Increase Mercy Corps’ profile and credibility as a 21st-century partner that can deliver breakthrough solutions which lead to social impact at scale.

Essential Responsibilities 

  • Develop and steward relationships with a portfolio of top foundation donors and prospects to significantly increase giving levels. Create development strategies for each partner, ensuring stakeholder buy-in and alignment with Mercy Corps’ priorities.
    • Actively steward and cultivate an existing portfolio of strategic foundation partners to develop and expand their giving.
    • Grow the foundation portfolio; identify, cultivate, solicit new donors, and deliver bold and significant partnerships with new foundation donors.
    • Identify and lead new business development to support the overall pipeline development of the foundation portfolio – including discovery conversations, qualification, solicitation, and follow up.
  • Identify innovative ways to raise Mercy Corps’ profile and influence in East Africa across our key areas with top foundations, influencers, and affinity groups.
  • Work collaboratively across regional and global teams to develop top-tier proposals and pitches and oversee reporting, mobilizing necessary internal and external resources to ensure all partnerships are effectively executed and partners’ needs are fully met.
  • Effectively represent Mercy Corps to external audiences in the East Africa region and beyond for both fundraising and profile elevation. Prepare briefs and talking points for executive stewardship.
  • As senior individual contributor, 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.
  • Additional responsibilities as assigned.

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports Directly To: Sara Posada, Senior Director

Works Directly With: Africa Regional and Country Teams, Deputy Directors of Foundation Partnerships, Directors/Senior Managers of Foundation Partnerships, extendedCorporate and Foundations Partnerships team, key stakeholders in Development, Technical Support Unit, and program teams in over 40 countries.

Accountability to Participants and Stakeholders

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

Minimum Qualifications & Transferable Skills

  •  At least 10 years’ experience in global development, philanthropy, public policy advocacy, partnership/coalition development, or management consulting.
  • At least 5 years’ experience with donors and local and global stakeholders in East Africa.
  • 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. Deep knowledge of the international relief, development, and philanthropic sectors.
  • Experience mobilizing executives, senior stakeholders, and agency technical experts for strategic donor engagement.
  • Strong written and 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.
  • Bachelors or Master’s Degree in relevant field.

Success Factors

The successful candidate will be strategic, proactive, restless, and forward-thinking, with strong emotional intelligence and the ability to navigate cross-cultural relationships. They will be persuasive, articulate, and able to mobilize and motivate teams. They will have the ability to develop and lead a fundraising strategy within a complex environment, and will create a clear, focused, and ambitious vision for each partner in the portfolio. A deep understanding of the complexities of the challenges low-income communities face, and the current efforts to solve them, as well as familiarity with global development issues is highly desirable. 

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 Living Conditions / Environmental Conditions

The position is based in Nairobi, Kenya and requires up to 25% travel to support global strategies and country programs, which may include travel to insecure locations where freedom of movement is limited and areas where amenities are limited. 

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 and have signed on to the Interagency Misconduct Disclosure Scheme. 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. 


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