Job Title: Development Director

Reports to: CEO/President

Work Load: Full Time

Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Travel Requirements: 10% – US & International

Salary: Commensurate with experience
To Apply: Submit your cover letter and resume to
Deadline: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled


About the Nile Project

The Nile Project is transforming the water conflict in the Nile Basin by inspiring, educating, and empowering an international network of university students to cultivate the sustainability of their ecosystem. The project’s model integrates programs in music, education, dialogue, leadership, and innovation to engage students across disciplines and geographies.

Musical Collaborations: The Nile Project brings together artists from the 11 Nile countries to make music that combines the region’s diverse instruments, languages and traditions. The concert experience aims to inspire cultural curiosity, highlight regional connections, and showcase the potential of trans-boundary cooperation.

Dialogue & Education Programs: Participatory workshops and cross-cultural dialogues provide university students with unique intellectual experiences, deepening their understanding of the Nile ecosystem, and stimulating new ways of thinking, communicating, and doing.

Leadership & Innovation Programs: The Nile Fellowship and Nile Prize programs incentivize university students to apply their education and training toward mobilizing their peers and pioneering innovative solutions to the Nile Basin’s complex and inter-related challenges.


Job Description

The Development Director will work with Nile Project senior staff and board to provide the overall vision, leadership, direction, and coordination for all fundraising activities with particular attention to corporate and individual donors. This position requires a person who is experienced with fundraising for environment, music, or nonprofits with strong African presence.  Equally, the incumbent should be interested in growing a small, ambitious and dynamic organization to meet its short and long term goals with a secure, adequately sized funding base.

General Responsibilities:

As a member of the executive team, and under the general direction and guidance of the CEO, the Director of Development will:


  • Plan, carry out and continually assess the Nile Project’s financial needs in the context of securing sustainable support, both financial and in-kind, from governments, foundations, corporations, and individuals primarily in North America and Africa.
  • Manage a donor database system for recording, acknowledging and encouraging individual, institutional, and corporate giving across above regions
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of the philanthropic landscape, especially as it relates to individual donors, major donors, giving trends, and charitable contributions.
  • Collaborate with the communications staff to write content and oversee production of Nile Project website, newsletters, promotional materials, and social marketing tools to increase organizational visibility, improve communications with stakeholders and enhance giving.
  • Become an articulate champion of the Nile Project, in particular for contributors/donors/partners, working closely with the communications team to develop a comprehensive understanding of the Nile Project’s mission, programs, culture, values, key stakeholders, and finances.    
  • Represent the Nile Project at fundraising and community events as required.
  • Develop a comprehensive fundraising plan/strategy to ensure:
  • The overall approach to fundraising (conceptual level)
  • Roles and responsibilities of the Nile Project team members in achieving the fund-raising objectives (organizational level).
  • The operational effectiveness of resource mobilization (functional level). More specifically at the operational effectiveness level, The Development Director will devise a functional Operational Plan to engage potential donors/partners/contributors. This plan will be shared with team members to ensure consistency of approach by the Nile Project (practical level).


Specific Tasks:


  • Corporate:
  • Develop and implement an overall plan for the Nile Project’s corporate sponsorship and CSR programs spanning North America, Africa and Europe


    • Research and Identify prospect sponsors
    • Design creative sponsorships and CSR partnerships in collaboration with senior team


  • Develop proposals and benefit packages
  • Approach corporations to introduce partnership possibilities




  • Individuals:


  • Develop a plan for identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual donors including events, special publications, lunches/dinners, private receptions, project updates, and other Nile Project events.
  • Create and implement annual stewardship and solicitation strategies (print and electronic) for individual donors across regions to maximize giving and participation rates.
  • Develop and implement prospect research activities
  • Manage donations page on web site, social media, and manage contract with secure online donations vendor
  • Communicate effectively with donors through both verbal and written communication, as well as face to face solicitation and stewardship meetings
  • Create and implement stewardship strategies for each current and potential individual donor



  • Events


  • Organize and coordinate effective fundraising events based on plans
  • Obtain sponsorships, recruit table ambassadors for fundraising galas, and update all event materials
  • Steward attendees from events into active Nile Project supporters
  • Invite and host donors to Nile Project programs and activities



  • Institutions:
  • Manage and update the development calendar for current and prospective bilateral, public and private foundation funders, ensuring timely submission of proposals and reports
  • Approach funders to introduce the Nile Project and its various programs


  • Attend grant workshops and events to obtain grant leads
  • Oversee grant writers and program staff in writing proposals, reports, and other communication pieces
  • Work with Monitoring and Evaluation team to communicate the project’s impact
  • Provide stewardship to new and existing institutional funders



  • Online and Print Publications:


    • Develop fundraising materials (one page fact sheets, annual report) for key Nile Project programs
    • Provide direction to grant writers for development of fundraising materials


  • Provide new data necessary for communication staff to develop new marketing material



Required Qualifications:


  • Clear understanding of the Nile’s environmental and cultural contexts
  • Minimum 5 years of experience in fundraising for environmental, cultural or international nonprofits
  • Significant experience in designing, executing, and rolling out a comprehensive fundraising plan
  • Successful track record in CSR and corporate sponsorship campaigns
  • Demonstrable experience in designing and building membership programs
  • Demonstrable experience with designing, planning and implementing fundraisers
  • Experience preparing budgets and producing reports (financial updates and projections)
  • Familiarity with fundraising for music, environment, and/or education initiatives
  • Demonstrated success in grant writing



Desirable Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with the African-American,  African Diaspora, and African philanthropic communities
  • Understanding of the cultural and political complexity of East Africa
  • Demonstrated aptitude for dealing with sensitive political and cultural situations
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with a remote/virtual team with a wide range of work styles
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to prioritize and handle multiple projects simultaneously and to work calmly under pressure of deadlines
  • Excellent English verbal and written communication skills
  • Fluency in Arabic, Amharic, or Swahili a plus
  • Experience with Salesforce database management
  • Deep understanding of social media as fundraising tools
  • Intellectual agility and demonstrated ability to think strategically
  • Entrepreneurial, proactive and self-driven
  • Positive, flexible, can-do attitude mandatory
  • Attention to detail and ability to multi-task with precision
  • Engaging personality that can cultivate strong relationships and work successfully in partnership with staff and donors
  • Strong communication skills, particularly listening ability and willingness to learn from others (i.e. inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity an asset).



The Development Director will report directly to the Nile Project CEO. Reporting tools will be agreed upon with the CEO in the beginning of his/her mandate.