Senior Advisor- Donor Engagement

Catholic Relief Services

About CRS

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.

Job Summary

The Sr. Donor Engagement Advisor will be a member of the Foundations and Corporate Engagement (FCE) unit within IDEA’s Donor Engagement and Strategic Partnership (DESP) group. As of December 2021, the FCE unit engaged with 14 funding partners, supporting overseas project implementation teams across 54 awards valued at $147 million. In addition, the team seeks to expand our portfolio of active foundation and corporate donors, aligned with CRS’ Vision 2030 strategy and our Catholic identity.

The Sr. Donor Engagement Advisor will steward a portfolio of foundation donor relationships, engaging with current and prospect donors across the business development life cycle, including support for pre-positioning, capture, proposal development, implementation, close out and reporting in compliance with donor requirements.

Roles and Key Responsibilities

  1. Donor Research, Qualification and Pre-positioning
  • Conduct research to expand active institutional donor relationships funding CRS Vision 2030 priorities, with a special emphasis on new foundation and corporate donor relationships.
  • Support field-based BD and program staff to conduct their own research as specific requests arise.
  • Support with the collection and submission of documentation to prospective donors, when relevant, for their vetting of CRS.
  1. Project-Level Award Management Support:
  • Support country program project implementation teams to meet donor expectations with respect to grant compliance, facilitating communication with the donor at critical grant management moments.
  • Ensure that high level achievements, learning, and challenges are communicated to the donor in a timely and professional way, facilitating any meeting between field and donor staff as needed.
  1. Knowledge Management and Learning (KML): Leveraging Results
  • Support learning agendas that align with current and prospective donor interests, helping to develop and disseminate content to position CRS programs with institutional donors.
  • Ensure donor engagement materials are disseminated and available for other relevant audiences.
  • Develop internal communications materials, such as donor guidance (101s, etc.) and presentations, responsive to country program requests related to institutional donors.
  • Maintain institution records within CRS’ Gateway and promote use of the system, Power BI, and other knowledge management systems within CRS.
  1. Business Development
  • Develop capacity statements, project summaries, or pitch decks to cultivate new private institutional donors, or engage current donors around follow on phases of expiring projects.
  • Liaise with country program, regional team and IDEA business development units to coordinate proposal team inputs and reviews to ensure a timely and quality business development process.

Education and Experience

  • Master’s Degree in International Development, or related.
  • At least seven years’ prior representation experience with INGOs or donor institutions.
  • Excellent analytical skills, with strong attention to detail.
  • Excellent interpersonal communication and relationship management skills.
  • Significant experience navigating high-level negotiation and complex partnership issues.
  • Demonstrated capacity to successfully navigate cross-cultural and matrixed organizational contexts.
  • Facility with MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Teams).

Required Languages

Excellent English oral and written language skills required.


Ability and willingness to travel to HQ and/or low-resource environments in foreign countries as needed, up to 20% of job time.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs)

  • Knowledge of institutional donor perspectives and investment strategies.
  • Demonstrated ability to work respectfully across business units and with cross-cultural groups; ability to navigate matrixed organizational channels and dynamics.
  • Customer service oriented; ability to cultivate new relationships and instill confidence.
  • Ability to gather data and present it in compelling ways. Ability to translate complex issues for institutional donor audiences and to translate donor priorities/processes for CRS audiences.
    • Proactive and willing to take on additional responsibilities, challenge assumptions and elevate issues as needed.
    • Intellectually curious, ability to ask probing questions and to learn about a range of projects and programs.
    • Express sense of personal accountability and drive to serve others.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of CRS departments and their functions.
  • Knowledge of CRS programs and Catholic Social Teaching principles.
  • French and/or Spanish proficiency preferred.
  • Experience implementing and/or supporting humanitarian response programming and operating contexts preferred.
  • Pre-existing networks of foundation and corporate funders of humanitarian and development programs preferred.

Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. We welcome as a part of our staff and as partners people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.

How to apply

Closing date: 26-Nov-22