Business Development Manager

Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development
£35,000 - £39,000
Closing date: 27 March 2017
Job Type: Paid
Location: London
The Business Development Manager is a member of the Funding and Partnership Development team. There is close interaction with other colleagues in the Nairobi Secretariat and country offices across Africa.


ACORD (Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development) is a Pan African Organisation and a UK registered charity that has been working for social justice and development in Africa since 1976. Our work is guided by a number of fundamental values and working principles, chief amongst these is our belief that people themselves are the primary actors in their own development.


ACORD seeks to go beyond addressing the consequences of poverty by understanding, challenging and changing the conditions that cause poverty and exclusion.  ACORD believes that people have a right to a just and equal society and are committed to making that right a reality for people on the margins of African societies. We work in common cause with people who are poor and have been denied their rights to understand, challenge and change these conditions. Our grassroots level approach ensures that solutions are community owned and led, driving program efficacy and sustainability. We work in alliance with organisations worldwide to achieve these aims.


ACORD’s approach is focused on civic-driven change, that is people-centred and citizen led, and is a catalyst for holistic positive transformation in society. ACORD builds and strengthens civil society within African communities, from the local to the national level.  ACORD works with civil society organisations to strengthen their capacities and ability to engage with decision-makers and represent their own interests, claiming community rights, contributing to policy formation, and implementing processes that foster accountability.


In collaboration with communities, ACORD addresses the root causes of poverty by focusing on three core services: peace building, rights and responsibilities promotion, and livelihoods resilience.

If you share our passion for empowerment, we would like for you to join our team!

ACORD is currently fully grant funded and, therefore, consistent and accelerated efforts are required by our team to meet the organisation’s funding needs, to ensure it can continue to deliver on its vision and mission. As Business Development Manager, you would play a key role in enhancing the quality of our funding, ensuring operational and financial efficiency, and achieving organisational stability. This means that you would contribute to building strategic alliances and partnerships, focusing on continuous improvement and systems enhancement, and streamlining internal and external communication.


In order to strengthen our work and ensure sustainability, ACORD is in process of adopting the Balanced Scorecard approach across its operations in several countries. This means that we are committed to an organizational culture of goal setting, including developing a smart and targeted funding strategy. The Funding and Partnership Development team is central to this process. This is an exciting opportunity for the Business Development Manager to contribute to the, implementation and integration of the balanced scorecard approach and roll-out of ACORD’s updated funding strategy.


While in this strategic transition, the organisation is still implementing multiple short and medium term project agreements. It is essential to ensure compliance and high quality reporting on the ongoing contracts, but with a clear view to secure better quality predictable, multi-annual funding agreements with key strategic partners in the long run.


This role will focus predominantly on leading the planning and production of major bids with a minimum value of £500,000 but often larger. The role is expected to have a special focus but not be limited to support ACORD’s English speaking programmes in East and Southern Africa. French skills would be an added value. The role would be required to travel to ACORD’s programming areas to aid in prospecting, data collection and programme development.



Duties and Responsibilities


In this context, the Business Development Manager has a critical role to support new fundraising, donor cultivation and proposal writing within ACORD both at a global strategic level and in support of specific major opportunities in an area of ACORD’s work. The Business Development Manager will contribute to ACORD’s strategic objectives[1], with emphasis on the areas listed further below.


1. Strategy and Programme Development

  • Aid the translation of contextual needs and opportunities in ACORD’s programme areas into winning concepts and proposals for funding. 
  • Support data collection and analysis, harnessing the experience and knowledge of country staff and partners, to document and present as solid evidence for new business development
  • Articulate and present ACORD and its partners’ track record and added value to funders
  • Conduct research and analysis for internal knowledge sharing related to philanthropic/charitable strategy and planning
  • Work with the Director of Funding and Partnership Development to develop ACORD’s approach and vision for partnering with public and private sector donors
  • Contribute to the development and roll out of ACORD’s funding strategy for 2017 onwards
  • Identify, research, and maintain a robust pipeline of potential prospects. Contribute to the continuous scanning of partnership and funding opportunities and systematic sharing of findings and recommendations with relevant colleagues
  • Assist country offices in the scoping of potential funders and consortium partners present at the country level and agree on a plan for building strategic alliances
  • Maintain an up to date funders and potential partners mapping database, prospect calendar and application tracker
  • Contribute to team and cross departmental funding review meetings


2. Outreach and New Funder Engagement

  • The Business Development Manager, working in close consultation with the rest of the team, will have a key responsibility for the implementation of strategic donor engagement process from prospecting through to cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Identify areas of overlap between ACORD’s work and the interests and motivations of prospective donors.
  • Build relationships with potential and existing donors including foundations, private sector companies, bilateral organisations, and multilateral organisations
  • Represent ACORD and make presentations on our work at meetings and conferences with donors and other external audiences
  • Ensure continuous and consistent follow-up on contacts made towards securing new funding for ACORD.


3. Programme and Bid Development

  • Identify solicitation opportunities and ensure these are acted upon
  • Build and manage a high-value portfolio of existing donors and potential new prospects
  • Contribute to programme development and its articulation in fundable concept notes and the preparation of strategically aligned[2] funding proposals in cooperation with ACORD colleagues in Secretariat and country offices
  • Ensure the timely and complete submission of quality concept notes and proposals according to the required formats and timeframes
  • Work with ACORD finance officers to develop winning proposal budgets which bring good rates of cost recovery and which fund key cross cutting elements of the ACORD’s strategy
  • Maintaining the records of initiatives taken, follow-up and outcomes to allow lesson learning and continuous improvement.


4. Any other emerging area of work

  • In consultation with the Director of Funding and Partnership Development, there might be updates to the job description from time to time. This could for example be to support implementation and integration of the Balanced Scorecard approach across the organisation with a view to position the organisation towards long-term financial sustainability and win new funding and any emerging priorities that will follow from the updated funding strategy, exploring new opportunities for ACORD.
  • Support the Funding and Partnership Development Team with internal coordination and process improvement by establishing and maintaining relationships with internal stakeholders and partners (Advocacy Team, Programs, Finance teams) and collaborate with members of the Partnership Development Team to proactively improve process, tools, and ways of working



Required Qualifications

  • Graduate level degree in a relevant field of study, e.g. International Development, Management and Business Administration (essential)


Relevant Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills, including proven track record of producing high quality written materials and the ability to present complex, technical ideas in a compelling form to a variety of audiences (essential)
  • At least 5 years proven track record of fundraising from major institutional donors (essential) and from various funding sources (desirable)
  • Experience working for an international development focused organisation (essential)
  • Ability to work with local teams in unstable and poorly served locations to produce quality results under tight timeframes (essential)
  • Proven ability to create and maintain positive partner/donor relationships (essential)
  • Ability to manage and prioritise a varied workload and competing deadlines to meet commitments (essential)
  • An entrepreneurial spirit: Creativity, innovation and ability to take initiative and conceptualise and present ideas in a clear and convincing manner (essential)
  • Strong interpersonal and relationship building skills (essential)
  • Ability to work well in a multicultural environment across different geographical locations (essential)
  • Attention to detail, good analytical and numerical skills (essential)
  • IT skills including word, powerpoint and excel (essential)
  • Highly self-motivated (essential)
  • Good understanding of the development challenges in Africa and trends in the funding environment for NGOs (essential)
  • Written and spoken French (desirable)
  • Experience of leading and working in consortia (desirable)



[2] Guided by ACORD strategy and policies,

Region: London and the southeast
Location: London
Sector: Fundraising

Application notes

To apply, please complete an application form available at and e-mail it with a detailed Curriculum Vitae and cover letter to with the Job title in the Subject Box.

Please mention Bond when you apply for this position.


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