Business Development Specialist II

  • Mid-level, Full-time staff position
  • Posted on 19 October 2020

Job Description

As Business Development (BD) Specialist II, Lead Proposal Writer, you contribute to the production of high-quality applications and proposals for funding in support of CRS’ engagement with institutional donors to secure funding to serve the poor and vulnerable. Your knowledge and skills will allow you to understand all dimensions of the BD cycle, and to provide specialized assistance to cross-disciplines and cross-functional teams, particularly in the area of proposal writing. This position will sit within CRS’ Institutional Donor Engagement and Advancement (IDEA) Department, and may be based in CRS’ Baltimore headquarters or remotely within the U.S.


Roles and Key Responsibilities

  • Work closely with the proposal coordinator, technical lead, proposal team members and other key stakeholders to develop well written, well organized, and cohesive concept notes, expressions of interest and proposals, aligned with donor requirements and CRS standards.
  • Contribute substantially to design workshops, literature reviews, outlines, and design frameworks. Synthesize inputs from various data sources and stakeholders.
  • Develop technical narrative outlines and draft select proposal sections with technical input, as agreed with the technical lead and other proposal team members.
  • Gather information from key technical contributors and write and/or incorporate information into the technical strategy and approach of the proposal. Write other sections as assigned.
  • Work collaboratively with country program staff to ensure local context and knowledge is fully reflected.
  • Maintain close communication with the technical lead and proposal coordinator throughout proposal development process to ensure expectations of deliverables are aligned and internal deadlines are met.
  • Work with technical staff, management and partner staff to integrate inputs and review comments into a responsive, compelling narrative.
  • Provide comprehensive editing of proposals.
  • As assigned, work with appropriate staff to write other documents that help to communicate CRS’ areas of expertise, such as past performance references and corporate capability statements.
  • Contribute to CRS’ Business Development Community of Practice and advance CRS’ Business Development practices through contributions to other initiatives as assigned.


Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in international development, international relations, or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum five years of international development or other related experience.
  • Three years’ experience in a developing country preferred.

Required Languages - Fluency in English required; working ability in Spanish and/or French preferred.

Travel - Must be willing and able to travel up to 50% (when travel resumes).

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with a capacity to both see the big picture and give attention to detail.
  • Excellent technical skills in proposal writing, editing, and formatting.
  • A collaborative approach and strong relationship management skills.
  • Strong oral and written communications skills
  • Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated experience contributing to competitive applications and proposals in programming contexts similar to CRS, particularly as a lead writer.
  • Familiarity with a broad range of technical sectors and institutional donor requirements, with a strong preference for those of key US government donor agencies (USAID, CDC, Department of State, Department of Agriculture).
  • Demonstrated ability to contribute as part of a team to produce deliverables under tight deadlines and at exceptional quality. Experience providing remote support to diverse teams preferred.
  • Knowledge of CRS programs, justice agenda and Catholic Social Teaching principles a plus.
  • Experience using MS Windows and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), Web Conferencing Applications, information management systems.
  • Experience in facilitating workshops and knowledge of adult learning approaches desired.

Agency-wide Competencies

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.

  • Integrity
  • Continuous Improvement & Innovation
  • Builds Relationships
  • Develops Talent
  • Strategic Mindset
  • Accountability & Stewardship

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Key Working Relationships:

Internal: The Director for Business Development and Growth Strategy and Support Unit team members, the Institutional Donor Engagement and Advancement Department, the Business Development Community, country program staff; regional office staff; program quality and technical staff, management quality and finance staff

External: Staff of collaborating partner organizations

***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need. CRS’ processes and policies reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

Disclaimer:  This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.

CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and exploitation.

CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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.

About the Organization

Catholic Relief Services was founded in 1943 by the Catholic Bishops of the United States. Our mission is to assist the poor and disadvantaged, leveraging the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to alleviate human suffering, promote development of all people, and to foster charity and justice throughout the world. Working through local offices and an extensive network of partners, CRS operates on five continents and in 98 countries. We aid the poor by first providing direct assistance where needed, then encouraging people to help with their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive, just communities that enable people to realize their potential. As the official international relief and development agency of the U.S. Catholic community, CRS is also committed to educating the people of the United States to fulfill their moral responsibilities toward our global brothers and sisters by helping the poor, working to remove the causes of poverty, and promoting social justice.

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