Sr Director for Strategic Partnerships

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Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Apply by 31 March 2017
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 9 January 2017

Job Description

The position of Senior Director for Strategic Partnerships (Senior Director/SP) is a leadership position with senior-level responsibilities, for developing key institutional partnerships, new business development and resource acquisition, reporting directly to the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and External Relations (SPER).

The Senior Director/SP provides sophisticated, strategic direction for the development of strategic partnerships and all grant-acquisition activities, as well as for strong performance monitoring and reporting for programs covered under grants and contracts. H/she will be expected to represent the agency externally to build relationships, and to identify those opportunities that require the presence of the Vice Presidents or the President and CEO.

The Senior Director/SP directs the day-to-day operations and associated business affairs of LWR’s Strategic Partnership Unit. S/he provides pro-active leadership in strategic alliances and new business development that lead to grant revenue generation from institutional donors, including the management of:

  • grant identification, acquisition and monitoring processes;
  • new and continuing grant negotiations;
  • creative identification of new business development (NBD) opportunities, along with funding acquisition and their structural and programmatic design; and
  • analysis of the external fundraising environment, and LWR programs and geographic priorities as they pertain to donor interests and grant acquisition

S/he administers overall unit operations and provides unit services necessary to support effective and efficient LWR program work and internal operations. This includes systematic analysis of data and provision of reports relevant to all institutional partnerships and revenue generation. Such reports shall be produced to guide and underpin the Unit’s strategic revenue generation initiatives. S/he collaborates with other organizational leaders in developing and strengthening overall organizational processes and initiatives, related to grant acquisition, performance, compliance and reporting.

Supporting the Vice President (SPER) in all aspects of his/her work is a direct responsibility of the Senior Director/SP.

The Senior Director/SP supervises approximately eight (8) LWR staff members and manages relationships with vendors, contractors and consultants, interns and volunteers as necessary. S/he develops and maintains sound operational and business procedures; provides budget oversight for the Strategic Partnerships Unit.

The Senior Director/SP supports the Board and organizational leadership with accurate and timely information; provides good communications within the SPER Department on matters under his/her oversight; collaborates regularly with other senior staff leadership in SPER and other organizational leaders and staff.



  • Serve as director of the Strategic Partnerships Unit, in a line of direct report to the Vice President (SPER).
  • Directs all decisions and activities in accordance with applicable organizational by-laws, policies and procedures, and in accord with LWR’s core values as pertains to the work of the unit.
  • Represent the organization in external meetings and events to investigate and promote potential alliances.
  • Provide managerial oversight on all aspects of:
  • grant identification and acquisition, including the determination of prospective funding sources compatible with LWR mission, values, programs and strategic objectives;
  • the design and writing of grant proposals; and
  • negotiating award agreements and contracts with institutional donors.
  • Consult collaboratively with internal partners [e.g., International Programs Department (IPD) staff, Finance Department, Communications and Marketing, and Philanthropic Engagement in the external institutional relations and acquisition processes.

  • Work with Communications and Marking Unit to create and implement on-going marketing strategies to raise awareness of LWR among potential institutional funding sources.
  • Serve as principal for LWR in the management of ongoing relationships with grant funding sources.
  • Ensure that systems and processes are in place to monitor compliance with regard to donor reporting requirements, and together with appropriate SP, Finance and IPD staff, conduct regular periodic reviews of any program’s grant-compliance status. Flag problems with sufficient time for IPD leadership to make satisfactory corrective efforts.
  • Ensure the timely submission of all required reports to grant funding sources. Approve and sign off on such reports as appropriate.
  • Monitor and alert appropriate leadership team members on a.) potential internal problems or issues that would threaten continued funding, and b.) changes in the donor’s mission/direction that could compromise the program’s continuation without alteration. Work with appropriate IPD or other staff to minimize risk of funding loss when it is LWR’s objective to continue the funded work.
  • Oversee all aspects of new business development, identifying possible funding sources and new complementary partnerships for new programs (envisioned in concert with IPD staff) that are compatible with LWR mission, values, and strategic objectives. Provide joint SP/IPD team leadership for NBD program planning and creation
  • Manage the design and writing of proposals for NBD funding. Conduct contract and award negotiations for funding partnerships.
  • Support visibility and positioning efforts related to business development to institutional donors by attending key meetings and events, arranging opportunities for senior leadership exposure to key partners, and seeking opportunities for LWR to participate in or host events that showcase LWR’s expertise and track record.
  • Direct the design and regular periodic provision of reports generated within the Unit for the purpose of providing analytic metrics to inform and support its work. Such reports shall be based on (a) organizational learnings regarding the general fundraising landscape; (b) statistical data gathered regularly by the Unit on institutional-donor and private-sector trends in the external environment; and (c) a secondary analysis of data provided by the Resource Mobilization Unit (generated by the Raiser’s Edge and Phoenix systems).
  • Provide regular reports of pertinent analytic findings to the Vice President (SPER) and others in
organizational leadership, making strategic and/or operational recommendations as appropriate.
  • Play a key role in developing and strengthening overall organizational processes and initiatives related to the work of the unit and LWR’s ability to successfully compete for funding opportunities through rigorous use of data analysis and general knowledge management.
  • Develop and maintain sound operational and business procedures within the Strategic Partnership Unit. Periodically review the Unit’s operational practices, evaluate and recommend needed changes to the Vice President (SPER).
  • Hire, train, supervise and inspire staff. Place a premium on supportive, mentoring leadership techniques to guide staff members.
  • Regularly observe and give evaluative thought to the job performance of staff members. On a periodic basis, meet individually and informally with staff to provide feedback, making constructive suggestions for (a) performance improvement and (b) areas for potential growth and career development. Conduct formal performance reviews in accordance with LWR policy.
  • Provide staff with complete and timely information on subjects that concern their general duties and responsibilities. As appropriate, make sure that staff members are made aware promptly and formally of (a) new or uniquely-occurring situations or activities within the organization, and (b) leadership decisions that might affect their work.
  • In consultation with the Vice President (SPER), formulate unit budgets. Provide budget oversight for the Unit.
  • Provide periodic reports and other information to the Board and organizational leadership as required, insuring that such reporting is comprehensive, accurate and timely.
  • On an on-going basis, give consideration to and offer professional advice to the Vice President (SPER) and other organizational leaders on long-range planning issues for the organization. Make formal recommendations on these matters, as necessary.
  • Ability to travel, including overseas, up to twenty (20%) percent of the time. Willingness to travel, as necessary, to and within countries experiencing political instability and/or presenting certain health risks.
  • Attend governance and/or management meetings as required.
  • Engage and manage relationships contractors, consultants and vendors as necessary for the effective achievement of unit objectives. Oversee the provision of all out-sourced services procured by the Unit, monitoring performance and the on-going financial implications of using such external service providers.
  • Collaborate with other organizational leaders in developing and strengthening overall organizational processes and initiatives, both programmatic and administrative.
  • Maintain up-to-date familiarity with LWR safety and security procedures and protocols and all other formal organization-wide practices and procedures.
  • Support the Vice President (SPER) in all aspects of his/her work, and carry out other general management assignments as required by him/her.


  1. Deep commitment to LWR’s core values and ability to model those values in relationships with colleagues and partners.
  2. Minimum of ten to twelve (10 - 12) years of program management and business development experience. Experience at a senior leadership level in an international not-for-profit setting strongly preferred.
  3. Master’s degree in a relevant field.
  4. Proven, sustained success in raising restricted funds from institutional donors.
  5. Successful track record of (a) managing relationships with institutional donors (e.g., US government, multilaterals and other bilateral agencies, foundations, corporations), and (b) program development and proposal management.
  6. Demonstrated dynamic leadership and managerial skills. Ability to work effectively with minimal supervision, to innovate, and to lead multiple projects to completion.
  7. Extensive experience in hiring and supervision of staff, and management of outside vendors, consultants and contractors, interns and volunteers. Ability to be responsive, clear and firm with staff, colleagues and partners, and to instruct and motivate staff and evaluate performance of staff and consultants.
  8. Capacity to relate collaboratively with multiple constituencies and to create a positive, collegial working environment. Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain productive relationships with colleagues, staff, donors and external partners, communicating with authenticity, authority and enthusiasm. Ability to use facilitation skills and participatory approaches to problem-solving. Affinity for work in team settings.
  9. Strong organizational and communications skills, including ease in making professional presentations. Demonstrated ability to handle a heavy workload and to delegate responsibility. Solid computer skills.
  10. High standards of personal ethics and professional integrity. Demonstrably deep commitment to LWR’s core values and the ability to model those values consistently.
  11. Demonstrated good judgment. Ability to exercise discretion, engage in sound critical thinking and problem-solving, make decisions, conduct complex data-based conceptual analysis, and make fair decisions.
  12. Experience working with a wide range of people from diverse language, racial, cultural, ethnic, economic, and other backgrounds. Ability to work and communicate sensitively with diverse populations. Commitment to affirmative action in hiring decisions and vendor/contracting relations.
  13. Experience in program work highly desirable.
  14. Fluency in French and/or Spanish preferred.
  15. Familiarity with Lutheran theology, church structures, and church member motivations/sensitivities preferred.
  16. Willingness and ability to travel internationally, at least 20% of the time to countries where LWR works. Travel may be to countries that are experiencing political instability and have poor infrastructure including poor road conditions, limited amenities and poor housing accommodations. In addition, the travel may be to countries where infectious diseases or vector-borne diseases are present. Travel may be required to locales that experience extreme temperatures (either hot or cold) and high altitudes.

About the Organization

Lutheran World Relief (LWR) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1945 to respond to the needs of communities devastated by World War II. Since then, it has evolved from a relief agency shipping material resources to war-torn Europe to an agency that works with partners worldwide to respond to emergencies, seek lasting solutions to rural poverty, and work for peace and justice for all. LWR works to promote equity, strengthen organizational capacity, and empower communities to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives, while continually learning to increase our impact. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, LWR works to reduce poverty and injustice by helping communities increase and expand the resources they need to live productive, healthy and empowered lives.

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