Key Partnerships Manager
New York, NY

KickStart International has an exciting opportunity for an experienced, entrepreneurial, and enthusiastic Manager to help us grow our Institutional Fundraising program.


About the Organization:

KickStart International is an award-winning, nonprofit social enterprise committed to fighting poverty, increasing food security, and building resilience to climate change for smallholder farmers across sub-Saharan Africa. We design, mass-market, and distribute durable yet affordable “MoneyMaker” branded, irrigation pumps so that farmers can transition from rain-fed-subsistence farming to commercial irrigated agriculture. Over the past 25+ years, over 250,000 farmers across 17 countries have adopted KickStart’s high-quality, affordable irrigation technologies to start profitable agribusinesses. These businesses have gone on to produce enough fruits and vegetables to feed 13 million people a year, and generate $210 million in new profits and farm wages annually– dissolving circumstances of poverty for 1.3 million people.


KickStart was recognized as one of the “Top 100 Best NGOs in the World” in 2012 and 2013 by The Global Journal. The U.S. Department of State presented KickStart with the first-ever Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in 2012. In 2011, Forbes named KickStart to their “Impact 30 List” as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. Fast Company Magazine and the Monitor Group awarded KickStart with a Social Capitalist Award in each of the years 2004-2008.


About the Position:

KickStart is seeking a dynamic and entrepreneurial development professional to expand its institutional fundraising program. The Key Partnerships Manager will build a portfolio of institutional funders, including but not limited to corporations, foundations, and governments. This position will work closely with other members of the Development team as well as our Africa-based staff, in order to develop goals and strategies for achieving fundraising targets, meet with partners and prospective partners to establish and deepen relationships, and contribute toward a balanced funding mix of donor sources tailored to KickStart’s financial needs to maintain and grow program operations. This position reports to the Senior Development Manager and works in partnership with the Grants & Partnerships Manager. It is based in New York City with occasional travel within the U.S., Europe, and Africa.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Work closely with the Development team to create multi-year strategies towards KickStart’s organizational budget of $3 million, with a focus on institutional funding for our strategic goals.
  • Identify new donor prospects and implement strategic relationship development to secure new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, and government development agencies.
  • Steward existing donor relationships to ensure future funding opportunities.
  • Work with international program teams to compile information, develop compelling grant proposals, and submit timely reports to partners and institutional donors.
  • Maintain and report on performance metrics towards project goals.
  • Lead conversations at meetings and conferences with the intent of institutional advancement.
  • Request, schedule, prepare for, and assist in following up on meetings with partners and prospects.
  • Support the coordination of fundraising events and speaking engagements, by identifying key invitees through strategic prospect research and close attention to the moves management dashboard.
  • Mine current donor base and foundation resource sites to identify institutional funding prospects.
  • Other duties as assigned


Qualifications Needed:

Education and Experience

  • Master’s degree highly recommended
  • 4+ years of significant experience and proven success in securing funding from foundations, corporations, and governments
  • Knowledge of international development and/or international agriculture and rural development
  • Great understanding of the project management cycle to achieve results
  • Experience living and working in sub-Saharan Africa or in a developing country in another part of the world is prefered


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Entrepreneurial attitude with proven success in building a portfolio of institutional funders
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal, including compelling, clear and jargon-free writing abilities
  • Creative, critical and analytical thinker– able to co-design implementable projects with international program teams
  • Strong problem-solving, research, and analytical skills
  • Sophistication, poise, and intellectual depth to speak convincingly to donors in person and by phone
  • Ability to cultivate institutional relationships into key strategic partnerships
  • Detail-oriented and extremely well organized
  • Self-starter with a passion for working collaboratively with a small team
  • Ability to thrive and deliver results in an unstructured and dynamic environment
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, donor databases (i.e. Blackbaud eTapestry), and online fundraising platforms
  • Emotional maturity and a very good sense of humor
  • Passionate about international development and commitment to KickStart’s mission/business model


Position may require travel and working on weekends, early in the morning or late in the evening as necessary for donor cultivation events and meetings and/or to collaborate with colleagues overseas.

Please note: No relocation offered for this position.


How to Apply:

To apply, kindly email your cover letter and resume to, with “Key Partnerships Manager” noted in the subject line of your e-mail application. We’re accepting applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.