Senior Development Officer
New York, NY

KickStart International has an exciting opportunity for an experienced and enthusiastic senior professional to increasingly expand our institutional funding sources and revenues.


About the Organization:

KickStart International ( is an award-winning, nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to lift millions of people in Africa out of poverty quickly, cost-effectively, and sustainably. They do this by designing and mass-marketing simple, clean-energy, “MoneyMaker” branded, irrigation pumps. Rural families living in poverty invest in these low-cost pumps to move from rain-fed-subsistence farming to commercial irrigated agriculture. They grow and sell high value crops throughout the year—especially in the long dry “hungry” seasons when food is scarce and prices are highest—and on average increase their net income from irrigation alone by $700. For the first time, they can properly feed and educate their children, afford healthcare, and plan for their futures.


KickStart has been recognized as a leader in its industry and received honors including the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, the Schwab Award, and the first-ever U.S. Department of State Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. The organization’s work has been featured in publications including Forbes, Fast Company, Scientific American, and many more.


About the Position:

KickStart is seeking an entrepreneurial and accomplished development professional to expand its institutional fundraising program. The Senior Development Officer will work closely with the rest of KickStart’s lean and dynamic development team and the CEO to: manage and grow a portfolio of institutional funders (including but not limited to corporations, foundations, and governments), develop goals and strategies for achieving fundraising targets, meet with donors and prospective donors to establish and deepen relationships, and contribute towards a balanced mix of funding sources tailored to maintain and grow KickStart’s program operations. This position reports to the Director of Development and Strategic Alliances and is based in New York City with occasional travel within the U.S., Europe, and Africa.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Work closely with development team to create multi-year strategies to increase KickStart’s income from institutional funders towards the organization’s strategic goals
  • Identify new donor prospects and implement strategic relationship development to secure new sources of funding from foundations, corporations, and government development agencies
  • Develop and write compelling and impactful grant proposals and donor reports
  • Steward existing donor relationships to ensure future funding opportunities
  • Work with program teams to compile information and develop content for timely reports to institutional donors
  • Conduct research, define strategies and talking points for CEO and other senior KickStart staff to implement at major conferences and meetings that include attendance of donors and prospects
  • Maintain and report on performance metrics towards goals
  • Other duties as assigned


Qualifications Needed:

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree a plus
  • 5+ years of significant experience and proven success in identifying and securing funding from institutional sources
  • Professional experience in prospect research and grant writing with a track record of winning submissions and meeting/exceeding goals
  • Knowledge of international development and/or international agriculture and rural development
  • Solid 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 preferred

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Entrepreneurial attitude, proven success in building a portfolio of institutional funders
  • Exceptional communication skills, including compelling, clear, and jargon-free writing abilities
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills, positive energy, and ability to speak confidently in front of groups of all sizes
  • Creative and critical thinking with the ability to co-design implementable projects with program teams
  • Strong problem solving, research, and analytical skills
  • Poise and intellectual depth to speak convincingly to sophisticated donors in-person and by phone
  • Detail oriented and very 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
  • Flexible work schedule with ability to work as needed on weekends, early in the morning or late in the evening, depending on work requirements
  • Emotional maturity and a very good sense of humor
  • Passionate about international development and commitment to KickStart’s mission/business model.


How to Apply

To apply, kindly email your cover letter, resume and compensation requirements, with the position title in the subject line to  If someone referred you to apply for this position, please provide his or her name in your cover letter.  The position will remain open until filled.


KickStart is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.