Seeking a talented fundraiser to help us grow and implement our high-impact mission for a food secure Africa.
Join KickStart: A proven, high-impact Social Enterprise:
KickStart is an award-winning nonprofit social enterprise with a mission to empower millions of small scale farmers in Africa to build lasting food and income security, adapt-to-climate-change and climb out of poverty. To succeed we introduce highly affordable irrigation technologies that enable farmers to grow crops throughout the year—independent of the rains—harvest in the “hungry seasons” when prices are high, and transition their farms into highly profitable businesses. With its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and operations in 16 African countries, KickStart has already enabled over 1.4 million people to transform their farming, and permanently break out of poverty.
About the Role:
KickStart is quickly expanding its impacts to reach our goal of 2 million people out of poverty by 2025, and to help transform the systems that will enable millions more to follow. The Major Gifts and Development Director will play a central role in this effort, by defining and strengthening our overall fundraising strategies, and growing and cultivating a core circle of individual donors, corporate partnerships, and family foundations. While also contributing to, and supporting, all aspects of our fundraising activities. As the senior member of our US-based fundraising team, they will report directly to the CEO and liaise closely with the President/COO and other senior staff. Location options are San Francisco, New York City (where our teams are based) or working remotely from anywhere in the US.
• Serve in a frontline fundraising role, joining our leadership team and representing KickStart at meetings and conferences with donors, partners, and other stakeholders.
• Play the leadership role in our small, but dynamic, development team to upgrade fundraising strategies, establish and track data-driven goals, and expand overall donor revenues to implement KickStart’s strategic growth plans.
• Manage and grow KickStart’s portfolio of Major Gift individual donors and family foundations, and develop and implement strategies to prospect for, grow and support our Enterprise Council of HNWI major donors—including ‘moves management’ to recruit and graduate lower level donors.
• Plan and manage fundraising events, and targeted communications, to raise KickStart’s profile and to expand and support our donor networks e.g.: webinars, donor-led dinners, tournaments, etc.
• Actively contribute, and collaborate with the development team to; prospect for, expand, close and upgrade, our institutional giving pipeline of foundations, corporate partners, and large-scale/multi-lateral grants. And to manage our donor communications, to attract, cultivate and grow our individual and other donors at all levels.
• Serve as a primary liaison to KickStart’s individual Board Members; support the Board in its governance, help it to raise funds and to expand and diversify its membership.
• Coordinate with our staff in Africa, on cross-functional collaborations to develop and report on innovative activities, partnerships and projects targeting specific donors and RFP funding opportunities.
Do you have the required skills and passion?
• A proactive, entrepreneurial, organized and highly motivated self-starter
• Outstanding oral, written, and interpersonal communication, and story-telling skills
• Demonstrated expertise in individual and institutional fundraising, including closing major gifts in the 5-7 figure range
• Driven team player, who works well alone, with a small team, and loves to collaborate
• A passion for, and experience/knowledge of, working in the Global South—sub-Saharan Africa a plus.
• Minimum 8 years of direct nonprofit fundraising experience with 3 years at a senior level closing major gifts.
• Bachelor’s degree required, and Master’s degree preferred
Career Growth and Organizational Values
We have a work culture grounded in the entrepreneurial spirit of our farmers—we encourage constant learning, creative autonomy, and innovation. You’ll have access to mentorship/training programs within a flexible work environment, plus the opportunity to travel domestically and internationally. The job can be done with remote and flex hours, but with the ability, as required, to work mornings/evenings/ weekends to collaborate with colleagues/donors across multiple time zones in the US and Africa.
We Take Care of You
At KickStart, we want you to be well and thrive!
• Comprehensive and competitive benefits package that includes medical, vision, dental, and pharmacy coverage; life insurance; retirement; and disability coverage.
• Optional co-working membership near your home (if hired remotely) and commuter benefits (if local in NYC).
• Flexible work schedule with generous vacation/sick leave policy.
If this sounds like you, then we invite you to apply at KickStart International www.kickstart.org and help us raise the funds to grow our impacts, help small-scale farmers in Africa to access transformative and affordable irrigation technologies, grow their crops, harvest and sell high value fruits and vegetables year round, adapt to climate change, and break out of poverty.