Director, Partnerships for Research & Innovation
The International Rescue Committee helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC is dedicated to increasing the scale and improving the effectiveness of its programs worldwide with evidence of what works best to impact lives in fragile settings. The External Relations (ER) department is responsible for the global delivery of the IRC’s private sector resources - supplying more than US$200M per annum, as well as key partnerships and influence that support our mission. It plays a critical strategic role in the design of IRC’s brand, awareness, and support for its advocacy goals. The private-sector income of IRC comprises of three principal departments: Mass Markets, USA Philanthropy (USAP), and International Philanthropy and Partnerships (IPP). The latter two, which comprise the High-Value (HV) fundraising teams for IRC, generate more than 80% of the annual private-sector revenue for the Organization.
Breakthrough solutions are needed to match the urgency and gravity of the problems faced by people affected by crisis. That’s why the IRC built the Airbel Impact Lab, the research and innovation (R&I) team that designs, tests and scales life-changing solutions for people facing conflict and disaster. The Airbel Impact Lab focuses on addressing three of the world’s most pressing problems, in some of the toughest environments: (i) treating child malnutrition, (ii) delivering last mile education, and (iii) women-centered health programs to save lives and provide choice. Across each of these areas, we build solutions as big as the problems. Our vision is not only to increase IRC's impact, but to change the way humanitarian aid is delivered around the world.
The Director, Research and Innovation Partnerships will be responsible for delivering on IRC’s Research and Innovation-related growth goals by developing the strategy and planning needed to engage and inform the work of front-line fundraisers in the pursuit of partnerships with corporations, foundations, and individual philanthropists. Embedded within the ER department and closely working with Airbel and the HV Global Partnerships and Philanthropic Services (GPPS) team, you will work with IRC senior staff and leadership to effectively position IRC as a key partner of choice globally with respect to Research and Innovation in the humanitarian sector.
This is a highly collaborative and facilitative role in a fast-paced and dynamic environment. Using outstanding interpersonal, communications, and project management skills, you will:
- Develop a robust new business plan to improve and expand our financial engagement with partners in support of the growth goal for R&I. - Guide high-quality content development and financial propositions to instill support for IRC’s R&I work. - Drive the overall strategy of our engagement with this set of partners and advance initiatives that fulfill this goal, to support the fundraising work of officers in USAP and/or IPP.
Note: USAP engages with USA-based high-net-worth individuals and family foundations. IPP engages with corporations and foundations in the USA and globally, high-net-worth individuals outside the USA, and new funding modalities such as faith-based giving.
Fundraising catalyst for research and innovation
- Partner with HV fundraisers and R&I staff to grow its $10M+ portfolio of innovation projects, in line with individual donor strategy owned by the fundraising teams. - Co-develop and co-execute fundraising strategies spanning institutional philanthropy, private gifts, social finance, and public funders. - Identify prospective donors for R&I work and collaborate to establish relationships and to solicit funding. - Work with fundraisers to develop strategic engagement and solicitation strategies to increase retention and upgrade giving of current donors. - Translate priority innovation projects into compelling investment opportunities for donors; support the development of especially promising innovation projects. - Ensure that R&I donors receive appropriate, consistent engagement and an annual accounting of the impact of their gift.
Support fundraising for innovation projects across the IRC
- In collaboration with GPPS, generate content and materials that will drive success in fundraising. - Allocate business development and design resources to craft successful funding proposals. - Align fundraising activities with IRC’s innovation goals and support the overall revenue and impact goals of the organization.
Develop partnership and communications that build IRC’s reputation for innovation
- Support and maintain the organization’s brand. Effectively position Airbel with key influencing audiences and partners through engagement strategy, web presence, and communications strategy. Work with relevant ER colleagues to elevate messaging and ethos into IRC mainline communications. - Build bridges to the private sector that welcome new ideas, new resources and new alliances to solve grand humanitarian challenges.
Key Working Relationships:
Position reports to: Senior Director, Major Gifts (USAP)
Position directly supervises: N/A
Indirect Reporting: N/A
Other Internal and/or external contacts:
● Vice President of International Partnerships and Philanthropy (IPP) and GPPS
● Vice President of USA Philanthropy
● Chief Research and Innovation Officer
● IRC External Relations leadership
● Partnerships Lead in GPPS
● Technical Unit Directors and Team Members
● Country and Regional Directors
● Airbel core team and project managers
● Senior contacts at IRC institutional donors and private sector foundations
● Select Major Donors
- Bachelor’s degree with 8-10 years of experience in a variety of fundraising roles - Experience in institutional or private fundraising, major donor relations, and proposal development - Proven track record of fundraising with foundations and/or major donors - Outstanding interpersonal, presentation, and writing skills - Ability to connect with colleagues on all levels in a distributed, multicultural professional environment - Experience in the private sector and/or entrepreneurial environments a plus
- Fluency in French, Spanish, and/or Arabic - Experience in humanitarian setting or development contexts - Experience/familiarity with NGO professional setting
Working Environment: Standard office work environment. Up to 10% travel required.
The IRC and IRC workers must adhere to the values and principles outlined in IRC Way - Standards for Professional Conduct. These are Integrity, Service, and Accountability. In accordance with these values, the IRC operates and enforces policies on Beneficiary Protection from Exploitation and Abuse, Child Safeguarding, Anti Workplace Harassment, Fiscal Integrity, and Anti-Retaliation.
IRC et les employés de IRC doivent adhérer aux valeurs et principes contenus dans le IRC WAY (normes de conduite professionnelle). Ce sont l’Intégrité, le Service, et la Responsabilité. En conformité avec ces valeurs, IRC opère et fait respecter les politiques sur la protection des bénéficiaires contre l’exploitation et les abus, la protection de l’enfant, le harcèlement sur les lieux de travail, l’intégrité financière, et les représailles.
We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).