Director for Business Development

  • Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Jun 03

Position description

The Director for Business Development is primarily responsible for executing ADRA International’s Business Development Strategy to meet annual revenue and growth targets, playing a key role in elaborating the strategy and setting targets, in line with broader agency strategies, alongside the Sr. Director for Programs and Innovation and other colleagues on the Programs team. The Director must have, maintain and develop an extensive network of contacts at peer organizations, within key US Government agencies and departments, and among corporate and foundation partners, to cultivate relationships, gain business intelligence, and stay abreast of current interests, funding strategies, and partnership opportunities. This position manages the operations of the Business Development Unit, including systems and process development, personnel management, team-building and employee development, work planning and bid assignments, and budget implementation. The Director is responsible to ensure the quality of proposal submissions by providing high-level strategic direction and decision-making on budget and personnel issues, guidance on program design and proposal strategy, and He/She also provides technical assistance in workshops, orientations and committees/working groups, as assigned.


Unit Strategy and Operations 

  • Leads fundraising strategy development, developing action plans to realize new initiatives.
  • Create plans and strategies to capture new business.
  • Leads strategic planning for the Business Development Unit and creates and implements action plans to realize new initiatives.
  • Works with the Senior Director for Programs and Innovation to develop thresholds for opportunities that will be considered for proposal development.
  • Maintains industry standard roadmap for proposal development.
  • Act as Secretary of the Business Development Committee, reviewing the agenda and minutes, presenting items for go/no go, and providing updates on ongoing proposal efforts.
  • Work closely and collaboratively with other Units in the Programs team.
  • Collaboratively develops unit work plans to meet ADRA’s annual revenue targets, outlining target clients (donors, foundations) and regions/countries.
  • Identifies Business Development Unit’s needs and develops and leads initiatives to address them. 
  • Flexibly manages the needs of ADRA International vis-à-vis country offices through communication and dialogue.
  • Engages in other sector, unit, or office level strategic planning for ADRA, as required.
  • Plans and manages the Business Development Unit’s budget.
  • Delegates authority to achieve a level of autonomy and decision–making that ensures issues are promptly and adequately handled and quality of work is effectively achieved. 
  • Captures and documents learning from proposal development processes to refine and continuously improve tools and processes; maintains proposal documents and files in online archives.
  • Ensure that ADRA maintains industry standard proposal development tools, templates and processes.
  • Responsible to lead business development planning to meet ADRA’s annual revenue targets, outlining target clients (donors, foundations) and regions/countries.
  • Responsible for providing data related to new business forecast and pipeline analyses. 

People and Culture: Team-building and Staff Development 

  • Build, supervise, coach and mentor a diverse team of business development professional and other experts.
  • Provides candid, timely, and constructive feedback/appraisals to staff within the BD Unit, and provides recommendations to support promotion and remuneration decision process. 
  • Fosters an environment that recognizes the importance of maintaining a balance between personal and professional lives.
  • Maintains a balance between individual needs and unit/proposal needs in making staffing decisions. 
  • Recognizes team and individual efforts and rewards accordingly. 
  • Builds and maintains a roster of talented consultants to fill capacity gaps or specialized needs.
  • Identifies and provides opportunities that enhance personal and professional growth, balancing staff career aspirations and ADRA’s needs and objectives. 
  • Contributes to increased capacity of the Business Development Unit through ongoing professional development.
  • Attends appropriate seminars, conferences, meetings and other learning opportunities to maintain current knowledge of development industry trends.
  • Attends appropriate seminars, conferences, meetings and other learning opportunities to develop relevant knowledge and skills and to improve performance, efficiency, or capacity.

Opportunity Cultivation, Intelligence, and Marketing 

  • Cultivates relationships with donor/client and partner representatives. 
  • Builds wide and effective networks, capitalizing on existing industry contacts to develop business intelligence and inform BD decision-making.
  • Collects and analyzes information on USG and other donor priorities, donor trends, and development methodologies that impact ADRA’s business and BD processes.
  • Represents ADRA to donor decision-makers, potential partners, private sector entities and government counterparts.
  • Markets ADRA’s capabilities and approaches to potential donors and partners, government counterparts, and private sector entities, including through in-country reconnaissance trips targeting specific funding opportunities.
  • Identifies qualified leads/funding opportunities by matching ADRA’s capacity, experience and expertise to opportunity requirements.
  • Works closely with technical staff to identify and review all new business opportunities including those uncovered from the wider ADRA Network, and coordinates decision-making on those opportunities through analysis and recommendations to the Business Development Committee. 
  • Develops Capture Management, Action and Proposal Management work plans as the roadmap for proposal development.
  • Drives select major capture efforts and supports unit staff in complex and demanding capture efforts. 
  • Engages in active listening with clients to identify their needs, define the issues, and provide them with clear and articulate information relative to how ADRA can meet their needs.
  • Anticipates barriers to change; in collaboration with clients, devises plans to address change barriers and ensures client acceptance of the change process.


Proposal Development

  • Generates executive buy-in to business development and proposal efforts and champions new ideas. 
  • Reduces tension within teams, reconciles disagreements, and develops win/win solutions.
  • Promotes teamwork and cooperation to achieve shared objectives.
  • In collaboration with other Directors, ensures appropriate staffing of BD and proposal development efforts, including filling all key proposal roles and ensuring appropriate ADRA Network partner office team participation in the proposal development process.
  • Leads decision-making on BD process agreements with partner ADRA Network offices, including financial allocations to support BD costs, and approves needs assessment, consultant, and proposal development budgets. 
  • Supports BDU staff in leading proposal development efforts, engaging on specific opportunities as needed, and providing high-level, strategic guidance on program design and proposal strategy issues.
  • Participates in proposal kickoffs and design workshops as necessary to mobilize and keep proposal teams on track.
  • Contributes to proposal quality improvement by participating in color team reviews, especially for strategy and budget reviews.
  • Manages the transition and handover from proposal development to award management.


Knowledge Management 

  • Captures information, business intelligence, and learning from donor/client and partner interactions, documents and disseminates information internally as needed.
  • Leads dynamic client/internal presentations to positively influence client decisions and staff perceptions; promotes teamwork and cooperation to achieve shared objectives.
  • Attends/presents at conferences, workshops, coordination meetings and donor interaction opportunities relevant to ADRA’s business and target clients.
  • Searches for best knowledge sources (internal and external) and directs teams to ensure availability of the optimal information to meet proposal needs.
  • Assures quality of formal communications and deliverables with beneficiary and donor client (RFA response, proposal, questions/clarifications, issues letter, etc.), and full compliance with requirements.
  • Contributes and develops content for marketing materials, capacity and past performance information relevant to ADRA’s BD efforts.
  • Participates as a BD expert and trainer in the development and/or delivery of trainings and ADRA-sponsored workshops that contribute to the needs of the organization and the BDU. 
  • Provides technical assistance to country offices as needed through field visits, workshops, seminars, and capacity building activities, so that country office staff can meet proposal, performance, quality assurance, and customer service standards for various sectors and donors.



Up to 35% domestic and international travel required. Must have the ability to travel on short notice if necessary.




  • Master’s degree in International Development, International Relations, Public Policy/Administration, Political Science, Business Administration OR in a relevant technical area/related discipline such as Public Health, Agriculture, Economics AND
  • Ten or more years of related experience (equivalent combination of formal education/training and experience may be considered). 
  • Comprehensive knowledge of USG funding, procurement procedures, and requirements of U.S. Government agencies as well as knowledge and experience in business development, including partnership cultivation and proposal development. 
  • Demonstrated success in securing USG funds.
  • Capable and effective leadership, management and supervision capacity, with the ability to provide clear direction and supportive guidance.
  • Ability to act decisively in urgent matters; willing to make tough decisions which may influence the direction of unit activities.
  • Ability to anticipate the long-term, multi-functional impact of all decisions and take a long-range, broad approach to problem-solving and decision-making by analyzing, thinking ahead, and planning.
  • Capable with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Must exhibit sensitivity to and interest in other cultures and belief systems.


  • Experience leading, supervising and mentoring staff, and capable of managing and developing team members in the face of competing priorities.
  • Ability to work across internal organizational units, teams and offices teams to provide leadership to co-workers, technical teams, country office staff and other non-direct reports in a facilitative manner.
  • Experience leading large proposal teams, conducting proposal strategy sessions to develop proposal value proposition and win themes, and negotiating roles in partnerships. 
  • Excellent written communication skills, including ability to write, integrate, and edit technical approaches on a wide range of development topics, outlining client and donor challenges and articulating targeted solutions in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.
  • Applied experience in, and understanding of, USG regulations for grants, cooperative. agreements and contracts (OMB Circulars, Mandatory Standard Provisions, FAR, AIDAR); understanding of other donor regulations and requirements, such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), World Bank and major philanthropic foundations.
  • Experience in research, assessment or evaluation of development programs 



  • Working with People - Demonstrates an interest in and understanding of others; adapts to the team and builds team spirit.
  • Relating and Networking - Establishes good relationships with colleagues; builds wide and effective networks.
  • Planning and Organizing - Sets clearly defined objectives; plans activities and projects well in advance and takes account of possible changing circumstances. 
  • Delivering Results and Meeting Customer Expectations - Focuses on customer needs and satisfaction; sets high standards for quality and quantity.
  • Entrepreneurial and Commercial Thinking - Identifies business opportunities for the organization; demonstrates financial awareness.

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on

follow us on Twitter