Senior Manager, Business Development

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)
  • Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Feb 05

Position description

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is a global humanitarian organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that demonstrates God’s love and compassion. ADRA works with people in poverty and distress to create just and positive change through empowering partnerships and responsible action.

ADRA International is a religiously qualified Equal Opportunity Employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. As such we have the right to prefer a member of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) church in the hiring process. In the event that a qualified SDA candidate is not found, we will give the opportunity to candidates who must understand, respect and honor the mission, purpose, and identity of ADRA International.



As a senior member of the Business Development Unit (BDU), this position contributes to the conception and implementation of the business development strategy, leading a variety of pursuits, including one-year and multi-year, complex new business opportunities to meet ADRA’s annual revenue targets. The Senior Manager will cultivate relationships with donors, clients, NGOs and other partner institutions, and will stay informed on innovative development methodologies, best practices, and donor trends that affect program planning and development. The incumbent will deliver high-quality proposal submissions by gathering opportunity intelligence, conducting capture tasks, and managing new program design, proposal strategy, and proposal development processes. This includes writing proposal sections and conducting quality assurance measures throughout the process. 

This position is based in Silver Spring, Maryland.


Opportunity Cultivation, Intelligence, and Marketing (20% of time)

  • Cultivates relationships with donor/client and partner representatives, and serves as an account manager/point of contact for a subset of ADRA donors, particularly USAID.
  • Builds wide and effective networks, capitalizing on existing industry contacts to develop business intelligence and inform Business Development (BD) decision-making.
  • Engages in active listening with donors/clients to identify their needs, define the issues, and provide them with clear and articulate information relative to how ADRA can meet their needs.
  • Collects and analyzes information on USG and other donor priorities, trends, and development approaches and best practices that could impact ADRA’s business and BD processes.
  • Identifies funding opportunities by matching ADRA’s capacity, experience and expertise to opportunity requirements.
  • Represents ADRA to donor decision-makers, potential partners, private sector entities and government counterparts.
  • Represents ADRA’s BD interests and strategies to internal ADRA International leadership.
  • Markets ADRA’s capabilities and approaches to potential donors and partners, including through in-country reconnaissance trips targeting specific funding opportunities.

Proposal Development (60% of time)

  • Leads proposal development efforts, serving as Proposal Manager for short-term emergency and multi-year development opportunities.
  • Defines proposal team makeup, and works with unit directors to ensure all proposal team positions are filled by ADRA staff and consultants, as needed.
  • Defines program design, proposal strategy/vision, and win themes for proposals and coordinates with ADRA staff and consultant technical experts to promote the design of sustainable, technically sound program proposals.
  • Identifies, vets, and negotiates agreements with partner organizations on specific opportunities.
  • Contributes to writing and editing technical proposal sections and coordinates with ADRA staff and consultant technical experts to lead technical design.
  • Develops proposals that meet client expectations, rules and regulations, that are based on client needs, and that consider the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors.
  • Identifies and applies both proven tools, methods and innovative approaches to proposal development, and effectively directs participation of proposal team members in proposal initiatives.
  • Contributes to proposal budget development to ensure consistency with program design and activities.
  • Reviews proposal drafts for appropriate tone, single voice, technical accuracy, practicality, and feasibility of approach, and final editing prior to production and submissions.

Knowledge Management, Communication, and Sharing (10% of time)

  • Captures information, business intelligence, and learning from donor/client and partner interactions, documents and disseminates information internally as needed.
  • Captures and documents learning from proposal development processes to refine and continuously improve tools and processes; maintains proposal documents and files in online archives.
  • Generates executive buy-in to business development and proposal efforts and successfully champions new ideas.
  • Leads dynamic client/internal presentations to positively influence client decisions and staff perceptions; promotes teamwork and cooperation to achieve shared objectives.
  • 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 BD 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.
  • Attends and/or presents at conferences, workshops, coordination meetings and donor interaction opportunities relevant to ADRA’s business and target clients.

Unit Management and Self-Development (10% of time)

  • Participates in fundraising strategy development and strategic planning for BDU, developing action plans to realize new initiatives.
  • Contributes to BDU work plans to meet ADRA’s annual revenue targets, outlining target clients (donors, foundations) and regions/countries.
  • Manages the needs of ADRA International vis-à-vis ADRA’s country offices through effective communication and positive dialogue.
  • Supervises, coaches, and mentors other Business Development Unit staff as assigned by the Director.
  • Attends appropriate seminars, conferences, meetings and other learning opportunities to develop relevant knowledge and skills and to improve performance, efficiency, or capacity.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.




  • 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, or Economics, AND
  • Seven or more years of related international development experience (equivalent combination of formal education/training and experience will be considered). 
  • Three or more years of proven business development experience for international development programs, ideally funded by USAID.
  • Effective leadership, project management, and organizational skills, including the ability to provide leadership to co-workers, technical staff, country offices, and donors/clients on new business opportunities.
  • Strong analytical skills, including the ability to research, analyze and apply donor requirements during all phases of the proposal process.
  • Understanding and ability to continually stay abreast of development challenges and best practices, to interact with ADRA’s technical experts at ADRA International and in country offices, and to suggest or propose interventions to address development challenges.
  • Excellent written oral and 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.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint).
  • Must exhibit sensitivity to and interest in other cultures and belief systems.


  • Extensive experience leading large proposal teams on complex, single year and multi-year, multi-partner proposals for USAID, including conducting proposal strategy sessions to develop proposal value proposition and win themes, and negotiating roles in partnerships, consortia and strategic alliances.
  • 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.
  • Applied experience in, and understanding of USG regulations for grants, cooperative agreements and contracts (OMB Circulars, Mandatory Standard Provisions, FAR, AIDAR), particularly for USAID; understanding of other donor regulations and requirements, such as the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), World Bank and major philanthropic foundations.
  • Proficiency in French, Spanish, Arabic and/or Portuguese a plus.



  • 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

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