VACANCY: Director of Development in Rwanda

Vacancy Summary

  • Sector: Education
  • Field of Expertise: Business Development, Education, Marketing
  • Work Experience: 11-15 years
  • Preferred Candidates: Both international and national jobseekers invited to apply
  • Posted on: Jun 12, 2020
  • Vacancy closing date: Jul 27, 2020

Job Description

Carnegie Mellon University is seeking a seasoned development professional to coordinate fundraising strategies and initiatives, and cultivate and steward individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropy to CMU-Africa. The ideal candidate is highly motivated, familiar with fundraising in Africa, has a proven record of fundraising success, and has an extensive international network.

Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) is a top-ranked U.S. university, particularly known for research and graduate education in engineering and computer science. In 2011, CMU signed an agreement with the Government of Rwanda to open a branch of its College of Engineering in Kigali known as Carnegie Mellon University-Africa in Rwanda (CMU-Africa). CMU-Africa currently offers two master’s degrees, educating fourth industrial revolution skills for students from across the African continent the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) and the Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (MS ECE).

The Director of Development is responsible for the coordination of all development efforts in support of CMU-Africa, including frontline fundraising, with a primary goal of raising funds for student support scholarships. The overarching goal of this position is to define, develop, and drive the execution and measurement of a forward-thinking integrated plan for fundraising, global engagement, alumni, foundation, and corporate relations, and annual giving across a broad range of constituencies: foundations, corporations, alumni, students, faculty, staff, and “friends.” The Director of Development will be responsible for developing a compelling case for support by involving alumni and student volunteers, faculty, staff and other groups in order to communicate the vision of the program and the rationale for supporting CMU-Africa’s fundraising goals. To be successful in this position, the Director of Development will work closely with university colleagues in Kigali and the Carnegie Mellon University main campus in Pittsburgh to identify and cultivate sources of funding for projects that leverage the unique opportunities for innovation and research in Africa.

The Director of Development will serve as the lead College of Engineering advancement staff member for fundraising pipeline-building activities for CMU-Africa priorities. This includes, but is not limited to, identifying and cultivating annual and consistent individual donors, identifying potential major gift donors (including foundations and corporations) and coordinating with appropriate advancement team members on moves management for those donors, and managing special fundraising projects (such as annual giving opportunities) that have applicable potential benefit to CMU-Africa and/or the overall fundraising program for the College. He/She utilizes data, research, reports, and other resources and tools to help prioritize and optimize prospect qualification,cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities and manages and completes a variety of special projects requiring skills in data analysis, writing/editing, and collaborative problem solving.

The Director of Development should be knowledgeable of College of Engineering fundraising priorities, in line with the vision, processes, and campaign initiatives of Carnegie Mellon University and the College of Engineering. They will work closely with and report to the the Director of CMU-Africa on fundraising strategy, with a dotted line to the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Advancement, to develop and drive the strategy for fundraising for the CMU-Africa location. He/She will be the focal point for managing all philanthropic partnerships for CMU-Africa. It is essential that this work be conducted in very close collaboration with colleagues in the College of Engineering, at CMU-Africa, University Advancement foundation relations, and institutional partnerships, to accomplish fundraising goals.


Master’s degree in Development Studies, Business, Economics, International Relations, Marketing or related fields.

• A minimum of 8 years of experience in fundraising or related fields.
• Demonstrable experience of developing international educational partnerships and fundraising campaigns with proven fundraising results.
• Experience with tools for donor relationship management and digital marketing is strongly desired.

• Broad knowledge of the principles of foundation, individual, and corporate fundraising,
• Ability to understand the needs and interests of major gift prospects and donors in order to develop relationships between them and the university.
• Ability to articulate the case for support in order to solicit, cultivate, and steward gifts.
• Understanding of the most effective ways to segment and analyze prospective donors, identify indicators of gift potential, management of prospect information, and the development of solicitation materials.
• Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, follow through and evaluate individual strategy plans for qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects.
• Knowledge of African philanthropic landscape is strongly desired.
• Familiarity with legal and ethical practices related to donor management, record maintenance, and gift accounting.
• This position requires the ability to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle:
o To initiate contact with prospects.
o To develop appropriate cultivation strategies for them, including working with volunteers.
o To move prospects in an appropriate and timely fashion towards solicitation and closure.
o To make solicitations when appropriate, utilizing leadership as appropriate.
o To maintain stewardship contacts with donors.
o To keep leadership and colleagues informed of progress during all stages of the gift cycle
• Broad knowledge of the university infrastructure with the commitment to coordinate fundraising activities with University Advancement.
• Interpersonal skills requirements include: exceptional commitment and demonstration of collaboration and teamwork, exceptional ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines, poise and professionalism when interacting with all constituents, flexibility, creativity, respect, and understanding for working with confidential information and embargoed information, and a proven ability to operate independently, effectively, with little supervision.
• The strategic role of this position requires strong planning skills and an aptitude for identifying and cultivating potential financial supporters.
• The implementation role of this position requires basic understanding of Carnegie Mellon University’s and CMU-Africa’s design/branding principles as well as strong interactive experience in the arenas of digital communications, social media, and online marketing.
• This position requires an individual with sound judgment with adherence to the highest ethical standards, who can make decisions based on varying, limited input. In effect, this person will manage relationships between CMU-Africa and financial supporters and collaborators, and must be an objective, creative, strategic thinker.
• Strong oral and written communications skills in English. Knowledge of French is a plus.
• Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment, within the College’s Advancement team, University Advancement, and the College of Engineering’s departments.
• Must be able to perform work under pressure with tight deadlines. The ability to quickly prioritize and resolve competing projects with an optimal outcome will be an everyday occurrence.

The work location is preferably Rwanda, with high mobility within and outside Africa.


Manages and coordinates CMU-Africa’s major and annual giving and pipeline-building efforts, and coordinates, implements, and evaluates strategies in close coordination with the College of Engineering and University Advancement staff. Helps College of Engineering and University Advancement frontline fundraisers and colleagues understand and advocate for CMU’ Africa. Focus’ on strategies for building the pipeline of major gift prospects for CMU-Africa by analyzing and evaluating donor giving and potential giving, and working in close collaboration with the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Advancement to create and implement strategies to move potential donors to donors. Writes annual and major giving solicitations, and develops and implements a plan for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift prospects and donors.

Manages a focused portfolio of 50-75 donor prospects (including foundations and corporations) for the College of Engineering, with a particular focus on CMU-Africa, focusing on identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.

Collaborates with partners and constituents across both the main campus in Pittsburgh, and the Rwanda location, to coordinate activities and ensure goal alignement, including the Advancement office of College of Engineering, the office of the Senior Associate Vice President for Development, the office of Assistant Vice President of Foundation Relations, and the CMU Business Engagement Office.

Other duties as assigned.

Are you interested in becoming a Director of Development in Rwanda? Apply now at the top or bottom of our page.

Note: This is a job advertisement, applications will be forwarded to the employer for selection. JobnetAfrica believes all applicants should get feedback, good or bad, but are not further involved in the recruitment for this particular vacancy.