Development Lead

Johannesburg – Gauteng

Our client is actively looking for a Development Lead (including Fundraising) to join their team at a Johannesburg-based Community Upliftment Programme. In this role, you will be responsible for spearheading, designing, and implementing a flexible development strategy aimed at boosting investments and enhancing the organization’s global standing among social investors, with a particular emphasis on transitioning to unrestricted funding. The ideal candidate should hold a degree (a postgraduate degree would be advantageous) and possess a minimum of five (5) years of successful and progressive experience in the development and/or fundraising sector within the social domain. While experience in early learning and/or Early Childhood Development (ECD) would be valuable, it is not mandatory.
  • Lead, design, develop, and adaptively pursue a development strategy to increase investment and enhance The Company’s global positioning with social investors, focusing on rebalancing towards unrestricted funding. The strategy is seen as an evolving set of coherent, self-reinforcing choices.
  • Collaborate with network executives and senior managers to prioritize funding aligned with The Company’s’ ambition and scaling.
  • Guide the prioritization of present and potential funders and funder types.
  • Continuously analyse the impact of working with global social investors, SA empowerment funds, and international livelihood investors.
  • Implement a network-first orientation.
  • Foster an environment for colleagues to contribute to The Company’s’ development and fundraising.
Researching, Questioning, and Learning:
  • Proactively explore potential partners and supporters, remaining open to diverse outcomes.
  • Continuously explore new investors and research potential funders locally and internationally.
  • Lead executives and senior managers in identifying potential partners.
  • Generate and pursue new leads.
  • Prioritize and pursue existing leads.
  • Lead and manage development communications, shifting towards storytelling focused on The Company’s’ impact and ambitious realism.
  • Maintain ongoing communications to build strong relationships.
  • Manage content creation and dissemination for various development audiences, collaborating with MEL and Communications teams.
  • Explore creative ways to connect and communicate with funders and partners.
  • Share new developments with prospective investors and provide feedback.
  • Co-lead development activities and campaigns with the Communications Department.
  • Develop and maintain principled relationships with investors, funders, donors, partners, and supporters.
  • Build a network of contacts to identify and secure new partners and funders.
  • Enhance relationships with current and potential funders and partners.
  • Enable The Company’s staff, supporters, and friends to leverage networks for development and fundraising.
  • Build and manage a pipeline of prospective supporters.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with donors through regular correspondence.
  • Collaborate with the Communications team on campaigns.
Managing Projects, Proposals, and Processes:
  • Manage initiatives towards securing and sustaining investors and partners.
  • Lead drafting and iteration of pitches, proposals, and partnerships.
  • Proactively manage pitch, proposal, partnership, and reporting processes.
  • Attend to all partner requirements.
  • Track and share management reports on commitments and contractual obligations.
  • Manage and deliver reporting to funders outside of quarterly reports.
Qualifications & Experience:
  • Degree (postgraduate degree advantageous).
  • Minimum five (5) years of successful experience in social sector development and/or fundraising.
  • Experience in early learning and/or ECD advantageous but not required.
  • Strong understanding of international funding ecosystems and dynamics.
  • Motivated by social sector work.
  • Emphasis on continuous learning.
  • Effective written and verbal communication adaptable across contexts.
  • Proficient relationship-building skills and teamwork.
  • Excellent management skills (experience with relevant technologies advantageous).
  • Strong research skills including data analysis. 
  • Commitment to international social justice and education equity.