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Director of Capital & Growth

  /  Director of Capital & Growth

Position: Director of Capital & Growth

Department: Development

Status: Full Time

Reports to: Karen Sherman, Executive Director

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Overtime Status: Exempt



The Akilah Group is looking for an extraordinary Director of Capital and Growth, based out of our New York office. The Akilah Group is a collection of social enterprises that uses innovative educational models and technology to achieve transformational change in African communities.

The Akilah Institute for Women opened its Kigali, Rwanda campus in 2010 and is the only women’s college in Rwanda. We offer three year diploma programs in Hospitality Management, Information Systems, and Entrepreneurship. We currently serve 355 promising young women and are proud to report that 88% of students secured employment within six months of graduation from our program where they are earning incomes that average 12 times the national median. Our graduates are more than capable employees- they are leaders and job creators. The program is transitioning to a competency-based education model and is poised to scale with new campuses in East Africa.

AkilahNet is a curated, online talent marketplace that connects employers and top talent in East Africa. AkilahNet was launched in 2015. AkilahNet is undergoing tremendous and rapid growth. Marriott, Radisson, Bourbon Coffee, Serena Hotels, and several other regional companies in Rwanda are now using our platform for their regional recruitment. Over the past 3 months we’ve received over 1,000 applications from jobseekers.


The Position:

We are seeking an experienced, multi-talented development professional or private sector leader to direct our growing development team for the Akilah Institute for Women during a period of rapid transformation and expansion.

You will be responsible for developing a diversified fundraising plan as our annual budget grows from $2.5 million in 2015 to over $5 million in 2017/18. You will also allow us to scale our education model and open campuses throughout East Africa through strategic impact and philanthropic investments. At least 80% of your time will be devoted to growing the Institute’s portfolio of donors and investors.

AkilahNet is also expanding and meeting with employers in Kenya and Uganda. Our platform will open to members in those countries this summer and you will support the opening of a $900,000 seed round of funding to support this growth.

As part of the organization’s Executive Team, you will increase our revenue stream through a creative and innovative fundraising strategy. You will leverage our existing base of influential individuals, family foundations, investors and corporate and institutional partners. You will also identify new funding relationships in order to meet our ambitious goals of enhanced visibility, financial growth, and stability.  

Key Responsibilities:

Directing our Development Strategy

o Spearhead the development, management and implementation of a multi-faceted development strategy that leads to a measurable increase in revenue through the following:

  •  Systems: Develop our infrastructure and systems to support an exponential increase in our annual budget.
  •  Individual Giving and Investment: Oversee the operations of our major gifts and individual giving programs including identification of new prospects, gift solicitation support and stewardship of both major donors and annual fund donors.
  •  Institutional Giving: Expand our current base of institutional partners and identify new corporate and foundation partnerships.
  •  Special Events: Lead staff to successfully organize events across the U.S. such as major receptions, lunches and dinners that are profitable and enhance the organization’s visibility.
  •  Capital Campaigns: Lead our team through capital campaigns to raise funds to build new facilities in Rwanda and throughout East Africa.

Managing and Engaging the Akilah Community

  •    Manage a team of 2-3 development staff including a Strategic Partnerships Manager and Senior Development Associate. Refine and build our team’s fundraising capabilities and processes.
  •    Engage our Board of Directors, including our Development Sub-Committee, in outreach and fundraising efforts.
  •    Represent Akilah Group at donor and investor meetings as needed.
  •    Help promote Akilah Group and position the organization as a thought leader in the fields of women’s education and technology in Africa.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  •    At least ten years of experience of successful revenue generation.
  •    Experience working in and with the private sector a plus.
  •    Ability to lead a team of high-capacity professionals.
  •    Ability to travel within the U.S. for business development and prospecting.
  •    Proven leadership and organizational management skills.
  •    The ability to motivate staff during a period of intense growth.
  •    The ability to deepen ties with partners, board members, and current donors to accomplish fundraising goals
  •    The ability to prioritize critical tasks with grace and tenacious follow up in a fast-paced startup environment.
  •    A passion for creating a new model of women’s leadership, education, and economic empowerment in Africa.
  •    A commitment to building a positive organizational culture that values transparency, honest feedback, diligence, and a sense of humor.

Work Environment/Physical Requirements:

No specific physical requirements.

Job Responsibilities Statement

The above statements reflect the general duties, responsibilities and competencies considered necessary to perform the essential duties & responsibilities of the job and should not be considered as a detailed description of all the work requirements of the position. Project Akilah may change the specific job duties with or without prior notice based on the needs of the organization.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Project Akilah provides equal employment opportunities to all qualified individuals without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, or non-disqualifying physical or mental handicap or disability.

Americans with Disabilities Act

Applicants as well as employees who are or become disabled must be able to perform the essential duties & responsibilities either unaided or with reasonable accommodation.  The organization shall determine reasonable accommodation on a case-by-case basis in accordance with applicable law

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