Senior External Relations Manager

Geneva, Switzerland
[Closing date: 25 February 2018]


DNDi – Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative brings the best science to the most neglected populations. We research and develop safe, effective, and affordable treatments for diseases plaguing many of the world’s poorest and most neglected communities. We don’t do it for profit. We do it because we believe all patients have the right to the best that science has to offer, no matter where they were born.

Since 2003, we’ve developed seven new treatments that have reached millions of patients suffering from malaria, sleeping sickness, visceral leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, and paediatric HIV around the world.

We are standing on the brink of making medical history. Right now, DNDi’s research teams are leading breakthrough, early discovery research and state-of-the-art clinical trials for new treatments in the remotest regions around the globe. Will you join us?

We have done this at a fraction of the cost of the traditional business model of the pharmaceutical industry. We credit our success to our open and collaborative approach to the scientific process — focusing on cooperation rather than competition — and our steadfast commitment to developing treatments that are affordable and adapted to the conditions in which patients live.

Could it be you? We are looking for experienced, fun, and energetic fundraisers to bring groundbreaking treatments out of the drug pipeline and into the hands of patients. Our ambition is to develop 10 to 12 new treatments by 2023 for hepatitis C, HIV/Aids and neglected infectious diseases.

We are a dedicated global fundraising team of 14 people working together across time-zones from Rio de Janeiro to Tokyo to Geneva and New York to raise important funds to support our activities from public and private donors around the world. 

This growth and more importantly these new treatments we want to deliver to our patients is beckoning us to add one new position in Geneva – a leading international city on the global health front.  We are looking for a talented person to develop relationships with donors worldwide. So if you have a good understanding of the technical aspects of fund development, ideally have a global health or scientific/medical background, exceptional ability to build lasting relationships, experience in soliciting multi-year commitments, strong proposal and report writing skills in English and a real passion for what we do – we would love to meet you.  Send us your cv and a letter detailing why you are the best person to join our team. 


Purpose of the position

The Senior External Relations Manager is responsible for managing and implementing activities to secure funds from public donors and large international foundations for DNDi. The Senior External Relations Manager’s role is to design, develop, implement and execute donor-centered activities including prospect research, donor identification, and donor cultivation activities. The Senior External Relations Manager is also responsible for stewarding donors including producing donor & financial reports, sharing general information on our activities, briefing donors, following-up on pledge commitments, maintaining accurate information to support ongoing relationships, and ensuring proper donor recognition.

The Senior External Relations Manager will work closely with the Head External Relations as well as the DNDi Global Fundraising team including across DNDi’s regional offices.


Specific job responsibilities

Secure funding

  • Lead and write the production of persuasive proposals, budgets, and activity plans for institutional or government donors and private donors such as large international foundations
  • Keep informed and act upon potential funding opportunities within the medical research, science and global health landscapes
  • Prospect potential donors
  • Develop and lead engagement plans for assigned donors
  • Develop and execute fundraising advocacy strategies & activities targeting new and current donors
  • Negotiate agreements with donors

Steward donors

  • Write and lead the production and submission of donor reports
  • Write and design donor presentations and communication material for donor-related events or meetings
  • Proactively update donors on DNDi activities
  • Prepare briefing profiles on donors for staff & volunteers
  • Coordinate donor meetings and DNDi staff involved with stewarding donors
  • Organize donor field visits or presentations and ad hoc reports
  • Follow-up on donor funding commitments & draft acknowledgment letters

Administrative tasks

  • Maintain donor files and documentation, including in donor database (Salesforce)
  • Participate in the development of the annual action plan
  • Participate in relevant team meetings

Reporting line

  • S/he reports to the Head of External Affairs


  • S/he works with a number of teams and units in many departments including – External Relations, R&D, Finance & Planning, Legal, Business Development, Procurement, Communications, Advocacy, Operations, and regional offices


Job requirements

Skills and attributes

  • Strong knowledge of the technical aspects of fundraising (ability to develop and implement donor engagement strategies, understanding of donor moves management & donor development continuum methodologies)
  • Strong ability to build lasting relationships between DNDi and donors
  • Strong ability to solicit multi-year commitments at the major gift level (tenacious and able to create a sense of urgency; excellent follow-up with donors)
  • Strong proposal and report writing skills (clear and concise composition skills, ability to articulate a convincing case for support aligned with donor scope of interest, storytelling ability, ability to anticipate donor queries and rebuttals)
  • Strong ability to work effectively as part of a global and multicultural team
  • Well organized and structured
  • Strong management, negotiation, and advocacy skills
  • Ability to lead and motivate project teams to achieve set objectives
  • Clear and systematic thinking that demonstrates good judgment and problem-solving competencies
  • Strong ability to use initiative, prioritize, multi-task, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines


  • Over 8 years’ relevant experience in a senior fundraising role
  • Proven ability to work effectively in a team environment and matrix structure
  • Additional experience of working in one of the following fields: global health, public health, R&D, sciences or humanitarian field and philanthropic sector is desirable


  • Advanced post graduate degree or graduate degree with equivalent in experience to reach Master level. Studies in development, sciences, public health, global health, business administration, or related field

Other requirements

  • Passion for DNDi’s mission (intellectual curiosity and willingness to learn about scientifically complex concepts, understanding of R&D and drug development, diseases, medical field & global health, product development partnership model as well as for the philanthropic & not-for profit sector)
  • Fluency in English with very good oral, writing, and editing skills
  • Proficiency in other languages a plus
  • Very good knowledge of Microsoft Suite


Other information

  • Status: (Full time – Permanent role)  


To apply

  • Deadline for application: Accepting applications until 25 February 2018
  • Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.