Aug 19, 2022

Senior Director of External Affairs

  • On-Ramps
  • Remote
Full-Time Fundraising/Development

Job Description


MADRE is an international women's human rights organization and feminist fund that partners with community-based women's groups in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East who face war and disaster. MADRE works towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; resources are shared equitably and sustainably; women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and people have a meaningful say in decisions that affect their lives. MADRE offers a comprehensive model of support to our grassroots partners using three interconnected strategies—grantmaking, organizational strengthening, and legal advocacy—to meet urgent needs and create opportunities for women and girls in marginalized communities to assert their agency and voice.

Using these strategies, MADRE provides long-term and flexible financial and direct service support to community-based women's and girls' groups who are largely under the radar of traditional philanthropy and/or where conflict or disaster have rendered them difficult to fund and challenging to reach. We work at the intersection of three program areas—Ending Gender Violence, Advancing Climate Justice, and Building a Just Peace—and across five priority communities who are disproportionately marginalized: young women and girls, Indigenous women, Afro-descendant women, LGBTIQ people, and people with disabilities.

The first grant maker to hundreds of organizations, in MADRE's nearly 40-year history, we have disbursed over $56 million in grants and in-kind support to organizations across the globe.

Learn more about MADRE's work at:


MADRE has gone through a period of significant growth in programming, staffing, revenue, and visibility with a current budget of $15 million and a team of 40, more than tripling in size in the past five years. To lead us through the next stage of development and growth; harness the momentum in interest and external support for the organization; and drive strategies that continue to increase the organization's revenue, visibility, and reputation as a leader in international human rights and feminist movements, MADRE is seeking a Senior Director of External Affairs.

Until recently, MADRE's Development and Communications teams have been under separate leadership, while always closely collaborating to reach shared audiences--activists, donors, potential donors, and the public at large, many of whom are one and the same. As we prioritize our organizational visibility strategy, invest in various platforms that deepen and broaden our many constituencies' experiences of being MADRE supporters, and further integrate the work of both the Development and Communications teams, we are now fully linking both departments focused on our external stakeholders through shared leadership. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Senior Director of External Affairs provides executive-level strategic direction and coherence between MADRE's development and communications strategies. The Senior Director brings an understanding of and experience with all areas of development and communications, including individual, major, foundation, government, and corporate giving; brand strategy and management; and a range of online and written communications strategies that build audiences, deepen engagement, and shift narratives and perspectives.

In partnership with three teams led by Associate Directors of Institutional Giving, Individual Giving, and Communications and Marketing, the Senior Director is responsible for creating, implementing, and evaluating MADRE's development, communications and marketing strategies that increase the organization's revenue, uplift the voices and perspectives of grassroots women and girls and their organizations worldwide, and advance core messages key to our vision of global gender justice.

The Senior Director of External Affairs will provide dedicated mentorship, coaching, and supervision to MADRE's Development and Communications and Marketing teams; serve as an integral part of the senior leadership team; and be a key driver in helping MADRE achieve its visibility, audience engagement, and revenue growth goals.

The ideal candidate is thoughtful, caring, strategic, bold, creative, organized, collaborative, flexible, and effective. The individual should have outstanding interpersonal skills, and effectively deal with a wide range of individuals and groups, including board members, international partners, and colleagues while demonstrating warmth, integrity, and professionalism. The individual must have superb written and oral communication skills, be a strong editor, have immaculate attention to detail, and be focused on achieving results.

Responsibilities include but are not limited:

External Affairs Vision and Strategy

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic external affairs plan to advance MADRE's identity that will allow MADRE's leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted external audiences, including donors, potential donors, a range of other MADRE supporters, the media and key influencers
  • Develop and execute MADRE's overall development, communications, and marketing strategy to meet short-term and long-term fundraising and engagement goals
  • Direct innovative high-level fundraising efforts that enable the organization to raise significant funds from new and existing donors
  • Further the organization's efforts to reach and engage new audiences, enhancing the organization's public education initiatives
  • Grow MADRE's donor cultivation and stewardship efforts, including individual donors of all sizes, foundations, corporate partnerships, and government relations
  • With a goal of expanding MADRE's audiences, help lead the organization's integrated marketing and communications strategy which includes digital marketing, strategic partnerships, speaking engagements, and expansion of information systems

Strategic Partnerships

  • Identify and serve as lead point of contact on current and potential strategic partnerships to increase revenue and engagement in MADRE
  • Represent MADRE, as appropriate, with external stakeholders, including meetings, conferences and convenings, speaking engagements, and other opportunities
  • Secure financial support from, and develop strategic relationships with MADRE donors, including foundations and corporations
  • Identify new funding opportunities and donor prospects, developing a pipeline of potential funders and ensuring continued systematic cultivation and stewardship
  • Partner with the Executive Director to manage relationships with board members and promote a culture of philanthropy on the board
  • Support board members with their fundraising roles and responsibilities S+ taff board Development and Visibility Committee

Leadership and Team Development

  • Provide proactive leadership, direction, and professional expertise in all areas of development, communications, and marketing
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality
  • Mentor and develop staff on a range of topics including people management and leadership, using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis
  • Establish and monitor direct reports' performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, and conduct annual performance appraisals
  • Play a strong leadership role integrating development and communications, marketing, and information systems considerations and efforts into all areas of the organization
  • Demonstrate a commitment to a culture of belonging within the organization that values all individuals and respects differences with regard to race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and socio-economic circumstance
  • Advocate for employee interests and nurture creative, people-centered ideas and causes

Hiring Organization



  • Bachelor's degree and/or advanced degree in a related field; however, education does not take the place of robust/relevant work experience
  • Minimum of 12 years senior-level external relations and development experience; marketing and communications experience preferred
  • Background in individual giving required and institutional development preferred; must have a proven fundraising record, and capacity to formulate both traditional and entrepreneurial development strategies
  • Successful record of achievement soliciting major gifts, securing multi-year grants, and building and cultivating relationships; proven ability to raise an annual budget on par with MADRE's ($15M)
  • Demonstrated ability to direct and execute effective strategies and tactics for marketing and communications and information systems
  • Experience working successfully and collaboratively with a variety of stakeholders (e.g. board members, volunteers, senior management, and colleagues across all teams)
  • Demonstrated ability to select, train, motivate, and inspire staff, while holding them accountable for their performance
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal, and written communications skills – ability to build consensus across internal and external constituents, listen well, and empathize with others
  • Energetic and enthusiastic leader, comfortable with both the creative elements and technical components of the role; experience in developing and managing budgets
  • Strong leadership presence with the proven ability to influence and drive change with senior leaders in a scaling organization, aligning the people strategy with organizational goals and growth; openness to a range of viewpoints and an ability to engage with tough questions in a thoughtful manner
  • Highly organized strategic thinker with significant experience working across departments and/or divisions at a mid-size, complex organization
  • Excitement for or expertise in the content of MADRE's work and familiarity with feminist funds and the International Women's Human Rights movement and its allies

This role requires eligibility to work in the United States. While this job may be remote anywhere in the United States, it will require occasional in-person meetings at MADRE's headquarters in New York City. International and domestic travel up to 10 days a year may be required when the pandemic subsides.

Industry/Service Area

Advocacy/Social Action




$150,000. We're proud to offer our employees an exceptional benefits package that is robust, inclusive, and progressive. Our comprehensive benefits package, includes but is not limited to:

  • Medical Insurance - Employee and dependent coverage paid 100% by MADRE
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Retirement Plan
  • Employee Assistance
  • Flexible Work Options
  • Generous Leave Policies (incl. Vacation, Sick, Holiday Leave, and Parental Leave)

Application Instructions


MADRE is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer, and is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTIQ people, veterans and women are all especially encouraged to apply. We take pride in our pluralistic community and continue to seek excellence through diversity and inclusion.

Studies have shown that women, nonbinary folks, and People of Color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. MADRE is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization and we are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job. That candidate may be one who comes from a background less traditional to our field of work, and that's okay. We would strongly encourage applications, even if every one of the qualifications described are not met.

Like MADRE, On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're partnering with the team at MADRE to build a diverse team that is reflective of the community MADRE serves. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.

On-Ramps is committed to the inclusion of all qualified individuals in the hiring process, including but not limited to those with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation(s) to participate in the application or interview process, please contact

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