Posted On: 2020-01-09
Closing On: 2020-01-23
Location: Toronto Canada/ Washington USA
Effective: 01 March 2020
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management
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Job Description

Title: Partnership & Philanthropy Officer



Location:                        Washington DC, USA OR Toronto, CANADA

Duration:                        01 March 2020 – 31 December 2020

Organizational Grade:    NOA

Application deadline:     23 January 2020

Contract Type:               UNOPS International Specialist, Level IICA 2


General Background

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is advertising for a Partnership & Philanthropy Officer position within the Private Sector Partnerships Service, Americas.


UNHCR is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Every year, millions of men, women and children are forced to flee their homes to escape conflict and persecution. We are in over 125 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions. UNHCR is almost entirely funded by voluntary contributions from governments and private donors.


Purpose and Scope of Assignment

With displacement crises reaching unprecedented levels and causing significant surges in funding needs, UNHCR has been developing new sources of funding, including Faith-based Philanthropy. UNHCR’s Private Sector Partnerships Division (PSP) has been successfully developing Islamic Philanthropy (IP), in particular Zakat (obligatory annual alms) and Sadaqah (voluntary contributions) and has developed a global long-term IP strategy.

Given the annual growth of Islamic philanthropic income for UNHCR in the MENA region, PSP is looking to expand this experience across the Americas region. For the purpose, PSP is looking to develop local expertise to build on the success of UNHCR’s Refugee Zakat Fund, scope the local landscape and pave the way to expand this initiative to key countries in the region.

Reporting to the Senior PSP Officer (Americas) and working closely with the PSP teams in the Americas and MENA regions, the Partnership & Philanthropy Officer will develop and implement a comprehensive Islamic Philanthropy plan for the Americas region and manage relations with a diverse array of internal and external stakeholders with the main aim of increasing levels of faith-based funds received by UNHCR.

With the incumbent in place, the region will manage and cultivate an aggregated pipeline of prospect donors (major donors, HNWIs, Islamic financial institutions, foundations) and increase funding received through IP. 

Duties and responsibilities

  • In consultation with relevant internal stakeholders, design and implement the IP strategic and implementation plan for the Americas region as it relates to this channel of fundraising. This plan will build on UNHCR’s IP strategy to drive growth and partnerships in the Americas, and must identify key IP approaches and market opportunities, and include a stakeholder map;
  • In line with the IP strategy, identify key stakeholders/ players that UNHCR needs to engage with on sustainable basis to advance the dedication of Zakat by individuals and other private sector partners in the Americas region for eligible refugees. Additionally, research and develop sources of funds from individual prospects to increase levels of funding while focusing on implementing the IP plan;
  • Establish contact with leading philanthropists, scholars and Islamic financial institutions in the Americas region, with the aim to collaborate for the promotion and receipt of multi-year funds, primarily Zakat and Sadaqah, towards UNHCR's programmes for refugees and IDPs;
  • Prepare cultivation plans for key prospects and donors. This entails direct management of donors, following up with other relationship managers on meeting outcomes and due tasks, and attending meetings with relevant prospects. Maintain a predictable level of service and value for the donor to ensure a stable level of contributions;
  • Provide a comprehensive monthly report on pipeline/ cultivation progress including recommendations and status alerts on cultivation plans;
  • Support and promote the credibility of UNHCR and the Refugee Zakat Fund among IP supporters in the region, including major donors, partners, HNWIs, investors, financial institutions, and Islamic Institutions such as Zakat and Waqf houses;
  • Ensure that regular proposals and reports on optimum and compliant utilization of Islamic funds received by UNHCR are drafted, submitted and published in a professional and timely manner;
  • Communicate updated Zakat reports on existing campaigns and prospective new projects to internal and external stakeholders, as deemed necessary;
  • Assist in the preparation of reports and presentations and oversee the centralization of all project information related to Zakat, including, presentation materials, agreements, due diligence reports and other documentation;
  • Perform other related duties and travel as required.


Monitoring and Progress Controls

  • Put in place a comprehensive IP implementation plan for the Americas region.
  • Create an expanding pipeline of prospects and stakeholders.
  • Sign agreements with relevant stakeholders/ prospects, and secure sizable Zakat/Sadaqah contributions.
  • Meet or exceed agreed IP fundraising targets.


Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will possess the qualifications and experience listed below:

  1. Education
  • University degree in business/marketing, social sciences, economics or a related discipline.
  1. Work experience
  • Minimum 6 years of experience (5 years for Master’s degree holders) in fundraising, and/or partnerships and/or in management of relationships with donors and/or external partners (High Net Worth Individuals, foundations, corporates etc), with exposure to an international environment and/or with humanitarian organizations;
  • Proven expertise in Islamic philanthropy and/ or Islamic finance;
  • Experience in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies and techniques, with private sector donors particularly in the area of major donors/HNWIs fundraising techniques;
  • Demonstrated record of success in generating significant funding commitments from private sector donors;
  • Demonstrated ability to develop reporting and communication materials at appropriate levels for varied partnership development;
  • Experience of effective communication for various audiences, including towards foundations and private sector actors, providing compelling cases for support, presentations, proposals and reports;
  • Experience in project management and obtaining financial support for projects with knowledge of key techniques and areas of fundraising, with a proven track record of successfully implementing plans requiring expert knowledge at times.
  1. Key competencies
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills with a well-informed approach to problem-solving and decision-making;
  • Ability to focus and thrive in a highly dynamic and fast-paced work environment;
  • Excellent organizational, interpersonal and networking skills with large groups as well as with individuals;
  • Demonstrated ability to take primary responsibility for projects and to complete them in a timely manner;
  • Ability to build effective relationships with prospective donors and internal staff;
  • Ability to explain complex issues to external donors and present the organization and its diverse operations in an appealing and concise manner;
  • Ability to use contact management database and to present and interpret data for monitoring purposes;
  • Intermediate computer skills, using Microsoft products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook), G-Suite (Google products), internet and experience of Salesforce CRM system preferred;
  • Proven skills in writing, translation and communication and presentation skills.‚Äč


  1. Languages
  • Fluency in English;
  • Fluency in Arabic is a plus.
  1. Eligibility

Applicants to this vacancy should meet the following eligibility criteria: personnel under an internationally issued UNOPS Individual Contractor Agreement (ICA) perform specialist, expert or advisory functions outside their home country or place of residence. Consequently, those holding any national or local contract with the UN (e.g. GS/LICA/local contractor/local consultant etc.), are not eligible to apply to this international vacancy announcement in the same country they were hired, irrespective of their nationality.

To apply for this position, please fill in the UN Personal History/Supplementary forms, found on our website and send those forms along with your application to  Please indicate “CANTO/PSP/VN/001— “Partnerships & Philanthropy Officer” in the subject line.

Closing date for the receipt of applications: 23rd January 2020 Midnight (Copenhagen time)

Vacancy Notice issued: 8th Jan 2020

The UNHCR workforce consists of many diverse nationalities, cultures, languages and opinions. UNHCR seeks to sustain and strengthen this diversity to ensure equal opportunities as well as an inclusive working environment for its entire workforce. Applications are encouraged from all qualified candidates without distinction on grounds of race, colour, sex, national origin, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.