Head of the Philanthropy Unit

NGO Jobs / UN Jobs Vacancy

Country: Switzerland
Organization: Médecins Sans Frontières en Suisse
Closing date: 28 Feb 2021


As part of the current fundraising strategy, MSF Switzerland is increasing its financial support from philanthropy by developing the engagement of different major donor targets (individual major donors, companies, foundations, municipalities, bequests and legacies). The Philanthropy unit is one of the three units of the "Fundraising team" within the Communication and Fundraising department of MSF Switzerland. The Head of the Philanthropy Unit reports to the Deputy Director of Fundraising. As Head, you will supervise, coordinate and provide technical support for the daily work of the team composed of 13 salaried staff (5 in Geneva, 7 in Zurich and 1 in Lugano), including 3 coordinators, as well as interns and volunteers.

Your tasks

Elaboration of the overall strategy and the approach strategy for the different targets of major donors (individual major donors, companies, foundations, municipalities, bequests and legacies).

  • Within the scope of the MSF CH fundraising strategy, work alongside the Deputy Director of Fundraising and involve the Philanthropy team in the development of the fundraising strategy for the different major donor targets.
  • Define the overall objectives of fundraising from major donors: develop and coordinate actions to achieve the objectives defined in the plan of action in the short, medium and long term.
  • Define the means to be implemented to facilitate the approach and contact with major donors. Guiding the team in drawing up the annual action plan and forecasting expected annual income and expenditure budgets and ensuring budget monitoring.
  • Mobilise internal support and resources: involve the general management, the board, mobilise field actors (heads of project, programme managers, etc.) around fund-raising projects.
  • Ensure the monitoring of results and identify risks and actions needed to mitigate the impact on revenues.

Identification, qualification and development of major donors by target group (individual major donors, companies, foundations, municipalities, bequests and legacies).

  • Guide the team in identifying and qualifying major donors: define major donor targets according to affinities and proximity to MSF's social mission, define the potential of major donors by using all the necessary data (database, magazines, web sources, articles, etc.).
  • Participate in the creation and implementation of requests/proposals for support adapted to major donors to secure their commitment: definition of objectives and action plans.
  • Manage a portfolio of major donors (implementation of prospection and cultivation activities) with an emphasis on personalised relationships (1 to 1) in order to ensure long-term support from major donors.

Management of the Philanthropy Unit Team

  • Support the team's work through strategic and methodological inputs, encouraging and supporting innovations within the overall fundraising strategy.
  • Organise and optimise the team's work by improving processes and procedures.
  • Identify, propose and ensure the implementation of tools to improve the efficiency of the team's work.
  • Guide, advise and supervise team members in the implementation of their action plans.
  • Define the human resources (salaried employees, trainees, volunteers) and training needs necessary for the successful implementation of activities.
  • Propose synergies between members in Zurich, Geneva and Lugano. Encourage fund-raising good practices; enable transversal projects; facilitate internal meetings and promote exchanges and communication within the Philanthropy unit.
  • Manage the different aspects of human resources management: recruitment, annual appraisal interviews, relations with the human resources department. Contribute to the development of team members' skills by supporting, informing and training them, as necessary, and giving them the autonomy required to encourage innovation.
  • Represent the Philanthropy unit internally and externally.

Stay informed to innovate

  • Keep up to date with fund-raising innovative approaches and results of other organisations.
  • Keep abreast of new fundraising techniques in relation to the different targets of major donors so to be able to inject innovation. Propose and implement the most relevant ones.
  • Actively participate in the international platforms of the MSF movement.
  • Stay informed about MSF projects in the field.

Education and experience

  • University education or other advanced studies in the fields of marketing, communication or international relations.
  • MBA with a specialisation in marketing is an asset.
  • Multi-year experience in fundraising.
  • Experience in an activity directly related to Major Donors or equivalent.
  • Significant experience in coordination, management and team building, with an emphasis on delegation, autonomy and team building.


  • Ability to manage a team, with sensitivity to cultural differences.
  • Ability to analyse and be proactive.
  • Very good knowledge of the Swiss economic and philanthropic world.
  • Knowledge of databases and CRM.
  • Ability to plan and organise on a long-term basis.
  • Excellent command of written and spoken French and English or excellent command of written and spoken German and English.
  • Italian is a strong asset.

Personal skills

  • Reactivity, empathy and availability in order to anticipate, understand and meet donors' expectations throughout their relationship with MSF.
  • Sensitivity and genuine interest to MSF's mission and humanitarian issues.
  • Persuasive and negotiating skills focused on the donor's needs.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, a positive attitude and the ability to pass on knowledge with enthusiasm.
  • Ability and willingness to invest in team members’ development. Support them to improve their skills.
  • Strategic approach, ability to gather and analyse information, problem solving and decision making.
  • Rigour, transparency and a human approach to people management.
  • Flexibility.

Terms and conditions of employment

How to apply:

  • 100% open-ended contract
  • Based in Geneva or Zurich
  • Ideal start date: March-April 2021.
  • Availability for field visits.
  • 100% gross annual salary: from CHF 115’068.- to CHF 129’108.- (depending on equivalent experience and internal salary scale). TBC

How to apply

Applications (CV 2 pages max - cover letter 1 page max - French or English - max 5MB) Closing date for appolication is 28th February 2021,


Applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.


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