Business Development Specialist II, Ghana & Liberia

CRS - Catholic Relief Services

Tamale, Ghana

The Business Development Specialist will operate as a member of both CRS’ West Africa team and CRS’ global BD community, providing direct support to strategic growth opportunities as well as helping to strengthen BD-related systems, processes, relationships and staff capacities in Ghana and Liberia.

This is an exciting and dynamic post for an experienced Business Development professional with the drive to represent and lead CRS programming transformation and growth.

Primary Function

The BD Specialist will maintain CRS’ competitive positioning for and pursuit of institutional donor resources, with an emphasis on competitive funding mechanisms, through representation and leadership in both countries. He/she will define, monitor and update the business pipeline and ensure that CRS is best positioned to pursue relevant opportunities. With a core function of identifying opportunities and leading the production of high quality applications for donor funding, this position will provide specialized assistance across the BD cycle:

  • Providing guidance and leadership for strategic growth planning;
  • Leveraging CRS’ competitive position and program results to attract new funding;
  • Managing functional teams to identify and capture funding opportunities;
  • Incorporating best practices into growth-related business processes and proposals;
  • Building relationships with current and prospective donors;
  • Developing/managing strategic alliances and/or coalitions with other organizations;
  • Monitoring donor trends, including corporate and other non-traditional sources.

The BD Specialist will train and mentor staff to improve their skills in proposal development, representation to donor and partner organizations, intelligence-gathering, and marketing, including the production of well-developed, polished English marketing materials for external donors. He/she will support CRS with marketing events, communication pieces for stakeholders in coordination with the CR, HOPs and Program Managers, to enhance visibility and serve external information needs.

Other roles include: working closely with the Regional BD Manager and other BD colleagues around the region on planning, intelligence gathering, sharing lessons learned, and pursuing opportunities; ensuring that high-quality studies, research components, and documenting of innovations are completed and presented to donors and other interested audiences; ensuring reports and responses to donors are of high quality, in the correct format and responding to donor requirements; and managing the project development budget.

Job Responsibilities


  • Develop and maintain key relationships with donors, collaborating organizations, and private sector actors with an eye toward opportunity identification, shared value creation, strategic alliance formation, and global brand positioning;
  • Research, analyze and plan for new funding opportunities, competitive intelligence, and CRS’ competitive positioning on a continuous basis within the marketplace in a timely manner. Support effective internal communication and information management processes to ensure access and use of BD information by relevant stakeholders within the agency, including maintaining an up-to-date opportunities matrix;
  • Work with the Regional BDM, CRs, and HOPs to identify international partners and negotiate CRS’ role on proposal consortia, ensuring a competitive position for CRS that adheres to the agency’s partnership principles and strategic directions;
  • Foster a culture of business development within the country program by contributing to the development and dissemination of standardized BD materials (learning resources, guidelines, tools and templates, and online information) and build capacity of country program staff on their application, through staff mentorship, modeling of good practices, and training;
  • Lead the country programs’ functional teams to develop appropriate and effective fundraising and positioning strategies involving donor research and intelligence, product development, marketing, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship, as needed;
  • Lead the country programs’ opportunity pipeline tracking and analysis, including portfolio trends, proposal submissions and performance, and growth projections.

Capture Planning and Proposal and Concept Note Development

  • Provide BD skill and capacity to guide and/or lead teams in opportunity analysis, capture planning, proposal preparation (includes proposal development budget, human resource needs, proposal development timeline, coordination with the Region and HQ, partner management, etc.), proposal development, proposal review, and after action review;
  • Lead the country teams to manage proposal processes, often as the Proposal Coordinator or Lead Writer, to ensure timely submission of high quality proposals that are responsive to and compliant with donor requirements and with CRS technical application and cost application standards. This includes coordinating review timelines with Regional and Headquarters’-based staff, support personnel recruitment, budget development, non-technical proposal writing, and/or editing/packaging as part of proposal team;
  • Provide internal reviews of technical and cost applications prepared by other staff, reviewing for clarity, responsiveness, presentation, and compliance, in coordination with the HOP and Finance Officer.

Documentation of results, reporting and marketing

  • Work with relevant staff to leverage CRS’ programmatic and operational results for marketing, positioning, and direct fundraising purposes, including maintaining data on past performance and agency capacity, publications and dissemination, and donor visits;
  • Participate in quarterly program reviews and evaluations to ensure systematic documentation of program best practices and lessons learned by program staff, maintain a centralized system with access by all staff and disseminate as appropriate;
  • Conceptualize and oversee the production of appropriate marketing materials for the CRS portfolio in collaboration with programming and administrative staff. This is likely to include the Annual Report for local Bishops and other interested parties, project fact sheets, sectoral and/or geographic focus brochures, past performance documentation, and others;
  • In collaboration with the Heads of Programs, establish effective systems to ensure timely reporting to donors, support other program staff in understanding funder requirements and ensure reports themselves are in the correct format, and edit sections of reports as needed.

Shared services

  • Provide specialized expertise in select areas of the BD cycle, priority program sectors and funding sources, and/or relevant cross-cutting skill sets, as a member of CRS’ global pool of BD talent. Contribute effectively to global strategic initiatives through a shared services structure.

Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)

These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results:

  • Serves with integrity;
  • Models stewardship;
  • Cultivates constructive relationships;
  • Promotes learning.

Key Working Relationships

Internal: Ghana and Liberia Country Representatives, Heads of Programs, Finance Managers; Regional Business Development Manager; Regional Technical Advisors in MEAL, Agriculture, WASH, and Health; Regional Program Quality Director; HQ based Business Development, Marketing and Communications, Overseas Finance, and Private Fundraising staff.

External: Donor agencies; government ministries; Church partners; UN Agencies; private sector entities; partner representatives and local/international NGO offices; and other stakeholders as appropriate.

Personal Skills

  • Experience and proven track record of successful proposal development with USG and other donor agencies;
  • Strong analytical and information management skills;
  • Excellent oral and written communication in English;
  • Self-motivated, with strong interpersonal, networking, and representation skills;
  • Strong team leadership, process facilitation, and time management skills;
  • Service-oriented attitude and approach;
  • Commitment to working successfully within a geographically dispersed, cross-disciplinary team structure.

Qualifications and Experience Required

  • Master's degree in business management, international development, or related field;
  • Minimum five years international development;
  • Development experience, including at least three years of work in a developing country;
  • Significant experience developing successful proposals required; comprehensive experience with USAID technical and cost applications highly desirable;
  • Experience pursuing USAID RFPs, non-USG funding mechanisms, and opportunities to create shared value cross-sector, e.g. in public-private partnerships highly desirable;
  • Demonstrated experience utilizing diverse, proactive strategies to competitively position his/her organization for new funding and productive institutional relationships;
  • Demonstrated experience leading teams and managing people and processes to produce complex proposals under tight deadlines and at exceptional quality;
  • Experience building the capacity of, and providing effective technical assistance and guidance to, peers and colleagues required; knowledge of instructional design, and adult learning principles and/or direct training experience;
  • Experience with Salesforce or other CRM software, highly desirable;
  • Experience with CRS programming approaches, standards and tools preferred;
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication and negotiation skills;
  • Strong computer skills: Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint; Microsoft Publisher preferred;
  • English Fluency required.

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