Vice President, Business Development & External Relations

Chicago, USA - Full-Time


RefuSHE protects, nurtures, educates, and empowers young refugee women and girls in East Africa through a unique holistic model that provides shelter, education, case management, counseling, child care, legal advocacy, and vocational training. RefuSHE’s holistic program meets the imminent needs of unaccompanied, separated and orphaned refugee girls, young women, and their children.

Founded in 2008, RefuSHE is a U.S. nonprofit with headquarters in Chicago and operations in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the first and only organization dedicated to refugee girls in East Africa. Over the past ten years, RefuSHE has grown to become a leading institution and global thought-leader in the field of refugee protection. Today, RefuSHE is poised for strategic growth and scale. We are looking for someone who has a passion for social change, aspires to use their talent for good, and thrives in fast-pace growth environments.

The Opportunity

RefuSHE is seeking a dynamic and globally fluent business development professional who will work in partnership with RefuSHE’s CEO to propel the organization into its second decade of impact. We are looking for a forward-thinking individual with proven experience in fundraising, business development, and external relations.

Reporting to the CEO, the VP will be responsible for cultivating donor relationships and strategic partnerships. The VP will oversee RefuSHE’s communications and development team and manage the organization’s external relations including business development, communications, and social media.

The VP will be an exemplary fundraiser with demonstrated experience raising unrestricted funds and securing major gifts and grants. The candidate will have experience forging long-term partnerships with both individual philanthropists and institutional foundations. Additionally, the VP should have experience working with bi-lateral and multi-lateral donors such as USAID, World Bank, DFID, and the U.S. State Department.

A creative entrepreneurial self-starter with the ability to manage several projects in a fast-paced environment, the VP will be instrumental in achieving RefuSHE’s aspirational objectives of fulfilling the organization’s mission and further elevating RefuSHE as a leading model of holistic trauma-informed care for refugee young women and girls.



  • Develop and execute the annual fundraising plan with the goal of raising $500,000 in unrestricted major donor gifts and 2 million dollars in grants annually

  • Oversee the development budget and monitor expenses

  • Ensure healthy funding streams to exceed annual budget

  • Lead and oversee donor engagement campaigns

  • Foster close working relationships with all our donors to support them in achieving

    their philanthropic goals and ambitions

  • Generate new ideas to increase revenue and donor loyalty

Business Development

  • Pioneer a corporate giving strategy and manage corporate partnerships, both in the U.S. and Kenya

  • Develop a strategic vision for fundraising and communications

  • Train staff to use storytelling and produce strong communication pieces that inspire diverse audiences

  • Report on program progress to the CEO and U.S. Executive Board of Directors

External Relations

  • Oversee al external messaging and communications, including: grant proposals, grant reporting, newsletters, emails, blogs, website, social media

  • Represent the organization at conferences and events

  • Serve as an Ambassador for RefuSHE

Executive Management and Support

  • Oversee grants, development, and communications staff

  • Serve as the lead Executive in the U.S. office when CEO is away on travel

  • Act as a thought-partner and strategic advisor to the CEO

Candidate Profile

Required and desired experience

  • Prior experience working at a nonprofit required; experience at a global development nonprofit a strong plus

  • 10-15+ years of professional fundraising experience with expertise in major gifts

  • Proven leadership of various aspects of fundraising process including stewarding donors

    and leading staff

  • Track record of success in identification, cultivation, stewardship, and closing of gifts

    from individual major donors and grants from institutional donors

  • Demonstrated experience with nonprofit grant reporting and requirements

  • Working knowledge of Salesforce and web analytics

  • Proactive approach to fundraising with experience conducting research, building out

    new pipelines, and expanding into new and unique markets

  • Strong leadership skills, team player with strong collaboration skills and the ability to

    work effectively with cross functional groups and diverse stakeholders

  • Strong financial management skills

  • Excellent oral and written communications skills; must have excellent public

    presentations skills

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field required; Master’s degree preferred

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends; ability to travel domestically and internationally

salary & benefits

Salary offered is competitive and based on the candidate’s experience and qualifications. The benefits package offers medical and dental healthcare coverage, and an employer-matched retirement plan. Professional development opportunities are available.


To express your interest in this role please submit your resume and cover letter to RefuSHE’s Chief of Staff Ariana Erickson aerickson (a)

RefuSHE is an equal opportunity employer and strongly applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ applicants.