Open position with Giving Back to Africa: Fund Development Director

Primary ResponsibilitiesFund Development Director, Giving Back to Africa


The Fund Development Director is accountable for the development and successful execution of a fund development strategy that ensures the ongoing continuity and long-term growth of Giving Back to Africa’s objectives and mission. This will be accomplished through fulfilling responsibilities in the areas of strategic fund development, marketing, and communications.

1.   Fund Development, Marketing, and External Communications

  • Creates and successfully implements a strategic fund development plan
  • Develops and updates marketing materials, including a dynamic website and social media presence, and coordinates with Administrative Director to produce materials and updates
  • Understands programming and curriculum, current project and progress, and impact to community in order to effectively “tell story” via presentations, cultivation of prospective donors, print and visual media, etc.
  • Builds a network of contacts among larger, influential organizations nationally and/or globally
  • Ensures continuity of funding throughout the fiscal year
  • Analyzes and updates database with prospecting information
  • Identifies opportunities to speak at various venues, conferences, and other events that present opportunities for marketing, fund development, programming, and/or “brand” recognition
  • Assists with the planning, organization, marketing, procurement, and agenda for special events, including 1-2 large fundraisers per year
  • Builds relationships with sponsors

 2. Administration and Financial Responsibilities

  • Ensures clarity and compliance on donations related to any restrictions assigned
  • Coordinates activities of interns and volunteers focused on fund development
  • Proactively identifies and communicates any funding event or changes that may cause variances to financial situation of the organization.
  • Works with administrative director and treasurer to forecast cash flows based on the identification and timing of incoming funding
  • Communicates regularly with the Board President

 Skills and Competencies

For success in the Fund Development role, the incumbent will rely on the following:

  • Ability to effectively and inspirationally articulate and communicate Giving Back to Africa’s “story” - mission, approach, fundamental beliefs, values, and successes
  • Experience in fund development
  • Relationship development and management
  • Understands psychology of giving, motivations/incentives for giving
  • Proven success with solicitation and fundraising strategies and techniques
  • Analytical and data management skills
  • Marketing knowledge and skills
  • Organizational agility
  • Strong stand-up presentation skills
  • Drive for results
  • Perseverance
  • Personal integrity and professional conduct
  • Online and computer technical skills

Flexible hours, approximately half-time, some telecommuting allowed

Salary: Consultant/Contractor basis at $17,000-$19,000 annually

Application Instructions:

Please send a resume, cover letter, and references to Michael Shermis, Giving Back to Africa Consultant (shermism@storyinsights.com) by end of day November 6, 2013.


If you are interested in this position, please send a resume, cover letter, and references to Michael Shermis, Giving Back to Africa Consultant (shermism@storyinsights.com) by end of day November 6, 2013.


Open position with Giving Back to Africa: Administrative Director

Primary Responsibilities

Administrative Director,

Giving Back to Africa



The Administrative Director is accountable for ensuring the ongoing continuity of operations and curriculum delivery both in the U.S. and in the DRC through fulfilling responsibilities in the areas of administration, management of resources, financial reporting and compliance, and internal and external communications and marketing.

1.      Administration

  • Manages all activities of interns and volunteers, including assigning responsibilities and providing feedback and references, as needed
  • Creates role descriptions and sets expectations and objectives for any additional staff, paid or unpaid, including interns and volunteers
  • Builds and maintains tracking sheet of all systems in use, with passwords, that is accessible by no less than one board member
  • Procures facilities, materials, etc for DRC-based operations and staff, as needed

2.      Financial Reporting and Compliance

  • Monitors all incoming funds and sources, including any restrictions assigned, and all outgoing payments, including quarterly DRC transfers
  • Possesses working knowledge of the annual budget as demonstrated by decisions he/she makes re: prioritization and utilization of GBA resources
  • Informs board of any communications and/or concerns expressed by the DRC-based staff and/or PAID re: changes that may affect our functional partnerships and relationships
  • Works with Fund Development to forecast cash flows based on the identification and timing of incoming funding

3.      Resource Management and Internal Communications

  • Proactively identifies and communicates to Board President when role responsibilities are at risk due to competing priorities and/or unexpected barriers; receives approval to shift priorities when such shift jeopardizes completion of other AD responsibilities
  • Recruits volunteers, interns, and organizations who may provide such
  • Ensures volunteers’ and interns’ objectives are clearly defined and shared with board to ensure alignment and agreement on GBA priorities.  Develop success measures and provide progress reports
  • Develops forum, format, and cadence for ongoing communications with board and committees as needed between board meetings
  • Regularly communicates with and is available to DRC-based staff to ensure all needs are met, including resources, materials, funding levels, etc.
  • Acts as primary point of contact between PAID and Giving Back to Africa, resolving any issues, directing funding, developing solutions, etc.

4.      Communications and Marketing

  • Supports fund development director in creation and dissemination of marketing materials, including print, visual media, and updates of website and social media, etc.
  • Follows up on GBA curriculum, results, outcomes, events, etc., as well as other related stories to create a message, determine medium in which to present it, and “publish” in a timely and relevant manner
  • Maintains relationships with university and university associations and organizations to encourage and facilitate volunteer and internship opportunities

Skills and Competencies

For success in the Administrative Director role, the incumbent will rely on the following:


  • Ability to effectively and inspirationally articulate and communicate Giving Back to Africa’s “story” - mission, approach, fundamental beliefs, values, and successes
  • Relationship development and management
  • Organizational agility
  • Presentation skills
  • Time management and self management
  • Project management
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity
  • Drive for results
  • Perseverance
  • Personal integrity and highest professional conduct standards
  • Online and computer technical skills


  • Have a working understanding of the culture, systems (governing and educational), demographics, strengths, and opportunities of the DRC
  • Strong understanding of and experience in how NGO’s and/or non-profits work, including governance, funding, restrictions, organizational structures, etc.
  • Strong interest and/or experience in experiential education curriculum
  • Budget administration; business and financial acumen and literacy
  • Comfort with fund development

Flexible hours, approximately half-time, some telecommuting allowed

Salary: Consultant/Contractor basis at $17,000-$19,000 annually


Application Instructions:

Please send a resume, cover letter, and references to Michael Shermis, Giving Back to Africa Consultant (shermism@storyinsights.com) by end of day November 6, 2013.


If you are interested in this position, please send a resume, cover letter, and references to Michael Shermis, Giving Back to Africa Consultant (shermism@storyinsights.com) by end of day November 6, 2013.


Adding arrows to our quiver

Since last September, the Giving Back to Africa board of directors have been busy developing plans to grow and restructure the board. Strengthening the US-based group is important to better serve the needs in the Democratic Republic of Congo. “I believe this is among the most critical work we can do right now,” Executive Director Michael Valliant said. “Working through this strategy will help take us to the next level.”

The five-step plan includes recruiting new board and committee members to increase the capacity of the entire organization. The plan has led to the addition of two board members thus far.

Barbara Soria received a master’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University and a bachelor of arts degree from Purdue University. Barbara joined Capital Group Companies in 2008 and is currently in charge of Human Resources for the offices in Indianapolis, IN and Norfolk, VA.

Her role is focused on driving the leadership agenda around talent management and development, long-term forecasting, associate engagement, and diversity and inclusion. Barbara is also involved with volunteer work with several organizations, such as Junior Achievement of Central Indiana, for which she serves on the board.

jill-hundley-keeferThe second addition is Jill Hundley-Keefer. Jill has a formal education in journalism and teaching. She worked as a news reporter and teacher early in her career before transitioning to building online communities for hi-tech industries in Silicon Valley. Jill has spent the last seven years managing online communities and blogs for global companies such as Cisco Systems, Autodesk and Brocade Communications.

Jill also leads the enterprise social media governance model and marketing outreach programs. Her expertise has been used for partnership collaboration, thought leadership generation and dissemination, customer support, enterprise communities of practice, and non-profit organizing.

Theatre of Waste, Performing a Clean Future

Student perform a skit teaching collection and sorting of waste For Saturday, May 18 the school grounds of Centre Salisa school became a stage.  Surrounded by their families, teachers, peers and special guests, theatre in the round-style, students performed lessons to educate about the managing waste.

Students drew creative energy for their performances by talking with waste management professionals, viewing bodily waste samples under a medical clinic microscope and from neighborhood walks where they evaluated the impact of waste firsthand.  These inspirations prompted the students to clean their classrooms on a daily basis, arriving at school before even their teachers to clean.

Mr Pierre and M. Fifi, Rotary Club-Gombe, applaud student performances on waste

Songs, skits and poems teach in fun, accessible ways the need to keep the environment clean to prevent diseases and erosion by collecting waste and disposing of it properly, reusing or composting.  Students entreated attendees, and parents in particular, to work together and support each other to minimize the dangers of waste by good management.

Special guests watched with pleasure and support as the students demonstrated their learning.  Representatives from UNICEF, World Vision,  and Rotary joined the Assistant Mayor of Mpasa II, Nsele City, the  Police chief of the National Intelligence Agency, President of the National Association of DRC Parents and Water and Sanitation Coordinator and Manager of  Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicales Kasangulu.

"What the children said here only means that we parents have not made an effort to manage a healthy environment, which causes high rates of mortality and morbidity. We must not limit ourselves here but must bring these lessons to the community." 

--Mr Dueme, Water and Sanitation Coordinator and Manager of  Institut Supérieur des Techniques Médicales, Kasangulu

Students are looking ahead to turning their performances them into action.  All the learning about waste leads to student driven Community Service Actions, community service projects targeting public education of the disposal, re-use, and long term health aspects of waste management practices.

Arrival and already working hard in Congo

Michael Valliant, executive director of Giving Back to Africa, and Linnea Stifler, a member of the board and the program committee which designs the youth leadership curriculum, are in Congo through the month of October.  They are working with Centre Salisa staff and students to identify and design the next leadership curricular modules, re-establish partnerships and make new ones, and train teachers in new student centered teaching methods that are student centered and more conducive to the kind of critical thinking and inquiry necessary to develop leadership skills. 

This is the first post from their trip.

Two days.  We are here only two days which feel like a week.  In those two days we have already met and received the continued blessing of the Comite de Gestion at the Protestant University of Congo, had a first meeting  with Jackson and Rodin and visited Centre Salisa - PAID with them for further talks which included Mama Mado and Willy.  (FYI: Jackson is the founder and president of Centre Salisa-PAID. Rodin is executive director.  Mama Mado is a teacher who now also works administering the school and Willy is the principle of the school.)

Prof. Mampunza, Academic Secretary of the Protestant University of Congo, welcomed us on campus and heard our update on work with youth leaders.  He offered all the services of the university and more, telling us to call if we need anything.  He also expressed an interest in visiting the school, an interest we will attempt to fulfill next Monday or after the 20th.  Prof. Mampunza thanked us for our work and combining heart and head.  He will identify professors at UPC who could begin longitudinal research on our work.

Our meetings with Jackson, Rodin, Willy and Mama Mado could not be more encouraging.  Jerry, program manager for Giving Back to Africa, has prepared our meetings in the best way possible, arranging times and preparing each of us for these first processes.  Both Linnea and I feel very positive about the interactions.  Everyone we've talked to at PAID are, as Jerry has assured us, excited, committed, engaged and interested in more.  Mama Mado voiced my own interest in planning more modules after the success of the Clean Water Curriculum.  They all want more.

A significant goal for me was expressing our thanks and assurances of our continued partnership in developing the curriculum and introducing new pedagogy.  The difficulties Centre Salisa-PAID face are very real, current and ongoing.  We must acknowledge those respectfully while asserting our capacity to work on education.  We will continue our conversations with an eye to learning how we can help Centre Salisa-PAID increase their capacity, our second line of action.A teacher training is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday next week.  We will have two full days introducing new pedagogy, much of it from Project Based Learning methodology.  The copy of Pedagogie par Projet we sent ahead was well received.  Rodin fairly glowed when talking about it.  We return to PAID for the day tomorrow (Friday) to observe in the classrooms.The president of Faden House Rotary Club offered to show us around Kinshasa.  This will be an opportunity to talk about a possible partnership with US-based Rotary clubs.  We are in touch with Sandrine, president of En Classe, and representatives from World Vision and are assured of meetings.

We are well ensconced at MPH, our hostel.  It is quiet and set in a calm part of Kinshasa.  We welcome coming here at the end of a day.

Less than a Land Rover

Donations to Giving Back to Africa fund a very lean and efficient operation. Over 80% of our funds directly support Congolese youth leaders learning to solve problems, like issues of clean water in the Mpasa community. Our expenses in 2012, to date totaling $66,000, supported:

  • Four grades (5th, 6th, 7th and 8th) learning service centered leadership through the Clean Water Curriculum,
  • A series of student community service projects carrying ideas about hand washing to over 70 families,
  • Four teacher trainings on developing, teaching and implementing a student-centered, leadership curriculum grounded in the everyday problems of the community,
  • Weekly international curriculum development and program design meetings with education and service learning experts.

Our expenses are less than half the annual cost of one Land Rover typically used by large international aid agencies. Our volunteers are another example of our efficiency, donating over $25,000 worth of time and talent.

Changing stereotypes of Africa

Mama Hope has a great campaign to re-humanize Africa.  Through videos they are taking on stereotypes of Africa, an Africa of AIDS, war, rape, genocide, starvation.

Mama Hope feels it is time to re-humanize Africa and look to the positive change that is happening. We’ve had enough of the tragic impressions and abundance of sad, oppressive images that flood media outlets and non-profit campaigns. We want to make the statement that it is time to stop the pity and unlock the potential!

This video of Alex recounting the story of Commando could be any of the kids at PAID.  Intelligent, excited, friendly, eager to learn, checked in and with visions for their future, the kids we know don't match all the stereotypes of Africa.  Do they have challenges?  Yup, poverty is a huge issue as is health and nutrition.  But human capacity is the thing, investing in potential.

We agree completely with Mama Hope's Unlock the Potential campaign!