Business Development Manager, NY

Deadline for Applications
Where to Apply

Acumen is looking for a bold, experienced fundraiser to join our Business Development team in New York.  We’re looking for someone with 6-10 years’ experience cultivating individual relationships in a sales or fundraising context; someone who has exceptional energy, excellent execution skills, an ability to deal with complexity, and a commitment to addressing global poverty.


Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas. We invest patient capital in businesses whose products and services are enabling the poor to transform their lives. Founded by Jacqueline Novogratz in 2001, Acumen has invested more than $101 million in 92 companies across Africa, Latin America, South Asia and the United States. We are also developing a global community of emerging leaders with the knowledge, skills and determination to create a more inclusive world. In 2015, Acumen was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profit Companies.

Who You Are

You are a charismatic communicator, a thinker and a doer who naturally builds relationships that lead to results.  You will be able to transition seamlessly from managing donor relationships to executing on new donor cultivation events.  We have a small and energetic team, and this is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of role.  We want someone who is creative, a problem solver, and who knows how to push the envelope.

This is not a job for you, it’s a calling to the mission of social innovation and entrepreneurial solutions as a way to serve the poor better.  It means you are dedicated to the social investing sector, have working knowledge of emerging markets, and are passionate about the work.  We’ve been described as sitting at the nexus of philanthropy and capitalism and the successful candidate for this role will walk between both worlds with equal agility.


In this role you will be a key driver of our fundraising activities, cultivating and closing your own relationships with high net worth individuals and foundations, as well as support other senior Acumen leaders in doing the same.  The role will require creativity in seeking out new relationships, skill in developing meaningful partnerships, and a willingness to collaborate across multiple functions and geographies to hit global fundraising targets.

Over time, you will build and manage an individual fundraising goal of $1-2M, and build Acumen’s presence in key fundraising markets in the U.S. from a mix of individual and foundation relationships.

Specifically, you will:


  • Build key strategic partnerships with high net worth individuals, family foundations and other partners and prospects to meet personal fundraising target of $500k+ in year one, with a goal of $1-2 million in subsequent years
  • Take the lead on existing partner relationships; develop and execute engagement strategy
  • Develop pipeline of new prospects; ask for referrals, attend networking events and sector conferences with the goal of expanding the Acumen network and building a broader community of donors
  • Collaborate across internal functions to build and support program-specific fundraising campaigns; partner with global business development team to execute global strategy
  • Drive partner communications; assist in the profiling of partners and ensuring that they receive correspondence on interest areas in a timely manner; partner with communications team to create and update collateral
  • Fervently maintain accurate and consistent client records in Acumen’s CRM

Community Cultivation

  • Organize and execute prospect cultivation and networking events as necessary; leverage Acumen’s existing Partner community and help develop content for sector-specific gatherings.
  • Assist in the execution of partner-only events, bringing together internal and external stakeholders from across the globe
  • Present Acumen’s narrative in an effective, clear and compelling manner at a variety of events and engagements

Qualifications & Characteristics

  • Minimum of 6 years’ experience; demonstrated success in fundraising, sales, or client management is required; ; experience working in developing economies or the impact investing sector preferred
  • Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: a strong listener who demonstrates patience, tact and authenticity
  • World-class storyteller who consistently communicates (oral, written) in a compelling manner; comfort with public speaking opportunities to inform and advocate Acumen\’s approach and mission
  • Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
  • Intellectually curious, with an ability to understand the nuances of a complex sector and how to position Acumen within it; strong understanding of financial concepts and Acumen’s investing model
  • Demonstrated commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with and across a global team, proven capacity to work across cultural lines; and the ability to operate independently in complex situations
  • Bachelor\’s Degree is required
  • Permanent authorization to work in the U.S.


Acumen offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience.