Development Director

Semilla Nueva
Job Type
Deadline for Applications
How to Apply
Please promptly submit a resume and cover letter through our application portal.
Where to Apply

Malnutrition is one of the greatest barriers to the world’s poorest people escaping poverty. The 900 million people in Africa and Central America who eat corn daily are some of the most affected, with nearly half of Guatemala’s children suffering from stunted growth. Semilla Nueva launched the world’s first social enterprise dedicated to the development, production, and sale of more nutritious, biofortified corn seed directly to small farming families. Farmers buying our seed increase their yields and incomes, while improving the diets of hundreds of thousands— and someday millions—of the world’s poorest consumers. Semilla Nueva is currently expanding our model to work with other seed companies, the Guatemalan government, and partnerships in other countries. In 2021, our fourth year of sales, our seed reached 11,000 families directly and over 20,000 through partnerships.

Semilla Nueva capitalizes on the scientific achievement of the world’s leading scientists at organizations such as CIMMYT, HarvestPlus, INCAP, and universities like Purdue, Iowa State, Tufts, and Harvard. Our donors include some of the most prestigious in impact philanthropy, including Cartier Philanthropy, Mulago and the U.S. Government. Our seeds are based on conventional breeding (non-GMO), although we are not opposed to well-tested biotechnology. Our work has led to rapid growth and international recognition, including an Ashoka fellowship, Mulago fellowship, and Forbes 30 under 30 for our founder.


By 2025, Semilla Nueva aims to improve the lives of nearly 10 million people in Central America and Eastern Africa. We seek a strategic fundraiser deeply passionate about scalable, transformative efforts to end poverty and improve health- especially among children and new parents. The Development Director will build and cultivate relationships with individual and foundation donors, lead the development of fundraising strategy and collateral, and lead our Development team. We seek candidates skilled at transforming complex ideas into compelling messages and managing relationships with donors at all levels. Semilla Nueva is a quickly growing and maturing start-up; we seek candidates who are comfortable and eager to communicate with candor, persevere with determination, and problem solve through complexity.

Over the next few years, we plan to expand our current funding base of $2M/yr to $3M/yr through a combination of partnerships with family foundations, grassroots fundraising, and relationships with high net-worth individuals. The Development Director will report to and collaborate closely with the Executive Director, oversee a Development & Communications Coordinator, and steer organizational strategy as a member of our senior leadership team.


Donor Relationship Development and Management

Maintain, track, and develop relationships with both new and existing foundations and large donors
Work with the Executive Director to develop fundraising strategy to increase revenue and reach new donors
Strategize and oversee field visits with partners and donors to showcase our programs and generate interest
Communicate our vision, strategy, and financials clearly and transparently with all stakeholders
Development Communications Strategy

Collaborate with other members of the organization and third-party designers to create fundraising materials that communicate Semilla Nueva’s most important data and stories
Work with Semilla Nueva’s Monitoring & Evaluation department to develop graphics for donors that showcase our impact
Lead the Development team in creating donor engagement materials– including newsletters and social media posts– that communicate the need in Guatemala and the power of our solution
Management and Leadership

Participate in Semilla Nueva’s leadership team, including weekly planning meetings and quarterly and annual strategy meetings
Help drive success across the organization by collaborating with department heads
Supervise a Guatemala-based Development and Communications Coordinator


There are innumerable ways to learn, grow, and excel professionally. We respect this when we review applications and take a broad look at the experience of each applicant. We want to get to know you and the unique strengths you will bring to the work. This said, we are most likely to be interested in your candidacy if you can demonstrate the majority of the qualifications and experiences listed below.

Minimum 7-10 years’ professional experience in fundraising primarily with US audiences
Proven ability to develop powerful fundraising materials in a variety of media across a range of donor levels
Excellent communication skills with an ability to communicate complicated ideas simply and with impact
Leadership in raising at least $1M/yr, ideally from multiple corporate foundations, family foundations, and/or high net worth individuals
Experience with building client management systems including CRM software implementation
Facility with using data to inform strategy and comfort working in a quantitative environment
Leadership experience in an international development organization or a domestic nonprofit
Ability to work independently, proactively, and prioritize/coordinate a variety of activities
Desire to creatively problem-solve in challenging work environments
Genuine connection Semilla Nueva’s mission through professional, volunteer, or lived experience with anti-poverty, nutrition, or public policy work
Fluent Spanish, both written and spoken, is highly desirable
Experience living, working, or traveling in Central America is preferred


The salary for the role is $100,000 annual. This is a full-time, remote position with regular travel to Semilla Nueva’s headquarters and research site in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Travel is estimated at 4-8 weeks per year. Semilla Nueva offers a competitive benefits package including:

a stipend for health coverage
vacation, holiday, and sick days
retirement plan with employer funded matching contributions
laptop computer provided


The Development Director can work remotely from anywhere, though there is a preference for candidates working from locations near a major airport and within 3 hours of the local time zone (GMT -6). Interested candidates are encouraged to promptly submit their application through the online portal operated by our recruitment partner Positively Partners. All applicants will receive a response to their application. Our application process includes an initial phone screen with Positively Partners, a virtual interview with Curt Bowen, the Executive Director, and for finalists, a virtual interview day with a panel of Semilla Nueva Staff. Anticipated start date for this role is March 2022.

Semilla Nueva is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to sustaining a diverse community with a work environment that is welcoming, respectful, and encouraging to all. We foster a culture of inclusion that celebrates and cultivates diversity along multiple dimensions, including race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, out of home care, age, national origin, socioeconomic status, religion, ability, culture, and experience.