Head of Business Development, Europe

Where to Apply

Acumen is looking for a bold, experienced fundraiser to join our Business Development team in London.  We’re looking for someone with 7-15 years’ experience cultivating institutional 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 foundations, development finance institutions, and high net worth individuals, as well as supporting other senior Acumen leaders in doing the same.  You will bring new partners into our community through your own direct contacts and you are comfortable working toward a multi-million dollar personal fundraising goal.

Over time, you will build and manage an individual fundraising goal of $2-4M, and build Acumen’s presence in key fundraising markets in Europe from a mix of individual and institutional relationships.  Specifically, you will:

    • Identify, cultivate and close relationships with institutional partners to enhance Acumen’s visibility, access, and influence, while developing a broader platform for further pipeline building
    • Maintain existing Partner base across a broad region; we have a strong community of Partners in many countries across Europe and this is a chance to strengthen and deepen this vibrant base
    • Build a broad-based, multi-city network of potential new high net worth individual Partners (philanthropic donors) through appropriate channels, including events, individual outreach and networking
    • Manage and mentor junior fundraisers across the global business development team

Qualifications & Characteristics

    • 7-15 years of work experience, including evidence of successful sales and client management skills and independently operating in complex, autonomous situations; strong networks in the UK and Europe are a plus
    • A track record of building and maintaining strategic funding relationships; experience working in developing economies or the impact investing sector preferred
    • 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
    • Strong understanding of financial concepts and our investing model
    • 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
    • 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
    • Moral Imagination: The humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be.  At Acumen, this includes but is not limited to the following:
    • Displaying high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
    • Possessing deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
    • Actively listening and focusing on hearing what others are saying
    • Bachelor\’s Degree is required
    • Willingness to travel 25-35% of the year
    • Permanent authorization to work in the UK


Acumen offers a competitive compensation package commensurate with experience.

Application Requirements

Please submit a resume and responses to the following questions here:

Why are you interested in a Business Development career at Acumen? Specifically, why do we need you? (MAX: 200 words)

What is the most significant business relationship (funding or otherwise) you have built and developed that you are most proud of? What was the impact created by that relationship? (MAX: 200 words)