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Partner Relations Manager – East Africa

  • Posted on Monday, July 14, 2014
  • Nairobi, Kenya (with significant travel)

Reporting to the Vice President for Program Design & Government Relations (VPPD), the Partner Relations Manager (PRM) will serve as AWF’s representative by stewarding relationships with an increasing portfolio of key partners.

The PRM will be expected to develop and execute a proactive engagement strategy for current and potential partners so as to maximize the potential of each relationship, whether that leads to funding, partnerships, high-level positioning, or positive media exposure. Further, the PRM will provide support to AWF’s various policy initiatives through representation at meetings and events, production of papers, and site-level partner engagement strategy development.

Key Duties and Responsibilities

Partner Relations

  • Develop relationships with key potential partners for AWF, including:
    • 75+ potential supporters (including governments, bi/multi-lateral agencies, professional foundations, corporations, and influential Africans) leading to at least $3 million per year in new funding;
    • 50+ key players and influencers in the conservation space, including government partners, influential Africans, and media; and
    • Current and potential partners either working with AWF directly, or working on similar initiatives.
  • Develop and execute an engagement strategy for each identified potential partner, with a mindset toward creating funding opportunities and ensuring that AWF stays top-of-mind in the ongoing conversation about conservation in Africa. Engagement for each partner should generally include:
    • At least four personal interactions per year, including at least one physical meeting.
    • Six to twelve written programmatic updates per year (including any required donor reporting).
    • At least one ask (concept note or proposal) per year for each developed donor. Ensure that all concept notes and proposals are well-written, submitted timely, appropriate to AWF’s conservation strategies, adequately budgeted, and internally approved.
  • Identify five to ten influential Africans per year with the potential to serve on AWF’s board, including meeting the associated financial expectations, for referral to the CEO.
  • Set the stage for high-level meetings between stakeholders (primarily potential funders) and AWF’s executive team, including at least two meetings per month for the VPPD, and five meetings per quarter for the CEO.
  • Document all partner interactions and emerging intelligence in AWF’s Salesforce database, and proactively share information and coordinate with AWF’s philanthropy team on engagement of highly influential Africans with donor potential.
  • Wherever appropriate, work with AWF’s marketing and philanthropy teams to develop and coordinate the release of relevant collateral.

Policy & Advocacy Support

  • Represent AWF in international and local meetings to network and understand emerging issues/developments. Provide updates on relevant findings to the Program Technical Directors and others as appropriate.
  • Develop and host at least two stakeholder events per year, designed to establish AWF as a convener of key stakeholders and policy-makers.
  • In coordination with the marketing team, engage with local media and press to further AWF’s notoriety, reputation, and brand in Africa.
  • Provide strategic support to landscape programs with regard to policy and other related issues. Provide communication and negotiation strategies for politically sensitive stakeholder engagements at the landscape level in East Africa.


  • Bachelor’s degree (advanced degree preferred) in conservation, natural resource management, rural development, communications, marketing, or related field.
  • Extensive existing personal network in East Africa of donors, policy makers, media, and VIPs who may be relevant to AWF’s work and conservation in Africa.
  • At least 10 years’ experience relevant to communicating the work of a field-based NGO.
  • A proven ability to successfully develop and steward donors, and raise funds.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to network socially, secure meetings, and negotiate financial support agreements.
  • Excellent writing skills, with the ability to conceptualize and write project proposals, technical reports, and formal and informal donor correspondence.
  • Team player, willing to coordinate efforts across departments.
  • Deep understanding of and commitment to AWF’s mission, with the ability to communicate and spread this passion to others.
  • Fluency in English and Swahili required. Competency in other languages spoken in Africa a plus.

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