What Design Can Do is looking for a Global Development Director / Fundraiser


The major questions of our time are in need of design and creativity. What Design Can Do (WDCD) is a platform that advocates design as a catalyst of change and as a way of addressing the societal questions of our time. We do this by organizing events and design challenges. We create opportunities for radical collaboration by bringing designers and societal partners together around topics like climate change and social justice. So far, WDCD has hosted 14 successful international design conferences in Amsterdam, São Paulo and México City. And it has ran three worldwide challenges on Climate Action, Clean Energy and the integration of Refugees.


Global fundraising

WDCD is seeking a full-time Global Development Director that will provide functional leadership and is accountable for the overall fundraising planning, direction, coordination and support of the sales and business development functions globally.

The primary role of the Global Development Director is to develop plans and strategies and lead the efforts to prospect for new clients by networking, strategic engagement, or other means of generating interest from potential donors and sponsors.

Strategic planning is a key part of this role, since it is the Global Development Director’s responsibility to develop a pipeline of prospects coming into the activities of WDCD. This requires an established set of contacts and thorough knowledge of the landscape of institutional, private companies/foundations and individual donors. Knowledge of, and establishing a connection with, funding entities as well as partnership with key strategic players at high level in important locations for WDCD either directly or through local representatives is essential.

The role is required to define, develop, and implement a development framework as a set of processes, sponsor proposals and templates designed to be used together to manage a prospect through its life cycle (initiating, planning, executing, controlling and closing) with respect to WDCD’s standards.

The role requires semi-frequent global travel to key strategic locations to lead the sales efforts as well as meeting with key partners/sponsors and follow-up on key strategic projects.



The main responsibilities of the Global Development Director are anchored in four main pillars (Strategy, Sales & Development, Stewardship and Reporting), with responsibilities that are explained as follows:

  • Development of the overall vision, direction and tone for WDCD’s global activities, into a coherent business development strategy.
  • Engaging the private sector market through a defined strategy.
  • Identifying sectors and brands to target and agree sponsorship targets for each WDCD activity (Festivals, Challenges and others.
  • If agreed strategy requires, leading in developing an overall individual giving strategy for the Festivals and Challenges, including member schemes, on-line donations legacies etc.
  • Strategy will be developed in liaison with WDCD’s Founder & Creative Director and Senior Management Team.
Sales & development
  • Responsible for the whole sponsorship process from initial pitch to securing support from commercial companies.
  • Securing new sponsors for future Festivals, Challenges and ad-hoc activities (addressing revenue targets).
  • Tailoring sponsorship proposals in line with business development objectives and financial constraints.
  • Lead the grant writing efforts for new partnership/sponsorship applications or for the renewal of the previous ones.
  • Manage the development efforts of local teams in México City, São Paulo, Nairobi and Delhi.
  • Developing and maintaining excellent relationships with all donors and sponsors and ensuring that they derive maximum benefits from the sponsor/partnership.
  • To develop a deep understanding of the strategic and economic factors behind the sponsor/partnership and support from donors, ensuring that the donors’ objectives are met.
  • Servicing partners/sponsors where they require benefits commensurate with sponsorship.
  • Developing, supporting and maintaining WDCD’s partnerships with our main donors.
  • Drafting and executing reports to sponsors/partners, based on agreed partnership commitments.
  • Reporting to partners needs to be executed according to deadlines and based on the requirements of each partner.



  • Demonstrated ability and recent success procuring new corporate and institutional partners/sponsors for an international not-for-profit organization.
  • Business degree or similar and at least 10 years’ experience in a similar development role.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills. Fluency in English as well as at least one other language, with a preference for Spanish or Portuguese.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate with people from all backgrounds at an individual level and in group situations including excellent networking skills.
  • Substantial experience of success in contributing to a institutional/corporate fundraising or sales team strategy.
  • Proven track record of developing and writing successful proposals, applications and business documents.
  • Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage multiple priorities effectively.
  • Proven people and client management skills and ability to influence and negotiate.
  • A strong understanding of budgets, financial reporting and strategies.
  • Knowledge of a diverse range of cultures and traditions, and proven ability to work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
  • Enthusiasm for training, mentoring and support for team-members that will help deliver the business development strategy.
  • Knowledge of and enthusiasm for a range of arts and culture, with particular emphasis towards design.
  • Current contacts list of global institutional/corporate decision makers and Marketing Directors of private sector companies.
  • Work experience within an arts or entertainment company.
  • Experience in an event or festival environment, in addition to working in a program-based organization.



A full-time position in a creative social impact organization with an international scope and network.  You will be working in a small and dedicated team of creative professionals based in the center of Amsterdam with opportunities for traveling. The working atmosphere is friendly, team-oriented and encourages individual input and development. Salary is dependent on skill set, experience and education and in accordance with the standards in the creative and cultural industry.

Send your CV and motivation to jobs@whatdesigncando.com