Organization: Accion

Location: Washington, D.C. or Boston, MA, US

Express Interest

About Accion:

Accion is a global nonprofit dedicated to building a financially inclusive world. A world pioneer in microfinance, Accion has helped build 65 microfinance institutions in 32 countries which currently reach millions of clients providing them with the financial tools that can help improve their lives. Today, Accion has operations and investments throughout much of Latin America, Africa, and Asia, and has earned a reputation as a highly respected and innovative player in the financial inclusion space, bringing new solutions that address widespread lack of access to financial systems for millions of people around the globe.

In addition, Accion provides early and seed stage venture capital to new companies that promote disruptive innovation in financial services at the base of the pyramid. Accion also created and supports the Center for Financial Inclusion, an outward-focused think tank dedicated to tackling industry-wide challenges. For example, the Smart Campaign is the first global consumer protection campaign focused on those living in poverty.

The strategies that Accion employs to achieve its vision of a financially inclusive world include:

  1. Microfinance Services: Accion builds sustainable, scalable microfinance institutions (MFIs) that maximize both financial and social impact by providing management services, technical assistance, investments, and governance;
  2. Investments: Accion helps microfinance institutions to reach meaningful scale and sustainability and to broaden significantly the range of financial products and services they offer to their clients through Accion Gateway Fund. This private fund provides equity and quasi-equity capital to MFIs in greenfield or early-stage operations that demonstrate a potential for strong financial and social returns to their shareholders;
  3. Investments Beyond MFIs: Many compelling financial services and methods to serve the entrepreneurial poor are being developed outside of traditional brick-and-mortar MFIs. To help serve those companies, we created two unique investment funds:
    • Venture Lab:This US $10M fund provides seed funding and technical assistance to promising start-ups whose goal is to broaden financial inclusion but which are often considered by others to be “pre-investable”.
    • Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund: Accion sponsored and is an anchor investor in the Accion Frontier Inclusion Fund, the first global emerging markets fintech fund for the financially underserved: the two billion people around the world who lack access to savings accounts, checking, insurance, credit, and other basic financial services.
  4. Client Education: Accion works on this key non-financial component of economic development through financial literacy and business training. Accion helps clients of our partner MFIs improve their ability to manage personal finances, becoming informed and effective consumers of financial services;
  5. Industry Training: Accion Training and Capacity Building (TCB) builds and strengthens the managerial and technical skills of key industry professionals through interactive programs that incorporate cross-regional, peer-to-peer learning experiences and a blend of learning mediums;
  6. Digital Solutions: Accion’s Digital Solutions group provides advisory services to financial institutions serving the base of the pyramid, and some early and growth stage fintech companies, seeking to leverage innovative channels and digital technologies to advance financial inclusion in a sustainable and effective manner. With a focus on trending solutions in digital financial services, core technology innovations, data analytics, and online platforms, the group helps partners to plan, implement, scale, and enhance technologies and models that can help them scale sustainably and serve customers more efficiently; and
  7. Action-Oriented Think Tank: The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion is working toward full global financial inclusion by collaborating with sector participants to tackle challenges beyond the scope of any one actor, using tools that include research, convening, capacity building, and communications. As defined in CFI’s vision, financial inclusion means:
    • Access to a full suite of financial services: including credit, savings, insurance, and payments.
    • Provided with quality: convenient, affordable, suitable, provided with dignity, and client protection.
    • To everyone who can use financial services: excluded and under-served people with special attention to rural, people with disabilities, women, and other often-excluded groups.
    • With financial capability: clients are informed and able to make good money management decisions.
    • Through a diverse and competitive marketplace: a range of providers, robust financial infrastructure, and clear regulatory framework.

For more information on Accion, please visit

The Opportunity:

Reporting to President and CEO Michael Schlein, and working in close partnership with the global program and communications teams, the Chief Development Officer will be responsible for leveraging global awareness of and interest in financial inclusion initiatives by building and stewarding robust, meaningful partnerships with current and prospective institutional and corporate funders, major individual donors, and others.

The CDO will be a bold thinker and a strategic, yet hands-on executor who will lead best-in-class institutional advancement and individual giving programs. S/he will oversee and manage the team of 12 fundraising professionals. The CDO will actively manage a donor portfolio by personally participating in cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, as well as collaborating with the President and CEO to ensure that he is effectively supported and leveraged to achieve fundraising goals. S/he will have the capacity to develop fluency in the issues and opportunities in financial inclusion, individual strategy sectors, and solutions to create tailored and compelling strategies for institutional, corporate, and individual donors across a range of geographies and demographics.

As a member of the organization’s Operating Committee (senior leadership team), the CDO will also be engaged in broader organizational strategies and initiatives, working collaboratively across the organization with a wide range of stakeholders and, in particular, with the communications team and global program staff.

Key metrics for success in this role include:

  • Expanding and developing fundraising opportunities through new and ongoing strategic partnerships;
  • Cultivating new sources of revenue by creatively and strategically expanding the existing donor base, with an increased focus on corporate, foundation, and government entities in the US and globally;
  • Helping to drive an effective culture of philanthropy throughout the organization by supporting and empowering staff to identify and develop new opportunities and relationships by sharing strategic expertise, resources, and tools and partnering with the global program and communications staff to ensure a collaborative approach to achieving both programmatic and fundraising goals; and
  • Increasing the effectiveness and productivity of the team by serving as a coach and mentor, motivating team members with energy and passion, and ensuring clear expectations and accountability.

Candidate Profile:

The Chief Development Officer will enhance Accion’s overall approach to fundraising and refine its development efforts by providing strategic and collaborative leadership for the development team and organization-wide.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal competencies and characteristics:

Passion for the Accion Mission and Vision

The CDO will have a passion for the mission of Accion and a commitment to building a financially inclusive world. S/he will have the capacity to understand and appreciate Accion’s strategies, programs, and impact and be able to share this knowledge with potential donors with conviction.

Expertise in Development

The CDO will be an experienced leader in development or other relevant field with a measurable track record of success. S/he will have proven expertise with a wide range of fundraising channels, with particular emphasis on corporate, foundation, and government giving globally. S/he will have a strong data and analysis orientation and a proven ability to use metrics to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives. The CDO will have a demonstrated record of implementing fundraising initiatives, including identification, cultivation, and stewardship and working in close partnership with senior leaders and Boards of Directors to collaboratively achieve fundraising goals. S/he will also bring an ability to work in close partnership with communications experts to develop and implement compelling messages and with program experts to identify and pursue opportunities in the field.

Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Implementation Skills

The CDO will have a proven record of converting strategy into effective execution. S/he will be a detail-oriented individual who functions well in a complex environment. The CDO will exhibit intellectual curiosity, including the ability to listen to and learn from multiple voices. S/he will have strong analytical skills and the ability to think creatively and collaboratively about Accion’s development goals while remaining focused on details and follow-through. S/he will be an assertive and responsive leader with the ability to translate Accion’s development goals into clear objectives for a wide range of key stakeholders. The CDO will be a builder with the ability to set priorities decisively, delegate responsibilities, assure accountability, and allocate resources to ensure results.

Skilled Relationship Builder and Collaborator

The CDO will be skilled at building and sustaining excellent relationships at multiple levels with varied constituencies, including Accion’s Board of Directors, senior leadership team, global program staff, donors, and the development team. S/he will have a motivating approach to building collaboration and buy-in and generating support from stakeholders. S/he will be able to establish rapport and open communication with all constituents and successfully convey Accion’s mission and objectives. S/he will have a strong working relationship with key global leaders and will be a proactive communicator at all times.

Leadership and Management Acumen

The Chief Development Officer will be a strategic leader who, along with the President and CEO, senior leadership team, and other internal experts, sets and articulates a vision for the organization’s next fundraising chapter, builds and executes a development plan, and evaluates outcomes with a metrics-based approach. In order to achieve desired results and support strategic objectives, the CDO will have the skills to effectively build, develop, and lead the development team. S/he will offer creative, yet practical, ideas to achieve the strategic direction of both the team and the overall organization. S/he will be an intelligent individual who functions well in a complex global organization that operates in a highly collaborative manner. An engaging and supportive expert, the Chief Development Officer will offer credibility both internally and externally.

A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree in a related field is preferred. Domestic and international travel will be required.


Molly Brennan and Marissa Martin of Koya Leadership Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role, please submit your materials here or email Marissa directly at All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

About Koya Leadership Partners:

Koya Leadership Partners is a national retained executive search and human capital consulting firm that works exclusively with nonprofits and social enterprises. We deliver measurable results, finding exceptionally talented people who truly fit the unique culture of our client organizations and ensuring that organizations have the resources and strategies to support them. For more information about Koya Leadership Partners, visit