Global Executive Director of Development and Communications

Global Executive Director of Development and Communications

World Bicycle Relief

Flexible Location, USA   |   June 15, 2021

Established in 2005 and headquartered in Chicago, World Bicycle Relief (WBR) mobilizes people through the Power of Bicycles and envisions a world where distance is no longer a barrier to education, health services, and economic opportunity. WBR’s robust Buffalo Bicycles are a cost-effective and reliable means of overcoming the challenges posed by long distances and systemic mobility challenges in developing countries. The organization is a mission-driven, global nonprofit that manages a highly refined bicycle supply chain from design through final distribution. WBR employs an ecosystem approach, with the end-user and community at the center of everything the organization does. This ensures that its activities are evidence-driven and sustainable. WBR works collaboratively with field partners to design, test, and implement large-scale bicycle mobility programs. To date, WBR has distributed over 560,000 specially designed, locally assembled bicycles have been and trained over 2,500 field mechanics. Key results include a 28% reduction in student absenteeism, 23% increase in farmer income, and 45% increase in patient visits by healthcare workers.

Funding for these activities comes from individuals, foundations, corporations, and bilateral and multilateral donors. WBR has an innovative corporate structure with a wholly-owned for-profit subsidiary social enterprise that sells its Buffalo Bicycles to individuals, nonprofits, private sector entities, and bilateral and multilateral institutions. This structure enables WBR to scale its impact, diversify its funding and magnify the impact of donations; reduces per-unit costs through economies of scale; places the end-user at the heart of the organization’s efforts; and, because WBR operates within the rigors of the market, works in harmony with local economies.

WBR is a registered nonprofit with fundraising in the USA [501(c)(3)], Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. WBR has supported programs in 20 developing countries, and have country offices, more than 100 staff, and assembly facilities in Colombia, Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

WBR is building the evidence base and advocacy case to ignite a global conversation about the need to improve rural access, and inspire and equip governments, funders, competitors, and collaborators to recognize and address the injustice of rural exclusion. Of particular import is ongoing research exploring the long-term impact of the Buffalo Bicycle and supportive programming on women’s economic empowerment and girls’ educational attainment, safety, and empowerment. This research will support expanded communications and advocacy activities including a new coordinated, global influencing strategy. These activities will generate demand for WBR’s expertise and tools and also improve the activities and impact of other like-minded organizations.

To achieve its aim of preparing to scale, in the next three years, WBR plans to distribute over 260,000 new Buffalo Bicycles through programs and sales. By 2025, WBR forecasts that they will achieve over 1 Million total bicycles distributed since 2005, thus improving an estimated 5 million women, men, and children’s lives.  To support its impact goals, WBR will continue to invest in its people and systems, including finance and human resources. As an organization committed to empowering people in need around the world with mobility, WBR is developing a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Culture action plan with key metrics to regularly measure progress across the organization. Consistent with WBR’s maturation as an organization, it is presently transitioning from a founders’ board to a governance board.

Amid this backdrop of transformational impact and expansion, WBR seeks candidates for the newly created role of Global Executive Director of Development and Communications (Global Executive Director). The Global Executive Director will lead a passionate, global team of change-makers to devise, execute, and manage WBR’s global development, marketing, and communications strategy. The Global Executive Director will provide the necessary vision, experience, and skills to enable the organization to achieve its fundraising, influencing, and awareness targets. Reporting to the CEO, the Global Executive Director will oversee a globally dispersed team, including the following direct reports: WBR Europe Managing Director; WBR UK CEO; WBR Australia Development Director; Executive Director of Philanthropy – US; Global Director, Institutional Partnerships & Influence; Individual & Midlevel Market Manager – US; Marketing & Communications Manager; and Creative Director.

The successful candidate must be an excellent relationship builder and collaborator who can drive the establishment of a strategic, unified program for development, marketing, and communications across WBR and on a global scale. The Global Executive Director is ultimately responsible for coalescing and coordinating international teams and stakeholders engaged in development, marketing, and communications activities. In fostering an ethos of “One WBR,” the Global Executive Director should fully leverage current staff and their corresponding access to and knowledge of fundraising and communication channels globally, while also recognizing the fluidity of transnational, global relationships that are not defined solely by geography. The Global Executive Director must demonstrate respect for cultural differences and for the success of existent efforts among international staff and stakeholders, embracing a leadership style that prioritizes influence and inspiration.

The ideal candidate will have the following personal and professional skills, qualities, and competencies:

  • Deep passion for the work of World Bicycle Relief and the mobilization of individuals, their families, and entire communities to thrive through The Power of Bicycles.
  • Ten or more years of experience in nonprofit fundraising roles with progressive levels of responsibility, including extensive experience managing all dimensions of a comprehensive fundraising program (individual giving, institutional giving, annual giving, major and planned giving, stewardship, board relations) and leadership in a major fundraising campaign. Prior experience working in a bilateral or multilateral nonprofit or nongovernmental organization, foundation environment, and/or in a hybrid centralized-decentralized fundraising model involving distinct units is preferred.
  • Five or more years of senior staff management experience, with a strong record of providing strategic and operational leadership, including creating and managing a budget.
  • Experience in developing the case for support and strategic fundraising plans, particularly a major fundraising campaign, and executing plans to achieve goals and objectives.
  • Successful track record of personally cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding major gifts from individual and institutional donors at the level of six to seven-figures or greater.
  • Particular strength in international fundraising and the cultural sensitivity it requires; knowledge of strategies and trends in global philanthropy.
  • Demonstrated ability in planning and executing integrated, strategic marketing and communications in support of achieving fundraising, event, programmatic, or other organizational goals. A functional understanding of how to effectively leverage various communication mediums and distribution channels for optimal exposure and impact.
  • Demonstrated analytical and organizational skills in evaluating existing programs, conceiving and implementing new programs or strategies, and resolving operational and interpersonal issues. The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process, as well as working knowledge of modern data management practices and innovations.
  • A forward thinker with a track record of utilizing new methods of donor engagement and connectivity, who will be driven by innovation in developing philanthropic best practices in the current and post-COVID-19 world.
  • Availability to travel nationally and internationally, consistent with public health guidelines.

World Bicycle Relief has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed electronically to [email protected].