Development and Membership Manager at the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN)

Development and Membership Manager at the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN), The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN)




Home Office (Africa, Europe or elsewhere)




POSITION: Development and Membership Manager

REPORTING TO: Executive Director


LOCATION: Home Office (Africa, Europe or elsewhere)




The Sustainable Agriculture Network is a global collaborative network of organizations focused on building a world where agriculture delivers nature conservation and sustainable livelihoods and contributes solutions to the climate crisis. The organisation develops programmes, systems and tools for their members to more effectively work with farmers, companies, governments, and donors to accelerate and deepen the positive impact they make as partners on a journey of positive change. The SAN Secretariat is based in San Jose, Costa Rica. The Technical Manager will be based in a home office in Africa, Europe or elsewhere. Based on almost 20 years’ experience working globally with agricultural supply chains, SAN has learned that the most effective way to advance sustainability is to focus on achieving impacts, tailoring the work to the local and client needs and supporting farmers and supply chains to continuously improve. SAN designs programmes, projects and customised solutions that enable transparency and transformation along supply chains, support farmers on the ground, deliver on sustainability goals and manage sustainability data and the communication of impacts.


SAN is a global collaborative network committed to transforming agriculture to secure a sustainable future for food, nature, and rural communities. We believe in the power of farmers, business, government, funders and non-profit organisations working collectively to effect the profound change our world needs. We believe farming can be climate smart, deforestation free and pollinator friendly. We believe in protecting water, air, forests, and biodiversity. We believe in the inalienable rights of all human beings to be treated fairly. We believe we can transform agriculture for the greater good of all.


Our vision of the world is one where sustainable agriculture is the foundation of thriving and resilient rural landscapes and livelihoods. To make it happen, we work directly with members, farmers, companies, funders and other organisations to accelerate and deepen the positive impact we can make as partners on a journey of change.


This is an amazing opportunity to participate in a global network of organisations committed to work together to shaping agriculture to the world’s needs and making food production one of the most important sectors that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Join a unique and growing international team of professionals committed to changing the trajectory of humanity´s impact on our planet, by working in collective efforts in farms, landscapes and supply chains, with a diversity of partners, corporations, donors and civil society organisations. If you believe in the power of collaboration that thinks globally and acts locally, this is the right opportunity for you.


Are you a highly motivated individual who relishes challenge and is invested in a future of longterm agricultural sustainability that provides the food and nutrition our human population needs while conserving biodiversity and ecosystems and supporting rural livelihoods? Do you seek an exceptional opportunity to further develop your skills in funding and membership development in a highly regarded global NGO. Working closely with SAN’s Costa Rica-based Executive Director in his capacity as ‘chief fundraiser’ of the organisation, in all funding and related membership activities, the Development and Membership Manager will play a key role as the initiator for SAN’s funding and membership growth plan to support the implementation of the new organisational strategic plan for 2019 – 2024. In the initial stages of the 2019 – 2024 SAN strategic plan, the Executive Director is committed to spending 40-50% of his time focused on funding and membership development, working alongside the successful candidate, to provide support and mentoring.


  • Support SAN’s Executive Director in fundraising and strengthening SAN´s Members revenue streams from projects and stay abreast of new thinking and innovation in NGO business models, including looking at a mix of philanthropic, impact investment, and earned income.
  • Develop the operational fundraising, membership and partnership strategy, including identifying member´s assets, needs and opportunities, which donors (primarily private foundations and government agencies), company supply chain partners (for potential 3 services, advisory or contract income) and impact investors (for potential program-related investment income) to approach.
  • Contribute towards building SAN’s Resource Mobilisation Task Force – engage professionals from the Secretariat and its local NGO Members – helping to increase their programme development capacity and performance, create an ethos of delivery and accountability and ensure quality intelligence gathering, donor identification, development of responsive and quality proposals, regular donor reporting, and capturing of data for reports and for SAN’s own monitoring and evaluation.
  • Ensure proposal pipeline and donor database management is fit for purpose.
  • Provide actionable intelligence through prospect research, identification of best programme matches to donor programmes and priorities, coordinate the various ‘moves’ and meetings to build external relationships with funders, and to identify occasional competitive ‘bids’ from government agencies that SAN might respond to well (although most funding sought will be through direct relationships where a proposal could be directly invited).
  • Work with the Administration and Finance Manager to help ensure internal processes for efficient and effective full cost recovery proposal development as well as the budgeting and forecasting of funding projections.
  • Undertake prospect research on government funding agencies (including bilateral and multilateral agencies in Europe, North America and elsewhere), corporate foundations, private foundations in the US and elsewhere, and other newer funding instruments (this is to be explored but could include impact investors, programme-related investments, recoverable grants from US foundations, etc.) in the agriculture/development space.
  • Make recommendations to the Executive Director and Technical Manager on potential matches for new projects and programmes for SAN.
  • Maintain bespoke system to file and track funding proposals and reports and take ownership of other donor and contact management systems.
  • Write the first rough drafts of impactful proposals, then engage the team and network to add details, budgets, indicators, and technical accuracy as required.
  • Maintain a good balance between supporting the team to proactively cultivate and meet new donors/funders and partners, while being responsive to potential bids and invitations by writing and sending concept notes and proposals.
  • Occasionally represent SAN to donors and work closely with the Executive Director on development of relationships and funding opportunities with members and partners globally. The candidate will likely accompany the Executive Director on various meetings in Europe and North America and may be asked to occasionally visit with donors alone, depending on experience levels and abilities to do ‘frontline fundraising’ of this type.
  • Manage donor ‘moves management’ system - who should visit them, when, about what and how.
  • Collaborate with and support SAN’s Members’ programmes to further develop the organisation and support building SAN as a global collaborative network.
  • Keep all the information accessible to other Secretariat staff in Microsoft Teams, Salesforce or another tool agreed with the Executive Director.



  • This role requires an astute, experienced development professional who thrives in a fastpaced, international setting where sustainability and collaboration are at the forefront of the mission.
  • Strong track record of institutional fundraising (government, corporate and foundation) in Europe and/or US in sustainable agriculture, climate change, international development, biodiversity, poverty alleviation or related subject areas.
  • Working knowledge of various government funding agencies, the private sector, private foundations, NGOs, and other organisations operating in the sustainability space.
  • Experience in a similar role, ideally with a track record of providing successful high-level funding and membership development support to senior management in an NGO setting.
  • Strong proposal and report writing skills.
  • Ideally have some technical knowledge or exposure to field programmes in her/his education, volunteer experience, or previous positions that allows her/him to translate technical sustainability issues into well-written and responsive proposals in the sustainable development space.
  • Working effectively and collaboratively with a remote team in different time zones.


  • Excellent English - both written and verbal communications skills.
  • Preference for additional fluency in other languages, particularly Spanish.
  • Ideally but not necessarily, postgraduate degree or equivalent studies in a related field or subject such as agriculture, natural resources, sustainability, international development/relations/policy, geography, fundraising management, non-profit management, environmental or social policy or similar.
  • Proficient in all Microsoft Office programmes, particularly Excel, Word, Power Point, Outlook and digital collaboration applications such as Microsoft Teams and Salesforce.



  • Highly proactive leader with a passion for sustainability, collaboration and collective impact.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills, with the capacity to gather, evaluate and present a variety of data concisely. • Gravitas and credibility with the ability to inspire confidence.
  • Team player who can work effectively with colleagues and external partners and is equally happy to work alone.
  • Strategic and creative thinker who is prepared to challenge the ‘accepted’.
  • Self-motivated, adaptable, and able to work under pressure.
  • Excellent internal and external relationship management skills.
  • Strong work planning and prioritizing.
  • Critical and strategic thinker with strong results focus.
  • Thrives in a multicultural environment.




Initially, there will be no direct reports. As the role progresses it may be necessary to hire a direct report. The Executive Director’s PA will support this role part-time.


Executive Director Technical Manager Finance and Administration Manager Communications Manager


Ability to travel up to 30% of the time. Most travel will be within Europe and North America, with occasional travel to other regions.

*3-year contract subject to a probation period of three months.

How To Apply

Interested applicants should submit the following by e-mail to quoting reference number NSA002:

  • A CV (in Word or PDF format) of not more than 3 A4 pages and
  • A cover letter outlining how your experience and skills align with SAN’s mission and your views on the role SAN can play in mitigating the negative impacts of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture (not more than 2 A4 pages).

Application Deadline: 18 September 2020.

Interested applicants are encouraged to apply ASAP. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.