Acumen: Changing the way the world tackles poverty.
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Experienced Business Development Professionals

Acumen is looking for a new member of our Business Development team, to be based in New York.  This is an outstanding opportunity for a professional with 7-15 years of experience cultivating senior relationships and demonstrated client relationship management experience; someone who has exceptional energy, excellent execution skills, an ability to deal with complexity, and a commitment to addressing global poverty.



Acumen started as an idea.  Thirteen years later we have a proven model that combines the best of charity and investing to change the way the world tackles poverty. 

Acumen is changing the way the world tackles poverty by investing in companies, leaders and ideas.  We were one of the early pioneers that created the field of impact investing.  Our companies have improved the lives of hundreds of millions of poor people by providing them high-quality, affordable water, sanitation, healthcare, housing, energy, agriculture and education.   We offer leadership programs that bring together the world’s best talent to focus their skills, capacity and moral imagination to solve the world’s toughest problems of poverty.   And we invest in the spread of ideas to share what we are learning, in order change the way the world tackles poverty.

We see each investment as a provocation, a chance to support entrepreneurs who dare to build solutions where markets have failed and traditional aid has fallen short.


Who You Are

You are a charismatic communicator, a thinker and a doer who naturally builds relationships that lead to results.  You will be able to transition seamlessly from managing donor relationships to executing on new donor cultivation events.  We have a small and energetic team, and this is a roll-up-your-sleeves kind of role. 

We want someone who is creative, a problem solver, who knows how to push the envelope, and is an incredibly fast learner.  Everyone says these sorts of things; we really mean it.  Lastly, you need to have a good sense of humor.

This is not a job for you, it’s a calling to the mission of social innovation and entrepreneurial solutions as a way to serve the poor better.  It means you are dedicated to the social investing sector, have working knowledge of emerging markets, and are passionate about the work.  We’ve been described as sitting at the nexus of philanthropy and capitalism and we need you to walk between both worlds with equal agility.



In this role you will be a key driver of our fundraising activities, cultivating and closing your own relationships with high net worth individuals to support Acumen’s mission, as well as support other senior Acumen leaders in doing the same.  You will bring new people into our community through your own direct contacts and you are comfortable working toward a multi-million dollar personal fundraising goal. 

Over time, you will build and manage an individual fundraising goal of $2-4M, and build Acumen’s presence in Europe, one of our key fundraising markets, from a mix of individual and institutional relationships.  Specifically, you will:

Envision, cultivate and close relationships with key individual donors in the specific region:

  • Develop an understanding of Acumen’s strategy and preferred approach for partnerships and high networth individual fundraising
  • Maintain and grow existing Partner base across a broad region through relationship management.  We have a community of Partners in each geography across the US and Europe and this is a chance to strengthen and deepen this further
  • Build a broad-based, multi-city network of potential new high net worth individual Partners (philanthropic donors) through appropriate channels, including events, individual outreach and networking
  • Cultivate and close relationships with individual Partners to enhance Acumen’s visibility, access, and influence, while developing a broader platform for further pipeline building
  • Organize and execute prospect cultivation events and networking events as necessary, leveraging our existing Partner communities, particularly outside the New York area
  • Work in close collaboration with the global team on corporate and institutional fundraising opportunities head-quartered in the specific region

Qualifications & Characteristics

  • 7-15 years of work experience, preferable in the specific geography, including evidence of successful sales and client management skills and independently operating in complex, autonomous situations
  • A track record of building and maintaining strategic funding relationships with some experience working in developing economies or the impact investing sector as a plus
  • As this position is independently located (outside an existing Acumen Office), the candidate MUST be a self-starter, highly self-motivated and able to work remotely
  • Good understanding of financial concepts and our investing model
  • Solid operational skills including problem solving and project management skills, including ability to work and deliver projects independently, proactively and under pressure
  • World-class storyteller who consistently communicates (oral, written) in a compelling manner
  • Comfort with public speaking opportunities to inform and advocate acumen's approach and mission
  • Ability to bridge the gap between the nonprofit and for-profit worlds
  • Intellectually curious, with an ability to understand the nuances of a complex sector and how to position Acumen within it
  • Ability to create clarity and deliver results despite complex and ambiguous circumstances
  • Commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organization’s mission and business model, and respect for our core values: generosity, accountability, humility, audacity, listening, leadership, integrity, respect
  • Moral Imagination: The humility to see the world as it is, and the audacity to imagine the world as it could be. It also includes but is not limited to the following:
  • Displaying high level of empathy in all relationships and encounters
  • Possessing deep self-awareness and ability to identify own strengths and weaknesses
  • Actively listening and focusing on hearing what others are saying
  • Bachelor's Degree is required
  • Willingness to travel 25-35% of the year
  • Permanent authorization to work in the geography where this role is located
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Why are you interested in a Business Development career at Acumen? Specifically, why do we need you?*
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