Start date: Ideally 1 November 2021 or earlier, but we will wait for the right candidate

Location: Remote, with a preference for CET time zone 

Seniority level: Our four levels of experience from most junior to senior are Support, Expert, Senior and Executive. This role has been scored at Expert level.

Hours: Full-time  

Deadline for application: 27 August 2021 

The New Humanitarian is seeking an External Relations Officer to join our growing fundraising team. This critical role will help us grow income from major gifts, a new income stream for TNH, and expand our funding base from institutional donors.

The New Humanitarian puts independent journalism at the service of the millions of people affected by humanitarian crises. Our journalists report from the frontlines of conflicts and disasters in some 70 hotspots around the world to drive more effective prevention of and response to crises. Our on-the-ground reporting, expert analysis and commentary inform policy-makers and practitioners, amplify the voices of those at the heart of crises, and act as a watchdog to hold the humanitarian aid sector accountable.

Since our spin-off from the UN in 2015 to become an independent non-profit media organisation, we have constituted a legal entity with an independent board of directors; raised millions of dollars in funding; rebranded from IRIN to The New Humanitarian; sharpened our editorial voice under the leadership of an Executive Editor from the New York Times; launched an investigations unit and a podcast; and begun a membership programme.

While the COVID-19 pandemic posed an existential threat to many newsrooms, The New Humanitarian is emerging from it stronger – thanks to our diversified and multi-year funding; our decentralised staff structure; and an increased recognition of the importance of reliable information about crises. 

Having spent the last five years professionalising our journalism, raising our visibility, and building a strong foundation of institutional grant funding, we are now in a position to invest more seriously in further diversifying our funding streams from individual major gifts, and to expand our funding from foundations and governments in line with one of the pillars of our new strategy.  

You will join our small, passionate team working at the nexus of some of the world’s most interesting challenges: a sustainable business model for quality journalism and a long-term solution for the world’s most vulnerable people. 

Help us achieve our vision of providing the world’s best journalism about the world’s toughest crises; and setting the agenda in the interest of those most affected. 

The Role

We’re looking for a creative self-starter to help us develop additional income streams, to raise funds from major gifts and help us expand our funding base from institutional donors. You will be working under the leadership of our Director of External Relations and alongside an External Relations Officer, who will be focusing on the institutional fundraising side while you divide your time between new major donors and help maintain and nurture new institutional donors. You will join a small and dynamic team and have the opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing non-profit newsroom with an ambitious 5-year strategy.  


  • Work closely with the Director of External Relations to develop and maintain an annual major donor strategy and work-plan, including tracking and monitoring prospects and donors through all phases: identification, research, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and renewal
  • Prepare strategy and briefing documents for meetings with major donors, cultivation events for individuals, and manage follow-up activities to secure major gifts
  • Assist with the creation of a 501c3 in the US and support development of a fundraising strategy for the US market
  • Work with the other External Relations Officer to identify new institutional donor prospects and create strategies for approaching and cultivating them 
  • Maintain an up-to-date prospect list and ensure consistent entry of contacts into CRM
  • Prepare and present highly customised, compelling funding proposals to major gift and foundation prospects together with our other External Relations Officer
  • Develop regular communications materials such as presentations and reports as well as keeping our corporate web content updated 

What we’re looking for 

Experience & Background: 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills in a multicultural environment and a track record of successfully managing relationships 
  • Strong diplomatic skills with sensitivity to political issues
  • Demonstrable experience in major donor fundraising from high net worth individuals and foundations
  • Experience and expertise in developing relationships with major donors and crafting major donor strategies to secure results
  • Excellent writing and oral presentation skills in English
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Flexible and creative with an aptitude for solving problems; positive attitude

Core competencies: 

  • Alignment with TNH’s organisational values: You are committed, humble, candid, constructive and embrace diversity. 
  • Visionary: You see opportunities where others don’t. 
  • Partnership:  You are able strike partnerships; and see “win-win” opportunities. 
  • Agility: You recognise the world is changing fast and are able to thrive amid uncertainty. You are flexible enough to adapt to evolving demands of the job and try different approaches before deciding what works best. You are proactive in seeking solutions to challenges.

We have described the qualities we are seeking in this position, but we recognise that there will be strong candidates who do not meet all the requirements listed here but have other important qualities. Thus, we encourage all interested candidates to apply. 

About The New Humanitarian 

We were founded in 1995 by the United Nations as “IRIN News”, as a result of the humanitarian information gap exposed by the Rwandan genocide, After 19 years as part of the United Nations, we spun off in 2015 to become an independent non-profit media organisation, now headquartered in Switzerland. 

Some 300,000 government officials, UN and NGO representatives, journalists, academics and wider audiences interested in understanding crises visit our website every month; 58,000 subscribe to our email newsletter; thousands have downloaded our new podcast, and millions more access our work through social media and syndication by mainstream media, from the BBC, the Associated Press and the New York Times to regional media in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Our journalism has prompted investigations into misconduct, changes in UN policy, and new aid programmes; it has inspired public petitions, donations, and charity telethons; and it has been used as evidence before the International Criminal Court and the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee. 

Amid an unprecedented number of simultaneous crises around the world and a media industry in financial crisis, our informed and independent lens is more needed than ever. Our reporting tackles many of the key issues of our time, from migration to climate change, from the war in Syria to COVID-19, from a multi-billion-dollar aid industry in the midst of soul-searching to emerging forms of solidarity. 

Our value proposition has become even stronger now that Europe has experienced an influx of refugees; climate change is resonated in the public’s consciousness; and the new coronavirus has spread around the world. We believe readers will increasingly seek out the kind of content we produce. This is a unique opportunity to work for one of the few non-profit media covering international affairs who have thrived at a time when most media are struggling. 

Our $2.5 million USD budget is mostly funded by a mix of governments and foundations. Our team of 25 people is distributed around the world, though we onboard new staff in person and gather the whole team for an annual staff retreat. 

We are registered in the canton of Geneva as a non-profit association under Swiss law. 

Find our latest annual report here.  

How to apply 

Send your CV to [email protected] subject line: “External Relations Officer” along with a cover letter outlining your interest in working with TNH; why your past experience is relevant for this role in a small entrepreneurial non-profit; and your initial thoughts on the opportunities you see for growing funding from major donors and foundations at The New Humanitarian. 


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