Carnegie Mellon University - Africa
Competitive Salary
Jun 02, 2021
Position Type
Executive, Other Executive
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Job title


Reports to

 Executive Director of CMU-Africa

Start Date

 August 1st 2021


 Kigali, Rwanda

Job Purpose

Carnegie Mellon University is seeking a seasoned Director of Fundraising to lead the strategic growth of all philanthropic revenue streams for its location in Rwanda, Carnegie Mellon University Africa (CMU-Africa). This position is responsible for all fundraising efforts including frontline fundraising, with a primary goal of raising funds for student support scholarships. The Director of Fundraising will develop a compelling case for support by involving alumni and student volunteers, faculty, staff and other groups in order to communicate the vision of the program and the rationale for supporting CMU-Africa’s fundraising goals. This position will report to the Executive Director, CMU-Africa and work closely with the College of Engineering Associate Dean for Advancement.

About Carnegie Mellon University

Established out of a partnership between Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and the Government of Rwanda, CMU-Africa is addressing the critical shortage of high-quality engineering talent required to accelerate the economic development and digital transformation of Africa—home to the fastest growing workforce in the world.  CMU-Africa was established in 2011 and is the only U.S. research university offering its master’s degrees with full-time faculty, staff and operations in Africa. CMU’s presence in Rwanda provides a platform to engage in Africa’s most significant opportunities and challenges across the continent through world-class education and contextually relevant research.

Our vision is to educate and empower the next generation of African leaders and innovators by delivering a world-class educational experience. CMU-Africa’s mission is to produce creative and technically strong engineers, who have been trained in the African context, and prepared to make transformative impact in their communities and the world.

We are a fast-growing campus with about 150 enrolled students, aiming to grow to 400 in the next couple of years.  Our size and exponential growth create a sense of camaraderie and excitement, with strong community ties and a compound sense of accomplishment in our team members, contributing towards mutually beneficial relationships between staff and students. 

The role

As CMU-Africa’s Director of Fundraising, you will be a key member of the leadership team, and play a pivotal role in the continued growth of CMU-Africa. You will define, develop, and drive the execution and measurement of a forward-thinking integrated plan for fundraising, global engagement, alumni, foundation, corporate, and annual giving across a broad range of constituencies. You will work closely with university colleagues in Kigali and the Carnegie Mellon University main campus in Pittsburgh to identify and cultivate sources of funding for projects that leverage the unique opportunities for innovation and research in Africa. The scope of your responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:


  • Leading the development and implementation of the fundraising strategy, including growing long-term fundraising, to support the vision and mission of CMU-Africa. 
  • Providing leadership for all aspects of major gift fundraising including establishing, coordinating, and implementing fundraising goals and strategies, managing robust programs focused on individual donors, corporations, foundations, and government agencies.
  • Championing the engagement, and developing tactics to initiate relationships with, prospective funders and partners, focusing on strategies for building the pipeline of major gift prospects for CMU-Africa by analyzing and evaluating donor giving and potential giving. 
  • Identifying and cultivating annual and consistent individual donors, and coordinating with appropriate advancement team members on moves management for those donors
  • Managing special fundraising projects (such as annual giving opportunities) that have applicable potential benefit to CMU-Africa
  • Collaborating with partners and constituents across both the main campus in Pittsburgh, and the Rwanda location, to coordinate activities and ensure goal alignment, including the Advancement office of College of Engineering, the office of the Senior Associate Vice President for Development, the office of Assistant Vice President of Foundation Relations, and the CMU Business Engagement Office.
  • Developing CMU-Africa’s fundraising KPIs, in consultation with executive leadership, to outline the university’s fundraising priorities
  • Monitoring progress towards fund raising goals and making appropriate adjustment to the fundraising strategy. 
  • Overseeing the communication strategy for Fundraising, including the development of a campaign case for support, CMU-Africa’s newsletter and talking points for the media whilst integrating campaign milestones into ongoing public relations outreach. 
  • Developing and managing annual and campaign fundraising budgets to ensure adequate funds to achieve fundraising objectives. 
  • Preparing stewardship reports and other updates to donors 
  • Diversifying donor and partnerships to include relationships with prospective funders and partners in Africa, and globally. 
  • Other duties as required



  • Master's Degree in marketing, communication, public relations, business administration, or a related field. 
  • 5 – 8 years of relevant experience in similar role
  • Strong familiarity and experience of fundraising in higher education industry preferred
  • Fluency in both spoken and written English and French a bonus


  • Demonstrable track record of strategic fundraising and a proven track record of meeting challenging gift targets. 
  • Proven ability to build, manage and develop key client and donor relationships and close gifts at the six- and seven-figure level. 
  • Broad knowledge of the principles of foundation, individual, and corporate fundraising,
  • Understanding of the most effective ways to segment and analyze prospective donors, identify indicators of gift potential, management of prospect information, and the development of solicitation materials.
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, follow through and evaluate individual strategy plans for qualification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects.
  • Knowledge of African philanthropic landscape is strongly desired. 
  • Familiarity with legal and ethical practices related to donor management, record maintenance, and gift accounting. 
  • Demonstrated leadership including an ability to develop strategic plans, implement programs, organize, initiate, and motivate. 
  • Comprehensive campaign experience, excellent communication and presentation skills, both written and oral
  • Demonstrable ability to work globally and with donors and staff from diverse cultures 
  • Flexible and adaptable style, an ability to work independently and as a team member in a highly collaborative environment 
  • A dynamic thinker, you bring effective experience in stakeholder engagement and policy influencing. This can include experience working in community-based organizations, governance and related councils/commissions, regional and national government and the private sector.
  • High tolerance for ambiguity and change, and ability to adapt to changing priorities within a fast-paced work environment with a “roll up the sleeves” attitude.
  • Strong problem-solving skills combined with a track record of pivoting in response to opportunities and challenges.

To Apply
Please follow the link below to apply: