Doctors without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation committed to provide medical assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion, natural and man-made disasters; and speaking out about the plight of the populations assisted. MSF assists people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Today, MSF is present in more than 73 countries, where thousands of MSF doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, and other medical and non-medical professionals work together to bring essential health services to people caught in humanitarian crises.


Visions of the post

The MSF SA Fundraising Team mission is:

To inspire and engage the South African community to take action to save lives around the world though financial support towards MSF projects. The Philanthropy team promotes philanthropic giving from Major Individual Donors, Corporates, Trusts and Foundations; ensuring authentic, rich and focused donor journeys with accountable reporting. To participate in the creation of a Legacy Giving strategy and manage legacy gifts in order to ensure sustained giving.

In particular:

  • With support from the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships, the Major Donor Manager will be responsible for developing, cultivating and maintaining relationships with potential and existing individual major and legacy donors and their representatives
  • To be accountable for reporting to the portfolio of major and legacy donors, in order to ensure continued trust and lifetime value of these donors
  • To organise, manage and attend to cultivation and prospecting events; public and/ or personalised for individual major and legacy donors with the support of the Philanthropy team
  • The majority of his/her time will be spent engaging directly with these donors and prospects and their representatives, including preparation and delivery of tailored proposals, reports, updates and any relevant correspondence with support from the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships
  • To play a key support role to the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships in the formulation of a strategy to attract, steward and retain major and legacy donors across the Southern African Region


To ensure continued support of MSF and to seek new funding opportunities from existing and prospective donors. To pro-actively contact/engage with this segment of donors on a regular basis, as per agreed communication and relationship cycles, with a keen focus on sending proposals, updates and reports.

  • Sending of any/ all relevant correspondence and other materials to major individual donors, as per communication and relationship cycles
  • Communicating with this segment of donors on a regular basis, with support from relevant departments within MSF such as Retentions, Digital or Communications - to update and account to donors.
  • Arranging and following-up on meetings, including updating profiles in CRM system and sending thank you correspondence and tax certificates
  • Supporting the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships in the strategic creation and distribution of reactive communication with donors, with a keen focus on reactivating lapsed donors in this segment
  • Supporting in the development and implementation of retention strategies, in collaboration with the Retentions team, for example co-ordinating Mamela/ e-Mamela (MSF Magazine) donor features and appreciation

Developing profiles and assisting in the development of relevant material

  • Engaging with fieldworkers and staff that can be solicited for donor meetings (including briefing and debriefing of fieldworkers)

  • Updating donor profiles for all major donor individuals and prospects within his/her portfolio

  • May work with Retentions team to update and develop retention materials for relevant donor segment

  • Works closely with Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships and the Communications team to source, write or prepare materials to send to respective donors segment, including appeals, articles of interest, crisis updates and impact reports

Organising meetings and events

  • Planning, organising and implementing small stewardship events for donors as per Philanthropy team Annual Plan and/or other related activities
  • Communicating with donors telephonically and on a one-to-one basis where necessary and possible, to achieve team strategic goals through related activities. This may include some travel nationally and internationally
  • Attends and represents MSF SA at agreed networking events to reach out to potential new donors
  • Organises regular meetings with donor segment, including field visits and engagement opportunities with fieldworkers where possible/ relevant
  • With the Retention team, supports third party events initiated by relevant donor segment, with whom he/she is managing a relationship
  • When relevant to his/ her portfolio, co-ordinates activities of the Reporting and Prospect Research interns with the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships, ensuring that interns are supported and their activities monitored and managed.

Reporting, planning and data management

  • Updates and maintains relevant donor records on the donor database (CRM) and other systems, to ensure knowledge management and business continuity, complying with data protection legislation
  • Works with Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships to develop detailed plans and calendars for relevant donor segment
  • Maintains and updates key documentation related to donors within his/her portfolio
  • Under the guidance of the Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships, works with external service-providers as required, such as for database screening to identify potential donors in this segment
  • Data cleaning and ongoing research, with Prospect Research Intern, to ensure that data for donors in this segment, is as accurate as possible and increasingly detailed
  • Liaising with Funding Unit (Brussels) within MSF periodically to understand fundraising targets, reporting requirements and other related matters on an on-going basis,
  • Conducts market benchmarking and uses relevant insights to improve fundraising for the donor segment
  • Ensures detailed tracking of all interactions with the donor segment and data analysis to guide decision-making and planning


  • Actively participates in training and development activities related to Philanthropy and Partnerships donor segments, including participating in international working group discussions and conferences; in person or virtually
  • Participates in regular staff and team meetings and other MSF Southern Africa activities as required
  • Collaborates with Fundraising team, other requisite units within MSF, such as Communications, Operations/ Medical teams related to fundraising and/ or other related activities as required
  • Prepares and keeps a track of the audit of Earmarked and Non-Earmarked Funds within the Philanthropy team for this donor segment.
  • Ensures all work is conducted to meet MSF financial auditing requirements



  • Relevant tertiary qualification in sales, business administration, international relations or similar

Essential Personal Attributes

  • Minimum 2 yearsโ€™ experience of fundraising within, or for major/ High Net Worth Individuals, with a proven track record in managing donor relationships and generating significant income is essential
  • Key account management skills
  • Legacy fundraising experience an advantage
  • Excellent with creating engaging written and oral communication skills
  • Accuracy and excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to analyse complex information and compile into concise, powerful and persuasive proposals and reports
  • Excellent interpersonal, diplomatic, persuasion, sales and negotiating skills
  • Exceptional organisational skills with experience of managing multiple tasks and prioritising effectively
  • Ability to work independently to general guidelines, with capability to use initiative and seize opportunities
  • Computer literate and confident in using all Microsoft Office programmes and databases
  • Knowledge and/or use of Salesforce an advantage
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally
  • Fluency in written and spoken English essential and other Southern African languages an advantage
  • Demonstrated commitment to the aims and values of MSF
  • Existing networks an advantage

This vacancy is archived.

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