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Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. CRS works to save, protect, and transform lives in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding.
As Business Development (BD) Specialist II – Writer, you will contribute to the production of persuasive, audience-focused funding applications in support of CRS’ initiatives to serve poor and vulnerable people. You will provide specialized assistance to cross-disciplinary and cross-functional teams, particularly in the area of proposal writing. Your knowledge and skills will allow you to contribute to improving aspects of the BD cycle for the East Africa Regional Office (EARO), supporting CRS offices in seven countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda).
Roles and Key Responsibilities
- Work closely with the proposal coordinator, technical and sector leads, proposal team members, partners and other key stakeholders to develop well written, well organized and cohesive concept notes, expressions of interest, proposals and proposal annexes, aligned with donor requirements and CRS standards.
- Develop technical narrative outlines and draft proposal sections with technical input, as agreed with the technical lead and other proposal team members. Communicate complex technical concepts and ideas in compelling, audience-focused prose. Synthesize inputs from multiple authors and data sources, with attention to clarity, readability, sentence structure, style and voice. Work with technical staff, management and partner staff to integrate reviewer comments into a responsive, compelling narrative.
- Led by the technical lead, work collaboratively with country program staff to ensure local context and knowledge is fully reflected in proposal products.
- Maintain close communication with the technical lead and proposal coordinator throughout the proposal development process to ensure expectations of deliverables are aligned and internal deadlines are met.
- Edit proposals and annexes to improve readability by shortening sentences, eliminating redundancies, and rearranging sentences to improve transitions, in accordance with AP Style.
- Participate in and contribute to workshops, literature reviews, outlines, and design frameworks.
- Participate in interviews and meetings, as necessary, to contribute to strong proposal inputs.
- Work with staff to write documents that communicate CRS’ areas of expertise, such as past performance references and capability statements.
- Contribute to CRS’ Business Development Community of Practice and advance CRS Business Development practices through contributions to other initiatives.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Strong strategic, analytical, systems thinking, and problem-solving skills, with capacity to see the big picture.
- Strong relations management abilities. Ability to relate to people at all levels internally and externally. Strategic in how you approach each relationship.
- Excellent negotiation skills.
- Strong communications and presentation skills.
- Proactive, resourceful, solutions-oriented and results-oriented.
- Proven ability and experience in professional writing; experience with competitive applications and proposals for grants and/or commercial contracting in programming contexts similar to CRS preferred.
- Demonstrated ability to learn and write about a broad range of technical sectors; familiarity with key US government donor agency (USAID, CDC, Department of State, Department of Agriculture) a plus.
- Demonstrated ability to contribute as part of a team to produce deliverables under tight deadlines and at exceptional quality.
- Experience providing remote support to diverse teams preferred, including ability to produce deliverables independently.
- Knowledge of CRS programs, justice agenda and Catholic Social Teaching principles a plus.
- Experience using MS Teams and MS Office packages (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), web conferencing applications, information management systems.
- Experienced copyeditor.
- A collaborative approach and strong relationship management skills.
Required Languages – Fluency in English required; additional language skills relevant to the region a plus.
Travel – In-country travel is typically for 2-4 weeks at a time; must be willing and able to travel up to 25% (when travel resumes).
Key Working Relationships:
Internal: The EARO Regional Technical Advisor, Business Development and EARO Business Development and Program Quality Specialist; EARO Program Quality team members; the Business Development Community; EARO country program staff; management quality and finance staff
External: Staff of partner organizations
- Bachelor’s degree in international development, international relations, English, Communications or related field. Master’s degree preferred.
- Minimum five years of international development experience, with at least three years experience in a developing country.
Agency-wide Competencies (for all CRS Staff)
These are rooted in the mission, values, and guiding principles of CRS and used by each staff member to fulfill his or her responsibilities and achieve the desired results.
· Continuous Improvement & Innovation
· Builds Relationships
· Develops Talent
· Strategic Mindset
· Accountability & Stewardship
How To Apply
***Our Catholic identity is at the heart of our mission and operations. Catholic Relief Services carries out the commitment of the Bishops of the United States to assist the poor and vulnerable overseas. We welcome as a part of our staff people of all faiths and secular traditions who share our values and our commitment to serving those in need.
Disclaimer: This job description is not an exhaustive list of the skill, effort, duties, and responsibilities associated with the position.
Note: All positions requiring residence or frequent travel outside their home country must undergo and clear a pre-employment medical examination.
CRS’ talent acquisition procedures reflect our commitment to safeguarding the rights and dignity of all people – especially children and vulnerable adults – to live free from abuse and harm.
CRS welcomes candidates from the countries and regions in which we work. In the event the successful candidate is an expatriate or global telecommuter, the anticipated duration of the assignment is informed by a term limit, based on the type and level of the job and the needs of the agency.
CRS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.