Organisation: Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

Position: Director of Communications and Fundraising

Location: Rome, Italy

Salary: Competitive salary


Closing date: 14/05/2019 (day/month/year)

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Director of Communications and Fundraising

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)


Organisational Context

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) is a work of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order), incorporated as an international non-governmental organisation with a mission to accompany, serve, and advocate for the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people.  The organisation was founded in November 1980 and now has a presence in over 50 countries. JRS undertakes services at national and regional levels with the support and guidance of an international office (IO) in Rome. JRS works in situations of greatest need, seeking the long-term well-being of refugees and displaced people while not neglecting their immediate or urgent needs.

Job description

Operational Context

The JRS International Office (IO) in Rome is the head office of the Jesuit Refugee Service. It sets the global organisational strategy, and provides support and guidance in the areas of programmes, finance, advocacy, communications, fundraising and human resources to 10 regional offices in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Americas, and Europe. In the area of fundraising and donor relations, the IO coordinates and works closely in particular with the JRS USA regional office.

The Communications and Fundraising department leads JRS’s global efforts in communications and in resource mobilisation from private sources (including individual donors, major donors, high net worth Individuals, corporations, and religious congregations). It does so through all possible communications and fundraising channels, and in close collaboration with the JRS IO Advocacy department, the Communications and Development departments of JRS USA based in Washington DC, and other partners in the Jesuit network.

The Communications and Fundraising department is newly created out of the former Advocacy & Communications department and the Philanthropy & Development department. Advocacy has become a stand-alone department, and fundraising from Institutional Donors (public funders, trusts, and foundations) has become a function of the Programmes & Innovation department. The Communications and Fundraising team consists of 9 people including the Director.

Why JRS?

JRS is committed to working for the wellbeing and hope of refugees. JRS believes that our journeying with refugees is the most important way for us to express our solidarity with them and our concern for their wellbeing. In a world where refugees are more than ever in need of welcome and protection, and yet increasingly rejected and demonized, JRS offers accompaniment to refugees as a sign of hope and a way towards healing. In even the most desperate of situations, we remain with refugees to assure them that the world has not forgotten them, and that they are not alone.

Why this job matters

The unprecedented number of refugees in the world is causing immense pressure on hosting countries, creating barriers in education of refugees, inhibiting livelihood opportunities, and diminishing psychosocial wellbeing and social cohesion.

JRS employs over 3500 people directly. They are how we achieve our mission through our vision. As an organisation committed to the best service we can provide to refugees, and   accountability to all partners, we seek to enhance the way we measure the impact of our programmes and our capacity to learn and innovate.

JRS has developed and approved a strategic framework for 2019-2023. The Director of Communications and Fundraising will play a key role in its implementation. He/she will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of JRS’s communications strategy, including policies and procedures designed to facilitate coherent and consistent institutional branding, and for expanding JRS’s target audiences, with the aim of providing information and strategies for these audiences to take action, support JRS advocacy activities, and promote awareness of key forced migration-related issues.

The Director of Communications and Fundraising is instrumental in developing, implementing and driving strategies to cultivate and manage relationships with existing and prospective donors, with the aim of sustaining and increasing their financial support to JRS.

Candidate requirements

What will be required?

1. Strategy, leadership and management

  • Lead the development and implementation of the JRS communications and media strategy.
  • Design, lead, and coordinate the implementation of a sustainable global financial strategy that ensures the diversification of revenue streams for the international office and the country offices.
  • Supervise the production of the JRS international annual report and all other publications.

2. Resource generation

  • In collaboration with the International Director and other fundraising staff, develop and implement comprehensive annual fundraising plans for the International Office with recognition of the faith-based context and development context of JRS, and ensure that income targets are met.
  • Supervise the acquisition, retention and upgrading of financial support from individual donors, major donors, high net worth Individuals, corporations, and religious congregations.
  • In coordination with the Programmes and Innovation department, develop capacity to identify projects which are attractive to donors.
  • Lead the Global Education Initiative, a campaign to raise 35 M USD by the end of the 2020, thereby increasing the number of refugees in JRS education programmes from 150,000 to 250,000 by 2020. Two thirds of the goal has already been met.
  • Keep JRS up to date on the benchmark standards for fundraising.

3. Communications and Branding

  • Ensure strong and consistent institutional branding.
  • Lead the development and evaluation of all JRS external and internal communications strategies, and media strategies.
  • Establish guidelines for the production of quality content in cooperation with regional offices for both online and print communication.
  • Work closely with the Advocacy Director to produce relevant material related to forced migration, and to identify key public advocacy issues.

4. Budget and financial management

  • Coordinate with the International Director, the Finance Director, and the Programmes & Innovation Director the projected revenue stream to ensure sustainability of the IO and the financial capacity to support the work executed by country offices.
  • Monitor and report the expenses of the Department ensuring adherence to budget and deliverables.
  • Oversee the preparation of donor reports in conjunction with the finance team.
  • Ensure that donor criteria and requirements are well understood, documented, communicated, and met.
  • Put in place systems to ensure timely narrative and financial reports and meaningful stewardship of donors.

Required Education and Experience

  • University degree in communications, marketing, fundraising, or a related field.
  • Minimum of six years’ experience in a communications and fundraising capacity.
  • Demonstrated track record in the above-mentioned main duties and responsibilities.
  • Working experience with media/journalists and developing media plans as well as comprehensive communications strategies.

What skills are needed?

  • Mother tongue level written and verbal English is indispensable; a professional working knowledge of French and/or Spanish is highly desirable.
  • Decisive and discerning leadership.
  • Ability to build trust in teams, and to delegate appropriately
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills, with the ability to articulate persuasively JRS’s messages and impact to external audiences.
  • Excellent prospect research skills and knowledge of funding sources is desirable.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multi-cultural, international, and intense work environment.
  • Strong analytical, strategic-thinking, and planning skills.
  • Understanding of and commitment to humanitarian relief work and international development.
  • Understanding of fundraising for advocacy causes, and the synergies between advocacy campaigns and fundraising.
  • Ability to work with specialised fundraising and donor management systems.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and verbal communications skills, with the ability to make dynamic group presentations.

Core values and ethics

  • Commitment to JRS’s mission, vision and values
  • High integrity, honesty and confidentiality; ability to deal tactfully and discreetly with situations, people and information.
  • Acceptance of diversity and inclusion as a core value.  Willingness to work in flexible, sub-optimal and multi-cultural environments.

How to apply


Contract is for 1 year, renewable with an initial probationary period of 3 months. The JRS remuneration policy is aligned with the JRS ethos to offer effective and professional services and at the same time express solidarity with the people served. Benefits and compensation package will be discussed with short-listed candidates.

All applicants are requested to apply through the following link submitting the following documents: 

1) Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English, including three (3) professional references with contact information, phone and email address.

2) A cover letter describing the candidate’s desire and motivation to work for JRS and how her/his qualifications and experience are a good fit for this position.

The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled. Consideration of candidates and interviews will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Thank you for your interest in joining JRS.

Contact person:

Response email: Click here to email the recruiter


Preferred method of response: Web

Closing date: 2019-05-14

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