Pro Bono Posting: Director, Strategic Business Development with the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a Boston Nonprofit Organization

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national non-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter to promote economic development in America’s inner cities through private sector engagement that leads to job, income and wealth creation for local residents. ICIC brings together business and civic leaders to drive innovation and action, transform thinking, and accelerate inner city business growth. At ICIC, you will work with talented, creative and committed professionals in a collaborative culture dedicated to excellence and innovation.


Position Summary
ICIC is seeking an experienced professional who will report directly to the CEO and work closely with the management team to attract new partnerships, cultivate and strengthen external relationships, manage a business development portfolio, and create and execute a business development plan.


Duties and Responsibilities 

  • Provide strategic support to the CEO for the design and continuous refinement of both annual and long-term development plans, comprised of diverse revenue sources, including foundation grants, major gifts, corporate sponsorship, and annual and multi-year donations. 
  • Oversee local and national prospect management from identification to stewardship; personally build appropriate relationships with individuals and institutions (foundations, corporations, anchors, etc.), that result in meaningful levels of support for existing programs, new initiatives, and innovation efforts. 
  • Actively research and identify new grant opportunities that meet the funding needs of the organization; manage the grant application process for all of ICIC’s proposals and reports annually. 
  • Establish clear, realistic, transparent and accountable fundraising success metrics; monitor performance and provide timely and accurate projections for budgetary and financial reports to the CEO and Board of Directors on all fundraising activities.
  • Gain first-hand knowledge of ICIC’s research and advisory content and programmatic work in order to understand and articulate the activities, stories, and impact of ICIC’s work. 
  • Lead the creation and execution of marketing strategies and materials to support development efforts. 
  • Select and manage opportunities for the CEO and senior leadership to participate as thought leaders in media (publications/interviews), events, conference presentations and similar settings. 
  • Serve as a key member of the senior executive team, contributing to overall organizational goals and representing the priorities of the development function.
  • Continually evaluate, refine and/or redesign fundraising systems, practices and policies in order to support fundraising efforts; maintain high functioning infrastructure for pipeline development and tracking, grant reporting, list management, and overall donor outreach and engagement. 
  • Hire, train and coach staff to ensure talents are matched to roles and assignments in ways that set the team up for success and maximize high-performance; introduce and maintain development and fundraising best practices through ongoing professional development for team members. 
  • Collaborate across ICIC programs, convenings and initiatives to support ICIC’s strategic goals and general operations.

Qualifications Desired
The successful candidate is a self-motivated, dynamic, collaborative leader who is also a strong project manager.   This person must be comfortable interacting with people at all levels of an organization and influencing decisions at a high level.

  • Significant experience leading successful business development or fundraising functions including individual and institutional strategies.
  • Experience raising funds for a complex multi-program organization is a plus.
  • Understanding of economic development and small business issues.
  • Experience addressing multiple constituents’ needs across projects and/or programs at the same time.
  • Proven success in building and maintaining client relationships.
  • Demonstrated ability to solve problems and think strategically while executing tactically.
  • Ability to manage and execute projects and multiple tasks and flexibility with changing priorities.
  • Ability to innovate, develop new approaches, and drive creativity and inventiveness within the organization’s fundraising efforts.
  • Ability to work well with a team as well as individually.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills and written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong planning, organizational and self-management skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to travel up to 20% of the time.
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required. An advanced degree in business, marketing, or similar field preferred.


ICIC is an equal opportunity employer. This position is a full-time position working out of ICIC’s office in Roxbury, near downtown Boston, reporting to the CEO.
Please submit your resume and cover letter to Matt Camp at No calls please.

Onboard or Onward: Ensuring the Success of Your New Executive Hire

“About 40% of executives who change jobs or get promoted fail in the first 18 months.”

Fortune Magazine

Where does it all go wrong? Too often, the onboarding process is where things fall apart. I am not talking about “orientation”, which often is done day one and generally involves the basics of assigning a building pass, conducting a benefits overviews, meeting the team and reading a few policies. Onboarding is a longer process, and if done well (typically in partnership with Human Resources and managed by the new executive’s manager, or the Board Chair if they report to the Board of Directors) can almost guarantee fit. It is holistic and gradual. It is also very deliberate, and will require constant check-ins and open communication.  Here are five key activities that will help to ensure that your new executive will be successful in their new role:

Start to Onboard Before They are Actually ON BOARD!

The time between an offer being accepted and the executive starting is sensitive. They may be dealing with a counteroffer, having to say goodbye to much-loved colleagues, and are nervous about this new venture. Keep in touch. Reiterate your excitement to have them joining the team, and have a few people in the organization reach out. If there are organizational overviews, annual reports, strategic plans or other things that that they can read up on ahead of time, get those to them during this time so that they start to feel like part of the team.

Send an announcement out to the staff and the board a few days before their start date explaining their background and the job they are filling. This will help make them seem more familiar to the team when they come through the door, and as an added benefit they will not have to review their resume and background with absolutely everyone in their first week or so.

Relationship Before Task 

Ideally, new executives will meet with their team and people across the organization. One-on-one meetings are great, but remind those who will be meeting with the executive to get to know them before delving into the inner workings of their role or the issues they face. Building rapport with new colleagues and direct reports is critical in the early days.

Learn By Doing 

Too often, in an effort to get all the information to a new hire as soon as possible, they are introduced to processes way too soon. Guess what? They will not remember how to do an expense report or change their password or complete a sales report 30 to 60 days in when they actually need to do it if they are taught how to do it their first week. Have the right people meet with them at the start to review the process at a high level, and then have them set up a time to do it later when they can sit down with real data and learn from it real-time.

The Buddy System 

What we learned in grade school still applies: the buddy system works when the new kid starts. This should not be the executive’s manager, but a peer or high-performing direct report who has longevity and the personality to be an effective buddy. The buddy can manage the nicety of taking them to lunch on day one and being available to explain the intricacies of culture, relationship dynamics, and certain pitfalls to avoid, which are things that the executive may not be comfortable asking of higher-ups.

Check In Early & Often

I too often hear that executives join, get a ton of attention the first day or two, and then are largely left on their own. It does not feel welcoming, and it runs the risk of them going in a direction that is difficult to course-correct later on. Meet with them daily, even for 10-15 minutes, in the first few weeks. Move on to twice weekly, weekly….you get the point. Let them know where they are doing a great job. Let them know where they need to take a different approach. But LET THEM KNOW. Being clear on what is a success will lead to more success.

While by no means a complete onboarding process, following the steps above will help to ensure that your new executive hire is one of the 60% who will be a success in the first 18 months.

Cindy Joyce is an Executive Recruiter and the Founder of Pillar Search, an Executive Search and HR Consulting firm located in Boston that works with clients nationwide. She can be reached here.