Idealist logoidealist


pin icon
pin icon
Post a Listing
circle-add icon
Add Your Organization
Idealist logoidealist


Idealist logoidealist
briefcase icon

Proposal Development Specialist

Posted by
WaterAid America
New York, NY
Logo of WaterAid America

Published 19 days ago

The fact that 1 in 10 people in the world today doesn’t have clean water is unacceptable, and we need your help to change that.  

WaterAid started in 1981 because no non-profit like it existed.  As the #1 international nonprofit exclusively focused on bringing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH) to the children and families who need it most. Our global WASH programs, led and maintained by the communities where we work, aren’t a quick fix. We strive for long-term access to WASH that truly transforms people’s lives.  

To support our global mission and programs, WaterAid America is searching for an experienced Proposal Development Specialist to deliver growth in our restricted funding pipeline by leading the collaborative process of developing compelling funding opportunities for our Foundation and Corporate partners.  Reporting to the Director of Awards & Compliance, the Specialist is the critical liaison across WaterAid’s internal teams and directly contributes to our ambitious fundraising goal of raising $30m in restricted awards to fuel WaterAid’s global programs.

To ensure high quality and compelling proposal packages are delivered on demanding timelines and deadlines, the Specialist must take ownership of their work and be exceptionally organized, detail-oriented, and highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).   To be successful, the Specialist must employ an inclusive approach to build effective working relationships across diverse teams and cultures and foster collaboration across WaterAid Federation stakeholders at all stages of proposal design. To do so, the Specialist is expected to possess strong writing, communication, and interpersonal skills. The Specialist must also be able to think and act across multiple levels of the organization simultaneously, exercise sound judgement, and elevate or escalate concerns where needed.  The role is also expected to ensure the integrity, security, and confidentiality of information under their management, and uphold their commitment to WaterAid’s Values and Global Code of Conduct.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • In collaboration with the Partnerships teams, manage relationships with donors and external partners and, internally, become the “resident expert” on proposal guidelines issued by corporate and foundation donors to facilitate internal pre-award activities: ensure understanding and alignment with WaterAid’s global aims and Country/ Regional Program strategies; share critical information about donor deadlines, requirements, and expectations with program teams.
  • Act as project manager by leading an inclusive proposal development process: outline roles and responsibilities, coordinate inputs from relevant stakeholders and keep them informed, provide timely updates, and identify and escalate risks and concerns. As needed, facilitate design workshops with the inclusion of stakeholders throughout the WaterAid Federation and consolidate learnings into the final proposal.
  • Synthesize complex programmatic information from a variety of sources and languages to create compelling, well-structured narratives through effective storytelling, relevant data, and superior prose.
  • Ensure consistency with WaterAid’s procedures, internal sign-off per the Delegations of Authority Policy and that proposal packages adhere to donor guidelines, internal cost recovery principles and other requirements.
  • Review concepts and proposals (budgets, results frameworks, workplans); and ensure quality assurance /quality control and alignment with WaterAid’s global strategy and priorities by working with key stakeholders (internal WaterAid colleagues at the country and regional levels, programmatic/subject-matter experts, Bid Management teams, etc.)
  • Work across internal Finance teams (at the Country Program, Regional, and other Federation Members levels) to review project budgets that are consistent with organizational finance policies and procedures, negotiating partner budgets, as required.
  • Ensure opportunities are accurately recorded via internal systems to preserve institutional memory and track progress against targets.
  • Ensure smooth handover from proposal stage to the Programs, Awards & Compliance team for implementation and oversight: share key findings of the proposal development process that inform and support successful project / awards delivery, support colleagues to deliver start-up workshops.
  • In collaboration with local and international colleagues, contribute to ongoing Federation-wide best practices database: develop and document “best practices” that ensure WaterAid consistently employs a collaborative program design and proposal development process for all restricted income opportunities.

Skills and experience

Essential skills and qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree and minimum of +5 years’ relevant experience, such as project or program management in an international development context
  • Deep knowledge of grant processes and practices and demonstrated track record of successfully leading and facilitating proposal development processes.
  • Project management skills: able to prioritize, manage numerous project deliverables simultaneously and ensure commitments and deadlines are met, and demonstrated experience using project management tools such as logical/results frameworks and theories of change.
  • Resourceful and intellectually curious, able to synthesize complex information from a variety of sources and languages into concise, compelling prose.
  • Superb attention to detail, strong analytical skills, and high degree of proficiency in MS Office (especially Excel).
  • Creative approach to problem-solving and
  • Demonstrated relationship-building skills and a positive, flexible approach to collaborating across teams and functions to achieve shared goals.
  • Commitment to learning, an appetite to learn new tools, and a commitment to professional grow
  • Prior experience in an international, cross-cultural work environment is essential with willingness to work flexible hours on an as-needed basis to serve the needs of a global organization. 
  • Demonstrated ability to exercise discretion, sound judgement and maintain confidentiality; ensure the safeguarding of organizational assets.
  • Commitment to WaterAid’s values of Respect, Accountability, Courage, Collaboration, Integrity, and Innovation.
  • Ability to travel domestically and internationally, flexibility to work across time zones (with varied work hours) and maturity to achieve and maintain work/ life balance.

Desired skills and qualifications

  • Proficiency in French and/or Spanish.
  • Project management and/or proposal management certification (e.g. APMP)
  • Knowledge of issues relating to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)
  • Experience with leading or influencing change management; proactively identifying gaps to continually improve internal processes, procedures, systems and approaches.
  • Experience facilitating start-up workshops and/or training and supporting others to learn and adopt new systems and practices.
  • Familiarity with the formats, requirements, and submission processes of one or more of WaterAid’s key donors including trusts and foundations.

The fact that 1 in 10 people in the world today doesn’t have clean water is unacceptable, and we need your help to change that.  

WaterAid started in 1981 because no non-profit like it existed.  As the #1 international nonprofit exclusively focused…

Details at a Glance

Time Commitment
clock icon
Full Time Schedule
Start Date
calendar icon
June 12, 2023
Application Deadline
hourglass icon
June 2, 2023
graduation-cap icon
4-Year Degree Required
Experience Level
stairs icon
money icon
USD $75,000 - USD $80,000 / year
Any offer of employment will be commensurate with market rate criteria of specific years experience, skillset qualifications, and geographic location.


For US-based candidates outside of major metropolitan areas, such as New York, NY or Washington, DC, the minimum salary for this position is $75,000 USD.  For US-based candidates inside major metropolitan areas, such as New York, NY or Washington, DC, the minimum salary for this position is $82,000 USD.  


WaterAid offers a generous vacation and benefits package available to its full-time employees, including:

  • Health (medical) insurance (WAA offers several options, ranging from 70-100% employer-paid for you and your dependents), dental & vision insurance (100% employer-paid for you and your dependents), and pre-tax Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) for childcare, medical and commuter expense 
  • Participation in WaterAid’s 403(b) deferred contribution plan (with personal contributions matched after 1 year of service, up to 5% of gross annual salary). 
  • Paid time off (PTO) including: 13 public holidays + a ‘floating’ holiday to be used at your discretion; 120 hours of PTO (with new and increased hours awarded annually), and 3 paid days for volunteering. 
  • Employee Assistance Program including Health Advocate, OneMedical, TalkSpace, and other services 
  • Professional development support 

Equal Opportunity Employer 

We celebrate, support, and thrive on diversity and difference for the benefit of our employees, our mission, and the communities we serve.  WaterAid is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from suitably qualified candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.  We value diverse experiences and will also consider qualified applications from those who have had prior contact with the criminal legal system in accordance with the NYC Commission on Human Rights’ Guidance on the Fair Chance Act  

 WaterAid is committed to the safeguarding and wellbeing of all individuals, including the people in communities in which we work, staff, volunteers, contractors, and partners. Any form of abuse is not tolerated.   


For US-based candidates outside of major metropolitan areas, such as New York, NY or Washington, DC, the minimum salary for this position is $75,000 USD.  For US-based candidates inside…

Level of Language Proficiency

  • Proficiency in French and/or Spanish is helpful but not required
  • Proficiency in French and/or Spanish is helpful but not required


house icon
Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
233 Broadway, New York, NY 10279, United States
Suite 2705

Apply to This Job


Please submit your CV and cover letter no later than 2 June 2023.  Only candidates shortlisted for interviewing will be contacted within two weeks of the closing date for applications. 

Resume must be uploaded in PDF format
paperclip icon
Choose a file or drag it here
No file chosen
I acknowledge that use of the Idealist Applicant Tracking System is subject to Idealist's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.