Job Opportunity: Business Development Specialist

The World Institute on Disability (WID) was established in 1983 as one of the first global disability rights organizational think tanks, founded and continually led by people with disabilities. WID works to advance the rights and opportunities of over one billion people with disabilities worldwide, bringing research and policy into action and operationalizing inclusion.

Our work centers around:

  • Disaster Risk Reduction, Humanitarian Action and Climate Justice for Resilience and Sustainability;
  • Accessibility and Universal Design Solutions; and, 
  • Policies, Systems and Tools for Global Community Inclusion 

WID’s is also known for groundbreaking work in disability benefits, financial literacy, healthcare equity, and social justice empowerment. WID is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization recognized by the US Internal Revenue Service. 

The Board of Directors and staff, over half of whom are people with disabilities, are respected national and global leaders in the disability rights field as well as in industry, government, and human services. WID’s commitment to intersectionality and eliminating systematic oppression centers our strategic priorities on lifting up BIPOC and multiply-marginalized people with disabilities. This enables WID to bring a pan-disability, intersectional perspective to everything we do. Information on WID’s programs can be found at

We are looking for an energetic and savvy Business Development rock star with an innate ability to identify opportunities, open doors, and successfully close revenue-generating opportunities. This person will report directly to the Senior Director, Marketing and Communications.  

This person will perform duties related to nonprofit fundraising, corporate, federal, state, and local agency business development (sales), project and relationship management, including, but not limited to, assisting in the creation of and executing a fundraising and business development strategy for WID, as well as donor and grant research, engagement, and tracking. 

HOURS: 40 hours/week


Please note this job announcement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of all the activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice. 

  • Assist with the creation and implementation of the organizational business development plan that incorporates a range of fundraising strategies, including annual appeals, major donors, grants, corporate and individual appeal efforts, events, and business development outreach to corporations, foundations, US and global government and non-government agencies and businesses promoting our consulting services and tools, such as Disability Benefits 101 (DB101) and Housing Benefits 101 (HB101). 
  • Create and implement fundraising opportunities, grant research and track and inform team(s) of research and potential areas to cultivate external partnerships.
  • Contact targeted prospects through cold calling and emailing.
  • Generate regular streams of new business by providing exemplary customer service and promoting WID’s value to prospective clients.
  • Develop a solid understanding of the client’s needs and translate WID’s value propositions into all communications.
  • Determine decision-makers at companies, state/local governmental agencies and other organizations to identify their specific needs, purchasing plans, and decision criteria.
  • Coordinate funding proposal projects, including writing and submitting high-quality grant proposal narratives, applications, and supporting documents in collaboration with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Partner with subject matter experts to translate technical solutions into well-written, clearly articulated, compelling, and compliant proposal documents.
  • Maintain a line of communication with internal stakeholders (e.g., relationship managers, peers, consultants) and/or the target funder as relevant for proposal development.
  • Support evaluation of the proposal development process and develop corrective strategies as needed.


  • Outstanding writing and oral communication skills.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, including writing competitive foundation proposals for an organization with an annual budget of at least $3 million.
  • At least three years of business development (sales) experience with proven ability to develop and nurture a customer sales funnel.  
  • Experience coordinating large, complex state, federal government, and international foundation proposals. 
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.
  • Possess the ability and confidence to engage prospects and customers, evoke interest in WID solutions, qualify and disqualify potential customers, think quickly, and apply value propositions to specific customer scenarios and a variety of buyers.
  • Willingness to exercise cold calling and emailing targeted client prospects and comfortable with being measured by customer acquisition, sales quotas, and other designated measures. 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage priorities and meet multiple deadlines.
  • Self-motivation and the ability to take initiative and work as part of a team.
  • Has tenacity and a hunter’s mentality. 
  • Strong work ethic, analytical, research, and problem-solving skills.
  • Proven record of achievement in delivering sales results and developing collaborative relationships.
  • A strong understanding of the business development (selling) process is required with experience prospecting and closing new business.
  • Understand, promote, and leverage the organization’s products and service offerings as part of an overall value proposition. Create in-depth prospect profiles, build relationships with decision-makers, understand client needs, develop and present proposals to secure new business.
  • Experience presenting to diverse audiences, including some or all of the following: internal and external executives, donors, members, board members, and the public or equivalent.
  • Experience analyzing and interpreting data coupled with strong research skills.
  • Experience with US-based and/or multilateral public funding agencies.


  • A proven track record of being a business development/sales rock star generating significant revenue for an organization.
  • Personal or professional experience with disability, disability rights, or the larger social justice movement.
  • Experience conducting successful donor campaigns and events and a proven track record of growing donations.
  • Experience responding to and being awarded a significant win-rate percentage of foundation, state, and/or federal RFPs.
  • Brings an existing network relevant to the industry, including with funding agencies.
  • Experience using CRMs for tracking activities and, most importantly, forecasting development efforts.

STATUS: Exempt, generous benefits package 

COMPENSATION:  Commensurate with experience


Send resume, cover letter, writing sample, salary requirements, and references to World Institute on Disability; EMAIL: Josephine Schallehn, (WID acknowledges receipt of applications by email only)

Application Deadline: Open until Filled

Proposed Start Date: July – August 2021 


  • Address reasonable accommodation requests for the application/interview process to


  • WID is interested in remote candidates; applicants who are authorized to work in the US are encouraged to apply. 
  • WID reimburses employees at a flat rate for a set portion of their telecommunication costs via payroll.
  • WID does not cover the cost of travel or relocation but encourages all interested applicants to apply. 

The World Institute on Disability is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity. Individuals will not be discriminated against regardless of race, ethnicity, religion (creed), national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability or veteran status, and other personal characteristics.

Leave a Reply