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Civitates, Fund Director

Status: Closed

  • Employment

Organisation: Civitates

Deadline: 23/11/2022

Location: Brussels, Belgium

Civitates is seeking to appoint an exceptional individual to the role of the Fund Director, at the earliest possible date.

About the job:

Civitates was launched in 2017 as a philanthropic initiative to support civil society actors in Europe to come together, revitalise public discourse, and ensure that all voices are heard. Because we need a strong civil society to shape vibrant and open European democracies that work for all.

Civitates, which has an annual budget of approximately 3M EUR, is supported by a large group of foundations, of different shapes and sizes, which bring in a wealth of expertise and different perspectives.

Civitates is housed at the Network for European Foundations (NEF), an association of leading European foundations, dedicated to strengthening philanthropic cooperation, based in Brussels.

About the role:

Civitates is looking looking for a forward-thinking leader with experience in the philanthropic and civil society sectors in Europe.

As the Fund Director steering this initiative, you will strengthen, cultivate and help to grow this funder partnership by scouting opportunities in the field and acting on donors’ engagement in close collaboration and support from NEF. You will empower the civil society organisations you work with to identify, design, and implement grants and convenings that address issues related to protecting and enhancing democracy.

As the Fund Director you will be driving the strategic review of the Fund to contribute to the design and implementation of its next funding period 2024-2028 (currently three lines of work: strong and resilient civil society, healthy digital public sphere, and independent public interest journalism).

You will manage a small team of two programme managers hosted at the Philanthropy House, Brussels. Also, you will collaborate actively with the other philanthropic initiatives hosted at NEF.

Key responsibilities:

Portfolio Management and External Engagement

  • Strategy: Leading role to question and refine Civitates’ funding strategy in close liaison with the Fund’s steering committee to co-design the next funding cycle (2023-2028) and lead its roll out
  • Funder Cultivation & Fundraising: Drive ongoing partnerships with and reporting to the initiative’s funders in collaboration with NEF; cultivate relationships with potential future donors and partners in collaboration with existing members
  • Communication on Civitates and Field Development: Serve as spokesperson in communicating about Civitates (acting as a sensor on issues related to democracy and civil society spaces), contributing findings from the programme back to the field at large
  • Partner Management: Manage the Fund’s relationships with the civil society organisations that receive funding in collaboration with the two programme managers

Programme and Grant Management

  • Programme Management: Work closely with the Fund’s Programme Managers to direct the execution of the Fund’s strategy, including making critical decisions about timelines, balancing partner needs, and crafting systems and processes that will allow Civitates’ grants to have maximum impact
  • Grant Management: Work with the fund’s Programme Managers and the secretariat at the Network for European Foundations to forecast and track budget expenditures and assure compliance with all policies and procedures
  • Evaluation: Design and implement the M&E framework of Civitates to ensure its coherence and to capture learnings and impact
  • Contracting: Identification and contracting of advisors or consultants that support programme delivery

Professional and Personal Qualifications

  • Significant relevant professional experience (>10 years), preferably with a mixture of philanthropic experience and in a civil society organisation
  • Significant knowledge about the field of actors working to support democracy (e.g. civil society advocates, independent media)
  • Experience in managing donor-funded projects in the civil society field is an advantage
  • Proven diplomatic skills
  • Ability to link strategy with programme/operational level is essential
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; strong ability to communicate effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders (including public speaking at conferences, engaging with public/European donors)
  • Strong strategic and analytical approach
  • Start-up mindset and hands-on attitude
  • Proven ability to work independently in cross-functional, distributed teams
  • Willingness to travel internationally to meet with project partners as appropriate and necessary
  • Ability to adjust to change flexibly
What Civitates offers:
  • An exciting job opportunity to (re) shape, develop further and steer an established philanthropic initiative
  • An indefinite contract under Belgian law, with two days of remote work per week – terms to be mutually discussed and agreed upon
  • Meaningful and stimulating work
  • A diverse and inclusive workplace
  • A learning organisation
  • Depending on skills and experience of qualified candidates, Civitates offers a gross salary range of € 70,000 – € 80,000 annually


There is a strong preference for this position to be based in Belgium at the Philanthropy House. Please note, this position is not eligible for work authorisation sponsorship.


Civitates is an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. Civitates does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

How to apply

If you are interested in being considered for this position, please send your CV and cover letter to Peggy Sailler (peggy.sailler@nef-europe.org) by 23 of November of 2022. There is a desire for the successful candidate to assume work as soon as possible. Civitates will not take into account the application received via the “simplified application” of Linkedin.


Interview dates: for selected applicants, scheduled with the selection committee panel on 13 and 14 of December 2022, in person in Brussels.

To learn more, please click here.

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