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Donor Relations Officer


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: Geneva
  • Grade: Level not specified - Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • International Relations
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
  • Closing Date:

Hardship Level

H (no hardship)

Family Type


Family Type


Residential location (if applicable)



Staff Member / Affiliate Type



Regular > Regular Assignment

Remote work accepted


Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

December 15, 2022

Standard Job Description

Donor Relations Officer Organizational Setting and Work Relationships The Donor Relations Officer is part of a team tasked to maintain proactive dialogue with donor governments as well as with the regional and local donors aiming at building relationships, raise awareness and mobilize political and financial support for UNHCR¿s work and priorities. The incumbent's primary role is pursuing opportunities for donor engagement, strengthening partnerships, sustaining support and fundraising opportunities. Due to the specific nature of these responsibilities, Donor Relations Officer posts are based only in Geneva Headquarters, major donor capitals or Regional Bureaux. S/he with also provide support to counterparts in Field Operations, especially to offices dealing with emergency situations. The incumbent reports to a senior staff in the function of Donor Relations and/or External Engagement; the reporting relationships may vary and depends on the size and organizational structure of the office/operation. The incumbent may supervise professional and/or general service staff. All UNHCR staff members are accountable to perform their duties as reflected in their job description. They do so within their delegated authorities, in line with the regulatory framework of UNHCR which includes the UN Charter, UN Staff Regulations and Rules, UNHCR Policies and Administrative Instructions as well as relevant accountability frameworks. In addition, staff members are required to discharge their responsibilities in a manner consistent with the core, functional, cross-functional and managerial competencies and UNHCR¿s core values of professionalism, integrity and respect for diversity. Duties - Maintain close dialogue with and provide information to donor governments on UNHCR operations and financial requirements including responding to donor governments¿ requests for information on ad hoc basis. - Negotiate contributions, striving for timeliness, predictability and maximum flexibility. - Keep abreast of UNHCR¿s operations worldwide with a specific focus on emergency situations to be able to serve donor¿s information needs on all aspects of UNHCR¿s work. - Identify and access new donors and funding sources as per DRRM strategy. - Draft internal and external correspondence, including briefing notes for senior management to support them in negotiation and follow up of contributions with donors. - Assist in reviewing actions and strategies for assigned donors with a specific focus on monitoring and analysing; develop and maintain donor profiles and plans. Monitor recording and tracking of contributions and take necessary actions to satisfy donor requirements. Additional duties for position in Headquarters - Prepare submissions - in collaboration with respective Bureau, Divisions and UNHCR Offices - for specific funding from donors or provide other information donor may require in determining their financial/political support to UNHCR. - Serve as a liaison between UNHCR and Permanent Missions and arrange meetings for donors, and where applicable, organize annual bilateral consultations with selected donor government and provide follow-up to the conclusions of these meetings. Additional duties for positions in major donor capitals - Develop and cultivate network of counterparts and influencers, including in relevant ministries, parliament and local government. - Based on knowledge of local context, assist in developing country engagement strategy to raise locally available funds, in close collaboration with DRRM. - Assist with liaison work between UNHCR and the Government and ensure UNHCR¿s reflexive outreach to relevant counterparts, including through the organization of briefings and missions to the Field. Implement and coordinate donor recognition efforts in the country, in collaboration with DRRM. - Assist operations in developing appropriate, high quality funding submissions, information papers and donor reports. Additional duties for positions in Regional Bureaux - Assist in developing country or regional strategies to raise locally available funds, including from UN pooled funds. - Liaise with respective country offices to have regional understanding of the funding needs as well as funding priorities amongst different countries. - Function as a contact point for donors in the region and ensure Bureau¿s reflexive outreach to relevant counterparts and embassies. - Facilitate DRRM training events for Field and Bureau staff as required. - Support the resource allocation and reallocation process. - Monitor the earmarking levels and alert DRRM/PSP on specific country programmes which risk receiving excessive or minimal earmarked contributions. - Implement and coordinate donor recognition efforts in the region, in collaboration with DRRM. - Assist Bureau and operations in developing appropriate, high quality funding submissions, information papers and donor reports. - Review and edit relevant narrative and data information for presentation in the Global Appeals and Global Reports as well as any other UNHCR appeal or report documents. - Perform other related duties as required. Minimum Qualifications Education & Professional Work Experience Years of Experience / Degree Level For P3/NOC - 6 years relevant experience with Undergraduate degree; or 5 years relevant experience with Graduate degree; or 4 years relevant experience with Doctorate degree Field(s) of Education International Relations; Political Science; Social Sciences; Journalism; Communication; Public Policy; or other relevant field. (Field(s) of Education marked with an asterisk* are essential) Certificates and/or Licenses Not specified. Relevant Job Experience Essential: Experience in external engagement with donors, UN agencies, partners, governments. Professional work experience in field operations. Knowledge of UNHCR¿s operational arrangements, its relief programmes, the funding needs and priorities. Desirable: UNHCR fund- raising and programme management experience. Good research, policy and report writing skills. Experience in managing donor relations. Understanding of the workings of major donor perspectives, requirements and standards. Functional Skills MG-Resource Mobilization Techniques and Guidelines ER-Donor Reporting and Related Tracking Systems ER-Donor Relations - Humanitarian Financing *CO-Strategic Communication SO-Networking *CO-Drafting and Documentation CO-Reporting skills (Functional Skills marked with an asterisk* are essential) Language Requirements For International Professional and Field Service jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English. For National Professional jobs: Knowledge of English and UN working language of the duty station if not English and local language. For General Service jobs: Knowledge of English and/or UN working language of the duty station if not English. All UNHCR workforce members must individually and collectively, contribute towards a working environment where each person feels safe, and empowered to perform their duties. This includes by demonstrating no tolerance for sexual exploitation and abuse, harassment including sexual harassment, sexism, gender inequality, discrimination and abuse of power. As individuals and as managers, all must be proactive in preventing and responding to inappropriate conduct, support ongoing dialogue on these matters and speaking up and seeking guidance and support from relevant UNHCR resources when these issues arise. This is a Standard Job Description for all UNHCR jobs with this job title and grade level. The Operational Context may contain additional essential and/or desirable qualifications relating to the specific operation and/or position. Any such requirements are incorporated by reference in this Job Description and will be considered for the screening, shortlisting and selection of candidates.

Desired Candidate Profile

- Field experience with a UNHCR operation, particularly and preferably in programme/planning.
- Thorough knowledge of UNHCR operational arrangements, its programmes and programme planning cycles, funding needs and priorities and understanding of the fundamentals of budget preparation.
- Good knowledge of UNHCR results-based management system (COMPASS).
- Experience (field or HQ) with UNHCR or another agency in external or donor relations.
- Fluency in written and spoken English; competency in French or another UN language desirable.
- Excellent coordination and multitasking skills.
- Experience in managing small teams.
- Ability to work in a diverse and multilingual team and to cope with high levels of stress and pressure to deliver quality results within very short deadlines, amidst many competing priorities.

Required languages (expected Overall ability is at least B2 level):


Desired languages


Operational context

Occupational Safety and Health Considerations:

Not applicable

Nature of Position:

The Donor Relations Officer (DRO)  incumbent will be working in the Global Appeals and Reports Section, which has as its primary responsibility the publication of UNHCR's main corporate reports – the annual Global Appeal and Global Report – and which manages the Global Focus website. The incumbent will also be involved in the consolidation and publication of general information, supplementary or emergency appeals, advocacy appeals and various submissions and reports for donors throughout the year.

The position requires close attention to detail and good coordination skills to ensure materials submitted for publication or for Global Focus are to a high quality – meaning accurate, timely, appropriate and to a high editorial standard. In addition to the corporate reporting, the DRO will coordinate the Section’s involvement in supplementary, advocacy and other appeals and reports.

The DRO supports the Chief of Section in producing high quality appeals and reports adapted to donors' needs, specifically by coordinating inputs for the Global Appeal and Report publications and for Global Focus. This will include the coordination of information such as narratives, budgets, population figures, and information on planning and results.  

The DRO will have particular responsibility for liaising and coordinating with focal points in regional bureaux and operations. The incumbent will be responsible for coordinating regional, operational and situational inputs for the Global Appeal and Global Report and Global Focus. This will require frequent interaction with regional bureaux and operations, and interaction with HQ divisions, to gather appropriate content for the publications and Global Focus, and for supplementary or emergency appeals if and as necessary.

The DRO will supervise the work of the Associate Donor Relations Officer, who will support the incumbent with the above-mentioned tasks. The incumbent will also work closely with the Global Focus manager on content for the website linked to the Global Appeals and Reports.

The DRO will play a leading role in maintaining regular communications or a community of practice with the bureaux and operations on their involvement in the Global Appeals and Reports, supplementary or other appeals. This will include training and familiarization, best practice, guidance, and advice on the content, processes and timing of deliverables.

At a time of transformation in UNHCR’s reporting processes and with a greater emphasis on resource mobilization, the DRO also plays an important role in streamlining processes and contributing to strategic decision-making about optimizing external relation products


  • Global Focus information is up to date, relevant, and complete.
  • Supplementary or other appeals are produced rapidly and serve to mobilize donor funds and improve the quality of contributions as well as UNHCR transparency and accountability.


  • Coordinate the editing and revision of texts and other inputs to Global Reports and Appeals, and other donor submissions and reports, from UNHCR regional bureaux and functional units at Headquarters.
  • Supervise and manage the work of the Associate Donor Relations Officer.
  • Develop or adjust standard templates for donor updates, fact sheets, appeals and reports.


  • Manage the Associate Donor Relations Officer.


Fluency in English; other UN language is desirable

Living and Working Conditions:

Geneva-based position

Additional Qualifications




Work Experience


Accountability, Analytical thinking, Client & results orientation, Commitment to continuous learning, Communication, Empowering & building trust, Judgement & decision making, Managing resource, Negotiation & conflict resolution, Organizational awareness, Planning & organizing, Teamwork & collaboration

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Bi-annual Compendium 2022 Part B – November 2022

Functional clearance

This position doesn't require a functional clearance
We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.