Job Opening


The Donors and Foundations Networks Europe (DAFNE) is an informal network that consists of 25 European national associations with a collective membership of more than 7,500 public-benefit foundations plus other philanthropic players.
Following a successful period in which the Network has moved from being volunteer based and run, to becoming a professional organization, the Network is now looking to make a new, key principal staff appointment.
Operating as the chief executive, this post will be based in Brussels, and will lead the organization to the next level of effectiveness in articulating the voices of foundations and donors at European and national levels, and in expanding the increasingly challenged space for philanthropy.

We are looking for an empathic leader with: integrity, flexibility, and deep rooted ethical values; the ability to work with political decision makers as peers; and with the ability to travel and to work independently within a small but geographically dispersed team.

Position description

  • Title:

Executive Director

  • Overall purpose of the position:

The role is to lead and implement the strategic goals and working plan of the Network; and in particular to work to improve the enabling environment for philanthropy as influenced by regulation and legislation at EU and national levels.

  • Start date:

June 2017

  • Location:

Philanthropy House – Brussels, Belgium


Accountable to the DAFNE Steering Committee, the successful candidate will:

  • Working with the Chair and Steering Committee, lead the DAFNE team (who are co-located within some of the national associations) to develop and implement a work programme to achieve the Network’s objectives
  • Initiate sector research, and monitor both relevant policy affairs, and legal and fiscal issues, affecting the philanthropy operating environment in Europe
  • Build and maintain relationships with relevant stakeholders and partners in Brussels. This will be with the intention of complementing their advocacy work in bringing appropriately to relevant policy informers and influencers the diverse voices of Network members
  • Provide support for DAFNE members in respect of their advocacy work at national level, as well as build and maintain resources and intelligence on the philanthropy sector across Europe
  • Manage the current overall budget which is around 250.000€ annually, and identify and secure funding for the longer term sustainability of DAFNE

The successful candidate will have:

  • Proven ability to motivate and lead a diverse constituency to a shared vision. The Executive Director is supported by a Network Director and an Assistant, and will be expected to build teams across European and national platforms.
  • Experience in EU-level work and in the non-profit sector, with proven knowledge about philanthropy and foundations
  • Successful experience of at least five years as senior leader in a not-for-profit organization; such experience with a membership association would be an asset
  • Proven ability to lead teams, and to formulate concepts and communicate effectively (both orally and in writing) with a wide range of partners at different levels
  • Highly developed inter-personal, communicative and organisational skills
  • A superior ability to broker and organise collaborations and to develop related projects
  • Fluency in English
  • Availability to travel mainly in Europe but not exclusively
  • University degree or equivalent qualification


Salary and contract duration:

  • The compensation package offered is competitive for the sector, and dependent on experience.The contract will have an initial duration of two years although a longer period is envisaged.


    How to apply:

    Please apply in writing providing your CV, and detailing in no more than two pages your competencies and experience relevant to this position.  Candidates should indicate their salary expectations in their letter of application.

    Applications should be submitted to by 17.00 CET on 17 April 2017.