Philanthropic Research Associate
Root Capital Inc.
Cambridge United States
Date Posted 01/01/2024
Application deadline 11/27/2023
Type of Position Full-time
Education Requirement High school/GED

Reports To: Director, Development Finance & Operations
Job Type: Full-time
Region: Central America & Mexico – South America – United States
Location: Remote position, staff based in United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, or Peru [Root Capital’s offices in the Americas]
Start Date: Immediately
Contact: Please apply by using the company site.

About Root Capital

Agriculture is the key to unlocking a better future for billions of people. But while rural families sustain the world, they struggle to sustain themselves. Root Capital is a nonprofit social impact investor that puts its money where others don’t – in underserved agricultural businesses.

We provide financing and business training to agricultural enterprises in the “missing middle” – those that are too big for microloans but too small for commercial lenders. As these agricultural businesses succeed and scale, they become engines of impact that help farming families, communities, and economies to flourish.

Founded in 1999, we are the largest social investor in agricultural businesses. As both a lender and a nonprofit, our unique model allows us to go where other financiers don’t and support agricultural enterprises so they can succeed and grow. Our world-class team of experts identifies, partners with, and invests in exceptional agricultural entrepreneurs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Over almost 25 years, Root Capital has invested $1.9 billion in more than 750 agricultural enterprises, proving these under-served businesses are bankable and investable. We have shown that access to finance helps these enterprises succeed and fuels the economy. Root Capital’s investments and essential business and finance training have impacted 10 million farming families through job creation, financial security, and climate resiliency. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we currently have offices in Costa Rica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Colombia, Peru, Ghana, and Kenya.


The Philanthropic Research Associate will support the External Affairs team’s ability to secure philanthropic grants and contributions that enables Root Capital’s global impact work. This position will involve conducting in-depth research and due diligence on individuals, foundations, corporations, and public sector entities to determine their philanthropic interests, capacity, and alignment with our organization’s mission and global programs. Additionally, the Associate will perform philanthropic landscape analysis and sector research in support of internal strategy evaluations and ongoing philanthropic market trend awareness. The research performed by the Associate will be presented to the External Affairs team, Root Capital senior leadership, and other members of the organization in support of strategy prioritization and decision making.


Donor and Prospect Research – 30%

    • Conduct comprehensive philanthropic inclination and capacity research on potential and current individual, foundation, corporate, and public sector donors
    • Utilize various sources, including databases, public records, and online platforms, to gather information on potential prospects and current donors
    • Compile research into profiles and other sharable formats for internal review, and present findings to External Affairs team and senior leadership
    • Prepare briefing materials and short bios for senior leadership’s internal use at conferences, workshops, meetings, and other networking events
    • Update External Affairs’ CRM (Salesforce) with most recent prospect and donor research and ensure the accuracy and ease-of-utilization of all research in the CRM

Donor Screening & Due Diligence – 30%

    • Perform prospect and donor due diligence and donor screening utilizing Root Capital’s proprietary due diligence policy and tools to ensure that Root Capital is aware of potential risks related to philanthropic partnerships
    • Establish tracking system for current philanthropic partners to ensure Root Capital is immediately aware of news or other events that trigger due diligence review and reassessment to help mitigate any potential partnership risks
    • Work with the Director, Development Finance & Operations and others to refine and update due diligence and donor screening tools, processes, and policy to be right fit for Root Capital’s needs

Philanthropic Sector Research & Presentation – 30%

    • Support External Affairs in determining, monitoring, and qualifying current trends in the philanthropic sector and their potential impact on Root Capital’s fundraising efforts
    • Establish and manage regular internal communication of philanthropic market sector trends to ensure team awareness
    • Present regular and ad hoc updates on the philanthropic market and sector analysis to broader Root Capital teams and senior leadership

Ad Hoc Research – 10%

    • Support on the review of new tools, systems, databases, and other resources to ensure that Root Capital has the best-in-class philanthropic research capabilities
    • Perform ad hoc research and analysis on items relevant to the success of the External Affairs team and Root Capital’s fundraising efforts on request

Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

Skills & Experience

    • Entry level role with 1-3 years of experience
    • Knowledge of and experience working in the philanthropic sector is strongly preferred
    • Knowledge and experience working with research databases, particularly philanthropic and due diligence databases (iWave, LexisNexis, etc) is preferred
    • Ability to do deep research, synthesize results, and effectively present findings to senior leadership
    • Ability to complete work within established time frames, as well as prioritize and coordinate multiple projects and competing work demands
    • Ability to maintain the confidentiality of information regarding constituents, along with company financials and other information
    • Enthusiasm for thinking creatively, both individually and collaboratively
    • Strong enthusiasm for the mission and vision of Root Capital and the smallholder agriculture communities it serves
    • English proficiency is required
    • Root Capital is a bilingual organization. Spanish proficiency (written and spoken) is a strong plus but not critical to the role


Commensurate with experience.


More information about Root Capital is available at Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Candidates are encouraged to apply using the company site as soon as possible, making sure to include a resume and cover letter that describes your interest, qualifications, language abilities, salary requirements, and how you learned of the position. Finalist candidates will be required to provide at least three work-related references.

Root Capital provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, active military or veteran status, age, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth, and breastfeeding and expressing breast milk), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. Root Capital is committed to creating a dynamic work environment that upholds our leadership principles of: empowerment, equity, integrity, service, and transparency