Chemists Without Borders is a non-profit, international humanitarian organization working on solving humanitarian problems in a number of countries using the expertise of chemists and others.
In Bangladesh, for example, we are working with high schools to educate students on the health hazards of arsenic in drinking water. In two of those schools, we have been able to raise funds to replace their wells contaminated with arsenic. This project brought safe water to about 4000 students. We have also developed a Health Education Course for Bangladesh elementary and secondary students. We now have a model that we think could solve the arsenic contamination of drinking water nationwide, and we are working to validate it in one high school district.
We are also developing chemistry kits using small quantities of chemicals for high school students in Sierra Leone. This will allow schools without a laboratory to still do science experiments.
Our latest project, our Biochar Project, is the promotion of a technology that will combat global warming and climate change. It will also enable farmers to make their crops more resistant to drought and increase crop yield. We are starting to promote this technology to developing countries.
We have many other projects and could do much more with your help. We are in need of a Business Manager who could help us improve the financial management of our projects. Going forward, we want to focus on projects that, while solving humanitarian problems, are also self sustaining or profitable financially.
This position is unpaid.
In the short term we have some office procedures that need to be documented and an administrative person trained to perform them. This should take no more than a few days to a few weeks.
Then our new Business Manager will discuss our current projects with the President and each of our Project Team Leaders. He/she will also discuss our fundraising capabilities with the Fundraising Team and our CFO to understand how donations are obtained and documented and what expenses are paid for from these donations.
Having understood what each of our projects accomplishes and how funds are obtained and used, the Business Manager will brainstorm with each of the principals above to find changes that can be made in our organization to do the following:
- Obtain a higher level of funding
- For each project, suggest how better results can be obtained, first for the current funding, and second, how a higher level of funding could be effectively used.
- Write guidelines for selecting new projects to launch. How to select the most important projects from a humanitarian point of view and how they can be made financially sustainable.
- Determine what resources (in terms of funding and professional skills) will be necessary to bring us to the next level in ramping up the number of people we help and increasing the impact we will have with each of them.
While we don’t have specific requirements for years of experience or education, we feel the following points are important.
- We are looking for someone who has had the responsibility for running an operation, both from personnel and financial management points of view.
- The ability to "think outside the box", to be willing to try something new, would be an asset.
- Empathy for the millions of people in the world who lack the basic necessities of life and the desire to use our volunteers and organization to make a difference in their lives is important.
- Curiosity is another characteristic we are looking for, the ability to question "Why are we doing this? What function does it serve?
- Most of our volunteers have or are getting advanced degrees in chemistry. Some technical background, or at least the ability to learn technical things, would be helpful.
- There is no geographical requirement. Our volunteers are spread around the globe, and our projects are in a number of locations. Some of us meet in person occasionally, but most interactions are digital, through e-mail or Skype.
Passion about our mission, desire to make a difference in the world, and the willingness to work hard to achieve goals often compensate for specific educational and experience qualifications. If you find this position attractive, let us hear from you.