We know that business development teams at humanitarian and international development agencies have a lot of different needs competing for top priority. We're here to help.

  • Expert Advising

    Access seasoned business development consultants who can help you get to know your highest priority funders and technical sectors inside and out.

  • Surge Support

    Our small team of proposal pros are vetted and tested, so no more second guessing if you have the right extra set of hands you need to get today's bid out the door.

  • Retainer Support

    Guaranteed retainer-based support ensures you have coverage during hiring lags or parental leave, with the flexibility to scale up support during busy periods.

A few of our friends

Business development is hard.

You need both the capture and proposal support to get today's bid out the door and the training and coaching solutions to strengthen your organization's internal capacity for the long term.

  • An expert proposal coordinator, manager, writer, cost proposal lead, copy editor, or reviewer ready to provide surge support

  • A fully integrated team member when you need mid- and longer-term support to cover staffing gaps or add to your bench during a busy season

  • A seasoned advisor to help you conduct landscape research, hone your business development strategy, and improve your business development processes

  • An expert trainer providing custom in-house training on critical business development information and capacities

  • A certified coach to help your business development team members improve performance

Our Team

These bosses are here to help

Aimee Foster

Superpower: Succinctly clarifying and simplifying project activities and concepts.

Aimee is a seasoned systems thinker with local and international experience in sustainable food systems development as well as technical expertise in agricultural productivity and market systems development. Before becoming a consultant, she held several positions at Land O’Lakes Venture37, including as a business development manager, senior program specialist, and market system advisor. Previously, she managed food access programming rooted in the needs of the local community, which included operating an organic farm and two farmers' markets and launching a deep winter greenhouse. At the University of Minnesota, Aimee conducted research in organic fruit and vegetable production, developed extension materials, and delivered course lectures. Aimee holds a Master of Science in Applied Plant Sciences from the University of Minnesota and has lived and worked in Rwanda, Thailand, Madagascar, and the United Kingdom.

Alannah Ellis

Superpower: Minimizing input required from overwhelmed country offices and cracking the unwritten rules of BHA and ECHO!

Alannah is a humanitarian business development (BD) specialist with over eight years’ experience in developing BD strategy, designing humanitarian programs, and managing (and writing!) proposal submissions. Having worked in contexts across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, she has extensive knowledge of the donor landscape and has worked with a wide range of institutional donors including USAID BHA, BPRM, EC, ECHO, FCDO, and various UN entities. Alannah loves to work with small BD teams, where she can provide hands-on support in all aspects of the BD cycle, but is equally comfortable slotting in to a larger team.

Amelia Rock

Leveraging scientific evidence and programmatic wisdom to design context-tailored and effective technical approaches.

Amelia Rock, PhD, MS, is a social scientist with two decades of experience in public health research and programming. She is an expert in HIV prevention, treatment, and key populations; gender-based violence; and analysis of social and structural factors that influence health and wellbeing, such as stigma, gender and sexual norms, and economic opportunity. For several years at John Snow, Inc., she implemented, monitored, and evaluated USAID- and Gates Foundation-funded sexual and reproductive health and tuberculosis programs in Latin America & the Caribbean and Southern and East Africa. Dr. Rock completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Epidemiology Department of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, her PhD at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, and her Master of Science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her new business development experience encompasses technical approach research and development and writing gender strategies for proposals for USAID and other major funders.

Amy Logan

Bringing together the target group's identified needs, organizational expertise, and donor expectations to find that winning approach.

Amy is a global health specialist with nine years of international development experience and five years of experience designing, leading, and implementing community health programming across Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Her technical specializations include tuberculosis, HIV and AIDS, family planning/reproductive health, and health systems strengthening, with cross-cutting specializations in youth, gender, rights-based and people-centered approaches, organizational development, and capacity building. Amy has a proven record of providing technical assistance on health initiatives at all stages of the program cycle, encompassing strategic research and planning, project design, proposal writing and coordination, implementation, evaluation, and reporting. She is familiar with donors such as USAID, CDC, EuropeAid, the Global Fund, Stop TB Partnership, World Bank, European governments, and foundations.

Ashika Thanki

Working collaboratively and effectively with country teams to lead proposal development.

Ashika Thanki is a senior-level development and humanitarian professional with 20 years’ experience in program management, business development, fundraising, contract management, partner relationship building, research, advocacy, and policy development. In addition to working as an independent consultant, Ashika has held programmatic and business development positions at HEKS/EPER Swiss Church Aid, UNOPS, and CARE International. With an outcomes-driven and feminist approach, Ashika has designed multisectoral interventions on cash-assisted recovery, livelihoods, gender, and protection mainstreaming to reach IDPs, host communities, and refugees in multiple countries. Ashika has experience with funders such as the European Union (EU); Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA); Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM); Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA); Global Affairs Canada (GAC); BMZ; and Norway. Ashika excels at leading proposal development, beginning with understanding the donor, designing the concept, and coordinating the process to final and quality submission. Strengths in proposal development are underlined by respect, kindness, and building trusting relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and problem-solving as needed.

Cynthia Berning

Organizing information from many different sources into one clear, coherent product.

Cynthia is a technical writer and project manager with expertise in land tenure, agriculture, irrigation, and rural finance projects. She worked in rural development and project management with MCC, the Peace Corps (Morocco), and USAID (Democratic Republic of the Congo) before becoming a technical writing consultant. As a consultant, she specializes in new business development and proposal writing for international development clients. Cynthia has extensive field experience in North and sub-Saharan Africa, China, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe. She speaks French, Spanish, and Moroccan Arabic. She has led or contributed to proposals for a wide variety of donors including MCC, USAID, the State Department, the European Union, and the Inter-American Development Bank. In her spare time, she breeds sheep, enjoys outdoor activities, and teaches herself to play new musical instruments.

Elena Ghanotakis

Analyzing, synthesizing, and simplifying information.

Elena is a global health and development consultant with 18 years of multidisciplinary experience working in health and development. Technical areas include HIV and other infectious diseases, global health security, gender equality, adolescent health, maternal and child health, family planning, and reproductive health, and in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Elena specializes in technical writing, including proposals, policy analyses, and analytics tools. She has researched and authored numerous publications, including peer-reviewed articles, organizational reports and gray literature, technical briefs, training manuals, and online courses. Recent examples of Elena’s technical writing projects include USAID proposals focused on HIV program implementation; CDC proposals focused on global health security, surveillance, labs, and health information systems; a photo essay on the malaria supply chain in Ethiopia; and a UNICEF toolkit on structural HIV risk for adolescent girls and young women. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Elena worked with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for six years. At this foundation, she provided technical support to country programs globally. She was co-chair of the Finance and Economics Working Group for the Inter-Agency Task Team on Prevention of HIV Infection in Pregnant Women, Mothers, and their Infants. Elena previously made two documentaries for PBS Frontline World on gender-based violence in South Africa. She graduated with honors from Dartmouth College with a BA in Government/International relations. Elena has a MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Emilie Greenhalgh

Crafting in-depth research into a compelling story or argument.

Emilie is a skilled program manager, team lead, and technical writer with more than a decade of experience, including a combined nine years in Cameroon, the DRC, Afghanistan, Morocco, Niger, and Indonesia. Emilie’s work has been described as “where efficiency meets excellence,” and you can count on her to take on challenging assignments with proactive dedication and attention to detail. One of Emilie’s most notable roles was managing the design processes for Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Education and Land Compact in Morocco and Sustainable Water and Agriculture Compact in Niger, totaling $887 million, for which she also provided technical writing, editing, team management, and capacity-building. Emilie has also been a proposal manager and/or lead technical writer for Catholic Relief Services, World Vision Inc., Mercy Corps, Norda Stelo, WWF, and Banyan Global in a variety of sectors, including climate-smart agriculture, gender equality and social inclusion, trade facilitation, economic recovery and market systems, disaster risk reduction, linear infrastructure, and environmental and social safeguards, and for a variety of donors, including USDA, USAID, PRM, and the World Bank. She is fluent in French and holds an MA in International Relations and International Economics from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Jane Caudell-Feagan

Developing responsive pricing strategies that support and reflect organizational needs.

Jane provides international development consulting services in business development, proposal and project pricing, corporate financial management, and training development. She is an experienced contract and proposal pricing expert with more than 11 years of project financial management and business development experience. Jane is skilled in facilitating executive decision-making through financial modeling and monthly/annual budget forecasting. Prior to consulting, Jane spent most of her career at Chemonics International as the Strategic Pricing Director, Senior Cost and Pricing Manager, and Business Development Manager.

Jane Hagemann

Keeping everyone organized through project management and team coordination!

Jane is a natural when it comes to all things project management. She has 15 years of experience in the international development sector with a technical background in public health. She began her career and passion for public health as an HIV and Health Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo, West Africa. She has a creative eye and knows the complexities of working for donor-funded projects across sub-Saharan Africa. Jane has managed all stages of public health programs from design to mobilization, implementation, and close-out at the global, national, and community level. She brings diverse programmatic, technical, and operations expertise to programs and business development. She has worked with a variety of donors, including USAID, the German government (BMU, GIZ, KfW), Asian Development Bank, Luxembourg Development, and The END Fund. Her business development experience includes proposal leadership/management, proposal coordination, capture work/research, recruitment and staffing, partner acquisition, writing, and reviewing. She has supported implementation science and operations research activities in Zambia, Kenya, and Mali and holds training and facilitation experience in country and global offices.

Jeana Baker

Using persuasive language backed by evidence.

A highly energetic and dynamic development practitioner, Jeana has 16 years’ experience in international development, specializing in project management, livelihoods, and business development. She has led long-term development and humanitarian efforts on several USG and EU-funded projects supporting women and youth through economic recovery, food security, SME development, and life skills. Jeana is a thought leader who incorporates adaptive management into project design to build solid programs and long-lasting partnerships. Familiar with USAID, USDA, FCDO, ECHO, SIDA, and SDC, she is a pro at creating maps and competitive landscapes for strategic donor engagement. She thrives on team coordination, leads evidence-based research, and draws on market/needs/impact assessments to craft successful bids. She has an MA in agriculture and is proficient in French. Jeana is a certified technical communicator with work experience in Benin, Togo, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Haiti, and Jordan.

Jenni Jelsing

Staying curious, understanding the complex needs of my clients, and translating these needs into visual solutions.

Jenni is an experienced visual designer with a passion for helping companies that do good. With expertise in print, digital, presentation, brand development, and information graphics, she can work across multiple disciplines to help clients connect with their audiences. Her empathetic and curious nature makes her a great collaborator and, combined with her knowledge of trends and design, she creates solutions that are clean, aesthetic, and purposeful.

Juliet Stein

Getting documents to fit within a page limit.

Juliet has approximately 25 years of international relief and development experience with 15 years of experience in proposal writing and business development for humanitarian, early recovery, and development initiatives. She also has expertise in conducting on-site mixed methods research to inform program design, facilitating strategic planning, and developing programmatic theories of change and MEAL frameworks. She has assessed the resilience strategies used by communities in Syria to recover from conflict and written multiple proposals for building individual, household, and community resilience in Syria. She currently resides in Pakistan and has worked in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Tajikistan, Armenia, Sudan, South Sudan, D.R. Congo, Syria (remotely), Afghanistan (remotely), and Yemen (remotely). She is fluent in Bosnian (Serbo-Croatian) and proficient in Russian.

Kim Mulji

Fully understanding a client's often highly complex needs.

An experienced international development professional, Kim helps clients win commercial contracts from the British government (with a focus on the FCDO), working across all pipeline stages. He leads on opportunity identification and intelligence gathering, consortium building, and bid drafting. He has worked on bids covering a range of thematic issues, including cyber security; violent extremism; and monitoring, evaluation, and learning, including tenders focused on supporting Ukraine. His practice is supported by a personal and professional network of high-level FCDO and other contacts; good knowledge of global and local consulting organizations and their partnership interests; and excellent research, analysis, and drafting skills. With a Master of Business Administration, other post-graduate management qualifications, and experience with UK government development programming and best practices, Kim is well-positioned to help companies and organizations secure contracts in the increasingly competitive market for UK government contracts. He also has well-developed skills in grant fundraising from multilaterals, bilaterals, and trusts/foundations.

Kimberley Ready

Collaborating with technical experts to extract clear activities and pricing information.

Kimberley is a business development and contract management professional with more than 15 years’ experience managing full-cycle contract compliance, including proposal development and pricing, work plan development, and project financial and operations management. She is a detail-oriented expert in RFP compliance across technical and business volumes, and she creates proposals that do not result in implementation problems. Kimberley brings deep experience with the development of proposals submitted to federal, multilateral, and private funders, as well as project implementation and grant management and development expertise.

Lilit Yoo

Powering through despite challenging deadlines.

Lilit is an accomplished international development professional with more than 15 years of experience, including home office and direct field experience, in new business development, operations, recruitment, logistics, resource allocation, project management, corporate financial reporting, training (budget processes, tools, and initiatives), and technical and contractual support. She has participated on numerous business development proposal teams both as a consultant and while a staff member at Chemonics International Inc., Population Reference Bureau, Nathan Associates, Financial Markets International, International Rescue Committee, Panagora Group, and ACDI/VOCA. Lilit has expertise in cost proposal development, particularly for donors such as USAID. She has led strategy and program decision-making efforts for international development assistance programs, having previously implemented USAID projects at Chemonics International and designed web resources to meet Section 508 compliance. Lilit is fluent in French and English.

Lisa Taylor

Editing complex texts for clarity, flow, and consistency.

Lisa is a copy editor, writer, and Spanish-to-English translator who brings seven years of experience in human rights and gender equality to the business development sphere. She is a detail-oriented professional skilled in analyzing identity-based constraints and opportunities and has contributed to research across sectors such as energy, infrastructure, agriculture, and health. Most recently, she worked at a gender equality start-up, where she conducted literature reviews, analyzed gender data, edited technical content, and developed funding proposals. In parallel, as an independent consultant based in Colombia since 2015, she has supported non-profit and international organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector in both the United States and Colombia. At heart, Lisa loves working with texts—whether that is through writing, editing, or translating—to shape and effectively communicate ideas that support social good.

Liz Fabel

Getting all of the points with none of the pain.

Liz is a practiced global health and sustainable development professional committed to gender equity and social inclusion. Her 25 years’ experience spans proposal team management, capture planning, and writing for USAID bids, as well as prospecting foundations that enable organizations to innovate. Working with global organizations such as Pathfinder International, EngenderHealth, JSI, and World Education, Liz has successfully pursued USAID, CDC, World Bank, UNICEF, and foundation funds through dedicated new business development positions, consultancies, and senior-level project management and technical roles. She has a broad social science background for understanding and applying evidence, with an MPH (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health), an MA in International Community Development (Clark University), and a BA in Anthropology (University of Massachusetts/Amherst).

Matt Grason

Distilling complex ideas for different audiences.

Matt has 20 years of nonprofit fundraising experience. For the past 15 of those years, he has worked as a grant writer for small, nationally or internationally focused nonprofits, managing portfolios of 20 to 30 funders a year to raise between $400,000 and $1.5 million annually. Matt is passionate about environmental concerns and climate change solutions—regenerative agriculture, rainforest conservation, clean energy, recycling/resource management, and cooperative housing. In particular, he is inspired by the potential of regenerative agriculture—a set of simple and elegant soil care practices that can draw carbon out of the air and put it back in the ground, restore ecosystems, and improve our health through the food we eat.

Michelle Kurian

Creating powerful infographics or visuals to support text.

Michelle is a multilingual technical writer who applies practical field experience to new business opportunities, technical proposals, and design of technical activities. In the last 15 years, she has worked with or developed competitive proposals for multiple private sector clients and donors including the African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Millennium Challenge Corporation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UN, World Bank, and USAID and other US government agencies. In recent years, she has excelled in proposals for corporate funders and private foundations. She possesses talent in editing, focus group facilitation, stakeholder interviews, budget creation, cost proposal development, key personnel recruitment, graphic design, and identification of strategic partnerships. Furthermore, she excels at strategy and copy editing. She has subject matter expertise in ICT, agribusiness, market access, private sector development, nutrition, food security, livelihoods, and women's empowerment. She specializes in southern Africa; however, her past work experience ranges from Central America to sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

FAQ

  • Do you work only in the humanitarian and international development sectors?

    Primarily, yes, as this is the shared background of our entire Bid Boss team. We specialize in working on proposals to funders in the humanitarian and global development landscape, such as USAID, the US Department of State (PRM, DRL, and others), USDA Food for Progress and Food for Education programs, CDC, European Union funders, United Nations and other multilaterals, FCDO and other country-specific bilaterals, the World Bank Group, foundations (major and small family foundations), and corporate social responsibility and shared value funding.

    We serve both non-profit and mission-driven companies or social enterprises seeking funding from any of these sources.

  • What technical or programmatic areas do you support?

    Our team of proposal writers and design facilitation experts represent a range of technical sector areas including agriculture, economic growth, education, entrepreneurship, food security, governance, humanitarian assistance, and health.

    We also have gender equity and social inclusion technical support baked into all of our proposal support, which is designed to mesh with clients’ in-house gender strategy and expertise and respond to donor requirements. Additionally, our team includes monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) specialists who can support the MEL component of your proposal and MEL section writing.

  • What roles can Bid Boss fill on a capture or proposal team?

    In support of capture and proposal efforts for our clients, Bid Boss has stepped in to the following roles:

    • Capture management
    • Competitive analysis
    • Proposal coordination and management
    • Design facilitation
    • Lead technical proposal writing
    • Section proposal writing
    • Back chapter proposal writing
    • Cost proposal advising
    • Leading cost proposal development
    • Developmental and copy editing
    • Funder expert proposal reviews
    • Orals prep and coaching
    • Specialized technical support in MEL, GEYSI, or specific subject matter topics

    Generally, the Bid Boss team supports all capture and proposal team roles outside of technical design leadership or decision making, which we strongly recommend our clients keep in-house due to the potential risks associated with outsourcing decision making.

  • How early in the process should we call you? (i.e., how far in advance do you get booked up?)

    We recommend that you reach out for bid support as soon as you know that you may need support. The sooner that we know, the better. During our busy seasons, we can be booked up three or more months in advance. ​

    Due to the high volume of requests for USAID surge support and our knowledge that investing in capture can increase your likelihood of winning by over 30%, we prioritize supporting USAID bids where the request for support is made before the solicitation is released. Even if you don’t need capture support from us, it helps our team provide the best support possible if we’re able to begin planning with you before a solicitation is live.

    For last minute requests, including those with less than two weeks lead time or those made after a USAID solicitation is released, an urgency premium of up to 30% may be applied to compensate for the necessary changes in consultant schedules.

  • How do you navigate changing timelines?

    We are completely accustomed to the way donor timelines can shift, so we’re always happy to work with you to make a support plan early and adapt it as new information from the donor arises.

    For our clients who want to guarantee the availability of a specific member of our team for a specific opportunity before the solicitation is released, we require a 20% down payment. This allows us to protect that team member's time and guarantee their availability.

  • How are your rates structured?

    Typically we provide surge support at established hourly rates, which vary depending on the expertise of the individual required to fulfill the work request and the nature of the assignments. Our rates are in line with prevailing rates for business development support services ($80-250 per hour). An additional premium (10-30%) may be applied for urgent assignments.

    We do not work based on a performance- or win-based remuneration model, but we do offer a sliding scale option for organizations based in the Global South. We can also work under fixed price contracts, especially for projects where a fixed price model makes the most sense, such as design workshop facilitation, strategy development support, and customized training development.

    As one other option that you may not have considered, when you have a vacant position on your business development team or an extended period in which you will need extra support, we can provide coverage via retainer-based support. This guarantees you a minimum number of hours of support each month to cover any of the daily tasks that would normally be covered by a business development team member.

  • What's your win rate?

    Our win rate sits between 10-20 points above the industry standard of about 30%. So many factors can influence the probability of winning for the individual opportunity you’re considering, though! We’re always here to talk strategy if you’re working to increase your organizational win rate.

  • Will you help us identify funding opportunities?

    While we do provide support for business development strategy development, positioning, landscape research, we do not typically assist with identifying specific funding opportunities. When you do need support at the identification stage, we strongly recommend working with our friends at Connective Impact. Similarly, if you need support understanding how to approach partnership development, including building relationships with funders or private sector partners, Connective Impact is a great resource.