Job Opening

Partnerships & Business Development Lead

The Class Foundation is looking to expand its European platform with an entrepreneurial Partnerships & Business Development personnel. We are a partnership-driven foundation dedicated to improving student living. Your role is to work with new and existing partners to develop collaborations, memberships, and sponsorship opportunities for conferences, research initiatives, and events within the student accommodation sector. Our team is based in and around Amsterdam, but we work with partners across the continent, attending and hosting events in major European cities throughout the year. The ideal candidate demonstrates expertise in community growth, sales/acquisitions, and commercial strategy. We’re on the lookout for someone with a knack for networking; a social, engaging, and organised team player to manage the wants and needs of both internal and external stakeholders.

The Basics

  • Full-time position (40 hours per week)
  • Based in The Netherlands (ideally Amsterdam)
  • Initial 1 year contract with prospect for renewal
  • Start date: as soon as possible
  • International work environment
  • Regular travel

The Class Foundation

As higher education increasingly globalises, the way in which universities, cities, and countries attract and retain talent is also evolving. Our foundation is one of Europe’s largest aggregators of key players in student housing, higher education, and urban development. Our curated community of operators, investors, suppliers, and policy-makers is a growing network with a shared mission to identify the challenges and opportunities that will shape student living in the decades to come. Primarily, we act as a knowledge platform, initiating research projects, publications, and hybrid events focused on the state of student living.  

It is our goal to professionalize student living in Europe by driving operators to be more sustainable, affordable, and accessible to both domestic and international students. We organise regional events and an annual flagship conference in various cities across Europe. During those events, we raise awareness on current issues in the sector, potential areas for collaboration, and best practices. In 2022, The Class Foundation will return to hosting in-person events, with an action-packed agenda running from Spring until Autumn.

  • The Class Conference: our annual flagship event, which we will hold in a hybrid format from Madrid in November 2022 [more info]
  • The Best in Class Awards: our annual celebration of the movers and shakers within our industry [more info]
  • Trend Report & Research projects: publications highlighting key issues impacting our sector and trends that pave the way for the future of student living [more info]
  • Regional European Forums – The State of Student Living: a series of interactive, hybrid events hosted across Europe to explore our Collective Agenda for Change [more info]

We are a team of program, marketing, research, design, and production specialists – some full-time, some freelance.

Job Description

You will bring our stakeholder relationship management to the next level, expanding our community within and beyond our three primary audiences in real estate, higher education, and government. You are responsible for developing and executing a partnerships strategy aimed at the acquisition of new partners. Additionally, you will serve as the account manager of existing partnerships, while working to broaden the revenue of the foundation by securing strategic sponsorships. Agreements you will be negotiating will range from project-based funding to multi-year agreements in excess of €50k.  

Your top priority will be to strengthen and expand our community by delivering shared value and maximising social gains. Your core responsibilities will be to:

  • Oversee budgeting and forecasting for the foundation and its annual programme of events and collaborations
  • Coordinate with the entire team to maintain sustainable income streams, including event and activity sponsorships, annual partnership dues, grants, in-kind agreements, etc.
  • Manage existing partnerships by fostering strong relationships, working with the Programme and Marketing teams to deliver contractual benefits, and ensuring thorough financial administration
  • Administer contracts and invoices for sponsors, partners, suppliers, etc., working together with the entire team to ensure that all financial targets are met each month
  • Work together with the team to create and execute ticketing strategies for each event hosted by the foundation
  • Manage the foundation’s Salesforce and Eventbrite channels  
  • Serve as the first touchpoint for our community, dealing with phone and email inquiries in a friendly and timely manner
  • Further grow our community of higher education professionals, city planners, student housing operators, and other complementary stakeholders by identifying opportunities and working alongside the Head of Marketing & Communications to tailor our benefits package to prospect’s unique needs and values  
  • Keep up to date on the latest developments in our community and the sector at large, with a particular focus on pinpointing potential co-creation opportunities  
  • Articulately and persuasively represent the organisation, its strategy, and its activities at international industry events and meetings

Job Requirements

Candidates for this exciting position should demonstrate expertise in stakeholder management and business development. We want someone that’s passionate about closing deals, building mutually beneficial partnerships, and working with diverse stakeholders. The ideal candidate will be more than just a touchpoint for the community; they’ll act as a key representative of the foundation at events and conferences throughout the year. Here’s a breakdown of the kind of track record we’re looking for:

  • 4+ years of proven experience in building networks, project management, business development, sales, or similar experience within a relevant sector (higher education, student accommodation, government, real estate)  
  • A thorough understanding of how to create long-lasting partnerships, manage existing partnerships, and cater to the needs of diverse stakeholders
  • Fluency with Salesforce and proficiency in financial administration (contracts, invoicing)
  • Relevant Bachelor’s or Master’s degree from an accredited higher education institution
  • Affinity with the student housing, real estate, investment and/or international higher education sectors
  • Fluency in English (written and spoken); fluency in Dutch (or other European languages) is a plus but not essential
How to apply?

Could you be the next Partnerships & Development Lead for The Class Foundation? Then make sure to submit your CV and cover letter to by no later than midnight Sunday 16 January 2022.  

Our team will review your application and get back to you with a response by Friday 24 January 2022. If your application is shortlisted, we will invite you for a follow-up interview. We look forward to hearing more about you!

In case you have questions, shoot us an email.