Fundraising and Advancement

Vice President, Transformational Gifts and Strategic Initiatives

  • Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Division of Philanthropy
  • Remote, USA

This position has been filled.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, located in Boston, Massachusetts, is searching for a passionate, experienced, and progressive fundraising executive to join its philanthropy team as its inaugural Vice President for Transformational Gifts and Strategic Initiatives.

The Division of Philanthropy at Dana-Farber has a tradition of excellence and is regarded as one of the best programs in the country. With the public announcement of The Dana-Farber Campaign, the Division is poised to elevate philanthropy to new levels in order to provide critical support for the Institute’s unique blend of patient care and world-class research that will benefit the entire Institute community, patients, and families.

This is a unique opportunity for an advancement leader to leverage a successful track record of professional experience in major, principal and transformational gifts with a blend of emotional intelligence, leadership, sophistication, creativity, and analytic capabilities to make an indelible impact on the future of the philanthropy program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

With a strong foundation replete with an amazing team and leaders, and millions of donor records representing every state in the country as well as international sources, the Division of Philanthropy and broader Institute have embarked upon an ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to change the future of cancer research and care: The Dana-Farber Campaign. This $2 billion campaign is the largest in the Institute’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S. focused solely on cancer. The Dana-Farber Campaign, which was launched publicly in May 2021, benefits from the full participation and strategic investment of the highest levels of Dana-Farber leadership, including the President and CEO and Board of Trustees. Trustees are fully vested in the campaign and an active campaign cabinet is in place, led by two devoted and engaged leaders and a cadre of extraordinary volunteer leaders.

The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute continues to evolve in how it supports and champions the groundbreaking professionals driving new paradigms of discovery and treatment. The Institute is brimming with excitement given the powerful combination of revolutionary science, the infusion of new strategic leadership throughout the organization – including among the most senior leaders of the Division of Philanthropy, and the growing momentum of various philanthropic initiatives. Building on a successful past, the Division of Philanthropy is embracing a culture of change and calculated risk-taking consistent with the pioneering spirit of scientific colleagues, and bringing greater rigor and innovation to its work. The division is adding new resources and adapting its structure to match a sophisticated and growing donor base, including optimizing analytics, enhancing responsivity to consumer behaviors, and honing skillsets that will help support the philanthropy program well into the future. The Division of Philanthropy is indeed taking its program to new levels of achievement in service to patients and families.

In the last three fiscal years, the Division of Philanthropy has secured record-levels of philanthropic support from a generous community of donors to provide critical resources for a wide range of programs and initiatives.

Amid this context of existing preeminence, investment in the future, and growth, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute seeks a Vice President of Transformational Gifts and Strategic Initiatives (Vice President) to assist the Division of Philanthropy in its entirety with attainment of annual philanthropy goals and campaign goals. Reporting directly to the Senior Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, the Vice President is responsible for the identification, cultivation, engagement, solicitation, and stewardship of the Institute’s highest-level donors and prospective donors across all disease centers and programs with capacity to make transformational gifts above $25 million. The Vice President is responsible for creating, articulating, and securing philanthropic support for a broad range of Institute priorities and initiatives. The Vice President will be a key leader in extending Dana-Farber’s campaign outreach in Boston, New England, and beyond by engaging donors, traveling the country and world in partnership with the President and Chief Executive Officer, Chief Philanthropy Officer, other members of the Institute’s leadership team, and colleagues in the Division of Philanthropy.

The Vice President will manage one administrative staff member who will support Transformational Gifts and Strategic Initiatives. The Vice President will be an active coach and mentor to others throughout the Division of Philanthropy and beyond, setting an example for colleagues through their experience, approach, and actions. The Vice President will enjoy the opportunity to work across the Institute with C-Suite leadership, Trustees, and campaign leaders, with a singular focus on engaging transformational donors in support of the Institute’s strategic priorities.

This position will evaluate current programs and create and execute approved plans to expand and diversify the donors and participants for the events assigned in order to broaden Dana-Farber’s donor base and create even more inclusive events. Experience with diverse donors is a plus.

While Dana-Farber will consider a broad range of backgrounds, the ideal candidate will have the following qualifications/experience:

  • Passionate about the mission of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and able to authentically engage and inspire others as a senior representative of the organization.
  • Minimum of 15 years of major, principal, or transformational gifts fundraising experience. Preferred background in high-performing and complex organizations, academic medical centers, and free-standing research institutes. Experience with comprehensive campaigns and staffing executive leadership is required.
  • Particular strength in developing the case for support and strategic fundraising plans, and executing against those plans to achieve goals and objectives. Expertise in working directly with the most senior levels of an organization, high-level volunteers, and transformational donors, as well as a sophisticated understanding of the confluence of relationships that facilitate principal gifts discussions and propel them forward.
  • Demonstrated ability in strategy and messaging in order to advance prospect development, culminating in significant and potentially transformational solicitations appropriate to organizational priorities and donor interests. Successful track record of closing eight-figure and nine-figure gifts. Demonstrated experience with expanding donor participation in giving efforts.
  • Must understand the national biomedical research and clinical healthcare market and trends therein. Natural curiosity and ability to quickly absorb, comprehend, and articulate complex concepts.
  • Mastery of virtual meeting platforms (e.g., Zoom) and Microsoft Office, including Excel, PowerPoint, and Teams.
  • Experience in international fundraising and the cultural sensitivity it requires; knowledge of strategies and trends in global philanthropy.
  • The ability to extract and analyze data to make effective, efficient decisions about donor strategy and process.
  • A working knowledge of modern data management practices and techniques, including database information systems, data modeling, and analysis.
  • Bachelor’s degree.

*   This position is considered remote (effective Monday, September 13, 2021), up to 1 day in the office at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute guidelines state that employees must reside in the Institute-supported states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Commitment Statement

At Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, we work every day to create an innovative, caring, and inclusive environment where every patient, family, and staff member feels they belong. As relentless as we are in our mission to reduce the burden of cancer for all, we are equally committed to diversifying our faculty and staff. Cancer knows no boundaries and when it comes to hiring the most dedicated and diverse professionals, neither do we. If working in this kind of organization inspires you, we encourage you to apply.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

Division of Philanthropy Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Commitment Statement

We’re stronger together.

In the Division of Philanthropy, we believe in the power of different voices. We encourage authenticity and diversity of every individual within our community. Our collective voices – donors, volunteers, staff, and patients alike – allow us to work together towards a world without cancer. Committed to being a place of inclusivity, belonging, and change, these are our core values.

Benefits Package

The Institute offers a competitive benefits package including generous healthcare and retirement plans, at minimum 3-weeks’ vacation time in addition to 9 paid holidays, a flexible work environment, and work/life balance. Dana-Farber also provides an array of professional development opportunities. All benefits subject to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute changes.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has retained the Diversified Search Group for this engagement. Managing Director Gerard F. Cattie, Jr. is leading the search with Managing Director Liz Lombard. Inquiries, nominations, and applications (current resumes and cover letters) should be directed via email to

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