Director, Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives

Job Details

Job ID:

10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA 02445


Employment Type:
Full time

Work Location:
Remote: occasional time on campus


This position is considered remote, 0-1 days onsite in the office at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week. DFCI guidelines state that employees must reside in New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont.


The Director, Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives, will be expected to secure philanthropic support for Dana-Farber’s lifesaving research and care in partnership with the highest-level donors and potential donors across disease centers and programs, with a focus on Campaign priorities and institutional strategic initiatives. The Director will have responsibility for the identification, cultivation, engagement, solicitation, and stewardship of prospective donors, with the capacity to make transformational gifts $10M+ and above. Reporting to the Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives, the Director will be responsible for initiating, advancing, and closing gifts to reach Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives team metrics and revenue goals and assisting the entire Division with reaching financial goals.

Embody Dana-Farber’s Core Values: Impact; Excellence; Compassion & Respect; and Discovery every day. Add value to the Dana-Farber community by seeking opportunities to collaborate across the institute. Foster an ethical, positive, results-oriented culture founded on open communication. 

Dana-Farber is currently undertaking an ambitious fundraising effort to change the future of cancer research and care: The Dana-Farber Campaign. This multibillion-dollar campaign is the largest in the Institute’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S. focused solely on cancer. Philanthropy raised through The Dana-Farber Campaign is focused on accelerating the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities—helping us prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer.


Resume and cover letter required with application submission. If you wish to disclose your personal pronouns, please include them within your resume and cover letter submission.

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life-changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds, and design programs to promote public health particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow's physician/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.



  • Meet quarterly metrics and annual fundraising goals as determined by the Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives;
  • Manage a dynamic portfolio of approximately 40-50 individual prospects with a goal of securing 8- and 9- figure gifts;
  • Collaborate with colleagues in other units, including Principal & Major Gifts, Annual Giving, Planned Giving, Corporate Partnerships, Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, Jimmy Fund, and Fiscal & Regulatory Management teams to maximize donor engagement and philanthropic commitment;
  • Collaborate with appropriate colleagues to develop written materials and communicate and align donor interest with institute initiatives and fundraising priorities;
  • Conduct 12-15 substantive donor interactions including in person visits, video conferencing and/or phone calls monthly; submit 12-15 proposals or concept papers annually with specific ask level;
  • Track prospect and donor activity in ClearView database; provide activity and revenue reports as requested;
  • Assist in planning of bespoke donor stewardship events and uniquely tailored engagement opportunities. Responsibilities include coordinating faculty presentations, communication with co-chairs and attendees/ members and follow up;
  • With Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives, develop annual fundraising goal; mid-year revision, and year-end reporting as requested;
  • Develop and recommend policies and recommendations to enhance fundraising to Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives;
  • Travel as necessary for donor visits (national and international) to advance donor/prospect engagement and represent Dana-Farber;
  • Complete other special projects as assigned by Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives.


Reports to the Vice President of Transformational Gifts & Strategic Initiatives. Works independently and as part of a team. 



  • Bachelor’s degree required with 8-10 years of experience.
  • Personal track record of successful principal gifts (seven- and eight-figure) solicitation and closure.
  • Success supporting and managing institutional leadership in donor cultivation and solicitation.
  • Superior interpersonal, management, and written and verbal communication skills.
  • Capital campaign/principal gifts experience, preferably at a major academic or medical institution, in higher education, or other closely related field.


  • An engaged and energetic fundraiser, who relishes the cultivating, soliciting, and stewardship of donors.
  • A person who can recognize and seize opportunities to advance an organization to a level it hasn’t reached before.
  • Demonstrated ability in building and sustaining relationships among high-net-worth donors and prospects.
  • Active listener and skillful communicator, able to think strategically to engage prospective donors and solicit transformational gifts ($10M+) culminating in closures to organizational priorities aligned with donor interests.
  • Successful track record of closing eight-figure and nine-figure gifts. Demonstrated experience with expanding donor participation in giving efforts.
  • Strong ability to work proactively, establish priorities, set objectives, and achieve stated goals.
  • Flexibility amidst the changing needs of the organization; demonstrated motivational and pragmatic consensus-building skills.
  • 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 sensitively required; 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 base information systems, data modeling, and analysis.


Yes, as appropriate.


This position is considered remote, 0-1 days onsite at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week.


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. 

Inclusive interview practices are a priority in the Division of Philanthropy. We incorporate an Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (ID&E) Interview Panel in all searches. In this 30-minute interview, we connect with candidates on four main ID&E competencies: empathy, collaboration, inclusivity, and compassion.

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.  Requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.


External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act, must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.


DFCI offers a competitive benefits package including generous healthcare and retirement plans, at minimum 3-weeks’ vacation time in addition to 10 paid holidays, a flexible work environment, and work/life balance.  Dana-Farber offers a variety of personal, professional, and leadership development opportunities to all members of its workforce through Institutional programming. Division of Philanthropy offers 75+ specialized professional development sessions designed for staff each year through its in-house learning program, the Center for Advancement Training.*

*All benefits subject to Institute changes


We’re hiring! Learn more about working in the Division of Philanthropy and view all open positions.

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.

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