Job Category: Full Time/Exempt
Division: AACR Foundation
Reports To: Senior Director, Leadership Philanthropy and Planned Giving
The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), with more than 37,000 members residing in 108 countries, is the first and largest organization in the world dedicated to advances in all areas of high-quality, innovative cancer research. Its mission is to prevent and cure all cancers. The programs and activities of the AACR foster the exchange of new knowledge among scientists and physicians in the cancer field as well as in related biomedical sciences. AACR publishes eight peer-reviewed scientific journals and an award-winning magazine for cancer patients and their loved ones; convenes topical scientific conferences and an annual meeting that draws more than 19,400 participants; offers educational workshops that train young investigators in a variety of scientific and clinical areas; funds fellowships, career development awards, and research grants for both senior and junior investigators; raises public awareness of the progress in and reasons for hope in the biology, detection, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer; engages actively in advocacy for increased federal research funding and other national policies that accelerate progress against cancer; and interacts with regulatory agencies to support regulatory science and policy.
The AACR Foundation was established in 2000. The purpose of the Foundation is to raise funds for cancer research, for AACR’s programs and services, and for the overall promotion of the organization’s mission. The AACR Foundation has the creativity, innovation, and flexibility to support AACR in making significant advances in the prevention and conquest of cancer. With the help of contributors from among the AACR membership, colleagues and friends in the national and international cancer community, and corporations and foundations, the AACR Foundation is poised to help the AACR achieve important victories in the fight against cancer.
The AACR Foundation was preceded by a Development Division at AACR formed in 1997. During the past sixteen years, the Division grew from a fundraising operation that raised $1.5 million in 1998, to a staff of seventeen people raising more than $15 million today. The Foundation is positioned for growth, particularly among individual constituencies, and has a goal of doubling its attainment within the next decade. Among the AACR Foundation’s current programs are corporate contributions, industry alliances, foundation grants, individual annual giving campaigns, community endurance events, and web-based engagement.
The AACR Foundation seeks an accomplished, energetic and results-oriented philanthropy professional focused on individuals to develop the potential of AACR’s individual pipeline sources into planned gifts and major gifts. While the position is initially focused on developing the AACR Foundation’s planned giving program and implementing planned giving strategies that will sustain the AACR far into the future, the incumbent should be proficient in the major gift process toward maximizing all opportunity, including structuring combination gifts.
Reporting to the Senior Director of Leadership Philanthropy, the Director of Planned Giving will be focused on developing a robust planned giving program and implementing strategies to engage individuals in the planned giving program. She/he will have the skills and capacity to structure both planned and outright leadership gifts in support of AACR initiatives. Working with a virtually untapped pipeline and a range of individual constituencies, the Director Planned Giving will assess the landscape of opportunity, develop and implement a rigorous engagement plan, and secure planned and major gifts in support of the AACR mission. The Director Planned Giving will possess the experience to secure (at minimum) 5 and 6-figure major gifts comprising both deferred/planned gifts and outright cash gifts. She/he will work with the Senior Director of Leadership Philanthropy as part of a major gifts team screening, qualifying, and cultivating individual prospects from a number of pipeline sources: (1) AACR’s overall individual donor database demonstrating a history of participation in the annual appeal or other support; (2) the AACR’s prime constituency base comprising a 36,000 membership; (3) individuals engaged through endurance events; and, (4) individual prospects newly introduced to AACR via volunteer leaders who demonstrate propensity and capacity.
The Director of Planned Giving will be part of synergistic major gifts team comprising the Senior Director of Leadership Philanthropy, an Associate Director of Individual Giving (Constituent Programs and Annual Giving), and an Associate Director of Corporate Philanthropy. The Leadership Philanthropy team is expected to make regular visits with major gift and planned giving prospects to share the AACR story, and to steward and engage major gift and planned giving support. Working in a major gifts and new team dynamic, they build momentum in the new major gifts process at AACR, while also efficiently leveraging AACR Foundation trustees in strategies, leveraging AACR program staff, engaging AACR leaders in cultivation meetings, potentially recommending major gift prospects and donors for AACR volunteer leadership roles, engaging corporate leaders as individual prospects, maximizing a commitment from an individual through her/his institutional affiliation, engaging individuals and business leaders in multi-part major gift strategies, and in articulating and operationalizing individual, major gifts, and planned giving processes at AACR in alignment with institutional protocols and systems.
The Director of Planned Giving will work closely with the Associate Director of Individual Giving (Constituent Programs and Annual Giving) to elevate appropriate annual giving donors to the planned and/or major gift prospect pool for appropriate follow-up and moves management (stewardship, visits, screening, qualification, cultivation, deeper engagement, solicitation, and major or planned giving stewardship). The Director of Planned Giving will also work extensively with the development operations and membership teams to inform the design and implementation of analytics that will undergird strategy and prioritization of planned giving and major gifts development. Working with the Director of Philanthropic Communications, she/he will provide direction for the production of communication and collateral pieces aimed at promoting the planned giving program and specific vehicle strategies, as well as engaging individual planned giving and major gift prospects in compelling AACR initiatives. As part of the Leadership Philanthropy team, the Director will contribute to the development of individual support opportunities, such as a menu of naming opportunities or other individual-appropriate legacy and major gift opportunities.
The Director of Planned Giving will regularly engage and leverage the AACR Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Executive Director, as well as the AACR’s CEO and Board of Directors in advancing relationships with planned giving prospects and the closure of 5-figure+ gifts. The Director will also work regularly with the larger AACR Foundation team to advance gift strategies, and will coordinate with other AACR departments to engage partners as may be needed to achieve the organization’s programmatic and attainment objectives, and to guarantee high standards with regard to transaction processing, acknowledgements, and other critical processes.
The Director should plan to travel locally and nationally to engage prospects in face-to-face visits on a regular basis. Employing moves management principles and requisite documentation practices, she/he will advance each interaction to the next level for successful gift outcome(s)—from meaningful engagement, to cultivation, to solicitation, to gift closure, to stewardship. The Director will manage an increasing number of relationships over time, as the Leadership Philanthropy program matures. As such, the Director will be measured for her/his key contributions to the growth of this AACR Foundation program, and will be expected to nurture and grow the quality and quantity of individual relationships to achieve increasing attainment objectives.
The Director is a manager-level staff member of the AACR Foundation, and serves as a mentor for junior staff—modeling a positive and professional demeanor at all times. As a front-line ambassador for the AACR, the Director exudes professionalism and quality.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
- Assess AACR individual giving landscape, and develop plan and implement strategies for planned giving primarily.
- Realize new and significant sources of philanthropic attainment from individual leadership gift prospects (deferred/planned gifts, outright leadership gifts).
- Oversee the process of identifying, qualifying, cultivating and closing planned gifts from the various pipeline sources.
- Plan and execute strategies for individual major gift development, contributing to the design and creation of analytical tools to inform, prioritize and advance visits, as well as related moves management – with a focus on building the AACR Foundation’s planned giving program.
- Complete meaningful face-to-face visits monthly and complete documentation using established moves management systems.
- Assist the Senior Director, Leadership Philanthropy in strategies utilizing AACR volunteer leaders, including members of the Board of Directors, to advance funding relationships with major gift prospects.
- Build productive working relationships with AACR Foundation Board of Trustees as partners in identifying and engaging prospects, and in leveraging planned giving expertise.
- Manages the President’s Circle leadership giving program.
- Participate in fundraising budget development and forecasting.
- Maintain the integrity and maintenance of established moves management documentation protocols, team tracking systems, prospect records, prospect contact information, team electronic files, and reporting systems related to individuals, as well as create better or new systems for managing individual prospects.
- Provide guidance to the Foundation in implementing general planned giving program aspects and communications.
- Recommend stewardship and ongoing engagement strategies for the Foundation team.
- Draft and generate communications, letters, proposals and other narratives as may be needed for your follow-up with prospects and donors, or other strategic writing on behalf of a leader to meet your cultivation and solicitation needs.
- Plan and implement exemplary major gift stewardship practices.
- Manages, coordinates and executes special events as assigned.
- Collaborate regularly with team members and larger AACR staff body to advance objectives.