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Associate Director, Advancement

Fundraising | New York, NY | Full Time

Job Description

About Us:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD).   The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization.  Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest global funder of Parkinson’s disease research outside the U. S. federal government, having funded $313 million in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide. 


We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today — not sit in an endowment or reserve. We therefore deliberately have no endowment, but start our fundraising from zero each year and seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. In 2012, MJFF has a $64 million annual revenue budget and 65 full-time employees. 


Position Description:

MJFF’s sole focus on funding research (as opposed to providing direct services to the PD community) and the deliberate choice to forego a national chapter-based infrastructure results in a somewhat unique challenge for building donor networks.  Given the Associate Director, Advancement’s (ADA’s) primary responsibility is to raise revenue needed to meet the research opportunities identified by the MJFF program team, the position is more entrepreneurial than most fundraising positions.  


ADA’s play a critical role in securing revenues by serving as front-line relationship managers and solicitors for MJFF.  Utilizing strong relationship building skills and solid organizational and communication skills, ADA’s play an integral part of a world class advancement effort to engage all relevant constituents in the work of MJFF.


This is a unique opportunity for a dedicated, results-oriented, relationship builder to make a significant impact at an innovative not-for-profit.  ADA’s work closely with the Director of Advancement, the Vice President of Advancement, Co-Founder and Executive Vice-Chairman, the CEO, and members of the Board of Directors to close significant philanthropic gifts and to establish relationships with key PD community leaders and philanthropists.  Located in the midtown area in New York City, MJFF is a global organization with a national funding base and the ADA must be willing to travel extensively throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.


Given the Foundation’s commitment to running a lean organization, it can be expected that a new Advancement team member’s learning curve and responsibilities will grow rapidly in a relatively short time.  Key qualities of an outstanding team member are strong interpersonal skills, independent self-starter, positive disposition, keen written and verbal communication abilities, with decision-making deftness and solid judgment, as well an innate sense of pace and urgency.  Equally important is the dexterity to work productively and proactively, both independently and as part of a team.  The Associate Director, Advancement, assisted by an Advancement Officer, handles the administration (stewardship communications, tracking and managing) of the donor/prospect portfolio for the Mid-Atlantic region.


Experience and skills

The ideal candidate should have a demonstrated track record of success in fundraising or relationship management at a not-for-profit, commensurate experience in the private sector or in an entrepreneurial setting, and a natural comfort and experience in soliciting major gifts.  There is a minimum of 5 – 7 years of experience required. The position will report directly to the Director, Advancement. 


Specific Associate Director, Advancement responsibilities include:


Build and maintain an active portfolio of prospects and donors to cultivate significant contributions:

  • Qualify prospects, cultivate, solicit and close gifts of $5,000 to $250,000+
  • Design, develop and deliver comprehensive strategies to cultivate friends and funds (hosted salons, written and face-to-face presentations/proposals) maximizing giving potential and engagement satisfaction
  • Work with advancement team colleagues (Special Events, Team Fox, Annual Giving and Donor Services) to ensure maximum coordination and efficiency


Work with the Research program staff and Scientific Advisory Board to understand the scientific priorities in the Parkinson’s community, in order to articulate Foundation’s unique mission to community members and MJFF supporters:

  • Balanced alongside fundraising responsibilities, work to introduce MJFF to PD community members and educate patients, care and service providers about significant engagement opportunities such as clinical trial participation
  • Work independently and with the Research Partnerships team to plan and manage small events, site visits, volunteer activities, projects and initiatives for existing and new contacts in targeted communities  

Salary Range 

The Michael J Fox Foundation offers competitive salaries that are commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.



How to Apply:

  • Interested candidates should send a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing your specific qualifications and interest in the position.
  • Submissions without cover letters will not be considered
  • Please, no telephone inquiries. Applicants who best match the position needs will be contacted.
  • The Michael J. Fox Foundation is an equal opportunity employer.