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Principal Gifts Director

Development | San Francisco, Ca | Full Time

Job Description

About Us

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy (PICI) is radically changing the way cancer research is done. Founded in 2016 through a $250 million gift from Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist Sean Parker, the San Francisco-based nonprofit is an unprecedented collaboration between the country’s leading immunotherapy researchers and cancer centers, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Stanford Medicine, the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Pennsylvania and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The institute also supports top researchers at other institutions, including City of Hope, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Institute for Systems Biology and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

By forging alliances with academic, industry and nonprofit partners, PICI makes big bets on bold research to fulfill its mission: to accelerate the development of breakthrough immune therapies to turn all cancers into curable diseases.

Help us create a world that doesn’t fear cancer. Join us.


Overview of the Role

The Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy seeks a Principal Gift Director to build and execute a sustainable development program that will broaden PICI’s base of philanthropic support, particularly for major gift ($100k+) prospects. This role provides direct support to the leadership team and Founder/Chairman to meet fundraising goals. The Principal Gift Director also holds a personal portfolio of approximately 100-125 donors and prospects and is responsible for the identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship in and out of a portfolio.  

Our ideal candidate will be an enthusiastic development professional who is eager to build relationships with PICI donors and prospects. PICI is in a development growth phase, expanding its development program with the goal to increase annual operating revenue in the coming years. They will be able to quickly craft and implement engagement, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for the existing PICI prospect base as well as leverage relationships with members of the Board of Directors and other donors to identify new prospects. The ideal candidate will have experience moving prospects through all stages of the development lifecycle (identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship) and be comfortable with a large number of prospects in need of qualification and cultivation. They will be able to quickly synthesize information and disseminate it to PICI’s development audiences. The ideal candidate will also be able to work effectively with teams across the organization to share development best practices and integrate development activity into programming across the organization. 

Reporting Structure and Team

The Principal Gift Director will report to the Vice President, Communications. This position will work collaboratively with the Communications department and senior leadership.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Drive broader awareness and philanthropic support for the organization
  • Grow philanthropic revenue significantly over the next several years
  • Expand and diversify the organization’s funder base by identifying funding opportunities
  • Engage leadership and Founder/Chairman in key donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship activities
  • Able to conceptualize and describe funding needs in a way that is compelling to prospects, donors, Board members, and other stakeholders
  • Manage individual and family foundation donor relations
  • Build, develop, and manage a portfolio of 100-125 high-net worth individual prospects qualified up to $1M, focusing on $100k+
  • Create and draft cultivation and solicitation plans
  • Oversee proposal and grant-writing process
  • Contribute to the development of communications and messaging
  • Prepare briefing for meetings
  • Work with colleagues on key donor relationships to achieve income targets
  • Provide leadership in prospect strategy and planning meetings
  • Apply sound development best practices
  • Maintain an active schedule of personal interactions with prospects/donors
  • Other duties as assigned


Successful candidates will have a combination of:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in philanthropy, motivations for giving, research and cultivation practices and standard fundraising techniques
  • Knowledge of development best practices
  • Able to work with partners across the organization to support the efforts of a comprehensive development initiative
  • Confidence, creativity and maturity to establish credibility with and influence donors at all levels
  • Proven effectiveness as a strategic leader, demonstrated ability to lead a team and individuals towards successful fundraising outcomes and goals
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral
  • Ability to articulate with passion and commitment for PICI’s mission
  • Ability to work effectively and respectfully with a variety of constituencies representing diverse cultural, racial, ethnic, educational, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Comfort in interacting with all types of donors
  • Ability to work independently on aggressive timelines
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and work as an effective team member
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising particularly in major and principal gift programs
  • Results oriented self-starter with an entrepreneurial and innovative spirit
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office software and use of spreadsheets
  • Proficiency with Salesforce or similar database/software programs

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree in relevant field or equivalent combination of education and experience required; master’s degree preferred
  • At least 5 years of major gifts experience including portfolio management with demonstrated ability to grow donor prospect base and securing six and seven figure institutional gifts and grants
  • Proven track record of successful proposal and grant writing
  • Experience working with research institutes, patient groups, academic institutions, other cancer research charities and organizations