Associate Vice President, Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications

About City of Hope



City of Hope, an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution with over 6,000 employees, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases and guided by a compassionate, patient-centered philosophy.

Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Duarte, California, City of Hope is a remarkable non-profit institution, where compassion and advanced care go hand-in-hand with excellence in clinical and scientific research. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation's leading cancer centers that develops and institutes standards of care for cancer treatment.

City of Hope's mission is to turn hope into reality. Focused on eliminating cancer and diabetes, City of Hope has established itself as a world-class leader in transforming the future of health. Raising the philanthropic resources to fuel its cutting-edge research, its exquisite and compassionate clinical care, and its advancement of medical education and study, is a vital component of the City of Hope model of success. Each member of the Office of Philanthropy is a stakeholder in this work, with personal accountability for their role in building a successful future of delivering new cures, treatments, and education.

The Office of Philanthropy's vision is to support this life-saving work by being known institutionally and nationally as a model of excellence among elite fundraising programs. Recent recruitments of stellar faculty offer advancement leaders new opportunity for partnership between philanthropy, research, and patient care.

To this end, we invest in our staff through the Team Activation Program (TAP) initiative. This initiative increases the effectiveness of our team through focused transparency & accountability, building trust within teams; training & development; celebrating innovation & risk taking; enhancing team communications and removing roadblocks to maximize activation. The TAP initiative ensures that the Office of Philanthropy is poised to move quickly, effectively and efficiently to maximize opportunities on behalf of City of Hope.

Position Summary



The AVP will contribute to this vision by bringing an institution-wide perspective in contributing to the creation of programs and strategies to drive institutional success. In this primarily self-driven role, the AVP will conceptualize and lead key processes and programs that support an office-wide focus on collaboration, efficiencies, and outcomes. By providing expertise and executive leadership in donor engagement, meaningful donor communications and a comprehensive grateful patient program, the AVP will be a partner in creating our vision of being known institutionally and nationally as a model of excellence among elite fundraising programs.

The AVP will contribute to this vision by participating in key processes and programs that sustain an office-wide focus on collaboration, efficiencies and metrics-based outcomes. Through individual contribution, the AVP will be a part of creating our evolution into a perpetually campaign-ready, donor-centered, leading industry program to support City of Hope's mission. In pursuit of this outcome, we are committed to growing careers within the Office of Philanthropy to attract and retain the most talented professionals in the country, and excel as a highly collaborative, efficient and creative team.

Key Responsibilities include:

  • Lead high-level Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications activities to ensure donor retention, increased giving and support long-term relationships with COH. Manage the comprehensive and long-term strategy for donor engagement for COH; including, but not limited to individualized stewardship plans for high-level prospects and donors, recognition society activities, stewardship reporting, chapter and industry stewardship, and donor engagement materials that reflect the unique needs of COH's various donor constituencies. Activities should acknowledge and thank donors for their gifts, reflect their unique relationship with COH, and lay the groundwork for future giving.
  • Lead the development of donor-driven communications related to philanthropic opportunities, stewardship and engagement, promotion of City of Hope initiatives and announcements of major commitments. Provide a wide range of communications materials and support for diverse audiences across the institution. Serve as a communications project management resource within the Office of Philanthropy. Craft and oversee messaging for and implementation of individual and group communications, sharing best practices on an ongoing basis. Seek opportunities to partner with frontline development team on the development of customized communications materials to advance cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies. Ensure that complex and technical information is conveyed in a way that is understandable and exciting to donors, understanding what is important to donors and addressing the underlying motivations that fuel giving and inspires long-term support. Manage the concerns of multiple stakeholders, among them development officers, physicians and leadership. Lead efforts to encourage consistency in messaging, graphic design and brand for all development communications.
  • Serve as key liaison with COH Marketing Communications to optimize strategies for philanthropic audiences while maintaining alignment with overall marketing and branding efforts. Partner with colleagues in the Office of Philanthropy and across COH to gather, synthesize, organize, and share programmatic and other information for philanthropic communications purposes. Identify proactive donor stewardship and recognition opportunities across multiple communications platforms, collaborating with applicable COH staff to deliver timely updates to key donors. Confirm, maintain information and report on current funding programs/priorities for donor support, communicating the impact of philanthropy on those programs.
  • Build calendar and content for enhanced internal Office of Philanthropy communications that align with donor philanthropic and enterprise-wide messaging (Philanthropy Together; Chief of Staff, TAP and PLAT initiatives; Office of Philanthropy monthly leadership update, all staff meetings, etc.)
  • Lead execution of the strategic vision and plan for donor experience activities and communications to recognize and steward City of Hope donors, volunteers, chapters and industry partners. Collaborate with relevant Office of Philanthropy partners to support donor-centric, accurate and efficient data practices surrounding the program, ensuring compliance with policies and procedures governing the use of patient data and maximizing program potential.
  • In partnership with the Vice President, Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications, implement the Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications operating plan that supports the overall fundraising plan for the Office of Philanthropy, contributing to monthly reports on activity and a year-end summary report and utilizing tracking and documentation systems to manage all activities.
  • Drive proactive benchmarking of the development communications and donor experience practices of large nonprofits in the region as well as leading global peer organizations. Identifies promising approaches as well as emerging trends. Administer activities and communications that reflect City of Hope's high standards for creativity and quality while also promoting innovation and ingenuity to encourage ongoing engagement among constituencies.
  • Ensure compliance with policies governing the classification of external support and the integrity and confidentiality of data.
  • Develop and maintain productive relationships with City of Hope faculty and staff to support fundraising initiatives for COH priorities. Manage the concerns of multiple stakeholders, among them development officers, physicians and leadership. Provide excellent customer service to internal staff members and external clients and donors.
  • Demonstrate an ability to solve problems, overcome hurdles, and navigate sensitive issues with discretion, tact, and strong communication skills.
  • Possess thorough knowledge of the key fund-raising priorities for COH.
  • Consult and collaborate with various colleagues throughout the Office of Philanthropy and City of Hope to ensure that Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications serves the needs of the organization and takes optimal advantage of other COH activities, publications, programs and strategies.
  • Research, analyze, and compile data into relevant reports, summaries, and briefing materials and make recommendations to Vice President, Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications and Office of Philanthropy leadership.
  • Provide guidance as appropriate to the Executive Assistant supporting the Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications team.
  • Responsible for meeting established performance goals for Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications.
  • Participate and model vision, culture and change implementation throughout the Office of Philanthropy and City of Hope.
  • Participate in search committees, task forces, and other special projects.

Basic education, experience and skills required for consideration:
  • Bachelor's Degree or Master's in business, philanthropy or related field. Experience may substitute for minimum education requirements.
  • 7-10 years in donor relations experience, with strong preference for experience in development, philanthropy, stewardship role within a fundraising, development, or related field in non-profit environment.
  • Excellent written, oral and presentation skills required. Demonstrated experience in leading development communications planning and implementation.
  • Knowledgeable in leading and interpreting market research.
  • Effective and efficient project management skills gained through project/process management, account management, or related capabilities.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and able to manage and lead multiple initiatives simultaneously.
  • Strong customer service orientation and ability to work with clients across all levels of the organization.
  • Demonstrated personal initiative, strong attention to detail, ability to work independently, ability to simultaneously handle multiple projects and work within strict deadlines.
  • Experience in a complex medical or academic development setting encouraged.
  • Demonstrated understanding of social media outlets such as Linked In, Twitter and Facebook required.
  • Minimum 3-5 years supervisory experience required.


Preferred education experience and skills:
  • Master's Degree or comparable experience
  • Design skills preferred but not required. Event and donor recognition experience preferred but not required.
  • Experience with high production value events is desirable.
  • Candidate must easily be able to navigate a wide variety of business and social settings and enjoy taking the message of City of Hope to individuals and organizations that are not yet familiar with its work.

City of Hope is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


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