Senior Executive Director, Donor Experience (Director Donor Engagement & Comm)

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 Senior Executive Director of Development (SEDOD) 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 SEDOD 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:

Serve as a key leader of the Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications team and contribute to reaching its goal of meaningfully engaging a wide variety of donors, volunteers, faculty and administrators who are committed to ensuring the long-term success of City of Hope's mission through philanthropic support and advocacy. Includes:

  • 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 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 highly-personalized engagement plans for COH's most generous donors, donors within the Chief Philanthropy Officer's portfolio and COH's Board of Directors in partnership with the Transformative Giving, Principal & Clinical Major Gifts and Corporate Philanthropy programs. Seek opportunities to team up with frontline fundraising staff on the development of customized stewardship touches to advance cultivation, solicitation and relationship-building strategies. Ensure supporters are recognized for their giving and provided with impactful reporting and storytelling, conveyed in a way that is understandable and exciting to donors, identifying what is important to donors and addressing the underlying motivations that fuel giving and inspires long-term support. Lead coordination with the Philanthropy Communications team to track messaging and timing of scheduled communications, including acknowledgments, reports and personalized correspondence from enterprise leadership.
  • Lead City of Hope's donor recognition program. Develop strategies for new recognition opportunities, architectural as well as programmatic. Seek opportunities to team up with frontline fundraising staff on the development of customized recognition activities to advance cultivation, solicitation and relationship-building strategies. Assess through quantitative and qualitative analysis the metrics associated with donor experience to enhance and revise programs and activities related to strategic initiatives. Develop stewardship and recognition metrics within team KPI program. Evaluate opportunities to capture donor self-identified interests and other data from Constituent Relationship Management system to enhance donor engagement activities. Lead list segmentation, reporting and tracking mechanisms to assist with recognition, engagement and stewardship projects as well as special fundraising initiatives. Oversee implementation of stewardship plans in CRM.
  • Oversee a team of stewardship and recognition development staff. Provide leadership and demonstrate innovation in identifying opportunities for evolving the stewardship and recognition programs, deepening and refining partnerships across Office of Philanthropy and implementing high-level touch-points and setting best-in-class standards in the industry. Develop and implement new digital and video production strategies to enhance stewardship, recognition and philanthropy communications. Work closely with colleagues to integrate programs and identify emerging technology for use in creating a leading Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications program.
  • 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.
  • Provide guidance as appropriate to the Coordinator supporting the Donor Relations & Philanthropy Communications team.

    Serve as a role model for the Office of Philanthropy. Includes:
  • 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+ 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 5 years supervisory experience required.


Preferred education experience and skills:
  • Advanced degree or substantive relevant experience.
  • Design skills preferred but not required. 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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