Senior Writer - Proposal Development (Philanthropy)

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 Writer, Proposal Development and Strategic Initiatives will advance the fundraising success of City of Hope by writing compelling proposals, white papers, case materials, publications and other content to cultivate donor relationships and advance gift conversations at the transformative, principal and major giving levels. The Senior Writer should be a skilled and experienced persuasive writer who is able to translate complex scientific information for a donor audience. The successful candidate will also be a savvy, strategic thinker and team player who asks good questions and makes thoughtful contributions to communications planning.

The Senior Writer will report to the Senior Executive Director of Communications, Transformative Philanthropy and Strategic Initiatives and will work closely with major and principal gift officers and with the Vice Presidents and Associate Vice Presidents in Individual Giving, Foundation Relations, and Donor Experience and Philanthropy Communications. In addition, the Senior Writer will work with administrators, researchers, clinicians, programmatic staff and marketing and communications staff throughout City of Hope as well as consultants, freelance writers, graphic designers and other communications professionals.

The Senior Writer will:

Work with senior philanthropy leaders to define and describe $100,000 to multi-million-dollar funding opportunities that support institutional priorities.

Work with enterprise leaders and faculty to help communicate City of Hope's vision and priorities to a donor audience.

Write and edit major and principal gift proposals that support City of Hope's efforts to engage donors and cultivate meaningful, long-term commitments.

Collaborate with principal and transformative gift fundraisers on concept development and proposal planning for complex gifts; write and edit white papers, letters, stewardship materials and proposals to engage our highest-level donors and prospects.

Collaborate with graphic designers on the design of proposals, publications and other projects.

Write, edit and contribute to the development of case materials and other communications that support fundraising and help advance strategic initiatives.

Edit the writing of colleagues and freelance writers for style, grammar, content and messaging.

Partner with colleagues on scripting for videos and events, as requested.

Write web copy, letters, articles, emails, correspondence from City of Hope leaders and other materials that relate to philanthropy messaging and constituent outreach.

Help develop messaging for philanthropic giving, and assist the Senior Executive Director of Communications with communications planning for strategic initiatives. Work with senior development officers and the Senior Executive Director of Communications to ensure messaging is consistent throughout proposals, white papers, case materials, publications and other communications channels.

Conduct thoughtful interviews with researchers, clinicians, graduate students, donors, program staff and administrators as required.

Help the Senior Executive Director of Communications and the Strategic Project Administrator track and coordinate projects, timelines, work assigned to freelance writers and graphic artists, information outstanding, and other project elements.

Perform other related duties as assigned.

Key Responsibilities include:

Write and edit compelling proposals, white papers, case materials, publications and other content to cultivate donor relationships and advance gift conversations at the transformative, principal and major giving levels.

  • Work with senior philanthropy leaders to define and describe $100,000 to multi-million-dollar funding opportunities that support institutional priorities.
  • Work with enterprise leaders and faculty to help communicate City of Hope's vision and priorities to a donor audience.
  • Write and edit major and principal gift proposals that support City of Hope's efforts to engage donors and cultivate meaningful, long-term commitments.
  • Collaborate with principal and transformative gift fundraisers on concept development and proposal planning for complex gifts; write and edit white level papers, letters, stewardship materials and proposals to engage our highest-level donors and prospects.
  • Collaborate with graphic designers on the design of proposals, publications and other projects.


Provide editorial support to Office of Philanthropy colleagues.
  • Edit the writing of colleagues and freelance writers for style, grammar, content and messaging.
  • Partner with colleagues on scripting for videos and events, as requested.
  • Write web copy, letters, articles, emails, correspondence from City of Hope leaders and other materials that relate to philanthropy messaging and constituent outreach.
  • Share messaging and key information about City of Hope's strategic priorities with other colleagues and staff.


Contribute to shared priorities of the Transformative Philanthropy and Strategic Initiatives communications team.
  • Help develop messaging for philanthropic giving, and assist the Senior Executive Director of Communications with communications planning for strategic initiatives.
  • Work with senior development officers and the Senior Executive Director of Communications to ensure that messaging is consistent throughout proposals, white papers, publications, websites and other communications channels.
  • Help the Senior Executive Director of Communications and the Strategic Project Administrator track and coordinate projects, timelines, work assigned to freelance writers and graphic artists, information outstanding and other project elements.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.


Serve as a role model for the Office of Philanthropy.
  • Participate in task forces, committees and other special projects as requested.
  • Develop and maintain productive relationships with City of Hope faculty and staff to support fundraising initiatives for COH priorities.
  • 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 fundraising priorities for COH.


Basic education, experience and skills required for consideration:
  • Bachelor's Degree required.
  • 5+ years in philanthropy communications, institutional communications, nonprofit communications, donor relations, publications, marketing and communications, and/or philanthropy.
  • 3-5 writing samples required.
  • Candidate must easily be able to navigate a wide variety of research, healthcare, business and social settings and enjoy crafting the message of City of Hope to individuals and organizations that are not yet familiar with its work.
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills.
  • Strategic thinking.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work well in team-oriented atmosphere and to engage high level administrators, faculty and volunteers.
  • Highly developed political acumen and demonstrated ability to act with tact and diplomacy.
  • Ability to work flexibly and collaboratively.
  • Excellent verbal skills.


Preferred education experience and skills:
  • Bachelor's or Master's Degree in marketing, communications, journalism, English, creative writing, philanthropy, science or related field is preferred.
  • Development, Academic Medicine, Non-Profit Communications, Campaign Communications
  • Experience working in philanthropy communications in a complex medical or academic setting is preferred.
  • Experience working on a campaign, especially in a communications role.
  • Proposal-writing experience.
  • Experience with persuasive writing. Experience developing high quality publications.


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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