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Job Opportunity: Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, New York, NY

Posted by on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 in Job Opportunities .


The Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations will excel at building relationships and networks in support of medical research. While fundraising experience is preferred, it is not a strict requirement.

About the Organization:
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation funds high-risk, high-reward cancer research. The mission of Damon Runyon is to end suffering from cancer by identifying the most brilliant and promising young scientists and providing them with funding to pursue innovative cancer research. Damon Runyon funds brave and bold scientists who have the highest potential to achieve breakthroughs in how we diagnose, treat, and prevent all types of cancer.
Since its founding, Damon Runyon has invested over $400 million in over 3,850 researchers, and its track record is second-to-none. Twelve Damon Runyon scientists have received the Nobel Prize. Our scientists have led major research institutes and cancer centers, and, most importantly, they have made countless discoveries that are saving lives today.

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is a highly efficient and effective organization. With an annual scientific research budget of $20 million, it currently funds approximately 210 scientists through six award programs that support a range of young scientists – from those pursuing basic research to clinical studies. It pledges to donors that 100% of all donations will be used to support scientific research. Its fundraising and administrative costs are paid by its Broadway Tickets service and with income from its endowment.

Damon Runyon’s six scientific selection committees – one for each award – are comprised of world-renowned cancer researchers from across academia, medical research institutions, and biotechnology. (William Kaelin, Jr., MD, Vice Chair, Scientific Programs, of Damon Runyon’s Board of Directors, and Chair of the Selection Committee for the Damon Runyon Physician-Scientist Training Award, is a co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.) These senior cancer scientists volunteer their time and expertise in order to identify and encourage those young scientists with both the greatest potential and the audacity to drive groundbreaking research.

About the Opportunity:
The Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations will play a critical role in executing the Foundation’s strategic plan to increase revenue over the next five years by building support from foundations and corporations. The Director will serve as the main point of contact for corporate and foundation funders seeking to partner with Damon Runyon. The position is ideal for an experienced professional who excels at building relationships and networks in support of medical research. The Foundation is located in New York City.

  • Responsibilities:
    • Develop new and creative opportunities for engaging corporate and foundation donors in the mission of Damon Runyon.
    • Lead the development of compelling letters of intent, proposals, and stewardship materials showcasing the Foundation’s work and making the case for support.
    • Strategically identify and research new foundation prospects.
    • Initiate and execute the cultivation and solicitation strategies for corporate and foundation prospects capable of making gifts of five-figures or larger.
    • Manage all stewardship and reporting requirements for corporate and foundation donors.
    • Conduct site visits with current and prospective private and corporate foundation donors as appropriate. Prepare all accompanying meeting materials.
    • Collaborate across Damon Runyon departments to support, implement, and expand priority programmatic initiatives, such as Accelerating Cancer Cures, a partnership with biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
    • Identify and leverage Board and donor connections with priority prospects as appropriate.
    • Establish process and metrics for identification, solicitation and tracking of new prospects.
    • In partnership with Development colleagues, expand and implement corporate and foundation philanthropic best practices.
    • Willingness to travel as needed to successfully cultivate and develop donor relationships nationally.
  • Candidate qualifications:
    • A strong commitment to the mission of the Foundation.
    • Exceptional written and oral communication skills and demonstrated ability to present a compelling case for support.
    • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to engage and persuade prospects and donors.
    • Intellectual curiosity about advancements in biomedical research and the facility to convey progress made by Damon Runyon scientists to a sophisticated audience.
    • Creative and entrepreneurial in nature, thriving on developing and executing new ideas and approaches to excite and engage donors and forge new partnerships.
    • High integrity and professionalism.
    • Experience with writing funding proposals for biomedical research a plus.
    • Ability to work independently as well as part of a collaborative team.
    • Preferred: a minimum of five years of fundraising experience working with corporate and foundation donors and a track record of securing five-figure gifts or larger; familiarity with best practices in identifying new donors, engaging and stewarding them.
    • Experience using a development database (Raiser’s Edge preferred) to track contacts and to analyze data.
    • Bachelor’s degree required. Graduate or professional degree preferred.

Salary and benefits will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Please send a cover letter describing your qualifications and interest in this position and resume to
Yung S. Lie, PhD, President and CEO, at

The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principles of non-discrimination in the workplace. Candidates will not be discriminated on the basis of age, race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, marital status or any other basis that is prohibited by federal, state, or local law.


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