Brookline, MA

Assistant Director, Principal and Major Gifts, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

The Organization: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:

Located in Boston and the surrounding communities, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a leader in life-changing breakthroughs in cancer research and patient care. We are united in our mission of conquering cancer, HIV/AIDS, and related diseases. We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and equitable environment where we provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all backgrounds and design programs to promote public health, particularly among high-risk and underserved populations. We conduct groundbreaking research that advances treatment, we educate tomorrow’s physicians/researchers, and we work with amazing partners, including other Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospitals.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is an equal opportunity employer and affirms the right of every qualified applicant to receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity or expression, national origin, sexual orientation, genetic information, disability, age, ancestry, military service, protected veteran status, or other groups as protected by law.

Position Overview

Assistant Director, Principal and Major Gifts

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Brookline, MA

Full Time

The Assistant Director of Principal & Major Gifts (PMG) raises funds from individuals, families, and family foundations for priorities in research and care across Dana-Farber, including Patient and Family Support Services.  The position reports directly to an Assistant Vice President of Principal & Major Gifts (PMG).  The primary focus is identifying, qualifying, and soliciting newly identified prospects for major gifts of $100K+, payable over 1-5 years. Responsible for assisting the entire Division with reaching financial goals.

Embody Dana-Farber’s Core Values: Impact; Excellence; Compassion & Respect; and Discovery every day. Add value to the Dana-Farber community by seeking opportunities to collaborate across the Institute.  Foster an ethical, positive, results-oriented culture founded on open communication.

Dana-Farber is pursuing an ambitious, multi-year fundraising effort to change the future of cancer research and care: The Dana-Farber Campaign. This $2 billion campaign is the largest in the Institute’s history and one of the largest ever in the U.S. focused solely on cancer. Philanthropy raised through The Dana-Farber Campaign will accelerate the Institute’s strategic priorities by supporting revolutionary science, extraordinary care, exceptional expertise, and essential opportunities—helping us prevent, treat, and Defy Cancer.

Application Requirements: 

Resume and cover letter required with application submission.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage a dynamic portfolio of approximately 150 – 200 prospects with a goal of raising at least $1M annually.
  • Use moves management to secure major gifts and build a pipeline of major gift prospects and donors.
  • Conduct 10 to 12 donor visits a month.
  • Serve as a generalist to focus on general pipeline, as well as project-based fundraising.
  • Work with faculty, staff, and Division of Philanthropy colleagues as appropriate to identify funding priorities and prospects.
  • Collaborate with colleagues on other teams, including Annual Giving, Planned Giving, Foundation Relations, Donor Relations, and Jimmy Fund, to maximize donor engagement and philanthropic commitment.
  • Track prospect and donor activity, strategies, and projections in ClearView database.
  • With Assistant Vice President of PMG, develop annual fundraising goal; mid-year revision, year-end, and other revenue and activity reporting as requested.
  • Perform special projects as assigned, including support for annual Presidential Symposium; conduct donor tours and meetings, and participate in faculty meetings as appropriate.
  • Travel to represent Dana-Farber as needed.

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Reports to an Assistant Vice President of Principal & Major Gifts. Joint supervision of one Assistant.

Minimum Job Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree with 5-8 years of Major Gift or leadership level Annual Fund experience required.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required:

A strategic thinker with significant donor experience, excellent planning, verbal and written communication, and organizational skills are necessary. Effectiveness in working with wide audiences (including the highest level of Dana-Farber constituencies) and strong customer service will be key. Solid working knowledge of Microsoft Office suite required. Volunteer management experience preferred.   Candidate with an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising desired.

This position will evaluate current programs and create and execute approved plans to expand and diversify the donors and participants for the events assigned in order to broaden our donor base and create even more inclusive events. Experience with diverse donors is a plus.

Patient Contact:


Working Conditions:

This position is considered remote, up to 1 day in the office at 10 Brookline Place, Brookline, MA each week. DFCI guidelines state that employees must reside in New England: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Vermont. Some evening and weekend work may be required.

Division Of Philanthropy Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity Commitment Statement:

We’re stronger together.

In the Division of Philanthropy, we believe in the power of different voices. We encourage authenticity and diversity of every individual within our community. Our collective voices – donors, volunteers, staff, and patients alike – allow us to work together towards a world without cancer. Committed to being a place of inclusivity, belonging, and change, these are our core values.

The above information on this description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification.  It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.  Requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with disabilities.  This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” employment relationship.

External and internal applicants, as well as position incumbents who become disabled as defined under the Americans With Disabilities Act, must be able to perform the essential job functions (as listed) either unaided or with the assistance of a reasonable accommodation to be determined by management on a case-by-case basis.

DFCI offers a competitive benefits package including generous healthcare and retirement plans, at minimum 3-weeks’ vacation time in addition to 10 paid holidays, a flexible work environment, and work/life balance. We also provide an array of professional development opportunities. *

*All benefits subject to Institute changes

We’re hiring! Learn more about working in the Division of Philanthropy and view all open positions.

How To Apply

For more information and to apply, please visit:

Sign up