Director of Development

California, United States
$75,000.00 - $100,000.00
Sep 30, 2020
Oct 29, 2020
Employment Type
Full Time


The RUNX1 Research Program (RRP) is a patient-family founded 501(c)(3) nonprofit advocacy and research foundation. Established in early 2016, RRP’s mission is to improve the quality of life and prevent cancer in patients with RUNX1 familial platelet disorder ( RUNX1 -FPD), an inherited blood-cancer predisposition disorder caused by mutations in the RUNX1 gene. Although based in Santa Barbara, California, the foundation’s audience and reach is global, promoting awareness and funding world-class collaborative research with an empowered patient community. RRP has funded $7 MM in biomedical research through 2022 across 26 projects and grants, actively engaging over 500 clinicians and researchers globally with an annual budget of $2 MM. Currently, 95% of the annual budget is funded by the founding family, with up to $500,000 of additional research funds contributed yearly by co-funding grant partners the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. 

The RRP team includes the Executive Director, a Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager, an Executive Assistant/Office Manager and the two founder co-directors. We are seeking a highly motivated Director of Development (DoD) with a proven track-record to join our team and create and implement an effective fundraising strategy to help us grow our annual budget in order to fund more research and program opportunities, expand our reach and diversify our long-term funding stream. 

Position Overview 

The role of the Director of Development (DoD) will be to develop, implement and scale a cost-effective, efficient and effective strategic fundraising plan and major gift program to raise additional funds for the RUNX1 Research Program both short- and long-term. The DoD will establish a framework for effective fundraising suitable for our organization’s size and audience, implementing and executing upon a plan that involves the collaboration of the entire team. The DoD will be responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, engagement and stewardship of a donor pool to encompass grassroots contributors, philanthropic foundations and individuals, corporations and grant-making organizations. 

The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated ability and success in sourcing funding opportunities and designing and executing strategies to develop both substantive and grassroots donor relationships. As a highly visible face of our organization, and the primary donor liaison, the DoD must have exceptional writing and interpersonal skills. The role will include grant-writing to research foundations and corporations, with additional support provided where necessary. Paramount is the ability to learn, assimilate and understand the basic science of our disorder, RRP’s mission, programs and research, and to be able to effectively communicate and market that message to different audiences. 

The DoD will report directly to the Executive Director, Dr. Katrin Ericson. 


  • Create, manage and direct the organization’s development plan, including both an annual and long term (3-5 year) plan composed of qualitative and quantitative goals/objectives. 
  • Design effective fundraising strategies that meet the plan’s objectives and include planning, evaluation and execution of fundraising campaigns, events and activities, in accordance with the needs and culture of RRP. 
  • Use research tools and networking (both third-party and direct) to source, steward and solicit donors, creating and maintaining a portfolio of prospective and existing donors to include progress reports 
  • Stay abreast of fundraising trends in the nonprofit sector 
  • Meet and be the primary liaison with donors, to include regular communications via email, phone and social media. 
  • Collaborate or liaise with RRP team members to create solicitation fundraising material and messaging, to include impact reports, educational materials, event-specific advertising and social-media to engage and cultivate donors in our mission. 
  • In partnership with the Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager, lead the recruitment and management of a volunteer patient/caregiver fundraising committee. Recommend policies and procedures to govern the committee. 
  • Oversee grant-seeking efforts to include research, proposal writing and reporting requirements. 
  • Travel will be required on an as-needed basis once the restrictions of the ongoing pandemic have been lifted. 

Qualification Requirements: 

  • Exceptional interpersonal, oral and written communication skills, with an innate desire to build relationships and represent the mission of RRP. 
  • Deep knowledge and experience in fundraising strategic plan development and techniques, particularly major gift fundraising, for a like foundation. (Familiarity with the healthcare/medical space is a plus.) 
  • Keen ability to understand the beliefs, contexts and motivations of others. 
  • Understanding of development principles, fundraising ethics and laws and regulations pertaining to charitable contributions. 
  • Highly motivated, positive, results-driven multi-tasker with the ability to work both independently and as part of a team. 
  • Ability to thrive in a virtual work environment. 
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills, with attention to detail. 
  • Comfortable with google drive and docs, pages or word, numbers or excel, along with web-based videoconferencing. 
  • Bachelor’s degree; Master’s degree an asset. 
  • 5 years’ minimum experience in professional fundraising, with a track record that demonstrates solid fundraising results and demonstrated success soliciting and closing major gifts.

Please submit your cover letter and resume to