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Senior Director/Executive Director of Advancement - The Cancer Center at Illinois

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Illinois, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Apr 8, 2023

View more

Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Major Gifts
Employment Type
Full Time
Senior Director/Executive Director of Advancement - The Cancer Center at Illinois University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Based in Urbana-Champaign with hybrid opportunities

The Cancer Center at Illinois (CCIL) and the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement (OVCIA) invites applications and nominations for a full-time major gift officer position to secure private support for funding priorities for the Cancer Center.  The Senior Director/Executive Director of Advancement will play a critical role in supporting the Cancer Center to maximize overall support and opportunities for collaborative giving.

The Cancer Center at Illinois is the first national research center at the convergence of technology and oncology. It is organized as an Institute at the University level and unites our world-class faculty, students and staff who uncover fundamental knowledge, innovate new technologies, and enable cancer-free lives. Our interdisciplinary expertise in sciences and engineering, exceptional facilities, and novel educational experiences are changing the way we take on cancer. The Cancer Center is on an exciting growth path and presents many exciting opportunities for support.

  Organizational Relationship The Senior Director/Executive Director of Advancement will have a dual report to the Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Health Sciences and Research Initiatives and to the Director of the Cancer Center at Illinois. In addition to working closely with Cancer Center leadership and staff, the selected candidate will work closely with Advancement colleagues to maximize identification, cultivation and solicitation strategies for major gift prospects.

Job Summary

The Senior Director/Executive Director of Advancement will assist the Cancer Center in designing strategies to broaden and strengthen development activities across the United States and will require travel of varying durations, up to 30%, including some evenings and weekends. This position will develop strategies and implement programs that will lead to and result in the successful philanthropic support of the Cancer Center’s research and educational priorities, as well as the philanthropic interest of donors. The successful candidate will be a collaborative team member who values inclusion and is skilled at building strong internal and external collaborative relationships.  

Job Summary

Develop strategies and implement programs that will lead to and result in the successful philanthropic support of the Cancer Center's research and educational priorities, as well as the philanthropic interest of donors. Work closely with Advancement colleagues to maximize identification, cultivation and solicitation strategies for major gift prospects.

Duties & Responsibilities


  • Identify, assess, analyze, and design appropriate strategies for approaching prospects and donors and making the vitally important match between donors’ philanthropic interests and the Cancer Center’s programmatic needs. Plan and implement effective outreach and cultivation activities to enhance prospect identification and move solicitation and stewardship processes forward. Qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of 100 or more individual major gift prospects, with an emphasis on gifts of $100,000 or more, determining frequency of contact needed. Document all activities in the alumni/donor database.
  • Develop and maintain close collaborative partnerships with Cancer Center leadership, members, and staff to gain a strong knowledge of the academic and research programs in order to identify and define priorities to be funded through private support. Prepare faculty and other volunteers to participate in cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major gifts as needed.
  • Supervise CCIL advancement staff and coordinate with the administrative core team.
  • Coordinate data analysis, communications and donor research, as needed.


Impact in Your First Year

At Advancement at Illinois, we value our employees and provide resources to help you continually learn and grow. We foster a strong, collaborative community of people who are driven by their ability to make a difference.

Within 3 months, you will:


  • Become familiar with the strategic vision and priorities of the CCIL
  • Meet your assigned Prospect Development Analyst and begin to dig into your portfolio
  • Attend professional development and networking activities for newcomers within Advancement
  • Be introduced to fundraising fundamentals terminology adopted from Plus Delta Partners

    Within 6 months, you will:
  • Begin cultivating relationships with key prospects/donors in an effort to create and implement solicitation strategies
  • Partner with stewardship and donor relations, events, alumni relations, and communications colleagues on CCIL initiatives
  • Be able to share multiple meaningful impact stories of transformative gifts

    By the end of the first year, you will:
  • Cooperatively set annual goals with your supervisor(s) and portfolio management team
  • Continue portfolio growth of qualified prospects and successful solicitation strategies
  • Receive one-on-one coaching from Talent Management to help your transition to your new role
  • Build a robust network of colleagues across campus


Minimum Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree.
• For the title of Senior Director, a minimum of seven years of successful advancement experience.  For the title of Executive Director, a minimum of ten years of successful advancement experience.
• Experience working in a collaborative, team-oriented environment.

Preferred Qualifications

• Advancement experience in an academic unit that produces degrees and conducts rigorous academic research.
• Previous experience working with faculty leaders.
• Experience managing alumni and/or student programs and devising innovative programs to engage alumni and/or donors to support academic priorities.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities


  • Superb oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills, with an emphasis on engaged, active listening.
  • Demonstrated understanding of major donor prospect qualification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship.
  • Demonstrated ability to represent an organization in visits with key constituents.
  • Strong relationship management skills.
  • Preferred:
  • Documented success as a major and/or principal gift fundraiser in higher education.
  • Knowledge of advancement strategies including best practices related to development at institutions of higher education.


Appointment Information

This is a 100% full-time Academic Professional position, appointed on a 12-month basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the close date. Salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience, while also considering internal equity.

Please note: Immigration sponsorship is not available for this position.

Application Procedures & Deadline Information

Applications must be received by 6:00 pm (CST) on April 4, 2023. Apply for this position using the Apply Now button at the top or bottom of this posting. Applications not submitted through will not be considered. For further information about this specific position, please contact Katie Walker at For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.


The University of Illinois System is an equal opportunity employer, including but not limited to disability and/or veteran status, and complies with all applicable state and federal employment mandates. Please visit Required Employment Notices and Posters to view our non-discrimination statement and find additional information about required background checks, sexual harassment/misconduct disclosures, COVID-19 vaccination requirement, and employment eligibility review through E-Verify.

Applicants with disabilities are encouraged to apply and may request a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (2008) to complete the application and/or interview process. Requests may be submitted through the reasonable accommodations portal, or by contacting the Accessibility & Accommodations Division of the Office for Access and Equity at 217-333-0885, or by emailing

Requisition ID: 1016116
Job Category: Administrative
Apply at:

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