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Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations

Cancer Grand Challenges
Massachusetts, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Jul 9, 2024


Cancer is, and will continue to be, a major burden on societies worldwide. This problem is not unique to any single country but instead is a global challenge that does not recognize borders.

Through many decades of research, a deep understanding of many aspects of how cancer is initiated, develops and spreads is being gained. This understanding is now being translated into novel prevention strategies and a compendium of increasingly advanced treatments.

However, despite these breakthroughs many tough, stubborn challenges continue to impede progress. Solving these challenges holds the key to a decidedly different outcome for the many millions diagnosed with cancer each year. To make radical progress against these challenges requires an elite, global community of cancer researchers to collaborate across borders, with a relentless focus on solving them. To make the radical progress against these challenges Cancer Grand Challenges was established.

Cancer Grand Challenges is now seeking to appoint a Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations. The Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations will develop and manage the foundation and corporate relations program that will seek to generate early and substantial support for Cancer Grand Challenges. Cancer Grand Challenges is therefore seeking an experienced foundation and corporate relations professional, who will be responsible for designing, planning and executing the strategy to develop partnerships with Cancer Grand Challenges.  Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations will be responsible for building a robust and diverse foundation and partnership base.

Cancer Grand Challenges

Cancer Grand Challenges supports an elite community of international research teams to come together, think differently, and solve some of cancer’s toughest challenges. With a series of $25 million awards, Cancer Grand Challenges teams are empowered to rise above the traditional boundaries of geography and scientific discipline, in order to accelerate scientific progress, and to ultimately change outcomes for people with cancer.

Founded by the two largest funders of cancer research in the world - Cancer Research UK and the National Cancer Institute in the United States - and uniting an international community of partners, Cancer Grand Challenges aims to make the radical progress against cancer that is urgently needed.

American Friends of Cancer Research

American Friends of Cancer Research is an independent 501(c)3 not-for-profit. Its purpose is to support unique, large-scale, global research collaborations in partnership with other scientific funders to catalyze transformational breakthroughs in our understanding of cancer, that could lead to new ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat cancers.

The principal focus of American Friends of Cancer Research is to support Cancer Grand Challenges - a flagship global initiatives developed and led out of Cancer Research UK in partnership with the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).  The incumbent professional will be employed by American Friends of Cancer Research to support the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative.


Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations will play an integral role in advancing the mission and generating income for Cancer Grand Challenges. The Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations will play a central role in developing and managing the foundation and corporate relations program that has generated early and substantial support for Cancer Grand Challenges. Foundation and Corporate giving and partnerships are a key pillar of a diversified income generation strategy for Cancer Grand Challenges. Identifying appropriate foundation and corporate prospects for grant winning, partnerships and other income, the Director will collaborate with senior programmatic and scientific leaders on the submission of proposals and reports, the development of partnerships, and serve as a relationship manager and strategist for a growing portfolio of major, regional, and family foundations and prospective global corporate partners.



  • Expand and oversee portfolio of foundation and corporate prospects, partners and sponsors
  • Individually and collaboratively develop and write proposals and reports in support of Cancer Grand Challenges
  • Collaborate with leadership to assess foundations and corporations’ alignment with and potential to support and/or partner with Cancer Grand Challenges
  • Develop and implement comprehensive cultivation and stewardship strategies for growing portfolio of foundation and corporate prospects, partners and supporters
  • Draft correspondence and other materials for senior leaders and faculty.
  • Manage the timely execution of multiple projects, enlisting support of other staff where appropriate.
  • Represent Cancer Grand Challenges and serve as a liaison to foundation and corporate leaders and program staff as appropriate


  • Exceptional writing and communication skills
  • Working knowledge and understanding of the foundation and corporate sectors, particularly those organizations that historically support cancer and/or fundamental life sciences research or academic medical research
  • Passionate and knowledgeable about the life sciences and/or medicine and the important role fundamental research plays in advancing knowledge about and interventions, therapies and diagnostics for cancers or other conditions
  • Ambition to build and maintain effective partnerships at all levels of internal and external constituencies.
  • Demonstrated aptitude to thrive in a complex and dynamic environment, managing multiple priorities
  • A self-starter who uses an entrepreneurial approach to building and guiding an organizational fundraising program with the ability to expand the pipeline of supporters and partners
  • Master's Degree or equivalent preferred
  • 5-7 years of professional work experience in nonprofit management, development, alumni relations, marketing, public relations, sales or similar professional work experience required
  • Ability to travel and work irregular hours as needed
  • Ability to work effectively with high-level decision makers, committee members, and donors
  • Experience leading a project team or managing staff preferred
  • Experience writing and managing independent proposals and developing solicitation strategies at the seven figure plus level


  • Excited by the opportunity to build on the success and scale of Cancer Grand Challenges;
  • Willing to go above and beyond the position description to ensure this new initiative is a success;
  • Demonstrate excellent self-awareness and understand personal impact;
  • Integrate into, and work well as part of a dynamic and evolving team based across different geographic locations, cultures, and legal frameworks;
  • Respond well to and embrace change and ambiguity;
  • Provide and receive feedback to enable individual and team development;

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