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Senior Manager, Development Operations

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.

American Friends of Cancer Research is the US-based organization supporting the Cancer Grand Challenges initiative. American Friends of Cancer Research is now seeking to appoint a Senior Manager, Development Operations. The Senior Manager, Development Operations lead the operational, data management and analytical functions for the development team. American Friends of Cancer Research is therefore seeking an experienced operations professional, who will be responsible for shaping the operational capabilities and support functions, including project management and coordination for the growing development team, with Cancer Grand Challenges.  Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Senior Manager, Development Operations will be responsible for building and managing the operational functions of the Development office.

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

The 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 Senior Manager for Development Operations will lead the operational, data management and analytical functions for the development team. The Senior Manager will shape and deliver the operational capabilities and support functions, including project management and coordination for the growing development team for CGC. This role will be a key partner to the Chief Development Officer and will provide management and support services including - prospect and data management and analysis, management of prospect research, donor and partner relations tracking, gift administration and project management underpinning the growing development function for Cancer Grand Challenges globally.

This position will require a capable, entrepreneurial development professional who seeks to play a key role in building a foundational operating framework for a growing organization committed to tackling the biggest outstanding questions in the field of cancer research.



  • Develop and manage accurate and compliant gift processing standards, including timely gift and grant income entry and acknowledgement and integrity of data working closely with colleagues in operations and finance
  • Act as project manager on key department initiatives, strategies and active portfolio moves management tracking working proactively with frontline colleagues to manage and adapt strategies through implementation
  • Work with appropriate CRUK colleagues and/or contractors to develop robust prospect and partner research providing decision support for active portfolio management
  • Produces reports on activities and income for management and board including for strategic planning purposes and annual and quarterly performance tracking
  • Partners with Administrative Assistant and other colleagues to prepare briefings and organizes itineraries for high-level visits and meetings
  • Oversees and maintains accuracy of data and prepares reports using a variety of databases and programs including but not limited to Salesforce (CRM) and Microsoft Excel
  • Develops and manages systems to assure robust management and tracking of cultivation and stewardship strategies with prospects, donors, and partners
  • Partners with operational colleagues on communications, research and operations teams to leverage event, workshops and summits in support of stewardship and income generation goals
  • Serve as a resource across CGC in support of relationship management with partners and other constituents via data support
  • Contributes to departmental goals by accomplishing related duties as required


  • 3-5 years of relevant professional experience in fundraising operations, especially gifts and grants for science, health and medicine or higher education. Knowledge and understanding of fundraising best practices.
  • Understanding of fundraising, donor relations, or business development concepts, principles, techniques, procedures and practices.
  • Highly organized with a proven ability to set and deliver to a high standard consistently with competing and demanding deadlines.
  • Curiosity to learn and develop, motivated by the opportunity to be part of this exciting new global initiative.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills and ability to work with and communicate effectively and professionally with a wide range of individuals from internal colleagues, institutional leaders, and external collaborators, stakeholders and donors.
  • Thorough project management skillset. Prepared to take on a wide variety of tasks. Have a “can do”, service-oriented attitude and a demonstrated ability to problem solve.  Ability to anticipate challenges and address them quickly.
  • Ability to occasionally travel and work irregular hours such as supporting events
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment, managing multiple and complex projects;
  • Excellent project management and organisation skills with strong attention to detail;
  • Excellent writing skills;
  • Demonstrated analytical skills and the ability to problem solve;
  • Strong computer skills with knowledge of databases (Salesforce encouraged), Excel, Power Point and other technology tools and platforms. Strong comfort with technology and ability to learn new skills.
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity and to navigate new territory, setting a clear path and establishing new protocols.


  • Excited by the opportunity to contribute to the mission and ambitions 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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