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(Manhattan Beach, CA)

Vice President of Major Gifts


Founded in 1999, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) is dedicated to fighting the world's toughest cancer. In its urgent mission to save lives, PanCAN attacks pancreatic cancer on all fronts: research, clinical initiatives, patient services and advocacy. PanCAN's effort is amplified by a nationwide network of grassroots support, determined to improve patient outcomes today and to change the future of pancreatic cancer.

PanCAN's Vision of Progress is to double pancreatic cancer survival by 2020. To fuel this effort, the organization has set a goal of raising $200 million by 2020.

PanCAN's annual budget is $35 million with 140 employees throughout three locations: Manhattan Beach, California (headquarters), New York, and Washington D.C.

To learn more, please visit www.pancan.org.


Reporting to the Chief Development and Community Engagement Officer, the Vice President of Major Gifts is responsible for creating a vision and managing a comprehensive major giving program to support the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and its goal to raise $200 million by 2020. Annually PanCAN raises approximately $30-$35 million from all sources, with a current major gift goal of $5.8 million.

This individual will have direct responsibility for a portion of the organization's major gift goal and will meet regularly with high-level prospects and donors, Board members and senior leadership. In addition to leading by example with exemplary major gift fundraising, the Vice President of Major Gifts will oversee and grow a team of professional fundraisers.

Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Developing and implementing operational plans for all major gift frontline-fundraising staff. Working in close partnership with the entire team on the creation and execution of comprehensive, multi-year strategies for support.
  • Creating a strategic growth plan for the major gifts team, including the mentoring of current staff and hiring of additional major gift officers.

  • Assisting other team members with solicitations, carrying a major and principal gifts portfolio. Developing and implementing strategies that promote long-term sustainable growth in major gift fundraising and deepen PanCAN's relationships with its donors and community.
  • Identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding assigned major and principal gift prospects and donors to achieve individual fundraising goals.
  • Working with the executive team to identify funding needs, prospects, and strategies to successfully meet funding needs and objectives.
  • Partnering with the Director of Development to manage the total major gifts pipeline, including research, outreach, stewardship efforts, and overseeing a multi-year solicitation pipeline.
  • Collaborating with other areas of the Development and Community Engagement teams to best serve potential major gift donors and prospects, including Mid-Level & Annual Giving, Corporate & Community Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships and volunteer and affiliate groups.


The Vice President of Major Gifts must be an outstanding frontline fundraiser with proven leadership experience to maximize giving results through staff and volunteer work. The successful candidate will have exceptional interpersonal skills, writing skills, and judgment, along with a commitment to promoting the priorities of PanCAN through developing productive relationships with donors, board members, volunteers, and staff. The individual must have an entrepreneurial spirit, take initiative, and actively seek to deepen existing relationships and to forge new ones. The Vice President of Major Gifts must be a strong communicator, a good listener, and an articulate and persuasive presenter to large and small groups. The ideal candidate will be a team player who works collaboratively to achieve ambitious goals. A strategic vision and an intuitive sense of the whole enterprise must be combined with a practical, project orientation. The Vice President of Major Gifts must be well organized, focused, and have a goal-oriented work style. A high level of integrity, initiative, creativity, and compassion is required. The individual should be politically astute and an open, communicative, strong, and confident professional. The leadership skills to inspire, mentor and motivate others are essential. The successful candidate must be comfortable working in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment. The ability to passionately communicate PanCAN's mission and accomplishments is essential.


Leading candidates will have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible fundraising experience, including demonstrated success in personally soliciting major gifts. Candidates will be expected to have experience leading and articulating a vision and plan for fundraising as well as the demonstrated ability to execute plans, reach goals, and develop staff and volunteers into a highly functioning team. Management experience is required, and the successful candidate will have a clearly articulated management philosophy which supports high performance and employee retention. Substantial knowledge of best practices in fundraising, especially in major gifts and prospect management is essential. Experience in leveraging the resources of a patron database system will be critical. Exceptional financial, organizational and administrative skills are essential and expected. Some understanding or interest in pancreatic cancer or cancer research, while not required, would be a plus.


A Bachelor's degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.


Annual compensation will be competitive and relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable. A comprehensive benefits package will be provided.

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