Vice President, Philanthropy

Req Number: YR486
Location: Remote
Posted: 1/13/2021
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Not-For-Profit
Job Type: Permanent

Position Vice President, Philanthropy

Company Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT)

Location Stamford, CT or Remote

Reporting Relationship President and Chief Executive Officer




Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy, Inc. (ACGT) is a non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to advancing research in cell and gene therapies for treating cancer. Unlike surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, cell and gene therapies harness the power of a patient’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. Cell and gene therapies work by adding, deleting or changing the DNA within an individual’s existing cells to give those cells a new set of instructions that can help them find and fight cancer.

The vision of ACGT is simple – a cancer-free future. ACGT’s mission is to drive breakthrough cell and gene research to develop living medicines that leverage the body’s immune system to defeat cancer. ACGT is committed to building alliances between philanthropic individuals and organizations, and medical and academic institutions, in order to promote gene and cell therapy research to combat cancer. ACGT has its offices in Stamford, CT with additional staff based remotely.

In 2001, Barbara and Edward Netter founded ACGT to accelerate progress in and fund the best research at the most prestigious institutions developing cell and gene therapies for cancer. Mr. Netter was an astonishingly creative and distinguished business leader with an immense interest in science, medicine, and the arts. A significant philanthropist through much of his life, Mr. Netter also donated his time, knowledge and resources to many charities concentrated principally on science, education and human services, including those in the local communities of Greenwich and Montecito, CA. When the Netters’ daughter-in-law succumbed to breast cancer, they sought out state-of-the-art research into better forms of treatment. After learning about gene therapy at a scientific conference with renowned scientist, Dr. Savio Woo, the Netters foresaw that there would soon be a paradigm shift toward molecular medicine – treatments that more effectively destroy cancer with less toxicity.

ACGT has been a pioneer in supporting breakthrough research in the cancer cell and gene therapy space, which has now become a vibrant research area and given rise to a new class of targeted biological immunotherapies for treating cancer. Through ACGT’s rigorous grant review process, and guided by a preeminent Scientific Advisory Council, grants have advanced research which has resulted in some of the most successful breakthroughs in the history of cancer treatments and led to many patients in complete remission. These accomplishments include the first translational grants for immunotherapy to Dr. Carl June at the University of Pennsylvania and research grants to Dr. Michel Sadelain that have led to the development of CAR-T therapies or “living drugs” bringing the possibility of cures to patients with cancer. ACGT’s research funding has seeded a burgeoning cancer cell and gene industry leading not just new cancer treatments but the real possibility of cancer cures.

Through the generosity of the Netter family and other important donors; fundraising efforts such as Swim Across America, Wendy Walk, and Leave It On The Road; and guidance from a distinguished Board and Scientific Advisory Council; ACGT is able to support breakthrough innovations in cancer research and translational sciences. Sadly, Mr. Netter lost his own battle to cancer in 2011 but the Netters’ vision lives on today, as the organization is poised to scale and continue its impact on cancer research and advancing therapies for patients in need.

During its tenure, ACGT has provided grants in excess of $30.7M to cancer research and translational sciences. Unique from other foundations and health focused organizations, one hundred percent of donations go straight to funding research. As it executes a newly adopted strategic plan for the next era of the organization within a $30B gene therapy industry, ACGT seeks an executive to work closely with the senior leadership team and board of directors in the further development of its network of donors.




Position Overview

ACGT has launched an invigorating strategic plan designed to scale the organization by building and broadening ACGT awareness, increasing sustainable funding, advancing academic research and launching a biotechnology investment program. Integral to the execution of this plan, ACGT is seeking a Vice President of Philanthropy who has a passion for the ACGT mission and is a strategic, entrepreneurial, innovative relationship-builder and business thinker to help scale its individual giving and major gifts program. Increasing ACGT charitable contributions will require prospect research; planned giving in concert with the launch of The ACGT-Edward Netter Legacy Society; ACGT-on-the-Road regional stewardship salons; engagement with the cancer community; the expansion of relationships and opportunities with the biotech and pharmaceutical industry; and with other public, private and corporate foundations and donors.

Reporting to the CEO/President, the Vice President of Philanthropy will assist in the development and be responsible for the implementation of the organization’s fundraising strategy, with a focus on major gifts. Additionally, the Vice President of Philanthropy will manage all relevant fundraising operations, engage extensively with both internal and external scientific, medical and industrial collaborators, and be responsible for leveraging those relationships to achieve ACGT’s major gift goals and objectives with donors.


Key responsibilities include the following:

• Assume a highly visible role in leading major gift fundraising, cultivate current and prospective major donors and engage in direct solicitation of gifts from a donor pool of almost 2,000 unique donors which have given almost 6,000 gifts throughout the lifetime of the organization.

• Plan, coordinate, and implement the major donor program to increase the financial capacity of ACGT to fund research and advance cancer cell and gene therapies for patients.

• Through successful fundraising, expand ACGT’s donor base and meet the organization’s major gifts goals.

• Serve as an ambassador and key spokesperson for ACGT, building strong internal/external relationships that promote ACGT’s mission.

• Rigorously conduct and analyze strategic prospect research, ensure a disciplined data tracking system is in place and prepare action-oriented reports.

• Maintain a thorough knowledge of current issues as they relate to ACGT’s programs and services to effectively steward current major donors, advance mid-level donors into major donor status, identify and convert prospects into donors.

• Work closely with ACGT’s CEO/President, Co-Founder, Board of Directors, Scientific Advisory Council and Chief Program Officer in developing alliances between philanthropic individuals and ACGT.

Professional Experience/Qualifications

The ideal Vice President of Philanthropy candidate will be an accomplished business leader with proven major gift fundraising experience and success, significant experience across the healthcare or life science community with a cancer research focus as a major plus, and a passion for ACGT’s vision and mission. They will have the strategic vision and expertise to effectively increase fundraising revenue from current major donors, both annually and longer-term through a planned giving program. This individual will be expected to re-engage lapsed major donors and identify, cultivate, solicit, acquire and steward prospective major donors willing to commit to the rich foundation of a pioneering biomedical research organization.

Successful candidates will have the following professional qualifications:

• A minimum of 10 years demonstrated experience successfully fundraising for a business or organization, identifying prospects and growing revenue from a pool of donors giving $10,000+ annually and capable of making significant legacy commitments;

• Preference for extensive fundraising experience in the particular area of cancer research. An understanding of the cancer cell and gene therapy space is desirable;

• A proven track record of operating in accordance with the highest ethical standards and demonstrating outstanding relationship management ability and sensitivity to donor needs;

• Proven technical experience working with fundraising database programs and software such as Raiser’s Edge NXT, Virtuous and ResearchPoint as well as a proficiency in Microsoft Office;

• A dynamic, proactive, inclusive, open and decisive leader able to serve as a catalyst for positive change. An entrepreneurial planner and builder rather than a "steady-state" manager;

• Possesses relationships with the life science/healthcare community, including patient advocacy groups, academia, government, research and non-profit groups, investors and the biopharmaceutical industry;

• Creative, strategic thinker with a “hands-on”, resourceful, and analytical style to help shape ACGT’s strategy and a propensity for delivering projects and managing inherent challenges;

• Strong business acumen, confidence, poise and executive presence;

• Charismatic and effective communicator to clearly articulate ACGT’s message and inspire, influence and earn the respect of their internal and external stakeholders. Excellent oral and written communication skills and outstanding listening skills;

• Ability to regularly travel as part of this position.


• Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field required. Advanced degree preferred in science, medicine, law and/or business.


• An attractive compensation package based upon background and experience will be provided.

ACGT in an Equal Opportunity Employer. All employees and applicants will be treated without regard to age, sex, color, religion, race, national origin, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, marital or familial status, physical or mental disability, legal source of income, or any other status protected by law. ACGT is a drug-free workplace.