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The RUNX1 Research Program

Director of Development


The RUNX1 Research Program (RRP) is a patient-family founded nonprofit advocacy and research foundation. Established in 2016, RRP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for and prevent cancer in patients with RUNX1 familial platelet disorder (RUNX1-FPD), an inherited blood-cancer predisposition disorder caused by mutations in the RUNX1 gene. RUNX1-FPD patients are over 30 times more likely to develop leukemia than the general population. In addition to the high risk of blood cancer, patients often suffer from bleeding issues their entire lives. Through ongoing research, including that funded by RRP and its partners, scientists have discovered that RUNX1-FPD is associated with many other health issues affecting the skin, respiratory, gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and immune systems. Since its inception, RRP has funded $7M in biomedical research across 26 projects and grants, actively engaging over 500 clinicians and researchers globally. Its partners/grantees have included the Mayo Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Stanford University. 


Although based in Santa Barbara, California, RRP’s audience and reach are global, funding world-class research collaborations, while also promoting awareness of RUNX1-FPD and supporting and empowering patient communities. RRP serves as a critical conduit between patients, clinicians and researchers. Each year, for example, RRP convenes a yearly scientific conference, bringing together clinicians and scientists from around the world to advance progress. RRP also coordinates a series of regular seminars/meetings for patients and their families. Currently, 95% of RRP’s $2M budget is funded by its founders, with up to $500K of additional research funds contributed by other donors and co-funding grant partners, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer. RRP’s team includes the Executive Director, Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager, Executive Assistant/Office Manager, Communications Associate (TBH) and the two founder co-directors.




The Director of Development (DOD) role is a wonderful opportunity for an exceptional fundraiser who thrives in an entrepreneurial environment and can build a 21st century development program for a growing organization. RRP seeks a highly motivated and experienced DOD to create and implement successful fundraising strategies that will enable it to increase funding of its research and program initiatives and provide increased support to patient communities worldwide.  


The DOD will develop, implement and scale an efficient and effective strategic fundraising plan with a particular focus on building a successful, long-term individual giving program. They will be responsible for identifying, engaging, soliciting and stewarding a constituency that includes, individuals (major gift and grassroots/peer to peer), foundations, corporations and grant-making organizations. The DOD will establish a framework for effective fundraising suitable for RRP’s size and audience, implementing and executing upon a plan that involves collaboration of the entire team.


The ideal candidate will have demonstrated both ability and success in sourcing funding opportunities and designing and executing strategies to develop donor relationships at various levels. As a highly visible face of the organization, and the primary donor liaison, the DOD must have exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Paramount to the role is the ability to learn, assimilate and understand the basic science of the disorder, RRP’s mission, programs, and research, and to be able to effectively communicate and market that message to different audiences. Reporting to RRP’s Executive Director, Dr. Katrin Ericson, the DOD will work collaboratively to build a culture of philanthropy at RRP, educating colleagues and volunteers about fundraising best practices, working with colleagues to identify fundraising priorities and developing strategies to make the case for support and secure external funding to build and sustain RRP’s programs.




  • Build and lead a diversified development program to grow RRP’s revenues and donor base

  • Create and implement annual and longer-term (3-5 year) plans aligned with the strategic direction of the organization, including both monetary and activity goals

  • Develop the infrastructure and appropriate systems to support RRPs development program and operations

  • Assess, build and manage key functional areas of the fundraising program, including individual and institutional giving, donor recognition/stewardship, prospect research and events in order to increase revenue for specific initiatives, projects or campaigns

  • Work in close partnership with the ED, co-founders, staff and volunteers to build RRP’s philanthropic capabilities. Provide counsel, training and direction regarding fundraising

  • Develop and grow RRP’s major gifts program by building, over time, a substantive prospect pipeline. Implement prospect research and cultivation/engagement programs, working closely with the ED, co-founders, colleagues and volunteers

  • Serve as an ambassador of RRP to both national and international donors, prospects and funders, involving colleagues as appropriate in outreach, cultivation and solicitation activities

  • Partnering with the Patient Engagement and Clinical Program Manager, recruit and manage a volunteer fundraising subcommittee. Recommend policies and procedures to govern the committee.

  • Strengthen and build relationships with institutional funders, particularly increasing support from foundations and exploring ways to increase outreach to corporations. Oversee private grant-seeking efforts to include research, proposal writing and reporting requirements

  • Develop effective donor relations/stewardship programs, create opportunities for donor and volunteer engagement and support volunteer grassroots fundraising activities

  • Assess the need for and manage the planning and execution of fundraising and cultivation events or other activities to attract and engage support

  • Manage development communications and the production of fundraising collateral, including case statements,  proposals and appeals. Collaborate with RRP colleagues on content development and messaging of impact reports, educational materials, event-specific advertising, social media, etc.







A Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree is a plus.



  • A minimum of five to seven years of development experience with proven skills in individual and institutional giving

  • A demonstrated track record of fundraising success, including the ability to plan and implement fundraising projects and initiatives

  • Deep knowledge and experience in fundraising strategic planning and implementation

  • Experience diversifying revenue streams and building or strengthening a development program

  • Solid experience in individual gift fundraising, with a demonstrated ability to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors/prospects and effectively move them through the development cycle leading to major gifts

  • Experience in and/or familiarity with medical/healthcare fundraising a plus

  • Experience in institutional giving, proposal development and development operations

  • Demonstrated ability to engage and support volunteers with their efforts in fundraising and donor and prospect engagement

  • Experience serving in the role of resource/coach to volunteers and colleagues



The successful professional will have or be:


  • Strong strategic planning skills and a capacity to develop and implement clear goals, systems and priorities

  • An ability to develop collaborative relationships, both internally and externally, with various constituencies, domestic and international

  • An entrepreneurial spirit with a high level of initiative, attention to detail and strong organizational skills

  • A positive outlook with a high degree of emotional intelligence

  • Ability to define problems, gather data, establish facts and draw conclusions

  • Unquestionable integrity and commitment to professional ethics, and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information with integrity

  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills and the ability to represent and articulate the mission of RRP

  • Keen ability to understand the beliefs, contexts, and motivations of others

  • Deep understanding of development principles and regulations pertaining to charitable contributions

  • Proficiency in using fundraising database programs and comfortable with Google Drive/Docs, MS Office, and web-based videoconferencing

  • Results-driven multi-tasker with the ability to work independently and as part of a team

  • Ability to thrive in a virtual work environment

  • Strong financial skills, including the ability to develop budgets and management reports that present a clear financial picture of fundraising activities




A competitive compensation package, including a comprehensive benefits package, will be offered. To be considered for this position or for additional information, please contact and/or send resume and cover letter to:

David N. Randall


Randall Search Associates

415 769 4210

Travel will be required on an as-needed basis once the restrictions of the ongoing pandemic have been lifted.

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