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Associate Vice President, Philanthropy Marketing and Communications

City of Hope
Irwindale, California
Closing date
May 26, 2022

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Life Sciences
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type
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Job Details

About City of Hope

Focused on eliminating cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening illnesses, City of Hope has established itself as a world-class leader in transforming the future of health. Raising the philanthropic resources to fuel its leading-edge research, its exceptional and compassionate clinical care, and its advancement of biomedical education and training, is a vital component of City of Hope's model of success.

Our Mission: City of Hope is transforming the future of health. Every day we turn science into practical benefit. We turn hope into reality. We accomplish this through exquisite care, innovative research and vital education focused on eliminating cancer and diabetes.

City of Hope's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

City of Hope's diversity, equity and inclusion strategy aims to formulate a policy and systems-focused approach that addresses social determinants of health and responds to implicit bias and structural racism. Since its inception more than a century ago, City of Hope has been dedicated to providing equitable treatment to all the people we serve. This focus on inclusion is the cornerstone of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) strategy and reflects our commitment to those founding principles. Our mission, "to infuse DEI into the DNA at City of Hope," will serve as our north star and help ensure the tenets of diversity, equity and inclusion are an integral part of our day-to-day engagement with each other, our patients, their families and caregivers, and our broader community.

Office of Philanthropy Vision Statement

Philanthropy is at the heart of City of Hope's mission in turning "hope into reality." We offer an extraordinary donor and volunteer experience, one that invites, delights, and deepens relationships over time. City of Hope Philanthropy is one of a handful of premiere, exceptionally-regarded, and top-producing programs in the country.

Recruiting and developing exceptionally talented team members are hallmarks of the Office of Philanthropy. We demonstrate our commitment to our people through continuous learning and development opportunities and aim to foster an environment where each individual can thrive, personally and professionally. We increase the effectiveness of our team through transparency and accountability, building trust within teams; celebrating diversity and inclusion; enhancing team communications and removing roadblocks to maximize activation.

Position Summary

The Office of Philanthropy (OOP) is looking to make a transformative hire in a newly created Associate Vice President (AVP) of Philanthropy Marketing and Communications. This innovative leader will report to the Vice President of Philanthropy Communications and Donor Experience (VP) and will lead a growing and forward-thinking team specializing in philanthropy communications, donor storytelling, content strategy, direct marketing campaigns, and digital communications.

This strategic communications leader is tasked with strengthening our philanthropic brand in a highly competitive charitable giving environment and helping to position City of Hope as a destination for philanthropic investment. In partnership with the VP-, enterprise MarComm and other OOP leaders, the AVP will use best practices, marketing insights and audience research to create a donor-centric approach to communicating with diverse philanthropic audiences. Specifically, this position will be a key partner to the Donor Experience team - also reporting to the VP - together leading a cultural shift in adopting a donor persona model to inform and elevate communication strategies designed to build the donor pipeline, strengthen donor relationships and increase philanthropic revenue. The AVP also will play a critical role in aligning internal stakeholders around enterprise-wide strategic priorities within the context of a multibillion-dollar campaign.

The AVP will support the VP by leading OOP's transition to a fully integrated philanthropy marketing and communications vertical, leading and inspiring a cross-functional team and driving internal alignment around enterprise priorities and messaging. Strong partnerships with other OOP colleagues and enterprise communicators will be essential to the development of an integrated and strategic communications approach in support of philanthropic goals. The AVP will maintain primary responsibility for engaging enterprise marketing and communications teams as collaborators to align plans and shape a unified and persuasive narrative about City of Hope.

We are seeking a leader who embraces teamwork and is ready to build an industry-leading and donor-centric communications program for the Office of Philanthropy. This person will have experience in building and activating marketing and communications programs from the ground up and can engage internal and external stakeholders in plan conceptualization, design, iteration and adoption through active listening. A proven track record in building successful, creative and trust-based partnerships with frontline fundraisers, donor relations professionals, event planners and communications colleagues is critical

Key Responsibilities include:

Philanthropy Communications and Storytelling
  • Develop an integrated and comprehensive philanthropy and campaign communications plan that brings all Office of Philanthropy messaging together for stronger integration, strategic delivery and cascading of messaging. The plan should recognize and support the unique qualities of each philanthropy program and audience, while ensuring coordinated messaging across platforms and philanthropy programs/departments.
  • Oversee the content and editorial strategy for all philanthropy communications across a variety of channels and publications, partnering with Individual Giving, Annual Giving, Planned Giving, and Corporate Philanthropy and enterprise MarComm to ensure messaging alignment.
  • Guide, inspire and direct proactive donor communication strategies that connect City of Hope's mission, priorities and accomplishments to philanthropic impact. Facilitate the strategic planning, execution and evaluation of communication activities across units in the Office of Philanthropy.
  • Lead significant, multi-channel gift announcements for the Office of Philanthropy, partnering with fundraisers, executive leadership and a cross-functional team of communicators to steward donors appropriately and raise the national profile of City of Hope as a destination for philanthropic investment.
  • Partner with enterprise marketing and communication to reimagine signature City of Hope publications, bringing metrics-based decision-making and a renewed donor focus to the content and distribution.
  • Oversee the creation and execution of an internal communications strategy to engage and inform fundraisers and donor relations professionals regarding gift announcements, industry news, resources and other relevant information.
  • Provide strategic messaging counsel for the executive communications of the Chief Philanthropy Officer, ensuring a consistent voice and message across various internal and external platforms. Consult with enterprise MarComm, the CPO Chief of Staff and Leadership Deployment to identify and support opportunities for philanthropic thought leadership.
  • Serve as the primary point person with enterprise marketing and communications on dissemination of enterprise news, talking points, external communications and events that impact the donor community.
  • Work with the Donor Experience team to conceptualize and plan compelling mass stewardship opportunities and acknowledgments, as needed for strategic opportunities.

Marketing Strategy and Brand Development
  • Provide leadership and strategic thinking on all matters of philanthropy marketing, campaign brand, donor segmentation and audience research.
  • Oversee OOP's digital communications strategy, providing strategic leadership and creative input on a new Office of Philanthropy campaign microsite, email campaigns, social media strategy and other digital communications.
  • Collaborate with executive leaders and colleagues to create and execute annual marketing plans for donor audiences, including analysis, metrics, audience segmentation and tactics to drive giving across multiple channels.
  • Working with the VP, Campaign Architect, and AVP for Transformative Philanthropy and Campaign Communications, advise creative and agency teams in the development of a compelling campaign brand identity that aligns with the enterprise brand. Ensure appropriate integration of the brand in Office of Philanthropy communications throughout the duration of the campaign.
  • Oversee marketing and communication for Office of Philanthropy signature events, including integrated pre- and post- event communication plans. Collaborate with Donor Experience, The Events Department, and Strategic Initiatives and the Campaign to develop compelling content to drive attendance and bring campaign initiatives to life through virtual and in-person event experiences.
  • Serve as a primary liaison with the enterprise marketing and communications department to ensure adherence and alignment of strategies and tactics with City of Hope branding.
  • Identify and lead strategic opportunities for a centralized approach to audience and brand research that informs or evaluates Office of Philanthropy-wide marketing plans. Serve as a lead collaborator and stakeholder in the development of the donor persona program.
  • Oversee paid advertising and sponsorships (print and digital) in support of fundraising and stewardship efforts. Ensure appropriate partnership and line of sight with enterprise marketing teams.
  • Develop internal process and best practices for multimedia storytelling and deployment of creative resources, including photography and video.
  • Management and Coaching
  • Lead a centralized philanthropy marketing and communications function, while partnering closely with enterprise communicators to ensure a fully integrated and consistent City of Hope brand experience. This is a growth area, the possibility for additional hires or strategic alignment is possible.
  • Foster a positive and innovative work environment, characterized by open communication, accountability and motivation to optimize team performance, satisfaction/morale and retention. Provide effective communication, leadership by example, guidance and resources.
  • Evaluate staff performance regularly and, in concert with the VP-Philanthropy Communications and Donor Experience, determine merit increases, promotions and disciplinary actions. Determines staff qualifications and competency and assist with recruitment and selection of new staff hires. Work within the established overall OOP engagement model, which includes annual surveys, engagement discussions with staff and community building.
  • Train, orient and mentor new and existing staff. Establish a set of standards and expectations to measure team and individual performance.
  • Strengthen the overall engagement with leadership, faculty, department heads and members of the staff, developing a culture of strategic engagement and experience.
  • Design the annual budget, and monitor program expenditures related to philanthropy marketing and communications.

Serve as a Role Model for the Office of Philanthropy
  • Act as a strategic and visionary leader in representing the Office of Philanthropy with City of Hope colleagues and external partners.
  • Act as spokesperson for City of Hope activities as requested.
  • Demonstrate an ability to solve problems, overcome hurdles and navigate sensitive issues with discretion, tact and strong communication skills.
  • Possess a thorough knowledge of the key fundraising priorities for COH.
  • Participate in committees, task forces and other special projects as requested.

Basic education, experience and skills required for consideration:
  • Bachelor's degree required.
  • Minimum fifteen years of experience in Marketing, Public Relations or Strategic Communications, complemented with a minimum of five years of management experience.
  • Proven successful experience designing, implementing and evaluating communications, marketing and brand strategies with clear goals, objectives and measures of success.
  • Understanding of media relations, public relations and reputation management, including crisis communications.
  • Experience using market intelligence and audience research to inform and evaluate marketing strategy.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and a strong track record of cultural competency in valuing, building, coaching, hiring and promoting diverse teams of staff and volunteers.
  • Experience in strategic planning and implementation, especially in building high-performing teams and programs.
  • Ability to facilitate the creative direction and development of multimedia products including video, animation, digital and social media, including knowledge of current trends and best practices

Preferred education experience and skills:
  • Agency, philanthropy, nonprofit and/or healthcare experience preferred.

Additional Information:
  • To protect the health of patients and staff and to comply with new State of California mandates, City of Hope staff are required to show proof of full vaccination prior to start date. Compliance is a condition of employment.

City of Hope is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with disability.


City of Hope, an innovative biomedical research, treatment and educational institution with over 5,000 employees, is dedicated to the prevention and cure of cancer and other life-threatening diseases and guided by a compassionate, patient-centered philosophy.

Founded in 1913 and headquartered in Duarte, California, City of Hope is a remarkable non-profit institution, where compassion and advanced care go hand-in-hand with excellence in clinical and scientific research.  City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the nation’s 20 leading cancer centers that develops and institutes standards of care for cancer treatment.

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