Posted on March 29, 2012
Director of Development
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE)
Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy (CURE) - Director of Development
CURE, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, was founded by parents of children with epilepsy who were frustrated with their inability to protect their children from the devastation of seizures and the side effects of medications. Unwilling to sit back and accept the debilitating effects of epilepsy, these parents joined forces to spearhead the search for a cure. Since its inception in 1998, CURE has raised more than $18 million to fund research and other initiatives that will lead the way to a cure for epilepsy. Epilepsy is disproportionately underfunded versus other neurological disorders. The government invests $140–160 million in epilepsy research, but per patient contributes less to epilepsy than it does to other major neurological disorders. And at less than $10 million annually, non-profit foundations contribute less than $4 per patient to epilepsy research. Parkinson’s, by contrast, receives $40–50 per patient from nonprofits. All told, epilepsy receives less total funding per patient than Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and autism.
CURE funds seed grants to young and established investigators to explore new areas and collect the data necessary to apply for further funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). To date, CURE has awarded 126 cutting-edge projects. CURE assembled a Scientific Advisory Board comprised of five highly-esteemed epilepsy specialists from around the country. In addition, over 300 scientists lend their epilepsy expertise to review grant applications. CURE is increasing awareness through national media exposure, including a national ad campaign and cover story that first appeared in PARADE magazine. Chair and co-founder, Susan Axelrod, along with several board members and CURE supporters, have been featured in publications such as Newsweek, the Boston Globe and the New York Times. Susan has also appeared on the TODAY show, MSNBC’s Morning Joe, in a special segment on “60 Minutes” with Katie Couric, Fox News Network, CNN with Campbell Brown, and CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight.
CURE is on an exciting and fast-paced path with a goal of becoming the nation’s premier epilepsy research organization. The team is comprised of dedicated professionals all moving toward increasing the availability of epilepsy research dollars in order to find a cure. Over the past few years, CURE has quickly moved from a small organization, to a thriving one with a close-knit family environment working together to increase exposure and awareness about epilepsy and its effects.
The Opportunity: Director of Development
The reshaped role of Director of Development at CURE provides an opportunity for a challenging and rewarding career within a growing national organization based in Chicago. This position will report directly to the CEO, serve as a key member of CURE’s senior management team and have oversight for the entire development program. It is a central role in driving financial growth toward a cure for epilepsy and maintaining CURE’s position at the forefront of epilepsy research.
The positions primary focus is to ensure that annual fundraising goals are achieved, and will begin to do so building from the strong fundraising base that CURE has established. Key responsibilities for this position include: supervise/guide CURE’s development team (1.5 FTE: special events manager (1) and database support (0.5)), develop and implement fundraising structures and processes, develop annual fundraising operating plans, and build/expand both an individual and major gifts program. There is a particular expected focus on cultivating relationships with high net-worth individuals with personal connections to epilepsy and seeing corporate/foundation funding opportunities with high fidelity.
The selection process will focus on a solid and progressive fundraising history (including proven success in soliciting major gifts/advancing individual giving and strategic special events), and past leadership success in complex organizations.
The Qualified Candidate
CURE seeks a driven and accomplished senior development professional with 7-10 years of demonstrated success in fundraising and development. He or she will have a proven and measurable history of fundraising success including strong board relations, major giving and proven ability to manage/guide a fast-paced team. Knowledge of the national philanthropic marketplace, as well as familiarity with the scientific/medical research community will add tremendous value to the qualifications the candidate brings. Understanding of and appreciation for the role of strategic special events (San Francisco, Boston, New York, etc.) for CURE is also important. The successful candidate will be flexible and adaptable with the ability to thrive in a fast-paced, energetic, diverse, and mission-driven work environment. This position is based at CURE’s headquarters in Chicago.
Specific requirements include:
- Ability to develop and exude passion for the mission of CURE and share that passion via a compelling story on behalf of the organization.
- Undergraduate degree required; advanced degree and/or CFRE preferred.
- 7-10 years of fundraising experience in an organization of similar size, scope, and complexity; experience in growing with an organization “to the next level” preferred.
- Proven progressive success in all aspects of fundraising as evidenced by major gifts closures, annual renewal programs, planned giving initiatives and special events. Successful experience managing donor stewardship.
- Proven ability to lead, oversee and monitor all aspects of fundraising and development at CURE.
- Facility to develop and maintain a strong presence in the philanthropic community. Must have the social skills to effectively engage community and civic leadership, as well as active and prospective high-level donors in other parts of the country where CURE has a presence.
- Energy, desire, and willingness to travel as needed; based on donor cultivation events, national meetings and events, and need for external presence.
- Ability to work effectively and productively with the Board of Directors and volunteers, and engage them in the Development functions of CURE.
- Strong written and verbal communication skills. Ability to independently draft communications, articles, donor proposals, etc. within the adopted CURE style.
- Demonstrated ability to manage, mentor, and work collaboratively with persons across disciplines and at all levels, both within and outside the organization.
- Demonstrated ability to develop and support teams; team-oriented.
- Ability to gather, analyze and effectively communicate data, including financial statements and budgets.
- Intelligent, resourceful, organized, and professional; capable of using these talents in an innovative and creative manner. Good attention to detail.
- Open and flexible communicator.
- Strong personal ethics and integrity.
This position offers a competitive salary with excellent benefits. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. CURE is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, disability, marital status, veteran status, or any other occupationally irrelevant criteria. The organization values diversity and believes that a diverse staff, with diverse talents advances organizational, strategic and community goals.
The search is being managed by Heather A. Eddy, CFRE, President and COO of Alford Group Executive Search. To apply, candidates should submit their cover letter and resume and complete the online application at http://ag-es.kintera.org/applicant. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. No applications will be accepted via email. Questions may be addressed to Whitney Wade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alford Group Executive Search (www.ag-es.com) is a retained search firm dedicated to providing recruitment services of exceptional quality and strengthening the not-for-profit community through professional staffing solutions.