Join Our Team

Job Opening: Director of Philanthropy

Position summary:

The Director of Philanthropy is responsible for developing, planning, organizing, and directing all of Cancer Commons’ fundraising initiatives, including our major gifts program, our loyalty Pathfinder program, planned giving, and new initiatives. Cancer Commons is a bold Silicon Valley nonprofit located in Los Altos, CA, that aims to provide every patient with access to the world’s best cancer knowledge so they can make their best possible treatment decisions. We’re creating the only nonprofit expert knowledge network that strives to optimize outcomes for all people with cancer. The Director of Philanthropy oversees one part-time development officer and one part-time donor database manager (Salesforce), and reports to and works closely with the Executive Director as well as the Founder to ensure consistency of stated goals and objectives.

To qualify, you must:

•Embrace the mission of Cancer Commons.
•Have strong interpersonal and writing skills.
•Have knowledge of and experience in fundraising techniques, particularly major gift fundraising.
•Have experience tracking, recording, and maintaining contracts and working to fulfill internal contract obligations and external donor obligations/funds.
•Possess the skills to work with and motivate staff, board members, and other volunteers.
•Have the desire to get out of the office and build external relation-ships.
•Be a “self-starter” who is goal-driven to initiate donor visits and fund-raising calls.
•Be organized and exhibit “follow through” on tasks and goals.
•Display a positive attitude, show concern for people and community, and demonstrate presence, self-confidence, common sense, and good listening ability.
•Have a bachelor’s degree.
•Have 5 years minimum experience in professional fundraising.
•Be comfortable working in a start-up environment
•Be a connected, network-savvy individual

Job responsibilities:

•Develop and execute an annual fundraising plan in coordination with the Executive Director of Cancer Commons.
•Meet prospective donors and supporters on a continual basis to establish effective communications.
•Grow a major gifts program, including identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors.
•Oversee grant seeking, including research, proposal writing, and re-porting requirements.
•Direct the loyalty Pathfinder program, including mailings and annual fundraisers.
•Direct major fundraising drives.
•Coordinate fundraising special events.
•Conduct prospect research.
•Make public appearances/accept speaking engagements to share in-formation about Cancer Commons with the broader community.
•Attend staff, internal operations, and fundraising meetings.
•Oversee fundraising database and tracking systems.
•Accurately track received donations.
•Work internally with accountant to track and record contracts and received funds.
•Ensure contract obligations are met internally and externally, and communicate those milestones and challenges throughout the pro-cess.
•Oversee creation of publications to support fundraising activities.
•Maintain gift-recognition programs.
•Demonstrate professional conduct at all times.
•Perform other related duties as requested.

Salary/Benefits: Competitive/commensurate with experience and other qualifications.

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to


Job Opening: Pancreatic Cancer Scientist

Job Description:

Cancer Commons is a nonprofit organization devoted to finding, coordinating, and communicating the newest and best information about treatment options in a truly personalized manner, tailored to each individual with cancer. ASK Cancer Commons is our free, internet-based service for cancer patients and their caregivers that provides evidence-based information. For each patient they are assigned, the Pancreatic Cancer Scientist will do the required research to address whatever questions are asked. These are typically requests for opinions on treatment options, clinical trial opportunities, and recommendations for highly regarded doctors.

Job Responsibilities:

  • Interact directly with cancer patients online. Provide opinions on treatment options and drug efficacy, suggest clinical trials, and answer other questions that patients may have.
  • Structure case data, including diagnosis information, biomarkers, treatments, and outcomes, in a registry.  Capture medically relevant insights pertinent to each case.

Job Requirements:

  • Degree in Biological Sciences, PhD preferred
  • In-depth understanding of cancer biology, including molecular genetics
  • In-depth understanding of drug development and clinical trial design
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Comfortable coordinating with Cancer Commons Scientist team over email and occasionally by phone
  • Ability to work with patients in obtaining additional information required
  • Ability to understand and communicate treatment rationales to patients
  • Bay area preferred, but remote work options may be considered
  • Part-time or Full-time contracts possible

To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to


Volunteer opportunities:

If you are interested in volunteer opportunities, please review the volunteer roles described below. Email us at, and let us know how you would like to be involved.

Can’t find something below that matches your interests or expertise? We will! Email and tell us how you’d like to help.

Patient Responder:
Understand and triage patient history and questions
Respond to new patients within 24 hrs
Formulate patient data for experts
Submit for expert opinion
Communicate back to patient

Data Extraction Volunteer:
Contact patients already registered
Confirm current status – treatment, condition
Update existing records in database

Content Curator:
Tag relevant info in existing files
Encode answers on knowledge platform to make it easily searchable and available for future patients

Fundraising Volunteer:
Contact past donors
Provide update on Cancer Commons
Follow up on continuing support

Patient Advocate:
Help patients summarize their medical history
Submit questions on patients’ behalf
Follow up on decisions, outcomes
Liase with other cancer organizations
Introduce oncologists in their network

Answer patient questions, providing actionable information
Include clinical trial recommendations, if appropriate
Engage oncologists in the Network on challenging cases

Participate in the Cancer Commons online community of oncologists
Analyze cases in online tumor boards and provide treatment suggestions