At the American Cancer Society, we’re leading the fight for a world without cancer. Our employees and 1.5 million volunteers are raising the bar every single day. The people who work at the American Cancer Society focus their diverse talents on our singular mission: to end the pain and suffering of cancer. We achieve our mission by drawing on our core values of integrity, compassion, courage, determination and diversity.

It is a calling. And the people who answer it are fulfilled.


As a member of the Development Resources team, the GHQ Grant Writer is an experienced senior professional who serves as a researcher, convener, concept developer, project manager and primary writer in the development of high-value funding and/or partnership proposals to high net worth funders including – but not limited to – individuals, foundations, and corporations, with a focus on 7+ figure opportunities to foundations.  Proactively researches and manages a pipeline of primarily foundation prospects with a mission match to the Society.  Strategic partner with development and mission staff in the creation of funding proposal concepts/projects. Develops and facilitates strategies for grant preparation and submission process for significant funding from foundations and other funders to support the American Cancer Society’s goals and objectives.  Advises and assists principal partnerships staff partners with process and compliance issues related to both funding agency regulations and standards as well as the Society’s internal practices. Oversees grant proposal and report adherence to the funder’s administrative, fiscal, and accounting policies and procedures.  The primary objective is to meet annual and campaign fundraising goals by securing transformational gifts that allow ACS to be innovative and have the greatest impact towards the mission.  Chief responsibilities include: strategy, research and development, and management of a robust foundation portfolio; donor approach and cultivation strategy; managing the entire proposal project from concept development to submission, including the convening of content subject matter experts, leadership, and account staff in the field; proposal writing and polishing; donor stewardship; identifying and researching appropriate foundation prospects; and management of the foundation prospect pipeline.


- Performs extensive prospect research to identify foundations with the greatest opportunity for ACS and works with principal partnerships staff partners as well as prospect research staff and/or regional major gifts staff to identify initial approach to funders.

- Stands up pipelines for new/previously unsolicited programs of work.

- Develops a portfolio of high net worth foundations that have interests that align with ACS mission priorities.

- Works with principal partnership and regional major gift staff to strategically cultivate grant opportunities from qualified foundations as well as high net worth individuals, corporations, and other funders.

- Collaborates with subject matter experts and principal partnerships staff partners to create strategic proposal concepts and, as relevant, related stewardship plans.

- Crafts well thought out grant proposals that embody the prospects’ interests, align with all funder requirements and showcase the ability of the ACS to successfully implement, track and accomplish the work.

- Engages creative/marketing department to assist in the development of cultivation materials and proposals for high-value prospects; serves as the primary contact to marketing and relays concept/edits through development/mission staff.

- In addition to developing grant proposals, this position will interpret funding agency regulations and requirements as well as review proposals for compliance with policies, regulations, procedures, and facilitate documentation requirements; when necessary, will work in collaboration with the Sponsored Programs Office to ensure proposal – particularly budget preparation – meets all ACS requirements.

- May provide advice and guidance to researchers and administrators with program planning priorities to meet the requirements of the grant.

- As necessary, tracks reporting/deliverable deadlines, convenes partners to prepare required deliverables, develops any necessary reports, and timely submits deliverables to ensure proper stewardship.

- Must understand the needs of each staff partner/department and their funding opportunities.

- Works collaboratively with a team approach in all aspects of the position.

- Works as a team member within GHQ principal partnerships team and integrates into the regional grant writer team and the Regions they serve.

- Assists with training of new regional grant writers and provides coverage to the regional grant writing team as necessary.

- Assists in revising and enhancing the training materials in proposal development and writing.

- Prepares cultivation materials and templates of grants for mission priorities to include sell sheets, cases for support, and a tool kit of written communication suggestions and suggested best practices around proposal development, as needed.

- Researches and writes new sections in proposals e.g., Researches citations in the literature, measurable objectives, access, disparities, targeted population.

- Together with grant writers, maintains the shared resources of the Institutional Funding team including proposal attachments; proposal and report practices and procedures; submitted communications, LOIs, proposals, and reports; templates and samples; and also reviewing, revising, updating and re-writing existing sections of proposals and letters of intent.

- Together with staff partners, maintains the CRM database for all relevant constituent activities, e.g., prospect research, communications with the constituent, LOIs delivered, proposals delivered, reports submitted, etc.

- Coordinates and leads monthly Institutional Funding conference calls, including strategic topic development and coordination of presenters to share expertise from a variety of departments across ACS.

Position Requirements:


Bachelor’s Degree, plus 3-5 years’ experience soliciting major gifts from foundations in a health-focused major gift/campaign environment.  Candidate must have superior grasp of copywriting and grammar.  Candidate should have knowledge of restricted fund accounting principles, procedures, and standards.

Demonstrates Major Gifts/Planned Giving Competencies: Customer focus, Strategic mindset, Action oriented, Drives results, Interpersonal savvy, Builds networks, Persuades, Being resilient.

Other skills:

Successful candidate will have excellent written and analytical skills in order to shape ideas and concepts into sound grant proposals. Candidate must have ability to analyze, interpret, and communicate complex financial, health, and program delivery data, and translate complex scientific information to a general audience along with ability to analyze and interpret financial data and prepare financial reports, statements and/or projections. Superior writing, communications, organizational, project management, strategy development, and interpersonal skills, as well as, the ability to build relationships with GHQ and Regional staff and funding program officers are essential.

We are committed to providing staff with fulfilling opportunities to learn, grow and make an impact in their local communities. We offer staff a generous paid time off policy; medical, dental and retirement benefits, and professional development programs to enhance staff skills.