Lustgarten Foundation

National Director of Events

To Apply

Lustgarten Foundation has retained the services of Harris Rand Lusk to conduct this search. Inquiries, nominations and applications may be directed in confidence to:

Debbie Farrell, Senior Director, Leadership and Development
Harris Rand Lusk
122 E. 42nd Street, Suite 3605
New York, NY  10168

Email cover letter and resume to:  ekirschner@harrisrand.com

Please include “Lustgarten Foundation NDE” in the subject line of the email

In 1998, when 51-year-old Marc Lustgarten, Vice Chairman of Cablevision, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Cablevision Chairman Charles F. Dolan and Chief Executive James L. Dolan, along with Marc, had a vision for creating a foundation dedicated to curing this devastating disease through research. Today, the Lustgarten Foundation is America’s largest private foundation dedicated to funding pancreatic cancer research. The national office is based in Woodbury, New York. With its mission to advance the scientific and medical research related to the diagnosis, treatment, cure and prevention of pancreatic cancer, the Foundation raises funds for research, facilitates dialogue within the medical and scientific community and educates the public about the disease through awareness campaigns and national and regional events.

The Lustgarten Foundation’s National Development Department is responsible for raising $20M annually, of which $10M will be attributed to fundraising walks and other events. The majority of Lustgarten Foundation Walks are emotional, celebratory events that honor the memory of a loved one who has died from the disease.  Pancreatic cancer is one of the most challenging cancers to diagnose and treat as there are relatively few symptoms until the cancer has metastasized. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths.

The Position:
The National Director of Events (NDE), reporting to the Vice President of Development, leads, coordinates, benchmarks, evaluates and continually improves Lustgarten Foundation Walks and seeks and develops additional opportunities to grow and expand the peer-to-peer events program. Serving as a primary member of the development team, the NDE supervises three event staff who provide volunteers with Walk information and direction, branded materials, and tailor-made online fundraising portals. The NDE and team members will be responsible for implementing other fundraising strategies, and will identify and solicit appropriate high-level partnerships, such as with corporate sponsors that support one or more events. The team also personally attends and manages select events—further strengthening relationships with volunteer event organizers.

The NDE is a major tactical and strategic resource for the entire development team. On a strategic level, the position will ensure execution of the overall Walk schedule and recommend/develop additional peer-to-peer growth opportunities.  On the tactical level, the NDE will spend a great deal of time personally managing and staffing key events and serving as a front-facing champion and spokesperson.  The candidate may spend up to 40% of their work time traveling, including weekends. Using insight, good judgment and sound strategy, the NDE will assess where to deploy the Foundation’s limited resources and staff, including their own time. The NDE will empower and support peer-to-peer event organizers to retain and motivate participants, who number approximately 17,000 each year, and help to move select events to the next level or to transition to another type of event.

This is an opportunity for a highly-organized self-starter and hands-on implementer who is inspired by the Lustgarten Foundation mission and excited to develop a modern peer-to-peer fundraising program. The successful candidate will put their personal and professional fingerprint on the Foundation’s Walk program, infusing it with new ideas and methods to take it to the next level.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Establish and develop strong collaborations with a national volunteer network to execute the current Lustgarten Foundation Walks program, and identify market opportunities to create/add new events, such as endurance events and additional Walks
  • Establish overall Walk events fundraising goals; empower and support volunteers in setting and surpassing their own event goals
  • Maintain current knowledge of Lustgarten Foundation research, funding and projects, and be able to present this information to constituent groups
  • Recruit, secure and steward event sponsors
  • Develop ideas to recruit and steward new donors and retain past participants; implement methods that identify potential major donors from events and existing donors that could become higher value supporters; systematically forward these leads to the Vice President of Development
  • Implement event plans, operations and metrics to build high-quality, effective and efficient Walks; conduct ongoing review and revision of Walk event goals and strategy, renewing only high-performing events
  • Oversee three special events staff
  • Interface with communications and marketing colleagues to leverage the Foundation brand across all Walk events; identify opportunities for creating partnerships that differentiate, strengthen and extend the brand; create and maintain Walk-related materials; seek and secure media and other promotional opportunities including local news reports and social media
  • Maintain excellent organization of fundraising plans, as well as database records
  • Write and edit status reports, summaries and other informational documents for Vice President of Development and other senior staff
  • Responsible for policies and required legal documents as they relate to events
  • Manage special projects as directed


  • Bachelor’s Degree and minimum 8 years of special-events fundraising of expanding scope and responsibility
  • Commitment to and enthusiasm for Lustgarten Foundation’s mission and a genuine passion for health science and research
  • Experience in financial analysis of events; superior budget preparation, staff/organization management skills
  • Proven ability to design, implement and evaluate successful Walk event strategies; experience in peer-to-peer fundraising environment
  • Experience long-distance management of volunteers
  • Highly-organized, with strong project management skills including the ability to manage rapidly-changing priorities and pressure situations in a focused manner
  • Excellent written and verbal presentation and communication skills
  • Demonstrated sponsor/vendor management
  • Working knowledge of Raisers Edge preferred
  • Ability to work evenings, weekends and to travel up to 70% of the time

For more information about The Lustgarten Foundation visit https://www.lustgarten.org/

122 East 42nd Street, Suite 3605, New York, NY 10168