<< Career Opportunities

Advisor, Science Philanthropy Alliance

Position: Advisor

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Status:  Full time, Exempt

Reports to: President 


About the Science Philanthropy Alliance

Science Philanthropy Alliance is a group of funders that have come together to increase philanthropic support for basic scientific research to accelerate scientific discovery in the 21st century. We accomplish this by understanding the opportunities and complexities philanthropists face in the daunting quest to fund basic science. We provide advice and learning opportunities for individuals and foundations so they can help answer scientific questions, solve big problems and further our knowledge about the natural world. We empower them to advance their own science interests and priorities. We do this by utilizing our deep connections in the worlds of science and philanthropy. By serving as impartial advisors to philanthropists, promoting collaboration among those who are interested in this vital stage of scientific discovery, and bringing together donors and top scientists, the Alliance aims to substantially increase philanthropic funding for fundamental research, and create a community of funders for discovery-driven scientific inquiry. 


The ideal candidate will be an experienced principal gifts fundraiser, excellent at relationship management, strategy development and meeting and exceeding goals. The Advisor will complement the work of the president to recruit and retain members and advisees to the Alliance, thus building the community of basic science research funders.

The Advisor’s responsibilities will include:

  • Managing an advising portfolio to ensure strategies are created and executed
  • Working with the program scientist, senior science advisors and fellows to create and execute optimal strategies for each account in the Advisor’s portfolio
  • Partnering with the communications manager to create advising materials that reinforce the brand and advance the advising services
  • Partnering with the events manager to create events that support and advance the advising strategies
  • Being knowledgeable about the Alliance members and their funding models, and building strong working relationships with the senior staff at the Alliance member organizations
  • Serve as a public representative, champion, and spokesperson for basic science
  • Knowledge of diverse groups, working with a multicultural workforce, and sensitivity to and appreciation for cultural differences
  • Travel as needed
  • Completing timesheets per NVF’s requirements

Skills and Experience

  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships with philanthropists that result in transformative gifts from mega-high net worth individuals, families and foundations
  • Experienced and persuasive public speaker with ability to inspire enthusiasm about the Alliance mission
  • Creative approach to problem solving and the ability to take advantage of emerging opportunities
  • Proactive with a sense of urgency, a clear set of priorities, and a strong work ethic
  • Professional gravitas that will gain the respect of high-net-worth individuals and foundations, as well as members of the Alliance and the scientific community
  • Excellent written skills
  • Unimpeachable integrity and trustworthiness; a fine-tuned sense of discretion in the handling of confidential and sensitive matters
  • High level of energy, self- confidence, persuasive charm, and the ability to function at peak levels in a fast-paced, high-expectation environment

Additional professional requirements

  • 15+ years in development
  • Experience fundraising for science preferred
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution required, and an advanced degree preferred

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to careers@sciphil.org.

Download the position description.

New Venture Fund

Science Philanthropy Alliance is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.