Program Assistant 4

Job Summary:

Reporting to the Associate Dean for Development within Feinberg Development and Alumni Relations, the Program Assistant 4 coordinates a broad variety of administrative processes and activities in support of the Associate Dean and two major gift officers assigned to raise philanthropic funds for the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University, as well as associated disease areas and academic research. Responsibilities include calendar management; purchasing, expense reimbursements, and budget tracking; coordination of fundraising appeals and crowdfunding campaigns; special event administration; supporting volunteer management/third-party fundraising; composing correspondence and communicating with donors, friends, and alumni.


As a senior member of the department’s administrative staff, the Program Assistant reviews and provides recommendations on administrative work procedures, policies, and operational methods. As needed, this position identifies and documents standard operating procedures/best practices, including project coordination for appeals and mailings, data management related to internal files and information in the CATracks database, and development reporting.


Specific Responsibilities:

Administration and Coordination

  • Manages the Associate Dean's calendar and the general cancer team calendar, and provides scheduling and meeting support for cancer fundraisers and other staff as needed.
  • Coordinates complex scheduling arrangements involving multiple parties, meeting planning, special events, travel, etc. 
  • Provides project management for direct marketing initiatives (postal mail, email).
  • Proactively compiles and delivers preparatory materials and briefings for meetings and events.
  • Produces correspondence: Responsible for compiling, securing approval(s)/signature(s), scanning and documenting final copies, and ensuring timely distribution by mail or email.
  • Prepares documents and reports.
  • Orders supplies and other items as requested.


Databases, Applications, Reports

  • Using the Ellucian Advance alumni and constituent database (CATracks), as well as the Cognos business intelligence tool, executes queries, proactively provides reports, and updates prospect data.
  • Gathers information and compiles reports for use by the department’s Senior Staff, and medical school faculty and leadership.
  • Prepares queries, reports, statistics, tables, charts, etc. using the Microsoft Office 365 suite and other applications as appropriate.
  • Responsible for digital document archiving and retrieval using the OnBase document management system.
  • As needed, assists with and administers third-party crowdfunding campaigns using the university’s Catalyzer platform.


Prospects and Gifts

  • Independently responds to prospects, donors, alumni, etc. via phone, email, or correspondence, as appropriate.
  • Writes acknowledgement letters on behalf of gift officers supported.
  • Produces direct solicitations and other mailings throughout the year, managing the various elements of the mailing, including external vendors, and monitoring results.
  • Assists gift officers with portfolio management: prepares briefings, distributes prospect information and maintains robust record of prospect interactions including visits, events, correspondence and proposals. Helps facilitate next steps with top prospects.
  • Enters and extracts constituent (donors, prospective donors, volunteers and alumni) data in the CATracks database.
  • May draft text for informational/marketing materials.
  • Alerts supervisor of potential donor situations and provides updates on information obtained in the course of communication with donors and prospective donors.



  • Coordinates large scale and/or complex events.
    • Manages invitations, RSVPs, and guest lists, and makes follow-up calls as needed.
    • Ensures that all logistics such as advertising, registration, speakers, agenda, travel arrangements, venues, catering, technology, etc. have been completed.
    • Monitors event budget, verifies invoices and expense reports, and reconciles expenses to budget. 



  • Manages and tracks budgets for the Cancer team and for fundraising appeals and projects.
  • Processes requisitions, purchases, and reimbursements per budget.
  • Requests travel and expense reimbursements for officers supported.
  • Tracks and monitors transactions; verifies appropriateness and accuracy of charges. 
  • Generates budget summary reports and statistics.  
  • Assists Associate Dean with annual team budget preparation.


Contacts and Collaboration

  • Represents the department with various levels of personnel, both internally and externally, managing and facilitating confidential and/or critical information.
  • Responds to unanticipated and complex issues.
  • Collaborates with internal department partners and University partners; utilizes key partnerships to coordinate projects and meetings with departments/divisions/centers within the medical school.
    • Works with colleagues in the Lurie Cancer Center and the Malnati Brian Tumor Institute, as well as departments/centers/ institutes associated with Urology, Integrative Medicine, and Dermatology to manage activities related to grateful patient fundraising within these areas.
    • In concert with team members and other Development and Alumni Relations staff, assists with the development and production of promotional materials for departments and research initiatives for which funds are raised.



  • Provides training and mentoring to part-time or temporary employees as needed.



  • Performs other duties as assigned.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Successful completion of a four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree or higher, or two years’ equivalent experience in a development (fundraising/philanthropic) function.
  • Five years of administrative support or other relevant experience.
  • Experience working with a complex relational database/CRM is required; Ellucian Advance experience preferred.


Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Advanced knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, email (including the Microsoft Office 365 suite) and database software programs.
  • Strong abilities are required in the following areas:
    • Demonstrated data management skills
    • Written and verbal communication
    • Scheduling and event logistics
    • Organization/time management
    • Presentations and report compilation
    • Writing and proofreading skills
  • Independent self-starter with exceptional attention to detail.


Preferred Qualifications:

Experience working in a nonprofit/philanthropic fundraising or constituent engagement environment


Northwestern requires all staff and faculty to be vaccinated against COVID-19, subject to limited exceptions. For more information, please visit our COVID-19 and Campus Updates website.


Northwestern University, the Feinberg School of Medicine, and its Development and Alumni Relations office seek a diverse workforce and are actively recruiting candidates in accordance with the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity.


The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.


Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.