Posted On: 2017-04-11
Closing On: 2017-05-10
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time

Job Description

The Opportunity

We are seeking an Executive Director, Stewardship to strategically lead the University of Toronto’s central stewardship program, and provide support and services to divisional advancement teams, with the goal of maintaining a best-practice, industry leading stewardship program and team.

In this newly created position, the Executive Director, Stewardship has overall responsibility for a team that encompasses stewardship programming and, donor communications.  Demonstrating collaborative leadership, direction and insight, the Executive Director builds effective working partnerships with fundraising colleagues in central and divisional advancement programs, and with faculty and staff across the institution, as well as volunteers and other external constituencies.

It is an exciting time for the Division of University Advancement to be expanding its stewardship team in recognition of the unparalleled success of the Boundless campaign.  With a particular emphasis on the University’s most generous donors, commensurate with the growing scale of our philanthropic community, the incumbent ensures the retention of goodwill and enthusiasm of our most generous donors, and builds upon our reputation as a best-in-class destination for philanthropists who want to make a powerful impact.

Reporting to the Assistant Vice-President, Divisional Relations and Campaigns, Gillian Morrison, the Executive Director, Stewardship is a member of the senior management team within the Division of University Advancement and leads a team of 5.  The Executive Director also contributes to the development of plans, policies, timetables, and strategy for the University’s institution-wide campaign, particularly as it relates to overall stewardship practices.


About The University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is widely recognized as a global leader in research and education, consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world and the top university in Canada, placing 22nd in the most recent annual Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, and 32nd in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Toronto is also 1st in Canada in the research-focused Academic Ranking of World Universities.

As Canada’s largest university, the University of Toronto has more than 86,000 students in 700 undergraduate programs, 222 graduate programs, and 59 professional programs on 3 separate campuses.  Recognized as a global leader in research and teaching, U of T has an operating budget of $2.1 billion, research grants and contract support of $1.1 billion, and more than 24 million holdings in a research library that is ranked one of the top 3 research libraries in North America.  Established in 1827, the University has an estimated economic impact on the GTA economy of $6.58 billion and on the Canadian economy the impact is $15.7 billion.  U of T has also been listed as one of Canada’s top 100 employers for 2017, a distinction held for the past ten years.

U of T’s globally-recognized network of faculty members, alumni, and partners creates a unique educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students. With one of the strongest teaching faculties across all disciplines – spanning medicine to business, urban studies to engineering, humanities to education, and more – our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with professors who are some of today’s thought leaders.

The ideas and inventions that are created here make their way into the global economy in many ways, through start-ups, small businesses, commercialization, and partnerships. You can see U of T members engaged in community projects, our faculty experts in the news, and over 550,000 graduates spread across 165 countries.


Advancement at the University of Toronto

The Division of University Advancement (DUA) promotes and supports the University of Toronto by engaging a worldwide community of more than 550,000 alumni, plus many donors and friends.  DUA encompasses a highly skilled team of staff focused in the areas of development, alumni and volunteer engagement, advancement services, and advancement marketing and communications.  The uniquely integrated structure of University Advancement encourages each division to bring its particular strengths and expertise to the common cause of advancing U of T’s relations with alumni, donors, and friends.

The Division of University Advancement at the University of Toronto is engaged in a transformative agenda deeply rooted in the University’s vision for growth and innovation.  We are focused on doubling fundraising performance on a sustainable basis; enhancing the effectiveness and satisfaction of alumni participation and programs; building advancement capacity within and across divisions; creating an organization and culture that fosters leadership, initiative, effectiveness, and community; and contributing to the creation of an external relations strategy for a transforming image, reputation and standing of U of T along an axis of differentiation and excellence.


Boundless – The Campaign for the University of Toronto

Boundless: Since the public launch of the Campaign in 2011 University of Toronto has received tremendous support across the University for thousands of initiatives that are collectively changing the lives of our students, and contributing to the health and vibrancy of our communities and our world.

In December 2016, U of T announced it had surpassed the $2 billion goal and was expanding the Boundless Campaign goal to $2.4 billion.

The Campaign seeks to capture the boundless potential of the University’s community by:

  • Supporting groundbreaking research and teaching that generate solutions for healthy, sustainable and successful societies, while also strengthening the essential foundation of basic research. Funds raised will support the University’s world-class minds, attract a new generation of “rising star” faculty and make critical enhancements to programs and infrastructure.
  • Fostering international fluency and leadership skills among the University’s more than 84,000 undergraduate and graduate students – by raising funds to support student awards and build learning environments that nurture creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, disciplinary excellence, interdisciplinary inquiry and global perspectives.

This support, remarkable and unprecedented in Canadian philanthropic history, is the product of the extraordinary generosity of more than 94,000 alumni and friends, who share a common belief in the University’s leadership and impact in addressing the world’s most pressing global challenges.  The Boundless campaign has generated a rising tide of support and engagement that has helped elevate U of T’s high standing among the world’s best universities.


Key Results Areas

The Executive Director, Stewardship focuses on the following Key Results Areas and Major Activities:

  • Leads the continued growth and sophistication of stewardship services and programs at the University of Toronto that serve to connect donors with the institution and with the impact of their giving.  The University of Toronto seeks to set the standard for exceptional stewardship, achieved through a commitment to excellent service and authentic accountability.  
  • Delivers and provides continuous improvement of a suite of services and programs that fulfill three core value propositions:  providing tools for divisional colleagues that facilitate efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency; providing a baseline of interaction and thanks for donors via central program; and, adding value to stewardship relationships by facilitating the involvement of senior officers of the University. 
  • Ensures enhanced stewardship programming, including increased communications between the President and $1 million plus donors, annual briefings and a concierge-like approach to engagement of this donor population.
  • Leads a program that ensures that donor recognition and engagement is in alignment with the University’s mission, policies and guidelines, recognizing that the University’s stewardship policies and guidelines play a key role in safeguarding our donors’ reputations and the University’s reputation. 
  • Fosters a culture of accountability, collaboration, and exceptional service across DUA, divisional advancement teams and academic units. 
  • Encourages the use of best practices, sharing of new ideas and a consistent and disciplined approach to continuous improvement.


Major Activities

Department Leadership and Management

  • Develops and implements a successful, integrated stewardship program that encompasses principal and major gift donors, and supports and integrates with stewardship and donor relations for gift planning, annual and leadership giving and corporate and foundation relations programs.
  • Develops and implements strategic long-range and immediate plans for comprehensive stewardship programs and ensure conscious and explicit stewardship strategies are in place for all donors of $1 million plus.
  • Fosters and promotes a culture of excellence, innovation and continuous improvement.

Stewardship of Principal Gift Donors

  • In collaboration with the Principal Gifts team and the Director, Donor Relations, ensures that there is a process for developing, monitoring and implementing tailored stewardship programs for the University’s $1 million plus donors, including principal gift donors.
  • Convenes quarterly/semi-annual meetings regarding $5 million plus donors to review stewardship activity as a team, in collaboration with the Principal Gifts team and divisional colleagues.
  • With the Director, Donor Relations, leads and manages the implementation of the Chancellors’ Circle of Benefactors recognition society for the University’s principal gift benefactors, including programming such as the annual dinner.
  • Ensures that the Vice President and the AVP are kept up to date on recommended plans and initiatives, receive regular updates on status and are promptly informed of any emerging issues and recommended actions. 
  • Leads an ongoing set of initiatives to enhance and personalize stewardship of the University’s donors, foster closer relationships between the donor, the institution, and the institution’s leadership, and recognizes donors appropriately.

Gift Announcements and Recognition

  • Leads the implementation of gift announcements, recognition/stewardship events and related activity for donors of $5 million plus.
  • Coordinates with divisional colleagues on strategy, guidelines and best practices for gift announcement, recognition and stewardship events for $1 million plus donors.
  • Provides best practices and guidelines for gift announcements below the $1 million level.
  • Manages and monitors the Donor Recognition Partnership program and budget.
  • In collaboration with Corporate and Foundation Relations, designs and implements appropriate recognition programs for corporate and foundation donors.

Reporting and Accountability

  • In collaboration with the Principal Gifts team, contributes to the effort to ensure that principal gift agreements are monitored, and that a process is in place to ensure that the terms are fulfilled, issues are identified and managed, and communications with the donor(s) are appropriately managed. 
  • Establishes and manages information tracking processes regarding acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communications and continued cultivation of past and current major donors to enhance their relationship with the University and increase the likelihood of continued contributions.
  • Develops templates and standard materials for stewardship proposals, including the development of specific messaging and the provision of data on the University’s relationship with key donors and partners to assist Divisions with providing a full picture of their relationship with the University. 
  • Ensures that stewardship and reporting requirements are met, identifying enhancements and emerging needs in this regard on an ongoing basis.
  • Oversees the development of guidelines, policies and standards for stewardship programming as required in collaboration with the AVP, Divisional Relations and Campaigns.

Measurement, Monitoring and Metrics

  • Leads and manages special projects such as development of stewardship key performance indicators, reporting, surveys, scorecards and other such initiatives as they arise.
  • Regularly reviews central and university-wide divisional programs to maintain best practice status of the program.

Best practices, Tools and Guidelines

  • Oversees and manages the development of tools, guidelines and initiatives to support divisional colleagues in planning and executing stewardship programs and plans. 
  • Leads the coordination of the exchange of information, the standardization of stewardship expectations at various levels, sharing best practices and examples across divisions, establishing clear guidelines and thresholds, and being a source of ideas, innovation and advice.
  • Develops and assesses policies and procedures across the division and university that are essential for a comprehensive donor relations program.
  • Mentors and guides Divisional advancement staff, acting as a coach and consultant aiming to assist Divisions to maximize their cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities.

Financial Management

  • Prepares annual department operations budget as per directives from Finance and Administration, in collaboration with AVP, Divisional Relations and Campaign; responsible for preparing regular directed financial forecasts and variance analysis for Stewardship department.
  • Monitors relevant project and program budgets to determine if work processes or resource allocations need to be modified to meet defined targets.
  • Reviews monthly budget updates from relevant managers to ensure department expenditures are meeting financial objectives and prepares monthly, quarterly, and year end forecasts

Human Resource Management

  • Plans strategically for, and defines the organizational structure of, the Unit/Department including the kinds of equipment used, the methods and techniques of work, the work assignments, duties and responsibilities of positions and the classifications and qualifications of positions as well as other management rights contained in appropriate collective agreements.
  • Leads and manages assigned staff to ensure tasks are completed on schedule and standards and policies are followed.
  • Consults with HR when dealing with serious issues that affect employment relationships.
  • Strategically manages labour relations implications of business disruptions; participates as a representative of the department in broader strategic management initiatives related to planning for business disruptions in the University.
  • Inspires and mentors department staff by providing the necessary direction and training.
  • Evaluates employee performance based on assessment of individual’s work and achievement of performance goals.
  • Discusses performance with employees, provides feedback and addresses performance-related issues as part of the employee development process.


Experience & Competencies

The Executive Director, Stewardship will have considerable expertise in Stewardship preferably from within a University, or equivalent professional experience in a complex or matrix organization.  The ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge and abilities:

  • Solid administrative skills with significant expertise in project management and co-ordination, preferably with campaign experience.
  • Experience managing a team of professionals is essential, including the interpersonal and managerial skills to manage a complex stewardship program within the University environment.
  • Demonstrated extensive knowledge of fundraising and stewardship marketing and communications, excellent reporting and writing skills, and knowledge and experience with digital media.
  • Success in mentoring, coaching, motivating and inspiring advancement colleagues, volunteers and staff to bring out the best in both individuals and teams.
  • The ability to establish an internal system for meeting deadlines, tracking, follow-up, monitoring, and reporting of progress.
  • Prioritization skills to manage a large volume of work in a fast-paced, high performance team environment; able to meet deadlines and budgets.
  • The ability to navigate and be effective within a complex matrix organization that values collaboration and teamwork as well as individual initiative and creativity.
  • A deep understanding of the mission of a research-intensive university.
  • The ability to serve as an articulate, credible representative of the University with diverse constituencies and particularly with the sophisticated individuals who support the institution at the principal gift level.
  • Intellectual knowledge to understand the research and teaching dimensions of a proposed project, to conceptualize them in an integrated proposal, and to make a compelling case to a donor for philanthropic support.
  • A university degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualities and attributes:

  • Vision, the ability to think and plan strategically and creatively.
  • An engaging personal style and a sincere interest in people.
  • Patience, openness, and a willingness to listen.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills. 
  • Maturity, tact and diplomacy; excellent judgment and discretion; political astuteness.
  • The ability to work independently and demonstrate flexibility.
  • A reputation for integrity, and the capacity to engender trust and to establish lasting relationships.
  • Structured and highly organized; excellent attention to detail; decisive.
  • A sense of humour and an ability to see things in perspective.
  • An appropriate degree of sophistication and self-confidence.
  • Optimism, and the ability to engender optimism in others.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills. 


For more Information

For more information about this unique fundraising leadership opportunity, interested individuals are invited to contact Tara George, Senior Vice President or Sandra Taylor, Senior Consultant at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) via email at

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit here.

Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by May 10, 2017. All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.


The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, aboriginal persons, and persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Canada’s leading teaching and research University, the University of Toronto is ranked one of the Greater Toronto’s Top 100 Employers 2017, and one of Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2017. Committed to enhancing the diversity and experience of both staff and students, U of T offers employees challenging work, flexible family-friendly programs and opportunities for professional and personal development.