Posted On: 2017-05-04
Closing On: 2017-05-31
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time

Job Description

The Opportunity

The Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF) is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide leadership and management of philanthropic fundraising from Canadian philanthropists and sports enthusiasts to support high performance sport in Canada. The new CEO will report to the COF Board of Directors and will also be an active member of the senior leadership team for the Canadian Olympic Committee, with a dotted line reporting relationship to the CEO and Secretary General.

In line with the COF’s continued strategy to focus on its three strategic pillars of business – Team Canada (the Canadian Olympic team), the Next Generation of Olympians, and the Canadian sport system – the CEO will work to diversify and grow revenue, build awareness for the Canadian Olympic movement, support and enhance Canada’s national sports federations and partners, and continue building operational excellence within the foundation.

The CEO will be an accomplished fundraiser with a proven track record of successful relationship management and individual major gift solicitations at the 6-figure-plus level. There is significant opportunity for the CEO to leverage relationships with a committed and highly influential board, as well as a community of Olympic alumni, and to transform those relationships into major gift donations.

The new CEO will be responsible for ensuring the COF takes full advantage of Sport Canada’s recently announced $16 million matching fund for the Next Generation of athletes available for sports on the Olympic program and disbursed over the next quadrennial 2017-2020.The CEO will also capitalize on existing successful revenue generation programs – such as the Gold Medal Plates events, FANfit challenges, COC’s Marketing Partners, HBC Red Mittens campaign, RBC Training Ground program, Future Olympians Fund, and “Help Build an Olympian” digital campaign –  while seeking new business partnerships in collaboration with the COC and developing new innovative fundraising initiatives.

This is an exciting time to join the Canadian Olympic Foundation.  The recent success of Canada’s athletes at both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the potential for a Canadian city to bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter Games and the Federal Government matching gift initiative to sport make for a thrilling and thriving sport environment.  The Foundation’s Board of Directors have renewed their commitment and enthusiasm for philanthropy in sport, and the Foundation and the Canadian Olympic Committee are working together to achieve their respective missions.  Both the COF and the COC look forward to welcoming a leader and colleague to join the Canadian Olympic team!

The Ideal Candidate

A partnership-minded individual open to working with other organizations, the Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Olympic Foundation will work with others in the Canadian Olympic movement to strategize on how the foundation can grow in both revenue and impact. The new incumbent will be comfortable leading and supporting fundraising efforts, and in representing the Canadian Olympic Foundation to individual donors, corporations, governments and partners, and ultimately personally closing major gifts.

As the lead major gift fundraiser for the COF, the CEO will possess exceptional communication, people and relationship skills and a genuine interest for interacting with others. The ideal candidate will have a complete understanding and mastery of major gift fundraising principles, and a proven ability to actively manage a portfolio of prospects and donors at various stages of the development cycle.

The successful candidate will be intuitive and donor centric at the highest level, understanding the nuances of donor interactions and calibrating to build the strongest donor relationships. The CEO will understand the importance of building trust in philanthropic relationships through continued constituent engagement and donor stewardship, engendering loyalty and sustainability.

The ideal candidate will nurture solid relationships internally and across the Canadian Olympic network, and will demonstrate flexibility and the capacity to work in close partnership and negotiate beneficial outcomes with all colleagues. Through collaboration and teamwork, the CEO will help to build a culture of philanthropy at the COF, the COC, and within the broader National Sports Federation network.

Motivated by a challenge and driven to succeed, the CEO will empower their team to move forward toward goals while encouraging autonomy and accountability. Inclusive and approachable, the successful candidate will proactively seek and listen to ideas from others, recognizing that innovation and solutions most often come from engaging others. Dependable and trustworthy, the ideal candidate will foster a supportive and respectful environment. Well organized and with sound business judgment, the new incumbent will effectively set priorities, guide the team in their work plans, monitor progress toward goals and track the details.

Exceptional leadership skills and the ability to motivate and support the senior volunteers of the COF Board of Directors and COC stakeholders are critical to this position.  Confident and credible, the successful candidate will provide excellent motivation, support and partnership to the Board, engaging and energizing them in direct contribution to the overall philanthropic goals of the organization. The CEO will have the capacity to inspire and activate close collaboration with committed board volunteers and their networks, and to harness this power for major gift development in an effective manner with confidence and integrity.

An enthusiasm and passion for sport and the ideals of Olympism will allow the new incumbent to flourish in this role. A socially confident and fearless networker, the Chief Executive Officer will be inspired by the COF’s vision to achieve the ultimate success at the podium for Canadian Olympians and thus ignite unprecedented giving that result in significantly increased revenue for the foundation. Focused on growing the foundation, the ideal candidate will have an innovative mindset and strong alignment with the mission of the COF. A compelling story teller and savvy marketer, the successful candidate will advocate for the values of the Olympic movement and build awareness about COF among Canadians.

Key Accountabilities

Strategic Planning and Leadership Management

  • Provide leadership and expertise to continue to build philanthropy as a core competency of the Foundation.
  • Oversee all fundraising initiatives, ensuring that the COF conforms to the highest standards of ethical fundraising, transparency and accountability.
  • Working with the Director of Business Operations:   
    • Develop annual and quadrennial plans to achieve goals and objectives; and
    • Develop annual budgets, review financial results and projections on a regular basis and report to the COF Board of Directors.
  • Liaise regularly with the CEO of the Canadian Olympic Committee on matters that affect both organizations including funding priorities, senior volunteers, Board of Directors, donor relationships and business operations.
  • As a member of the COC senior leadership team, participate in meetings and decisions that impact the COF staff.
  • Build, develop and lead a strong team by sustaining an efficient organizational structure and creating an environment that enables the team to excel.

Board of Directors

  • Coordinate the affairs of the COF Board of Directors and all related committees and submit recommendations to the board for matters requiring Board approval.
  • Develop and sustain effective working relationships with individual board members and engage them to support fundraising activities.

Donor Relationship Management

  • Serve as the Chief Development Officer for the COF and directly responsible for ensuring annual and quadrennial fundraising targets are achieved.
  • Lead the development and maintenance of robust prospect pipelines for all donor segments.
  • Develop and prioritize cultivation and solicitation strategies for assigned prospects.
  • Manage solicitation efforts in support of the funding priorities.
  • Working closely with the internal prospect team, contribute to the research, qualification and identification of new prospects, as well as an integrated moves management program.
  • Genuinely engage with senior volunteers to identify, cultivate and solicit major gifts from their peers and networks.
  • Oversee and personally cultivate, solicit, recognize and steward key relationships, working in partnership with the COF board of directors.
  • Provide lead management of 100+ prospects.
  • Using volunteer referrals, networks, research and staff, enhance existing pipeline of interested philanthropists and prospects.
  • Deepen relationships with existing donors, potential donors and others through excellent stewardship and engagement.
  • Collaborate with staff to develop and oversee stewardship and communication efforts, including proposals and impact reports.
  • Ensure that all outcomes from prospect, donor and volunteer contact are entered in the Tessitura database within 48 hours.
  • Negotiate gift terms and bring solicitations to close with, or independent of, volunteer leadership (as appropriate).
  • Ensure prompt, personal and meaningful gift acknowledgement, reporting and stewardship for all assigned prospects.
  • Collaborate actively with internal and external teams to ensure appropriate representation of sport experts, athletes and coaches at donor meetings or events.

Financial & Operational Management

  • Oversee the achievement of COF’s financial objectives.
  • Develop and prepare COF’s annual budget and recommend to the Board for approval.
  • Ensure that appropriate processes and controls are in place to monitor and evaluate effective handling of funds, and that the operational and financial performance goals of the organization are met, including accurate reporting of such.

The ideal candidate will possess the following attributes and experience:

  • Passion for the Mission and Vision of the Canadian Olympic Foundation.
  • Substantial experience in major gift fundraising, with a proven track record of soliciting gifts at the 6-figure-plus level.
  • Significant experience in recruiting, training, and supporting volunteer partners who open doors and engage with major donors.
  • Tenacious with a strong sense of urgency and excellent follow up.
  • A person with high integrity, the CEO must be a great listener who understands that engagement begins with conversation, and seeks out ideas and opinions from others.
  • Big picture, strategic thinker with a strong vision for the philanthropic sector and demonstrates a high level of energy and passion.
  • Experience in successfully motivating, mentoring and managing a team of fundraising professionals.
  • Professional, approachable and grounded, the CEO will be thoughtful, positive, and engaging.
  • Embody the COC and COF values of Accountability, Excellence, Fun, Respect and Bravery.

About the Canadian Olympic Foundation

Mission: To generate support to meet the technical, scientific, medical and coaching needs of Canada’s high performance sport system and assist Canada’s athletes in becoming ambassadors for sport, healthy living and the pursuit of excellence across the nation.

Vision: To inspire Canadians, athletes and other stakeholders to achieve the ultimate podium success at the Olympic Games for Canada and, as a result, create an elevated sense of pride and unity among all Canadians.

Established in 2007, the COF serves to both strengthen and complement the Canadian Olympic Committee, working together to “Transform Canada Through the Power of Sport”. It is the only registered charity affiliated with the Canadian Olympic Committee. Since its inception, the foundation has granted over $43 million to support Canadian athletes.

Funding Priority Programs: COF’s commitment to high performance sport in Canada is delivered by funding priority programs, which fall under 3 strategic pillars of business:

1. Canadian Olympic Team (COT) The athletes and coaches that represent our country at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and World Championships.

COF supports the COT by contributing to the funding for the following high performance sport programs and initiatives:


Created in 2005, Own the Podium (OTP) is a not-for-profit organization that prioritizes and determines investment strategies for National Sport Organizations in an effort to deliver more Olympic and Paralympic medals for Canada. OTP’s largest contributor of funding is the Government of Canada with additional funding provided by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC), the Canadian Olympic Foundation, and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC).  In order to maximize Canada’s Olympic podium results, OTP directs these funds, including COF’s contribution, to sports with the greatest medal potential. The money is used to achieve excellence in coaching, technical leadership, training, competition, and sports science and medical support.


The programs funded under Games Preparation and Podium Performance provide the Canadian Olympic Team with critical support in the final months leading up to the Games, and ensure there is a world class at-Games environment that will maximize an athlete’s performance. The Olympic Excellence Series, a series of seminars and programs are implemented to help educate, motivate and inspire athletes, coaches and support staff to build a cohesive environment that will ultimately produce the best Games results. During the Games, Canada’s Olympic Team is provided with the best health services available by a team of care specialists, state of the art performance technology equipment and support, and a superior training environment in order to help alleviate external concerns and to provide services that increase Canada’s podium standings. These programs are delivered by the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC).


2. The Next Generation – Aspiring Olympians and the organizations and programs that support their development.

COF is proud to fund future Olympians through the following programs:


The COF will capitalize on all government matching programs, including Sport Canada’s $16 million matching program to support Next Generation athletes that is available for the current quadrennial (2017 – 2020).


The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network (COPSIN) is designed to enhance the daily training environment of Canada’s high performance athletes and coaches. The network of institutes has grown to seven locations across Canada including: Vancouver, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Toronto, Montreal, and Atlantic Canada. COPSIN works in partnership with Sport Canada, local provincial governments, the Canadian Olympic Committee and Foundation, Coaching Association of Canada and Own the Podium. The team of sport scientists and medical experts that call these facilities home provide programs and services to athletes and coaches to ensure they have every advantage to win medals for Canada.

The Canadian Olympic Foundation helps our next generation athletes have access to these same programs and services; allowing them to access the best sport science and medicine, coaches, and other high-performance resources so that they, in turn, can become our next Olympians.


COF is investing in future Olympians with a multi-year agreement with the Canada Games Council. This financial partnership provides sponsorship for the Games that help develop future Olympians ascending Canada’s sport system. The investment is part of the COF’s strategy to ensure Canada’s high performance athletes are supported, encouraged and enriched at all stages of their careers.


3. Building Sport The growth and enhancement of the Canadian sport system.

COF is committed to supporting the growth of the sport system in Canada. The programs and organizations in this category support both current Olympians as well as future Olympians, and include:


The COF launched the Sport Endowment for Excellence and Development (SEED) fund in late 2014, and has since grown to almost $4 million. Through the SEED fund, the COF acts as the ‘community foundation’ for national sport federations (NSFs) and other sport partners by investing, managing and disbursing their funds. SEED provides the NSFs and sport partners with stable, long-term, predictable funding each year which is not subject to government funding models or podium performance.


Endowment funds are an important tool that help organizations to build capacity while ensuring longevity. Our endowment provides long-term financial stability and ensures that programs, athletes and coaches will be supported despite any economic downturns or other unforeseen circumstances.  Launched in December 2014, the fund has grown from the initial investment of $3 million to $6.5 million since that time. The COF’s board of directors annually determine where best to grant the interest earned. Our mandate is to invest in programs and projects that will have the greatest positive impact on Canadian high-performance sport.

Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the Canadian Olympic Foundation. For more information about this unique and exciting opportunity, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President & Practice Lead or David Laws, Vice President, Executive Search at:

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Interested candidates should please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by May 31, 2017. All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.