Posted On: 2017-07-21
Closing On: 2017-08-18
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description

The Opportunity

York University is seeking an experienced and driven fundraising professional to join us in the role of Campaign Director – Faculty of Science to lead the Faculty’s $20M Campaign as part of Impact:The Campaign for York University and to enable the Faculty’s long-term strategic academic and research growth.            

Building on our past successes and working closely with a highly engaged and active fundraising Dean, the Campaign Director will be responsible for leading, implementing, and monitoring a strategic plan for the Faculty’s major and principal gifts program and ensuring alignment with the University’s development objectives and priorities. 

Reporting to the Director, Major Gifts, and working closely with the Dean, the Campaign Director will work in partnership with academic, university, and advancement leadership to achieve ambitious fundraising goals.  The Faculty raises $3 million annually, and has great potential to further grow the program by strategically cultivating and soliciting prospects and donors. 

The Campaign Director will both maintain a portfolio of major gift and principal gift prospects and work collaboratively across the Advancement team to leverage opportunities to further support for the Faculty of Science. The Director will work with advancement colleagues from principal gifts, planned giving, stewardship, annual giving, alumni engagement, and advancement services.

The Campaign Director’s responsibilities encompass all activities related to the cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship of a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and donors for the Faculty of Science at York University.  The incumbent develops strategies to promote loyal giving and to upgrade donor giving, personally solicits major gifts, facilitates principal gift activity (both independently and in conjunction with senior administrators and senior fundraising volunteers), and stewards donors. 


About York University

Today, York University is leading the way.  Every day, in every field, we at York are redefining excellence. Cultivating creativity, collaboration and innovation, we are building a culture of student success, academic and research excellence and community engagement that is shaping the global thinking of tomorrow.

York is a comprehensive, research-intensive university that is committed to pursuing excellence, student success, outreach and partnership by engaging students, faculty, staff, alumni, and external partners in a joint venture that transforms teaching into learning, research into discovery, and service into citizenship.

Founded in 1959, York has become a leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university, all while staying true to our original values of accessibility, social responsibility, and academic excellence.  We have a student population of over 60,000, a family of more than 295,000 alumni worldwide, 7,000 faculty and staff, 2 campuses in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area, 11 Faculties offering more than 5,000 courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and a budget of $1 billion — making us the second-largest university in Ontario, and the third-largest in Canada.

Our unique research collaborations have social, scientific, and technological impact, and over 200 international partnerships are helping students think bigger, broader and more globally than ever before.  We are one of the most ethnically diverse universities in the world, with enormous potential for future development given our location in the centre of a region experiencing the fastest growth in both population and innovation.


Academic & Research Excellence

Our goal is to offer a quality postsecondary education enriched through the research and scholarly activities of faculty that demonstrably provides students with the knowledge and skills needed in a future fuelled by entrepreneurial creativity.  As we become more research-intensive, we strengthen our reputation as a leader in social and pedagogical innovation as well as experiential education and technology-enhanced learning.

Student Success

York’s top priority is the success of our students, who are thinking bigger, broader and more globally than ever before.  Our students are our biggest source of pride.  We are committed to nurturing their skills in research and analysis, communication and critical inquiry, enabling them to contribute meaningfully to their communities today and in the future.  We have strengthened our new student support programs, expanded our communications and outreach efforts, and delivered countless services to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.

Community Engagement

York has adopted a global perspective on the concept of community.  Through innovative research and community-engaged scholarship, we are fuelling progress in communities here at home and around the world.  Our students are benefiting from unique experiential education opportunities, our programs are reaching communities near and far, our researchers are contributing invaluable knowledge to a wide array of disciplines, and our alumni are taking their comprehensive training to countries across the globe.

Employee Engagement

We are home to a host of talented faculty and staff whose curiosity, passion and engagement with their local and global communities is changing the world.  York believes in nurturing a culture of respect.  We value the contributions of all members of our community and celebrate each success as both an individual accomplishment and an institutional one.

Capital Investment

We are in the midst of a tremendous transformation on campus.  As our campuses expand, so do our horizons.  Very soon we will be connected to the GTA by subway.  Our thriving new Lassonde School of Engineering is now housed in a state-of-the-art facility and building on our existing programs.  The completion of the new, fully accessible York Lions Stadium provides our athletes, students, and residents a place to train and compete at home and we will soon be embarking on the construction of our new Markham campus.

Resource Integration & Planning

One of York’s key priorities is to support our academic mission and enhance our student experience through fiscal responsibility.  The University has achieved significant efficiencies without compromising services.  Across all functions, resources are aligned with academic objectives and implemented through effective services.


About The Faculty of Science

For five decades, the Faculty of Science at York University has been pushing the boundaries of discovery, innovation, learning, engagement, and impact.  And our track record of accomplishments inspires us to aim even higher in the years ahead.

Our mission: The Faculty of Science is a hub of research and teaching excellence fostering scientific discovery and preparing global thinkers to advance knowledge and human progress.  Our students learn from and work with outstanding faculty members, and benefit from leading-edge research facilities.  Our scientists collaborate with colleagues around the world in academia, industry and government, and also engage with the community at large through extensive outreach activities and media.

To achieve this mission we have established a strategic plan to guide our development around the themes of:  Teaching & Learning; Research; Student Success; Investing in People; and Engagement & Outreach.

Our 3,400 undergraduate and 430 graduate students, as well as 150 faculty and 80 staff call the Faculty home, and we boast over 13,000 alumni in 165 countries.

We are organised into five departments – Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, Physics and Astronomy, and Science and Technology Studies.  In addition, the Department of Geography is home to the BSc programs in environmental science and geography.  The Division of Natural Science offers general education science courses to non-science students from other Faculties of the University.

For undergraduates, our teaching and support staff is committed to preparing students for whatever path their future life takes, whether it be further studies at graduate or professional schools, business or entrepreneurial activities, or the great diversity of working life.  Courses in science are rich in learning experiences found through combinations of laboratories, problem solving sessions, tutorial discussions, and of course engaging formal lectures.  Peer-led tutorials and supplemental instruction opportunities are crucial supports through which student learning thrives and are organised through Bethune College, our associated college.

Graduate teaching is fundamentally based on research mentoring.  Courses and seminars provide the disciplinary foundation but the in-depth research project, whether for the Masters or PhD degree, conducted under the daily supervision of a scientist with international stature in their field, forms the heart of the teaching and learning experience.  This is our mission – to provide an unparalleled learning environment.

For more information on the Faculty, please see:

Faculty Strategic Plan:

News stories:


Advancement at York University

The Division of Advancement promotes York University’s teaching and research priorities by engaging our diverse community of alumni and friends to build long-term mutually-beneficial relationships to secure philanthropic support for the University’s students.

Our team is comprised of more than 80 employees in 3 departments:

  • Advancement Services and Operations leads efforts to support the Development and Alumni Engagement teams.
  • Development leads efforts to promote and secure philanthropic support from alumni, donors, parents and friends.
  • Alumni Engagement  provides programs and services to over 295,000 York alumni worldwide.

Our mission is to inspire and cultivate meaningful engagement and philanthropic support within our diverse communities to advance York University’s excellence in education, research and community service.  We accomplish our mission through our values of accountability, collaboration and entrepreneurship.


Impact: The Campaign for York University

Impact:The Campaign for York University has raised $350M towards its $500M goal launched in April 2016 and focusses on three priorities:

Mobilizing New Ways of Thinking

The best professors and students undertake research and learning opportunities that are globally relevant, while also embracing the changing needs of their local communities.  Attracting outstanding scholars and introducing more unique learning opportunities for students are important priorities of Impact - The Campaign for York University.

Preparing Engaged Global Citizens

York students exceed expectations in every way.  They credit their successes to the support of inspiring faculty mentors, well‐equipped facilities, thought‐provoking learning experiences, a dynamic community, and a comprehensive program of financial aid.  Campaign gifts will help ensure every qualified student – including the many who are the first in their families to attend university — benefits from the experiences and support they need to become the global leaders of tomorrow.

Building Stronger Communities

To help advance research, provide relevant learning experiences for students and deliver impact at home and abroad, York is building stronger communities — on campus and through our connections with partners who share our goals locally, across Canada and beyond.  Through Impact – The Campaign for York University, we will continue to strengthen our campus to meet changing student and community needs, and foster our students’ commitment to community engagement locally, nationally and globally.

This is an exciting time to be at York.  Taking an integrated approach, the Division of Advancement is reaching new heights through Impact:The Campaign for York University.  Together with our partners across the University, we will enable York to continue to lead and to further our reputation as a leading research university in the 21st century.


Major Duties of the Role

  • Manage a diverse portfolio of 150 – 200 major and principal gift prospects at various relationship stages (eg. cultivation, solicitation and stewardship), including individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations from $25,000 and up..
  • Liaise with other Advancement staff members (eg. VP Advancement, AVP Development, Directors Development) who may manage prospects above $1M where those prospects may consider a gift to Science.
  • Works in collaboration with the Dean and other academic leads to build  cases for support and related fundraising priorities.
  • Prepare customized major gift proposals, negotiate and bring solicitations to closure both independently and in conjunction with senior administrators and senior fundraising volunteers (including the preparation of gift agreements in conjunction with the stewardship staff, the unit head(s), legal counsel, and others as necessary).
  • Ensure recognition and thorough stewardship of donors including follow-through on the gift implementation, administration of the funds and related expenditures.
  • Liaise with volunteers, and advisory and/or other volunteer committees, to further major gift activity (eg. by canvassing prospects and establishing priorities related to fundraising programs). 
  • Prepare a work plan with goals and objectives, as well as a timeline and strategies keeping a focus on advancing relationships with top prospects while continuing to integrate new prospects into the portfolio; prepare written and oral reports outlining progress, adverse trends and appropriate recommendations or conclusions for the Director, Dean, advisory committees, and others as required.
  • Contribute to the preparation of a budget and monitor expenses so as not to exceed that budget.
  • Incorporate other areas of Advancement into cultivation and solicitation strategies as appropriate including but not limited to:  gift planning; annual giving (eg. conducting/incorporating annual asks into donor engagement); Alumni Relations (eg. leveraging alumni events to connect with existing and potential prospects and relaying useful information to the alumni team); advancement services (eg. ensuring pledge information is relayed quickly and correctly).
  • Documents and monitors call and communication activity ensuring efforts (including prospect and proposal coding updates, address updates, employment information etc) are recorded in York’s Advancement software system (AWA); ensuring that efforts are aligned with York’s prospect management system and promptly recorded in AWA;  ensuring that new possible leads are passed to the Research and Development Team.


Scope of Decision Making

  • Determines how best to advance major and principal gift prospect relationships including which senior university officials and volunteers to involve and when to attempt to take the next step in a given relationship.
  • Determine how best to allocate own time and the time of senior administrators and volunteers in the context of their own prospect pool (with prospects varying by rating and relationship stage) and prospects assigned to other York University fundraising professionals.
  • Determine what to include and exclude in proposals to prospective donors in light of prospective donor research and in light of York University contacts with the donor.
  • Determine how best to steward donors’ gifts to ensure their continued engagement with York and to maximize the likelihood of future giving to York University.
  • Decide how best to organize own available time and requests of others’ time in order to maximize the benefit to York University balancing short-, medium-, and longer term returns on the investment of University resources.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Major Gifts, maximizes the engagement of the Dean and academic leaders with Advancement activity to facilitate the best results for York and to build a culture of joint collective ownership of the advancement enterprise.
  • Determine how to deal with complaints and how to resolve disputes; recognize when a major issue should be brought to the attention of senior management. Answer questions and respond to concerns in a timely and diplomatic manner.


Required Knowledge & Skills

  • Significant experience in professional fundraising, with a demonstrated capacity to close major and principal gifts and with substantial exposure to stewardship and planned giving; university fundraising and major campaign experience are assets.
  • A passion for science and University Fundraising.
  • Ability to communicate effectively (verbal and written) in a concise, creative, and persuasive manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills in order to interact with a variety of individuals at many different levels
  • Strong ability to make highly effective formal and informal presentations to diverse groups, large and small.
  • Ability to organize, motivate, and work constructively with staff, students, and volunteers; ability to facilitate groups of people to work towards a common goal.
  • Ability to fulfill the needs of the Faculty of Science while working as a team with other staff in the department; ability to work independently while also working as a member of the Advancement team.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • A strong commitment to customer service.
  • Ability to write and speak fluently in the English language and be able to write for the university and fundraising environment to advance fundraising cases for support and to develop strategic advancement plans.
  • Demonstrates the ability to draft, and coach others to draft, proposals, gift agreements, stewardship reports and other written documentation as required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work with senior volunteers and senior organizational leadership.
  • Ability to provide project leadership to many individuals with diverse interests and objectives; skills in diplomacy and negotiation to mediate between these individuals.
  • Excellent project management, prioritization, and time-management skills are required to manage multiple on-going projects simultaneously.
  • Strong analytical, research, interpretative, and evaluation skills.
  • Computer literacy and competency with word-processing and spreadsheet applications, fundraising and prospect management databases, and internet skills.
  • CFRE professional designation is required, or a commitment to complete the CFRE certification within 3 years of start date.
  • A university education is required for this position. We will also consider candidates who possess an equivalent combination of education and fundraising experience specifically in an educational setting.


For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of York University, Division of Advancement. For more information about this exciting and challenging opportunity, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President, by email at by August 18, 2017.

To View the full Executive Brief, please visit: