Posted On: 2017-11-07
Closing On: 2017-12-07
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description

The Opportunity

SickKids Foundation is seeking an energetic, forward-thinking and experienced leader who will work as part of our team to support an ambitious fundraising agenda within what is anticipated to be an historic comprehensive $1.3 billion fundraising campaign for SickKids.

Reporting to the President & Chief Development Officer, the Director, Gift & Estate Planning will provide overall leadership and management for the Foundation’s gift planning strategies and activities designed to engage, cultivate, solicit and acknowledge donors of estate and planned gifts.

The Director will be an internal champion for the development of a greater literacy for Foundation staff about planned giving vehicles, opportunities and strategies that can be integrated into other programs, while being a consummate relationship builder, an effective communicator, and a strong advocate for the importance of philanthropic support for The Hospital for Sick Children. The Director will develop and lead strategies to engage advisory professionals throughout the GTA and beyond to enhance SickKids profile with them as they advise clients, marketing SickKids through them by providing value-added opportunities for them and their clients, and supporting a professional advisors council which will advise SickKids on both product and marketing opportunities.

Overseeing a team of 8 staff, the Director, Gift & Estate Planning will work collaboratively to integrate gift and estate planning with major gift activities to maximize current and future donor contributions. In addition, the Director and the Gift & Estate Planning team will strive towards realizing a parallel $130 million deferred giving campaign.

The Director will both lead strategy development and the creation of an integrated program, and actively solicit planned gifts and support the structuring of complex current gifts.

The incumbent will perform these responsibilities while ensuring integration of our core values for employees and volunteers, in order to support the achievement of organizational goals and objectives to further our mission and vision.


About SickKids Foundation

All of us at SickKids are fighting the same battle: to make every kid a healthy kid.

Our vision is simple: Healthier Children. A Better World.

Established in 1972, SickKids Foundation raises funds on behalf of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and is the largest charitable funder of child health research, learning and care in Canada. Philanthropy is a critical source of funding for SickKids – one of the world’s foremost paediatric health-care institutions. As a national charity, SickKids Foundation not only invests in the important work taking place at SickKids, it also invests in national and international initiatives to benefit children in Canada and around the world. This commitment is true to the spirit of the Foundation’s founders, who articulated a vision for the Foundation that went well beyond the hospital walls 45 years ago.

We believe fighting for the health and wellbeing of children is one of the most powerful ways to improve society. Right now, quantum advancements in scientific knowledge and technology present an unprecedented opportunity for SickKids. To be ready for the next round, we need to update our infrastructure so we can unleash the full potential of SickKids expert team. We need to expand our reach, to extend our excellent standards of care to more children around the world. We need to elevate our research – it’s our best weapon in the fight against disease and congenital childhood conditions, and we must enrich the compassionate care we believe fosters the lifelong wellbeing of children and their families. 

It’s a massive challenge, but one that has to be met. So we’re actively inspiring communities and individuals to take up the fight by investing in our Hospital, its mission, and the health and scientific advances that the generosity of our donors make possible. As a result of a record-breaking year in fundraising, SickKids Foundation generated an unprecedented $141 million for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017.

Our team of 200 staff is working along with our dedicated volunteers and our hospital partners to unleash the full potential of SickKids. The $1.3 billion SickKids VS Limits Campaign will see us re-imagine our campus, continue breakthrough research, and partner for better care.

We’re winning. Because every day we continue to fight.

Accreditation & Awards

SickKids Foundation has received the distinction of the highest level of Accreditation from Imagine Canada’s Standards Program.

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Key Responsibilities & Accountabilities

The Gift & Estate Planning Team has had ambitious targets and strong results. In the current fiscal year, we have identified a goal of 200 new planned gifts representing $17 million in new expectancies. Our cash goal from realized planned gifts is $14 million.

In addition to seeking out new planned gifts and efficiently following up on estates, the Gift & Estate Planning team will focus on:

  • Increased marketing, promotion, and facilitation of complex gift and estate planning.
  • Expansion and greater activation of the Advisors network.
  • Greater internal integration with the Major Gifts team to put forwards dual asks and to accelerate gifts where possible.

Specific duties for the Director, Gift & Estate Planning include but are not limited to the following:

  • Lead the development and implementation of an overall strategy for gift and estate planning, including unit revenue targets and expenditures, as well as annual and multi-year goals for estate and planned giving fundraising initiatives that are integrated across Foundation fundraising programs.
  • Collaborate effectively with colleagues across the Foundation, working closely with the Major Gifts team in particular to ensure an integrated approach to fundraising that maximizes both current and future contributions from donors and their estates.
  • Integrate into the SickKids VS Limits Campaign a deferred gift (planned giving) goal of $130 million or 10% of the current value Campaign goal.
  • Lead the solicitation of current dollar structured and other planned gift prospects to contribute to the Major Gifts goal of the Campaign.
  • Identify and manage planned giving donor prospects and strategies for cultivating, soliciting and stewarding planned giving donors.
  • Oversee the management of estates in progress with the support of the Estates Officer, and where necessary liaise with Estate executors, Estate advisors and family members.
  • Responsible for HR decisions covering own area of direct reports, including staffing, selection, goal setting, performance reviews, discipline, promotions and training and development.
  • Manage the gift and estate planning team in a way that develops talent and motivates results.
  • Manage the team budget, performance, and measurement of 6 team members.
  • Disseminate increased knowledge of planned giving vehicles and opportunities across the Foundation team, volunteers and all revenue channels.
  • Ensure the donor management system (KYDs, a Blackbaud enterprise system customized to SickKids) is fully utilized to effectively enter, track and retrieve estate and gift planning information. 
  • Monitor and evolve standard reporting systems for monitoring gift expectancies and realizations.


The Ideal Candidate

The successful applicant must possess the following:

Strategic Program Development

  • Ability to think at a high level about Hospital and Foundation priorities and strategically and work proactively, managing competing priorities;
  • Marketing and technical knowledge that can be combined and translated into tactics;
  • Comprehensive technical and applied knowledge of estate and trust law, financial and tax planning, and all types of planned gifts;
  • A strong understanding and awareness of legislative and technical & regulatory developments as they relate to gift planning;
  • Comfort with a broad range of fundraising practices, and able to deliver on high expectations of integration and collaboration;
  • Experience in developing, managing, and growing a cohesive program.

People Management

  • A proven track record as a skilled manager in an advancement environment;
  • Minimum of four years of experience at a management level in the advancement field, preferably in a Senior Planned Giving or combined Major & Planned Giving role;
  • Ability to develop clear accountabilities and areas of expertise within the staff team.

Donor, Volunteer, and Advisor Engagement

  • Excellent donor and volunteer relations skills, with a keen sense of diplomacy;
  • Skill at interacting with donors, their families, and their advisors;
  • Strong client- or donor-centred mindset;
  • Willingness and ability to aggressively pursue targets for new planned gifts;
  • Work with advisors to improve the marketing and promotion of complex gift and estate planning;
  • Experience in utilizing advisor networks strategically to help advisors cultivate philanthropy with their own clients, and to accelerate their giving;
  • Top-notch follow up on donor and estate files.

Collaboration & Communication

  • Experience working as member of a senior management team;
  • Extremely collaborative and collegial;
  • Supportive of team members and colleagues;
  • Superior writing and communications skills.

In addition, a bachelor’s degree or higher is expected in this position, as is an openness to occasional travel.


For More Information

To explore this exciting opportunity with the SickKids Foundation, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President & Lead Search Consultant at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) by email at: or by phone at (416) 340-9710 ext. 1013. 

Candidates who wish to apply for this position should ensure that a resume and letter of interest are sent to the above email address no later than December 7, 2017. 

All enquiries will be kept in strict confidence.

SickKids Foundation is committed to fostering an inclusive, accessible environment, where all individuals’ feel valued, respected and supported.  Candidates requiring accommodation during the recruitment process are asked to notify the Search Consultant.