Posted On: 2018-01-22
Closing On: 2018-02-28
Location: Oakville, ON
Effective: March 2018
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management

Job Description

Department:         Advancement

Reports to:        Head of School

Education:        Post Secondary Degree focusing in Business and/or Fundraising

                        CFRE Designation

Experience:        Demonstrated history of Advancement strategic planning in all areas including strategy development, execution, and evaluation            

Demonstrated record of donor engagement and partnerships including major gift fundraising and capital campaign planning and execution

Demonstrated record of successful community relations & communications

Senior Leadership Team experience

Experience in a Not-for Profit setting

Experience in an Independent School (asset)


Computer Skills:    Mac, Google, Microsoft Office, Blackbaud (Raiser's Edge)

Working Conditions:    School/Office Environment


St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School

Inspired Girls. Empowered Women. St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School (SMLS) is recognized as one of the premier independent schools in the country and brings a long history of educational excellence to girls from preschool to university entrance. For well over a century, SMLS has helped develop courageous girls who challenge and change the world.


Role Overview

Reporting to the Head of School and as a member of the School’s Senior Leadership Team, the Head of Advancement is responsible for establishing strategic priorities in all aspects of advancement for the School; acting as a strategic advisor to the Head of School in the area of Advancement and cultivating a culture of philanthropy within the SMLS and broader communities.  


Duties and Responsibilities

School Leadership

  • Contribute to the overall health, success, and sustainability of the School, as a member of the SMLS Leadership Team

  • Contribute to the development, ongoing assessment, and execution of the School’s Vision, Mission and Strategic Plan

  • Contribute to the annual budgeting process including multi-year financial requirements and budget oversight for Advancement, opportunities for cost management, and identifying areas for investment

  • Represent the School externally and act as an Ambassador

  • Role model the SMLS Values and instill Leadership behaviours and expectations


Advancement Strategic Planning & Oversight

  • Create a clear and inspiring strategy and set priorities for advancing a culture of philanthropy at SMLS, aligned with the School’s strategic direction

  • Develop leading edge strategies for fundraising, endowment development, annual giving, major gifts and legacy gifts and alumnae relations.

  • Prepare and present at Board of Governors meetings to provide applicable updates on Advancement key initiatives, priorities and results

  • Active contributor on the Fundraising Committee of the Board

  • Identify key benchmarks and metrics to be included in School-wide Scorecard

  • Plan, develop and execute fundraising communication plans in conjunction with the Head of Marketing & Communications


People Leadership

  • Contribute to the structure, role design, recruitment, and selection of necessary Staff to ensure the success of the Advancement department

  • Provide comprehensive orientation for new Advancement staff  

  • Provide strong leadership and encourage staff to live the Mission and Values of the School

  • Manage the Performance Management Process for Advancement team members

  • Develop staff through coaching, feedback, and professional development

  • Provide people leadership and oversight to the Advancement team

  • Build leadership capacity in Advancement and plan for future leadership succession

  • Address all disciplinary and performance issues proactively

  • Schedule and lead regular Advancement team meetings as a means of sharing information and engaging others


School Community

  • Consistently support and maintain strong relationships with current families, alumnae and donors (current or potential)

  • Build strong partnerships and liaise with the Parents Association, current parents, past parents and alumnae

  • Support key SMLS events sharing a compelling story about School

  • Maintain an overall presence within the School community, acting as a positive role model

  • Build strong networks and act as a liaison with other independent schools and maintain membership in good standing with defined affiliations and organizations (CAIS, CIS etc.)


SMLS Leadership Competencies:

Strategic Mindset: Shares a clear vision. Anticipates and shapes the future. Brings holistic, School-wide and systems thinking. Identifies risks and connects ideas.

Emotional Intelligence: Demonstrates authenticity, self-awareness, empathy, and humility. Connects with and builds strong and positive relationships with all stakeholders. Brings a coaching, feedback, and service focus and a growth mindset to develop self and others.

Perseverance & Resilience: Perseveres through uncertainty and adversity. Manages complexity and navigates barriers. Role models courage, resolve, positivity, and hope.

Professional Judgment: Role-models professionalism. Demonstrates thoughtful and sound decision-making and good judgment. Applies experience, knowledge, and skills. Considers implications of choices and actions.

Inspires Change: Encourages curiosity, new thinking, and ongoing improvement. Challenges the status quo and brings an opportunity and solution-focused mindset.


Please send a cover letter and resume directly to and indicate ‘Head of Advancement’ in the subject line.


We appreciate and thank all applicants for your interest in SMLS, however, only those candidates invited for an interview will be contacted. We will begin reaching out to applicable candidates in early February 2018.


SMLS is an equal opportunity employer and we accommodate any needs under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the Ontario Human Rights Code.