Posted On: 2018-04-06
Closing On: 2018-05-03
Location: Toronto
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description

The Opportunity

When Children Play, the World Wins.

We are seeking a mission-driven fundraising professional to serve as Right To Play Canada’s Director of Major Gifts. Reporting to the Canadian National Director, and working collaboratively with other members of the Canadian National Office (CNO), the Director of Major Gifts will be responsible for building our base of individual major gift donors through identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

The Director will be an integral team member involved in the development of a multi-million-dollar Case for Support, to drive a long-term vision for Right To Play’s Programs in Canada. The Director will also inspire mission-driven gifts for our global programming.

This critical fundraising position will independently design and implement strategies to cultivate relationships with approximately 150 existing and prospective donors at the $10k+ level. In addition to managing the day-to-day relationships with this portfolio, the Director will develop the overall strategy for this donor group, and will be a key partner in creating donor communications and stewardship plans. This position will work closely with the National Director, CEO and Founder on their prospects, helping to manage these pipelines.


About Right To Play

Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Headquartered in Canada, we are a global organization committed to improving the lives of children and youth affected by conflict, disease, and poverty. Our unique play-based approach to learning and development uses play in all of its forms – games, creative play, sport, free play – to engage children in programs that focus on making a positive impact in quality education, health and well-being, gender equality, child protection, and building peaceful communities.

Right To Play was founded in 2000 by Johann Olav Koss, a four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur. Through sports and games, we help children build essential life skills and better futures, while driving social change in their communities with lasting impact.

Right To Play’s cost-effective, sustainable, and life-changing programs reach more than one million children worldwide each week. We aim to reach two million children on a weekly basis.

Right To Play operates in works in 16 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North America. These Include: Burundi, Canada, China, Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza), Rwanda, Tanzania, Thailand, The United States, and Uganda.

We traditionally enter into countries with the greatest need, and respond to requests for programming by the government and/or communities in those countries. The decision to implement programming is based on a careful assessment of need, organizational capacity, and a secure source of funding.

We work in a humanitarian context during times of disaster and/or crisis. For example, we work with refugees in Ethiopia, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Thailand, Uganda, and internally displaced persons in Mali.

Our programs are facilitated by more than 650 international staff, 70,000 trained local teachers and 16,400 volunteer Coaches. Coaches are local leaders and teachers who are trained in our unique programming. They implement the programs based on the needs of their communities. We also encourage leadership at all ages by providing youth with leadership opportunities. Junior Leaders, some as young as eight-years-old, become empowered through participating in Right To Play programs.


Right To Play in Canada

In 2016 we raised over $54 million globally, about half of which comes from individuals and corporations, and a third from governments. Our Canadian fundraising team of 18 staff generates funding of $9.5 million per year. Our plans for 2018 include launching a powerful Case for Support for Canada Programs, and global brand re-launch including new website and digital properties with focus on fundraising. In Canada, our umbrella of programming includes:

Promoting Life-skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY) program: PLAY partners with more than 85 Indigenous communities and urban Indigenous organizations in Canada to engage and support children and youth, and promote meaningful, lasting change in their lives and their communities. PLAY began in 2010 in just two First Nations communities in Northern Ontario. Thanks to its community-led program model, trusting relationships, and community-driven demand for the program, it has grown to reach more than 85 communities today.

In February, 2018, the Government of Canada announced a significant increase in funding for Indigenous youth programs across Canada. In order to address the opportunity gap facing Canada’s Indigenous young people, $47.5 million of federal funding has been committed over the next five years for community-based youth programs. Right To Play is proud to be named in the budget announcement as a highly successful model of this type of community-led child and youth programming. We look forward to working with the Government of Canada, and Indigenous community and sport organizations to increase access to Indigenous child and youth programming across the country.

Gender-Responsive Education and Transformation (GREAT): Using play-based learning to build teacher capacity and remove barriers to education, particularly for girls, the GREAT project will work towards the ultimate outcome of improved quality education at the primary school level in Ghana, Mozambique, and Rwanda – reaching over 160,000 students, 2,700 teachers, and 540,000 community members in total. In partnership with the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, GREAT builds on the achievements and learning from the Play for the Advancement of Quality Education (PAQE) project – an eight-country, two-and-a-half-year initiative implemented by Right To Play (2015-2017).

Play Your Part (PYP): PYP is a free, country-wide schools engagement initiative that includes a day-long Assembly and Workshop program where students learn how to lead in their own schools and communities, and how to understand the positive impact their actions can have in others’ lives around the world. Play Your Part is made possible thanks to the financial support of the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada. It is designed to teach students about the GREAT program and the value of play-based learning in delivering quality education globally.

Youth To Youth (Y2Y): Y2Y is a peer-to-peer leadership program that provides youth living in Toronto’s high-needs neighbourhoods with the opportunity to thrive and succeed. Y2Y works with 35 schools and community centres citywide, training more than 450 Youth Leaders to run play-based programming for their peers. Reaching 1,300 children weekly, Y2Y empowers youth to improve educational, health, and employment outcomes by creating safe, inclusive learning environments.


Additional Information


The Ideal Candidate

Ready to lead us in taking our Major Gift Program to the next level, the ideal candidate will be a ‘builder” who embodies the spirit of Right To Play – curious, energetic, optimistic, enthusiastic, and playful!

Comfortable selling mission and impact rather than buildings or equipment, the ideal candidate will be experienced at strategically and successfully moving donors through the giving cycle, and up the donor pyramid. The successful candidate will have a proven track record at the 5- and 6-figure gift levels, as well as highly developed skills in research, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. Exceptional prospecting skills and proven ability to uncover good leads from databases and other sources is a necessity in this role.

The Director of Major Gifts will be an achievement-oriented fundraising professional with a decided bias for action. Candidates must be comfortable going on calls with Right To Play leadership, senior volunteers, colleagues, as well as on their own. Keen on moving out from behind a desk to meet face-to-face with donors and prospects, the ideal candidate will be a self-motivated, self-directed, and accountable individual who is confident in being a one-person team (for now, until we grow our Major Gifts results and then grow our team!)

Exceptional time management skills, and the ability to multitask and prioritize will be essential in this position. Strategic about achieving goals, the successful candidate will bring strong planning and critical thinking skills. While the Director of Major Gifts will be highly-professional, systematic, and detail-oriented, they must be comfortable adapting to and leveraging Right to Play’s entrepreneurial culture.

A positive and hands-on team player, the Director of Major Gifts will collaborate with colleagues to leverage our corporate giving, community engagement, marketing and communications, and events. Thoughtful and respectful, the successful candidate will be someone who is emotionally mature and possesses sound judgement and accepts feedback well.

A transparent communicator who shares information proactively, the ideal candidate will be an active listener and a strong, effective writer. Naturally confident and charismatic, the successful candidate will also understand how to adapt and relate to different levels of stakeholders including high net worth individuals, donors, and corporations. Candidates must have the ability to interpret and communicate complex programs and ideas to varied audiences.

Committed to and interested in Reconciliation and Indigenous community development, the successful candidate will possess an open mind and a learner-mindset. The Director of Major Gifts will seek to hear and understand complexities in the programs we deliver and the communities we partner with, and will see these complexities as creative opportunities rather than barriers. By taking a thoughtful and integrative approach with the program team, the Director will work with program team partners to inform and educate donors.

While we prefer experience within a multi-national non-profit, and/or experience with fundraising for internationally-based programs, we are open to considering candidates who have the drive, commitment, passion, and skills to help us broaden and deepen our impact in Canada and around the globe.


Primary Responsibilities    

Major Giving Portfolio

  • Manage a portfolio of approximately 150 prospects and donors
  • Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward major gift donors to meet annual revenue goals
  • Collaborate with colleagues on strategy for high priority, high touch individual giving prospects
  • Provide behind-the-scenes management of the donor pools for the CEO, Founder and National Director (e.g. proposals, strategy, follow-up)
  • Participate in creating and implementing a multi-year plan for major donors with concrete and measurable goals, annual calendar and metrics
  • Develop and implement relationship management strategies and timelines
  • Maintain database records, using CRM, tracking contact and pipeline related information
  • Conduct regular face-to-face meetings with donors, including direct gift solicitations throughout the year
  • Establish goals to move donors up the giving cycle and solicit multi-year pledges
  • Implement strategy for Board member involvement in cultivation and stewardship including at Board member related events and fundraisers; provide Board members with necessary professional and strategic support
  • Develop and maintain a thorough understanding of Right To Play domestic and international programs and use this to create opportunities for donors
  • Participate in strategic, annual and operational planning at the CNO

Communication, Stewardship and Events

  • Collaborate with the Communications team to establish a regular and engaging cycle of compelling and strategic communication for major giving donors
  • Collaborate with the Development Writing Specialist to create targeted solicitation materials which inspire donors to give to the organization
  • Partner with the Finance and Communications teams to maintain an efficient stewardship process that ensures all donors receive personalized and timely communication and acknowledgment
  • Collaborate with the Manager, Event and Sponsorship on the development of ideas for cultivation, stewardship and other fundraising events
  • Plan and execute event follow up for major donors and prospects at all Right To Play events
  • Participate in the monthly Global Major Donor call with other National Offices
  • Determine, with global fundraising colleagues, which CNO donor communication materials are relevant and potentially useful for other National Offices and cooperate with global colleagues to ensure these materials are available to them
  • Attend all Right To Play signature fundraising, stewardship, and cultivation events


Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Right To Play. For more information about this exciting and challenging leadership opportunity, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President by email at

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Interested candidates should submit their resume and a cover letter to the email address above. Submissions will be considered as they are received, so early application is encouraged.  All enquiries and nominations will be kept in strict confidence.

Right To Play is a child-centered organization. Our recruitment and selection procedures reflect our commitment to the safety and protection of children in our programs. The successful candidate will be required to provide a satisfactory police record check as a condition of employment.

All applicants are notified that, where needed, accommodation for disabilities will be provided on request. This includes accommodation for attending interviews and assessment tests.