Posted On: 2018-06-04
Closing On: 2018-06-29
Location: Waterloo, Ontario
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

The Opportunity

Perimeter Institute is one of the world’s leading centers in theoretical physics and is in the midst of institutional growth.  The position of Director of Major Gifts, focused on the GTA, is a unique opportunity to join an experienced, focused and creative philanthropic team and play a critical role in the growth of Perimeter during one of the most exciting periods for fundamental physics. The activities generated and supported by this position will enable our institution to recruit the best scientific minds, expand our graduate programs and our education outreach. The ten-year campaign to raise $100M by 2025 will be successful through an extraordinary focus in building relationships with current and potential donors, leadership volunteers and key stakeholders.

Reporting to the Director of Advancement, the Director of Major Gifts will be responsible for building long-term relationships with major donor prospects in the GTA and managing the overall pipeline development of the major gifts team.  The Director will play a central role within a culturally strong, entrepreneurial organization of global significance. This position will be Toronto-based with regular trips to Perimeter Institute in Waterloo.

The Director will be collaborative, adaptable and creative. With a discerning eye for prospects in the GTA, the ideal candidate will bring an ability to identify relationship building opportunities.  The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit with well-honed major gift fundraising skills and experience. The Director will be polished but also tenacious, resilient and undaunted by the exciting opportunities to build Perimeter’s presence and profile in the GTA.


About Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics

In under 20 years, Perimeter Institute has become a major success story: an innovative, world-leading centre of research, training and outreach in one of the lowest-cost, highest-impact areas of science − fundamental physics. Through visionary public and private support, sustained focus, and careful strategy, Perimeter Institute is now ranked among the top theoretical physics institutes in the world.

Perimeter Institute aims to set a global example in its research, training, and outreach excellence and foster an environment and culture unlike any other, providing fertile ground for cutting-edge research and breakthrough discoveries.

Perimeter is not a place for “business as usual” – we have an impatience and desire to discover, to recognize clearly when conventional approaches are failing, and to open and explore promising new avenues. We constantly challenge ourselves to be agile, entrepreneurial, and interdisciplinary, and to look beyond narrow, overspecialized concerns towards the big picture.

Over 160 resident researchers and more than 1,000 visiting scientists a year work to unlock nature’s most profound secrets hidden deep inside the atom and far across the universe. Perimeter Institute is a place where bold ideas flourish. It’s a culture that thrives on collaboration and new perspectives, bringing together great minds in a shared endeavour to achieve breakthroughs that will transform our future. 

In June 2017, Perimeter was named the Employee Recommended Workplace Award grand prize winner for the mid-sized category in the not-for- profit/government sector, lauded for its inspiring and family-focused environment. Employees cited the excellent exercise facilities, on-site yoga classes, peer mental health support, kid’s room, and frequent family activities among the reasons they considered Perimeter a great place to work.


Advancement at Perimeter Institute

Perimeter is supported through an innovative public-private partnership – which unites government, individuals, corporations, and foundations in a shared venture to enable scientific breakthroughs, nurture scientific talent, and share scientific discovery with the broader public. We highly value and appreciate the deeply embedded culture of philanthropy at Perimeter. 

The Advancement department’s team of nine fundraising professionals plays a vital role in supporting Perimeter by promoting its research agenda to visionary donors who want to support transformative global research. The department’s approach is that of a bespoke boutique, focusing on customized interactions with a select group of prospective donors to form deep, long lasting relationships in order to secure significant philanthropic support. In 2014, the Institute undertook its first major advancement campaign with a very ambitious target of raising $100 million in new private funds and in July 2017, surpassed its Phase 1 goal of $25 million.


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Key Areas of Responsibility

  • Passionately communicating the global mission of Perimeter’s work and its distinct institutional culture.

  • Personally managing a portfolio of major gift prospects of $100,000+ in the GTA, including individual, corporate and foundation donors.

  • Providing guidance, coaching and leadership to achieve team metrics and goals and to promote best practices across all major gift portfolios.

  • Assisting with customized campaign strategies for major gift prospects.

  • Ensuring appropriate donor recognition, stewardship plans and strategies are identified, negotiated and implemented effectively and consistently.

  • Collaborating with the major gifts team on the prospect and donor pipeline to ensure the most effective prospect clearance and relationship management.

  • Supporting the Director of Advancement in the recruitment and engagement of Perimeter leadership volunteers for the Leadership Council and Emmy Noether Council.


Qualifications and Competencies

  • Proven personal track record of success in cultivating and soliciting six-to seven-figure major gift donations; involvement with campaign fundraising at a senior level, and recruiting and engaging volunteers and program leaders for fundraising success.

  • Strategically agile, with knowledge and experience in fundraising program development, implementing best practices, and in executing and assessing successful strategies and plans.

  • Proven leadership, interpersonal and communication skills for a high touch donor community.

  • Knowledge of the educational or scientific sectors is preferred.

  • Ability to work remotely while participating collaboratively in a team environment.

  • University degree in a related field is preferred.

  • Exceptional negotiation and mediation skills.

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.

  • Personal reputation for integrity and the highest ethical standards.


The Region of Waterloo

Located in Canada’s Technology Triangle, Waterloo Region is made up of three vibrant cities, Cambridge, Kitchener and Waterloo, plus four scenic, predominantly rural townships. The twin cities of Kitchener-Waterloo enjoy a growing recognition for high standards of education and technological innovation with two world-class universities, an internationally respected applied arts and technical college, and over 1,000 high-tech firms and start-ups. In 2007, Waterloo was named the world’s Intelligent Community of the Year and in 2016 our Canadian Prime Minister praised the Waterloo region as an "extraordinary hub" for innovation "at the cutting edge of the global economy."

With a combined population approaching 600,000, Waterloo Region is one of the fastest-growing communities in Ontario and is expected to reach a total population of 730,000 by 2031. The Region offers the best of both worlds. The progressive balance of urban and rural landscapes and lifestyles, skilled labour force, proximity to major North American markets and transportation networks, and diverse ethnic makeup contribute to the continued success of the area.


For more Information

For more information about this unique Advancement opportunity, interested individuals are invited to contact Sylvia Kadlick, Senior Search Consultant via email at

For the full Position brief, please visit:

Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by June 29, 2018All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Perimeter Institute encourages applications from all qualified individuals, including women, members of visible minorities, native peoples and persons with disabilities.