Posted On: 2018-08-08
Closing On: 2018-08-17
Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Effective: As soon as possible
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

Job Title: Senior Development Officer (Science)
Job Number: X-365
NOC: 1123
Band: 7
Department: External Relations & Advancement, Dean Arts & Science (Science)
Supervisor Title: Director of Philanthropy, Dean Arts & Science (Science)
Status: Full-time (35 hours per week), regular
Salary: $72,872 - $97,163 per annum (i.e. $6,072.67 - $8,096.92 per month)
Location: Trent University Peterborough
Start Date: As soon as possible 


For more information, please view the full Position Description or visit 


Job Purpose

Dual reporting to the Director of Philanthropy & the Dean Arts & Science (Science), the Senior Development Officer - Science (SDO) will be situated in the Sciences and work within the Advancement Team to secure major gifts.  The SDO will work with the Dean of Arts & Science – Science to focus on science-based fundraising strategies. This role requires a results-oriented, dynamic and enthusiastic individual with demonstrated relationship building skills as well as a proven ability to "close the gift". The SDO is responsible for the full scope of relationship management related activities including prospect discovery, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship of prospects and donors. The incumbent will manage a portfolio of 100 – 125 major prospects and donors, each with the capacity to make gifts of between $10K and $250K. The SDO will have the ability to create integrated lifetime and legacy gift plans. The SDO plays a critical role in developing strong relationships on behalf of the University and in fostering a culture of philanthropy at the University.

The incumbent is expected to become fluent in the scientific needs of the following programs and departments included in the division of Science at Trent University. The SDO is expected to be able to independently develop new and novel ideas and to identify strategic scientific based areas for philanthropic donation. The incumbent must have a demonstrated broad and strong background in the Natural and Physical Sciences through either academic achievements or experience. 

The general areas of scientific interest to Trent include: undergraduate programs in Biology, Chemistry, Computing and Information Systems, Forensic Science, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy, Psychology, as well as the Trent School of the Environment. Graduate program activities focus on – Applied Modelling and Quantitative Methods, Environmental and Life Sciences, Psychology, Forensic Science, Material Science, Environmental Modelling, Chemical Analysis and Forensic Science.


Key Activities         

Major Gifts Science Portfolio Management and Program Development   

1. Major Gifts Science Portfolio Management

In close collaboration with the Director of Philanthropy and the Dean of Science, the SDO will be responsible for managing a portfolio of 100-125 major gift science prospects. Annual fundraising goals will be set to create a sustainable major gifts program with clear moves management objectives. The SDO will be meeting with major science prospects and donors on a regular basis and will need to travel to do so. The majority of travel will be from Peterborough to Toronto, around the golden horseshoe area as well as occasional trips to Ottawa or out province.  Prospects will include individuals, corporations and foundations. The SDO will participate in prospect clearance activities, qualifying prospects with the assistance of the development team. The SDO will secure meetings to establish donor interests in an effort to align them with science priorities. They will prepare and present proposals to prospects so as to inspire their support as well as recording of call reports, results and next action steps in Raiser's Edge provides essential tracking of all activities. The SDO must meet annual fundraising targets of at least $500,000.

Working closely with the Dean of Arts & Science – Science, the SDO will be responsible for understanding the vision the various science departments and programs. The SDO will identify opportunities for donors to enhance the classroom, research and student experience. The incumbent will lead the case development for science overall as well as key priorities. The SDO will ensure the involvement with the Dean in appropriate levelled donor relationships. There may be a number of donors that the Dean is the key relationship manager. The SDO will develop strategies and moves management for prospects and their proposals to reach financial targets. Additionally, the SDO will design and help develop cultivation events and opportunities that will engage donors and prospects.


2. Volunteer Management

As part of the ER & A team, assist with identifying, recruiting, training, and motivating our volunteers who will assist with Trent’s fundraising efforts. The SDO will recruit volunteers with a keen interest in supporting our vision for Science at Trent University. Assist with the development of fundraising strategies that will empower and inspire our volunteers. Provide regular communications to our volunteers on success to date as well as providing any materials needed for successful approaches. 

The SDO role is embedded within the Sciences and as such, the individual will develop a deep understanding of all departments and programs. Attendance and reporting on fundraising at department or decanal meetings will be encouraged. The SDO will involve science faculty and researchers in donor visits and proposal development as required.


3. Stewardship & Special Events

Collaborate with the Stewardship Manager to ensure appropriate stewardship of donors including naming opportunities, gift celebration opportunities and proper cultivation through events. Leverage the annual endowment reports as an opportunity to visit donors to further cultivate their next gift. As the SDO’s portfolio dictates, attend University wide events or External Relations & Advancement events which allow you to move a prospect or donor closer to making their gift. 


4. Administration & Managerial Responsibilities

Contributes to the overall development, implementation and evaluation of ER & A's operating plan and success strategies for fundraising.  Monitor results and progress, is essential for achieving our collective goals. Responsible for tracking of proposals through the pipeline, updating information immediately in Raisers Edge to ensure real-time accuracy, as well as recording all invitations, calls, meetings and important prospect/donor interactions. The SDO will work closely with Alumni Affairs to build the affinity of science graduates.  Collaborate with all members of the Advancement and any University department that requires support.


Education Required

  • Minimum Honours Degree with a minor in a Science
  • Experience working in a university environment would be preferred
  • CFRE designation would be an asset


Experience Required

  • Minimum of eight years’ experience in fundraising, preferably in a science related field, with five years’ at a senior-level with a proven track record involving face-to-face cultivation, solicitation and relationship management.  Experience in higher education fundraising desirable. Equivalent experience in a related field such as sales and marketing, communications, financial services or other may be considered.  
  • Excellent knowledge of major gift and planned giving fundraising practices and considerations, including moves management and pertinent tax planning considerations; endowment funding, leadership giving and capital campaign experience essential.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.  Demonstrated ability to interact comfortably, tactfully, professionally and effectively with a wide range of internal and external constituencies and stakeholders, including volunteers, donors, faculty and staff, and community members.
  • Excellent knowledge and broad understanding of science and associated
  • Excellent communication skills in the language of science at a minimum level of intermediate science knowledge (i.e. 2 – 3 level University Courses)
  • Superior written communication and proposal writing skills, and experience in prospect research.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead and motivate volunteers and donors; previous experience with senior volunteers and committees is essential.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop strategic and tactical plans, establish goals and accomplish them as part of an organizational plan.
  • Excellent organizational, planning and time management skills, with demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks and flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and ability to think creatively to problem solve.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Proficiency with MS Office (Word, Excel), internet research, Raisers Edge database.
  • Flexibility to work on occasional weekends.
  • Must be willing and able to travel locally, regionally, and occasionally nationally. 
  • Must have a valid class ‘G’ driver’s license to meet the travel requirements of the job.


Analytical Reasoning


  • Recruitment, orientation, management and evaluation of volunteers
  • Cultivation and negotiation of donor interests and philanthropy
  • Develop strategic approaches to potential donors requiring internal and external research based on analysis and alignment of donor interests with Trent’s needs
  • Ability to negotiate complex planned giving strategies with donors


Decision Making

  • Complex decision-making on a daily-basis in all the areas identified under analytical reasoning.
  • Negotiation and decision-making with volunteers, donors, and stakeholders
  • Based on research, determine specific actions to engage potential donors and steward existing donors
  • Experience, discretion, tact, and judgment are required.



  • Actions or decisions taken by the Senior Development Officer impact upon the accomplishment of External Relations and university objectives
  • Impact upon reputation of university with senior volunteers and community members
  • Examples:
    • Reputation & fundraising: engagement with alumni, donors and volunteers
    • Successfully increase financial support (expendable and endowed) for Trent’s intellectual assets by achieving stated financial targets for scholarships, awards, bursaries, facilities and equipment. 
    • This increased support additionally impacts upon Trent’s competitive advantage for recruitment and retention outreach.
  • Illustration:  Successful negotiation of $250,000 philanthropic gift, directed as follows:  $50,000 towards an endowed fund to support graduate students studying within the environmental portfolio; $160,000 to maximize Trent’s ability to get matching funds for the OGS graduate program; $40,000 for undergraduate summer student research.  These needs were approved by the Provost’s Planning Group as top priorities. 


Responsibility for the Work of Others

Indirect Responsibility for the Work of Others: 

  • ER&A team members – ensure maximum effort is made to successfully implement moves management within the donor pool and that stewardship of major donors are implemented with major gifts donors
  • Alumni Affairs – ensure targeted outreach is implemented
  • Senior Volunteers – ensure appropriate recruitment, orientation and deployment in philanthropic initiatives



Internal Contact

  • Engage senior administrators and academic community (dean, chairs, faculty, researchers, staff) to develop content for proposals and to assist with the cultivation and stewardship of donors and prospects
  • With advancement team members: prospect clearance & strategy, development of donor lists and research support, development of fundraising materials & web content
  • With select alumni, volunteers and board members: to engage as donors, assist with cultivation, solicitation and stewardship      


External Contacts:

  • Donors and prospects (corporate, individual, foundations) for the purpose of seeking support for Trent’s priorities in Science (i.e. scholarships, research, etc.)
  • Non-governmental organizations whose purposes match Trent initiatives – i.e. environmental organizations for the purpose of promoting Trent’s strengths and achievements
  • Targeted individuals who can assist in expanding the pool of potential supporters and key contacts  for Trent


Motor/ Sensory Skills

Motor Skills:



Skill Type                                                 Job Requiring

Keyboarding & mouse manipulation         Computer usage impacts upon majority of responsibilities

Driving                                                       To attend internal and external meetings

Dexterity/Coordination                               Interaction at special events


Sensory Skills:

  • Hearing, speech and visual: complex remote and face to face communication, negotiation and presentations



Mental Effort:


Sustained concentration & focus to: Research, strategy development – for content and prospects, proposal writing; interact and negotiate with prospects, alumni, volunteers, etc.; prospect identification and qualification; and, maximize Trent’s outreach in the Toronto market – i.e. expand giving from existing donors, develop new prospects, steward Toronto based donors (including alumni).     


Physical Effort:

Long periods of time spent keyboarding, in meetings; and, frequent driving and travel requiring more than one hour.


Working Conditions

Psychological Conditions:

  • Demonstrated flexibility in meeting shifting demands and priorities and managing multiple tasks
  • Flexibility to work occasional weekends
  • Local, regional and occasional national travel expected
  • Frequently deal with donor sensitivities and occasionally stakeholder complaints
  • Stress imposed by quarterly and annual fundraising and program objectives


Physical Conditions:

  • Long periods of time spent keyboarding, in meetings,
  • Frequent driving and travel requiring more than one hour
  • Prolonged standing at special events


To Apply: Those interested in applying are asked to submit a cover letter, resume and application form (if applicable), by email to (Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF) no later than Friday, August 17, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. Please note your full name and the job title in the subject line of your email (i.e. First and Last Name – Job Title). Applications from external candidates will be considered only when accompanied by a completed Application Form

Trent University is actively committed to creating a diverse and inclusive campus community and encourages applications from all qualified candidates. Trent University offers accommodation for applicants with disabilities in its recruitment processes. If you require accommodation during the recruitment process or require an accessible version of a document/publication, please contact

While the University appreciates all applications, please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. In the case of regular/recurring OPSEU positions, the University will consider internal OPSEU applicants first, in accordance with the OPSEU Collective Agreement.