Posted On: 2018-10-24
Closing On: 2018-11-15
Location: Toronto
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior

Job Description

Assistant Vice-President, Divisional Relations

The University of Toronto is seeking an Assistant Vice-President Divisional Relations to lead the University’s portfolio of divisional relations, major gifts, prospect management and research, volunteer management, and special fundraising project development, with a mandate to grow fundraising revenues and improve productivity of major gift efforts across the University.

The Assistant Vice-President (AVP) Divisional Relations provides leadership, strategic direction, and priority setting to the development and implementation of the University’s central operations supporting divisional fundraising and campaigns in order to grow fundraising performance, build organizational capacity, instill best fundraising practices, and further integration of development and alumni engagement goals across the University’s 27 divisions and three campuses.

The AVP Divisional Relations will have direct responsibility for a team of professionals within divisional relations, major gifts, prospect management and research and volunteer management.  Additionally, the AVP Divisional Relations serves as principal liaison to divisional advancement teams. In this capacity, the AVP Divisional Relations provides leadership, direction, guidance, mentorship, and coaching to divisional advancement leaders and their teams, to help develop and instill best practices and to achieve revenue growth and develop best in class fundraising and alumni engagement programs.

The AVP Divisional Relations will perform quarterly reviews of divisional progress; annual evaluations of advancement leaders and their performance against personal and team business plan goals; safeguard the University policies, guidelines and best practices for managing advancement programs and processes by influencing adoption and adherence; defining divisional campaign plans in collaboration with the AVP University Development and in relation to University-wide campaign(s); and provide regular communications with Principals and Deans to ensure alignment and accountability for important advancement goals.

In the capacity of managing and supporting divisional fundraising programs, the AVP Divisional Relations will play a central role in defining divisional participation in the University’s next major campaign, working closely with the VP, the AVP University Development and other members of the advancement executive team.   Reporting directly to the VP, Advancement, the AVP Divisional Relations will be a valued member of the senior management team within the Division of University Advancement. This position is based at the University’s Downtown St. George Campus located in Toronto. 


Key Results Areas

The Assistant Vice-President, Divisional Relations will focus on the following Key Results Areas:

  1. Provide exemplary leadership, direction, mentorship, and shared oversight (together with the relevant Principal/Dean) to a high-performance team of divisional advancement leads and their teams, in order to increase the impact, effectiveness, and productivity of divisional advancement programs, to support important divisional and University academic priorities, and to help develop a cohort of high-performing divisional advancement leaders.
  2. Develop, lead, and implement strategies to achieve transformational growth within the University’s divisional fundraising programs and divisional campaigns, helping lift the University’s overall fundraising performance (newly committed pledges and gifts) above $300 million per year on a sustainable basis.
  3. Work closely with the University’s academic leaders and senior executives (Provost, Vice-Presidents, AVPs and Vice-Provosts) to define the divisional and University-wide fundraising priorities and ensure organizational structure and resources capable of achieving approved priorities.
  4. Provide direction and support to the development of divisional advancement business plans and programs, ensuring they align strongly with academic priorities, institutional goals, performance management objectives, prospect management practices, volunteer management standards, alumni engagement goals, and University/Provostial/Governing Council policies and guidelines, in order to lift advancement standards and performance across the University, and to support equity and excellence.
  5. Deploy a central major gifts team for maximum impact on the University’s and divisions’ regional fundraising priorities and goals for revenue growth.
  6. Work closely with the AVP University Development and advancement and academic leadership to develop, guide and mentor divisional campaigns that frame the division’s unique strengths and opportunities within an overall institutional campaign strategy that seeks to maximize the perception, awareness, interest, and support of the University as a major priority for philanthropic investment.
  7. Develop, implement and lead a principled, coherent and transparent set of prospect management processes and practices designed to increase the volume and quality of solicitation pipelines, while enabling fundraisers throughout the University to maximize the value of their portfolios, achieve growth in solicitation of goal-setting prospects, and to contribute meaningfully to their division’s objectives and those of the University at large.


Major Activities

Divisional Relations

  • Provide direct management oversight to the University’s divisional advancement leads in a joint reporting relationship together with their respective Principal/Dean.
  • Work with senior academic leadership and divisional advancement leads to develop advancement priorities and resulting fundraising plans, integrally aligned with and arising directly from academic priorities, fostering the articulation of persuasive academic visions and cases for support that enable the pursuit of transformational goals.
  • Create a fundraising culture among direct reports, divisional staff and volunteers that fosters growth, effectiveness, personal and professional development, community, satisfaction and alignment with the mission and values of a University of the first rank.
  • Working in close collaboration with the AVP University Development who is responsible for the management of University’s campaign plans; provide leadership to the development, planning and execution of divisional fundraising campaigns.


Major Gifts

  • Provide leadership to the central Major Gifts group, deploying its members for maximum impact on University and divisional fundraising priorities and goals for revenue growth.
  • Assume responsibility for growing major gift productivity and revenue growth across the central major gift team and divisional programs, in service to the University’s plans to grow fundraising revenue to $300 million or more per year.
  • Work with senior academic leadership and divisional advancement leads to develop gift opportunities within priority gift bands to raise sights for more impactful solicitation and to increase productivity of major gift activities across the University.
  • Develop and implement plans to raise the thresholds for how major gifts and endowment naming are defined (currently at $25,000 with a goal of moving to $100,000 over time).
  • Manage and assume responsibility for cultivating and soliciting support from a portfolio of prospects, both individually and/or in collaboration with the Vice-President, Advancement, the AVP University Development, President of the University, divisional campaign volunteer leadership, senior academic administrators and faculty, and divisional advancement leaders, leading to increasing levels of involvement, satisfaction and financial support among portfolio donors.


Prospect Management and Research

  • Provide leadership to the Prospect Management and Research team with a commitment to continuous service and process improvement and to becoming a best practice Prospect Management and Research team in North America. 
  • Lead the design and implementation of a renewed prospect management and analytics strategies that enable and instill best practice in major gift fundraising, portfolio management, and revenue growth, within divisional major gift programs.
  • Spearhead a client-focused approach to the implementation of prospect management strategies, tools, and best practices, ensuring that adequate coaching and training is provided so that such strategies result have the desire impact on revenue growth and on frontline fundraisers and other development professionals. 


Volunteer Management

  • Working closely with the Vice-President Advancement and divisional advancement leads, help define and implement best practice standards for volunteer management within the divisions.
  • Help develop and implement actions that promote impact and satisfaction in divisional volunteer roles and sharing of best practices.
  • Identify, formulate, and help guide the creation, management, and servicing of senior volunteer bodies associated with the divisional fundraising priorities and campaign initiatives.


Project Development

  • Develop fundraising plans and strategies for important University-wide, interdisciplinary, or cross-divisional academic priorities, including strategies that engage the direct involvement and support of divisions, working closely with the offices of the Provost and Vice-Presidents and with divisional academic and advancement leaders.


Human Resource Management

  • Full managerial responsibility over the staff within divisional relations, major gift, prospect management and research and volunteer management.
  • Plan strategically for and define the organizational structure for the Unit/Department.
  • Budget responsibilities related to the human resources management.  For example, this position would decide on the implementation of a budget cut to the Unit/Team/Department.
  • Strategically manage labour relations implications of business disruptions; participate as representative of department in broader strategic management initiatives related to planning for business disruptions in the University.


Experience & Competencies

EDUCATION: University degree or an acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience.

EXPERIENCE: Minimum ten (10) years demonstrated experience in fundraising within the context of mid and large sized organizations undergoing major campaigns. Proven expertise in leading successful campaigns. Significant management experience. Demonstrated experience and success motivating and mentoring volunteers and bringing out the best in teams and individuals.  Experience in higher education or non-for-profit sectors.


  • Outstanding oral and written communication, interpersonal and census building skills.   
  • Ability to work in a hectic and results-oriented environment with a strong focus on results. 
  • Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills. 
  • High level of initiative, tact and diplomacy, intelligence, and will be articulate, politically astute and capable. 
  • Ability to meet deadlines and budgets. 
  • Demonstrated leadership skills to manage and motivate a team of advancement professionals as well as senior volunteers.
  • Ability to work at the highest strategic levels, to gain and maintain the respect of senior administration, donors and volunteers and also to take strategy and move it through to tactics and action. 
  • Ability to work in a collaborative and collegial manner, with an appreciation for the challenges and opportunities of working within a large, decentralized institution.  Must possess a reputation for integrity, openness, decisiveness, and sound judgment. 
  • Highly motivated, self-reliant, outcomes-oriented, and entrepreneurial.  Must be able to build credibility both with individual donors and within the business community. 
  • Must be productive working both independently and as a part of a team.
  • A deep understanding of and appreciation for the mission of a research-intensive university
  • The ability to serve as an articulate, credible representative of the University with diverse constituencies and particularly with the sophisticated individuals who support the institution at the principal gift level
  • The ability to understand the research and teaching dimensions of a proposed project, to conceptualize them in an integrated proposal, and to make a compelling case to a donor for philanthropic support
  • Reputation for integrity, openness, decisiveness, and sound judgement


Advancement at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto is one of the world’s leading institutions of higher learning, renowned for its ground-breaking research and innovative teaching, which drive economic growth and promote social well-being around the globe. Located in the world’s most diverse city, U of T is a truly global institution, with an extensive alumni network of more than half a million people in some 190 countries and territories.

U of T’s alumni include distinguished researchers, teachers, decision-makers, prominent politicians, global business leaders and eminent philanthropists. The University supports a renowned commercialization program through an innovative network of entrepreneurial accelerators, and is located in Toronto, one of the most diverse, vibrant and inviting cities in the world. U of T is also recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers.

The Division of University Advancement promotes and upholds the University of Toronto’s mission by engaging its worldwide community of alumni and friends in support of its top academic priorities. Working closely with the University’s academic leadership, its staff and students, alumni and volunteer leaders, and donors, University Advancement leads and coordinates alumni relations and fundraising efforts across the University. Our uniquely integrated structure encourages each division, department or college to bring its particular strengths and expertise to the common cause of advancing the University’s reputation as a global leader in academic research, innovation and learning across a wide range of disciplines in the humanities, social sciences, sciences and the professions. Our staff aspires to the highest standards of achievement and accountability for advancement professionals.


To learn about advancement at the University of Toronto please visit



Candidates who are interested in applying for this position are invited to apply directly to the University of Toronto via email at

Candidates who are interested in applying for this position should please send a resume and letter of interest to the email listed above.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.