Posted On: 2019-02-28
Closing On: 2019-03-15
Location: Toronto
Effective: May 2019
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

The Position

Organization: The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

Title: Vice President, Major Gifts

Reports to: President & CEO

Location: 700 University Avenue, Toronto

Do you want to make a difference?

Do you want to help Conquer Cancer in Your Lifetime? Do you want to significantly grow new revenue for Canada’s leading Cancer Centre and have a direct impact on saving lives? Do you have a proven track record closing $Million+ gifts nationally and globally?

To work for us in this high-profile position, you must be able to develop strategies to inspire individuals, who may never have been to Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and show them that their gift can have the greatest impact with our researchers and clinicians. You must have the passion to make that happen, because our patients, researchers, doctors and nurses are depending on it. We are making a difference, and we only want people on our high-performing team who have the same goal. We are not looking for mediocre or even good—you need to be great, because lives are at stake and millions of people—people at our cancer centre, across Canada, and around the world—will be relying on your talent and passion. And we will accept nothing less, because we have made important promises and we intend to keep them.

You will co-lead the design and execution of a pipeline for a $Billion+ campaign that will be unprecedented in Canadian healthcare history—a campaign that will capture the imagination, hearts and interest of all Canadians and beyond. We already have the foundation in place for this; now we need an experienced fundraising leader to partner with us to bring it to fruition.

As part of our incredible team, talented people just like you, you’ll experience a sense of purpose that you won’t get anywhere else, in any other job. You will be making a difference for literally millions of people.

You need to be an experienced and proven leader of a high-performing major gifts team or a seasoned sales executive in the private sector. You have no hesitation pitching to billionaires, presenting to C-level executives or speaking to large audiences to convert them to become part of our global movement to conquer cancer. You are skilled at forming meaningful, lasting relationships, and take pride in owning accountability and achieving goals, challenging yourself and motivating your team with stretch revenue targets, and then exceeding them. You firmly believe that achieving your goals is critical, and how you achieve them, through strong partnerships, authentic leadership, and integrity, is of equal importance.

You know how to design, manage and forecast a robust sales pipeline and can demonstrate an ability to close gifts. You are prepared to work harder than you have ever worked in your professional career to power the best cancer science and clinical support in the world. You are keenly aware that, for peak performance, you must spend 80% of your time out of the office conducting business in order to drive results.

You are at ease with diverse operational styles, and you excel at developing and leveraging strong, profitable relationships with Board members, committee members, local, national and global partners, donors, and volunteers. You enjoy working with senior volunteers, and encouraging creativity and tenacity as you work with a broad spectrum of donors across their philanthropic life-cycle.

But we're not just invested in curing cancer in our lifetime; we're also invested in our people. We know that our overall success is a combined effort, and therefore we provide opportunities for our employees to learn, grow and thrive. Organized extracurricular activities and social outings bring our team even closer together, making our work environment inviting and inspiring. Our mission is to have employees find a job they love. We are disrupting an industry by creating an environment and a community where you’ll be happy. Who says building a career can't be fun!?

This is an opportunity to expand the global network of impact of The Princess Margaret. A chance to become a key member of the leading cancer foundation in the world; to help expand the PMCF brand, donor base, corporate sponsorships, and partnerships in pursuit of our vision, which will be your vision: To Conquer Cancer in Our Lifetime.

If you want to make a difference, and if this sounds like you, then please read on…

About The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation

The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation (The PMCF) is one of the world’s leading cancer charities and ranks first nationally in the field of cancer research. Its vision is to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.

The PMCF raises funds for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre—one of the top five cancer research centres in the world—to deliver future care now. For more than a decade, The PMCF has been on an aggressive growth trajectory. In F2017, they raised $112 million—their best year ever, and they are on track to raise even more in F2019 (year end 31 March 2019).

Setting daring and audacious goals is a mindset that is driven by PMCF’s culture and passion to perform.  They have pioneered many successful fundraising programs, including their world-leading Princess Margaret Home Lottery, and some of the world’s largest cancer fundraising events, including:

  • Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer
  • Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer
  • Scotiabank Road Hockey to Conquer Cancer

The PMCF has a strong track record of securing and stewarding major and estate gifts primarily in the GTA. They engage supporters through annual campaigns, leadership and tribute giving, and more than 100 community events and ethno-cultural programs. Through a diverse and complementary portfolio of fundraising events, they attract over 300,000 gifts, 250,000 unique lottery purchasers, and 15,000 event participants and volunteers each year. And they engage with hundreds of corporate partners and their employees.

The PMCF’s distinguished Board engages in fundraising and provides governance and support through several very active committees. Princess Margaret is a proud member of University Health Network, Canada’s largest research hospital network (including Toronto General Hospital, Toronto Western Hospital, Toronto Rehab Institute, and The Michener Institute for Education). 

The PMCF is bold, ambitious, and relentless in its vision to Conquer Cancer In Our Lifetime.

The Role

The PMCF is seeking an accomplished and ambitious fundraiser to assume the newly created role of Vice President, Major Gifts. Reporting to and working closely with the President & CEO, the successful candidate will co-lead the implementation of a $2B+ Major Gifts Fundraising Campaign.

The VP Major Gifts will cultivate, solicit, and steward major and transformational gifts that are in excess of $1M. While personally managing a pool of donors and prospects, the incumbent will, by doing so, set the example for everyone involved. The successful candidate will work closely with select Board members and volunteers, and own and drive key business metrics.

In this key leadership role, the successful candidate will set annual budgets and objectives, establish and implement strategies to reach those objectives, implement effective metrics, mobilize their team and monitor progress. The VP Major Gifts will also be responsible for evaluating the lifecycle of these initiatives in order to keep programs relevant for constituents and productive for the organization.

The opportunity will appeal to an accomplished major gift fundraiser with values aligned with those of PMCF, someone with sophisticated relationship skills, experience leading a high-performing major gifts team with full accountability, and impressive campaign experience.


Reports to: President & Chief Executive Officer

Key Stakeholders: Board of Directors; Chief Operating Officer; Vice President, Brand, Marketing & Communications; Vice President, Information Technology & Business Intelligence; Vice President, Corporate & Community Partnerships; Vice President, Major and Estate Giving; Vice President, Lotteries; Vice President, Finance; PMCC/UHN Partners

Direct/Indirect Reports: Campaign Directors (4); Research and prospect management (3); Development Associates (2); Administration (1)


Specific accountabilities of the Vice President, Major Gifts will include:

  • Working closely to support and partner with the CEO and the senior leadership team in the development of the campaign and revenue accountabilities
  • Partnering with the VP, Major & Estate Giving to set ambitious annual targets and lead a team of accomplished fundraisers to meet and exceed them
  • Supporting and leveraging talent to drive the best outcomes and overall efficiency
  • Building strong, trusting relationships within the Cancer Centre and UHN to understand strategic fundraising priorities, encourage referrals of grateful patients and family members, and partner to cultivate, solicit, and steward gifts to The Princess Margaret
  • Partnering with the other members of the senior leadership team to drive overall organizational effectiveness, including strategic, operational people strategies, organizational culture and change initiatives throughout teams, thereby leading to improved business results, employee satisfaction, and productivity
  • Leading a team of accomplished fundraisers to ensure a best-in-class donor experience throughout the entire donor cycle
  • Supporting the CEO to best serve and report to the Board, including participation on fundraising committees

The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will possess a passion for healthcare philanthropy and a strong understanding of donor relationship management, professionalism, excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills, and a proven track-record of closing gifts of seven figures.


The successful candidate MUST have:

Authentic leadership capacity

  • Believes in the power and collective impact of exceptional teams and the importance of collaboration both with the MG team and all key stakeholders—“we” is greater than “I”
  • Servant leadership
  • Not content with the status quo—has the grit roll up their sleeves and lead across the team to help achieve bold objectives
  • Experience coaching and building teams—specifically coaching and developing Director-level professionals

Personal characteristics:

  • Highly mission motivated, brings out the best in others by creating spaces for individuals to deliver on their “why?”
  • High emotional intelligence, including high levels of self-awareness, empathy, and motivation, and the ability to regulate emotions
  • Can read people and situations, understand body language, and ‘hear the unsaid’
  • An expert in reciprocity and appreciation
  • Sets an example through hard work and collegiality
  • Lack of ego, preferring to save the plaques for donors, not the asker


  • Must Have/Be: a self-starter with a can-do attitude and vision. This portfolio is scheduled for significant growth over the coming years and our successful candidate will need to provide effective leadership, and think beyond today and the status quo
  • Strongly Preferred: Someone positive in nature, ready for any opportunity; high standards (‘good enough’ is never enough); a team player (we can do it attitude); a big thinker—national/global



Must Have:

  • Propel people toward the mission—can challenge and inspire
  • Hold people accountable; team-builder; coaches individuals
  • Encourages a positive culture of planning, implementation and review

Strongly Preferred:

  • A true role model, demonstrating honesty, openness, transparency
  • Puts the interest of the business ahead of personal interests
  • Admits mistakes easily with an eye to solving problems in the future

Operating & Technology Skills:

Must Have:

  • Effectively manage team to achieve revenue goals and KPIs on time
  • Strong experience in prospect identification and cultivation—both individuals who have been grateful patients, and thinking more broadly about other individuals who could be inspired to make their gift-of-a-lifetime at The Princess Margaret
  • Adopts new technology and embraces data and advanced analytics to optimize targeting 
  • Possess excellent problem-solving skills around structuring/analysis/synthesis

Strongly Preferred:

  • An “Airline Captain” attitude that values data, specificity, and checklists
  • Understands the sector—products (case for support), donors, trends
  • Establishes new or improves existing processes, KPI and overall dashboard
  • Strong knowledge in the use of Raisers Edge to develop prospect pipelines that drive fundraising team activity


Must Have:

  • Financial numeracy
  • Previous financial accountability—both revenue and expense
  • Experience setting annual goals, especially in relation to a multi-year campaign

Business Acumen

Must Have:

  • Significant Major Gift leadership, giving experience with a track record of success or a seasoned sales executive in the private sector
  • Experience crafting a campaign strategy that has well-defined longitudinal goals but that has the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances
  • Capitalizes on opportunity, but not afraid to create opportunities to build long-term, productive relations with donors
  • Experience working with an accomplished Board of Directors to understand goals and leverage Directors’ capacity and network

Strongly Preferred:

  • 10+ years of progressive experience in all aspects of healthcare philanthropy
  • A comprehensive understanding of the full range of giving options. Knowledge of bequests and other forms of estate giving, would be an asset.
  • Views the business from the “shoes of the customer”
  • Understands sales, sales process and forecasting
  • Experience working on landmark fundraising campaigns would be an asset


Must Have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree

Strongly Preferred:

  • Advanced Degree
  • Fundraising Certification from an accredited body (i.e.: CFRE, FAHP)

If you are looking for an outstanding challenge and an opportunity to work with a great team for a very important, focused and successful organization that is about to go through bold and aspirational change, and you believe you fully meet or exceed the qualifications outlined above, then we want to hear from you.

Please email and provide a copy of your current resume as well as a chart that summarizes key highlights of your Major Gift successes, including the amount of ask(s), the amount(s) received, and a brief description of the role you played in making them happen. In addition, please provide a covering letter explaining why you should be considered as a serious candidate for this mission-critical position.

Submissions must be received by March 15, 2019. Please note that only qualified respondents will be contacted.