Posted On: 2019-03-22
Closing On: 2019-04-19
Location: Edmonton
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description


MacEwan University, Edmonton’s downtown university, is seeking a new Associate Vice-President to lead our expanding and ambitious fundraising and alumni relations activities.  This is a unique opportunity for an experienced and passionate advancement professional to build MacEwan’s program as the school celebrates its 50th anniversary and a new strategic plan is established.

The Associate Vice-President is responsible for establishing, maintaining and strengthening the University’s relationships with its external donors and alumni.  Paramount among the Associate Vice-President’s responsibilities will be building the team and infrastructure for a pending major campaign, to celebrate and leverage MacEwan’s 50th anniversary in 2021. 

Reporting directly to the Vice-President, University Relations, the Associate Vice-President is a key member of the Vice President’s leadership team, and works very closely with the President, other Vice Presidents, senior university leadership, and key volunteers.  The Associate Vice-President leads an engaged group of 10 staff, mentoring and supporting their growth, and leading by example.  The University is poised for success and has elevated this role to signify the university’s commitment to it, as well as the opportunity to grow their team. 



MacEwan University is an urban and metropolitan institution. As one of the anchor institutions in Edmonton’s newly revitalized urban core, MacEwan University employs over 2,000 people and educates over 19,000 students annually. Founded in 1971, MacEwan University provides student-focused instruction in a warm and supportive atmosphere. It focuses on teaching, so students can focus on learning. Offering more than 65 programs, the university provides a transformative education in a collaborative and supportive learning environment. Creativity thrives through research and innovation that engages students, faculty and the community. 

MacEwan University offers 10 four-year bachelor programs, one applied degree, two degree transfer programs as well as 24 diploma and certificate programs. The University focuses on four primary types of programming: baccalaureate degrees, university transfer programs; certificate, diploma and applied degree programs; and preparatory programming that prepares learners for success in further post-secondary studies. MacEwan University inspires students through a powerful combination of academic excellence and personal learning experiences. The University offers a connected culture that focuses on learner-centered teaching and providing opportunities for students to grow and achieve.

MacEwan serves a diversity of learners in the following major areas of study: liberal arts, business/commerce, communications, education, engineering, health and human services, performing and visual arts, physical education and science. The University’s innovative approaches to program delivery are designed to maximize graduates’ opportunities to advance their careers and further their education. MacEwan serves primarily the greater Edmonton region and northern Alberta by responding to the learning needs of business, industry, government and communities.

For more information about MacEwan, please see:

For information on our Strategic plan, see: MacEwan Strategic Plan



MacEwan is grateful for the donors who contribute to student success and set them on the path to becoming community leaders. Our fundraising priorities include student scholarships and bursaries, and supporting LGBTQ+ students and allies.  Over the past six years, our supporters have contributed an average total of $3.65 million.  Our alumni have shown a particularly strong inclination to support us, with about 2/3 of our donors being alumni.  Recent years have brought the new Allard Hall, the University’s newest building and a flagship for its unique programs in the fields of fine art, design, music, theatre, arts management and communications.

MacEwan stays in touch with its 74,000 alumni around the world through reunions, the alumni newsletter, distinguished alumni awards, and other activities.  This year will see the formation of MacEwan’s Alumni Association for further bolster this engagement.

Planning for a future that reflects our ideals will shape who we are as an institution. These aspirations are formalized in MacEwan University's Integrated Strategic Plan (ISP). Planning is underway for the Integrated Strategic Plan: 2019/20 – 2023/24. Through a series of meetings with diverse groups from across campus, this process was kicked off in the summer of 2017. Consultations will continue until the plan is finalized.

For more information on giving to MacEwan, please visit: MacEwan Giving



The Associate Vice-President will have responsibility for the following functional areas:

  1. Leadership:  Provides overall strategic direction and management of the University’s fundraising programs, including  annual and major gifts from alumni and friends, as well as corporate, and foundation prospects) in the Greater Edmonton region, provincially and nationally, and all alumni relations activities.
  • Creates and implements a comprehensive strategic plan with strong business processes that establish expectations and goals for the short and long term, including major giving, annual giving, planned giving, and alumni engagement.
  • Focuses on aligning alumni and development activities with campus-wide priorities that include programs, endowed chairs, student awards, bursaries, unrestricted support, capital needs, new facilities, research, and campus improvements.
  • Advises the President, Vice-President, and senior administrators on strategic issues that relate to fundraising and alumni activities and regularly reports progress to senior administrators.
  • Works with annual giving, planned giving and alumni relations staff to develop effective strategies that engage alumni and friends with the goal of increasing annual giving and the effectiveness of alumni activities, while building a robust major and planned giving prospect pool.

       2. Fund Development:  Oversees effective fundraising activities and strategies that are in alignment with the University’s vision and academic priorities.

  • Ensures that team members are developing appropriate cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies for prospects and meeting their established goals.
  • Maintains healthy and robust pipeline of major gift prospects.
  • Ensures that the Advancement Office is working collaboratively with senior university administrators and volunteers to ensure potential donors are being solicited in a timely fashion and stewarded in ways that meet industry standards.
  • Actively participates in the solicitation of major gifts.

       3. Alumni Relations:  Provides leadership to the Alumni Relations team to ensure its effectiveness by:

  • Developing a strategic plan that articulates clear goals for greater engagement of alumni with the university, and the strategies, tactics and messages to reach those goals.
  • Providing leadership to the pending Alberta Alumni Association.
  • Representing the alumni body on university committees and being an advocate for alumni matters, ensuring the opinion, position and issues of alumni remain integral to university planning.
  • Leading the recruitment, orientation, engagement and recognition of an international network of active alumni through volunteer work in various capacities.
  • Developing and delivering vibrant, relevant programming, communications and marketing that encourages lifelong alumni engagement with the university.
  • Keeping up-to-date on emerging trends in alumni relations.

       4. Project Management System:  Manages the prospect management and alumni database system to support strategic planning for major gift fundraising and alumni engagement, ensuring that all aspects of the             advancement office are working in a coordinated fashion, and reflecting the overall academic goals of the University.

  • Ensures that the prospect management system is meeting the needs of all staff  in a timely and effective way.
  • Ensures that the database is being adequately resourced and populated with timely information that supports the fundraising and engagement work.
  • Ensures that the database is seamlessly integrated with University systems and protocols.



To be successful in this role, the ideal Associate-Vice President will possess the following traits and competencies:

  • Proven and exceptional fundraising abilities, and knowledgeable about industry trends, ideally developed in a post-secondary or similarly-complex environment.
  • Experience in campaign best practices and success factors.
  • Strong desire and ability to build a program within a larger context, namely the new strategic plan and 50th anniversary. 
  • An understanding of the university climate, knowing and appreciating that questioning and dialogue is inherent in academic life.
  • A strong personal ethic and a commitment to seeing projects through to completion.
  • Collaborative and mobilizing team leadership abilities, including motivating and inspiring staff through a growing and evolving program. 
  • Mentorship, coaching, and development skills to ensure the team thrives no matter where they are in their careers.
  • Politically savvy to educate and advocate for program areas, listening and engaging the University community to foster shared ownership of fundraising and alumni relations activities. 
  • Volunteer leadership and engagement; skilled at leveraging and supporting the passions of senior volunteers from across the spectrum of work, including the Alumni Association and a 50th anniversary cabinet. 
  • Strong interpretive and communication abilities to create a compelling vision, and to align that vision with donor interests.
  • A proactive communicator and culture-builder, with proven success creating a culture of philanthropy.
  • Tactful, direct and persistent, yet adaptable and highly empathetic.
  • Experience with change management, and skilled at empowering others through change.  
  • Strong ability to prioritize and balance work, staying organized and focusing on big-picture goals while never losing sight of the day-to-day.
  • Comfort representing the University in the larger community, including public speaking and presentations.




  • Solid experience and a proven record of accomplishment in fundraising and relationship building ideally including campaign experience.
  • Strong leadership, strategic thinking, organizational planning and budgeting skills. 
  • Proven ability to function effectively at the senior/executive management level.
  • Relevant experience in a post-secondary sector would be an asset.
  • Demonstrated track record in fundraising, including the development of program strategy, and management.
  • Demonstrated understanding of fundraising techniques and practices, including CRA requirements and prospect management.
  • Strong leadership in the fields of fundraising policy/procedure development, project management, organization, and planning.
  • Proven leadership experience and the ability to generate enthusiasm while engaging and motivating others around a shared vision.
  • Experience supervising, training and motivating staff.
  • An ability to work independently.
  • Confident, strong interpersonal skills and a team player; excellent written and verbal communications skills.
  • An understanding of Edmonton’s philanthropic community and culture is a strong asset.
  • Knowledge of the utility of fundraising software, such as Raiser’s Edge.
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field, or equivalent training and experience.
  • Flexibility to travel and attend events as necessary.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been engaged to lead the search for this significant leadership role.  For more information, please contact Christoph Clodius via email at

To view the full Position Profile, please visit:

To formally apply, please send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by April 19, 2019All enquiries will be kept in strict confidence.


MacEwan University is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. We encourage Indigenous people, persons living with a disability, sexual and gender minorities, women, and members of all minority groups to apply and self-identify. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.