Posted On: 2019-04-26
Closing On: 2019-05-21
Location: Waterloo, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management
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Job Description

The Opportunity

Perimeter Institute, one of the world’s leading centres in theoretical physics, is in the midst of institutional growth. The position of Associate Director, Advancement Operations is a unique opportunity to play a central role in an experienced, creative, and innovative team working to help support and drive that growth. Strong and strategic advancement operations are essential to ensure the success of the ten-year campaign to raise $100M by 2025. The campaign will enable Perimeter Institute to recruit the best scientific minds, expand current graduate programs, and enhance educational outreach, ultimately building on their reputation as a culturally strong, entrepreneurial organization of global significance.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Advancement, the Associate Director provides leadership, direction, structure, priorities, policies and procedures related to all systems that support the Advancement department. Taking the lead role in evaluating and improving current systems that support and enhance the institution’s fundraising efforts, the Associate Director will be integral in lifting the department to new levels of philanthropic endeavor.

With two direct reports in gift administration and prospect research, the Associate Director is responsible for a broad range of operational support services including departmental reporting, database and data management, budgeting, revenue and expense management/reporting, prospect research, and information technology. This role also oversees all charitable legal and financial accountabilities for the institution.

The Associate Director will have frequent interaction and collaboration with the IT, Finance, Marketing, Publications, Communications, and the HR departments.

The position is based at the Perimeter Institute, in Waterloo.


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” – they have an impatience and desire to discover, to recognize clearly when conventional approaches are failing, and to open and explore promising new avenues. They constantly challenge themselves 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. The impact of philanthropy at Perimeter is valued and appreciated by the internal and external community alike.

The Advancement department’s team of 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 ongoing 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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The Ideal Candidate

To be successful in this role, the ideal incumbent must demonstrate:

  • A collaborative mindset and approach, and the ability to work well both independently and as part of a team.
  • The capacity to strategically maintain current operational systems and service offerings, while also collaboratively driving the creation of new high-value initiatives.
  • A natural ability to strategically build and foster authentic internal and external relationships.
  • An influential and inspirational communication style, where collegiality and warmth are actively demonstrated.
  • The ability to translate complex information for various key audiences.
  • Drive as a self-motivated and self-directed learner who encourages personal and team professional development, including engagement with current industry best practices and trends.
  • A high level of organization, consistency, attention to detail, and timely and precise follow through.
  • Comfort with and experience in change management and leading teams and groups towards adopting new systems, programs, policies, etc.
  • A passion for physics and to be a part of a world-renowned academic institution.


Key Areas of Responsibilities

Operational Oversight (50%)

  • Lead Advancement Operations team meetings to ensure coordination and timely communication of project management amongst all Advancement staff.
  • Collaborate with the IT department and act as an institutional leader and resident expert regarding the continued evolution and utilization of the Salesforce CRM database; analyze and provide recommendations on future direction of CRM.
  • Act as an institutional leader for data integrity, enhancement and improvement, providing recommendations and/or endorsement of new workflow standards, methodologies and best business practices within and beyond Advancement
  • Oversee, implement and manage all IT project plans associated with Advancement, web-based applications, and any other software used to support the Advancement functions at Perimeter.
  • Lead the Advancement team in the adoption of organizational change and identify and recommend software or data improvement initiatives to Perimeter for consideration.
  • Oversee the design, development, deployment and ongoing training for all Advancement direct reports.
  • Liaise with HR department on staff management activities.
  • Lead the change management process and new training requirements for Advancement staff for all new initiatives within Advancement Operations, including projects led out of other units at Perimeter.

Team Management & Organizational Leadership (20%)

  • Provide strategic leadership and tactical direction to drive team operational, gift administration and prospect research activities.
  • Promote a service-oriented team environment with common goals and standards of operation.
  • Build and foster relationships with the Advancement team and other Perimeter colleagues to strengthen integrated and collaborative fundraising efforts.
  • Build a strong working relationship with other teams across Perimeter: Finance, Information Technology, Marketing, Publications, and Communications.

Financial and Risk Management (20%)

  • Support the Executive Director, Advancement in setting annual department budgets.
  • Establish, communicate, and implement team plans, objectives, and strategies in consultation with the Executive Director, Advancement.
  • Work with the Executive Director, Advancement to communicate clear fundraising performance goals and metrics for the department and implement processes to evaluate and report on departmental fundraising success.
  • Oversee the donation acceptance process including maintenance of donation records, the gift administration of all contributions, official tax receipts, and letters of thanks that ensure CRA compliance.
  • Work with Finance to oversee monthly financial donation reconciliation
  • Oversee all expense management and approvals, including quarterly expense and forecast reconciliation on Advancement expenses.
  • Develop, communicate, implement and maintain sound operating policies and procedures in accordance with CRA requirements and best practices.
  • Ensure protocols are in place, adhering to all legal privacy requirements and ethical standards upheld by regulatory bodies and professional organizations for both Perimeter Institute and US 501(c)(3) Friends of Perimeter Institute.
  • Liaise with Finance on receipting of complex gifts, including gifts in kind, donations of stock, etc.
  • Liaise with legal counsel as required for current and accurate policies and procedures.

Research & Analytics (10%)

  • Provide strategic input and tactical guidance to database and prospect research staff.
  • Oversee the strategic research plan aligned with the overall advancement plan, and assess the impact and effectiveness of research activities.
  • In collaboration with the Advancement team, devise strategies to proactively obtain new prospects in order to ensure a robust and healthy donor pipeline.
  • Develop, implement and manage a comprehensive business analytics program, providing data-driven intelligence to assist fundraising achievements.
  • Lead and direct business intelligence and analytic initiatives with a focus around trend analysis, benchmarking, process improvement and efficiency while maintaining a high level of accuracy.
  • Recommend cultivation, solicitation and stewardship strategies that best link donor interests to organizational needs.
  • Develop and implement processes and procedures to ensure that all qualified leads are managed appropriately towards the best outcome.


Qualifications and Competencies

  • Knowledge of fundraising best practices, and in particular how systems and processes support efforts to identify, develop, and sustain relationships with donors.
  • Deep experience and high level of knowledge maintaining information management systems, CRM management, and creating and implementing related policies and procedures.  Knowledge of Salesforce is an asset.
  • Capacity to analyze, translate and report financial and statistical data.
  • Demonstrated successful project and change management skills.
  • A proven record of facilitating an environment of best practices and standards.
  • Strong administrative and organizational skills with the ability to prioritize work appropriately, and oversee multiple priorities.
  • Excellent communications skills (written and oral), and a demonstrated ability to prepare and present brief but accurate and comprehensive reports to a variety of audiences.
  • Sound judgment and ethical decision-making capabilities.
  • Demonstrated effectiveness working collaboratively among all areas of an organization.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of digital marketing and fundraising are an asset.
  • A university degree in a related field or equivalent experience.
  • Significant previous experience within a not for profit, fundraising environment or an advancement research services environment is required. Experience in a leadership role is an asset.
  • Additional hours of work beyond the standard work week may be required.


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

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the Perimeter Institute. For more information about this unique Advancement opportunity, interested individuals are invited to contact Ayesha Mayan, Senior Search Consultant via email at

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:


Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by May 21, 2019All 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.