Posted On: 2020-03-16
Closing On: 2020-03-30
Location: Toronto, ON
Effective: May 4, 2020
Employment Type: Contract
Level: Intermediate

Job Description

Manager, Annual Giving

About CIFAR:

CIFAR convenes extraordinary minds to address science and humanity’s most important questions. 

By supporting long-term interdisciplinary collaboration, CIFAR provides researchers with an unparalleled environment of trust, transparency and knowledge sharing. Our time-tested model inspires new directions of inquiry, accelerates discovery and yields breakthroughs across borders and academic disciplines. Through knowledge mobilization, we are catalysts for change in industry, government, and society. CIFAR’s community of fellows includes 20 Nobel laureates and 400 researchers from 22 countries. In 2017, the Government of Canada appointed CIFAR to develop and lead the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence (AI) Strategy.

CIFAR has had a significant impact on the way the world understands such critical issues as early child and brain development, artificial intelligence, building stronger societies, and many others. Our impact comes both from our long-term commitment to leading edge research and our efforts to connect stakeholders with the knowledge our programs produce.

Purpose of Position:

This is a 20-month maternity leave, contract position.

Reporting to the Director, Advancement, the Manager, Annual Giving will play an important role in helping achieve annual fundraising goals and building the major gift pipeline from individuals, corporations and foundations up to $25K. This role will also oversee the campaigns that engage CIFAR staff, Board and Fellows, and are actively identifying donors who have the capacity and inclination to be major and planned gift prospects. This role is responsible for developing the strategy and plan for Knowledge Circle as an effective donor cultivation and stewardship program. 


Lead the strategy and execution of annual giving to achieve revenue and relationship goals:

  • Develop and implement the Annual Giving plan to identify, cultivate and solicit new and renewing donors, and provide appropriate stewardship to all donors under $25K
  • Develop targeted appeals for staff, Board and Fellow campaigns
  • Build relationships to understand donors within this portfolio better with the aim of retaining and increasing their support, and ultimately moving up to major or planned giving
  • Actively develop and identify annual donors with major or planned gift capacity
  • Proactively plan all work required to achieve all deliverables for annual giving campaign, especially where other departments and colleagues are involved
  • Liaise with other team members and other departments to coordinate campaign elements
  • Monitor and coordinate with the Communications Team, timely website content updates to implement

Lead the strategy and execution of a robust Knowledge Circle program:

  • Clearly define the objectives of the Knowledge Circle program, evaluate results annually and adjust strategies as required
  • Develop strategic approaches for cultivation and stewardship of major and planned gift prospects and donors through the Knowledge Circle program
  • In partnership with the Director, Advancement, develop compelling opportunities for donor and prospect engagement in CIFAR’s mission through Knowledge Circle activities and initiatives

Support the strategy and execution of Major and Planned Giving campaigns:

  • Support the Director and Vice President in implementing plans, strategies and tactics for all donors (i.e. gift agreements, coordination of donor meeting materials from key contributors)
  • Work with Director to identify and cultivate prospects for major and planned gifts

Maintain a deep understanding of CIFAR’s mission, approach and impacts to creatively relay benefits to donors and prospective donors:

  • Communicate regularly with colleagues in Advancement and beyond to be well-informed of donor interests and needs
  • Build relationships and work collaboratively with the Research, Knowledge Mobilization and Communications teams to gain and maintain a thorough understanding of existing and emerging work to convey the impact convincingly and appropriately to donors
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of CIFAR’s strategic directions, programs, issues and initiatives to accurately share information with donors
  • Foster productive working relationships across the organization and act as a conduit for information sharing 
  • Actively identify opportunities to share relevant information with donors by contributing to the donor communications and engagement calendar
  • Stay up-to-date with industry best practices and innovations in donor identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship

Participate as a key member of the Advancement Team to contribute to departmental and organizational success: 

  • Uphold established best practices in managing donor information in the database, especially timely updates on donor interactions and upcoming or completed activities
  • Contribute to building a culture of philanthropy
  • Take initiative when an opportunity or issue presents itself 
  • Assist or lead other fundraising projects and perform other duties as assigned


Education/Experience required:

  • University degree/college diploma or equivalent combination of education and experience, in a related field
  • 2-4 years relevant and progressive experience in a fundraising role 

Core Professional/Technical Knowledge & Skills required for the position:

  • Excellent communicator with the ability to build relationships and generate revenue
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and very strong person to person relationship-building skills
  • Knowledge of the philanthropic community and best practices in major gift fundraising 
  • Demonstrated integrity and a commitment to the AFP Code of Ethical Principles and Standards; CFRE is an asset
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Office and Google suites of products
  • Comfort with databases as a key tool for building relationships; experience with SalesForce is an asset
  • Good understanding of current finance and accounting principles and regulations in the not-for-profit sector


  • Ability to understand complex scientific information and translate into clear and inspiring explanations and messages that will garner donor support
  • Collaborative team player focused on contributing to departmental and organizational objectives
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with an ability to interact effectively with individuals across the organization
  • Flexible and adaptable with the ability to work under pressure, meet deadlines and handle conflicting priorities with ease
  • Exemplary attention to detail and accuracy, with excellent planning, organizational and time management skills
  • Strong work ethic, professional integrity, initiative-taker
  • Discretion and tact in handling highly sensitive or confidential information 
  • Passion for science and/or experience working with the scientific community is an asset 

Position reports to: Director, Advancement 

Term of position:  This is a 20-month maternity leave, contract position      

Start date: As soon as possible

Contact:  Please send resume and cover letter in confidence to quoting Manager, Annual Giving in the Subject Line.  The deadline for submitting your application is March 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm. 

To find out more, please visit our website:

One of CIFAR's core cultural values is Diversity - we value diversity and aspire to be inclusive in all aspects of our work.  CIFAR is an equal employment opportunity employer and is strongly committed to removing systemic barriers and biases, and by promoting the practice of inclusivity, so that all individuals have equal access to and benefit from the work we do.  We encourage applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to diversity within our organization.

ACCESSIBILITY FOR APPLICANTS WITH DISABILITIES - CIFAR is committed to providing accommodations throughout the recruitment and selection process to applicants with disabilities, in accordance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, and the Ontario Human Rights Code. To request a reasonable accommodation, please email and include the term 'Accessibility' in the Subject Line, or call 416-971-4251. Please provide your name, preferred contact method, and a detailed description of the nature of any accommodation that you may require. Please include any materials or processes that may be used to ensure your equal participation.

CIFAR frequently communicates in both official languages and our preference is to hire employees who are fluent in both English and French where possible.  Other languages are also considered an asset. For a French version of the job posting, please visit

We thank you for your interest in working at CIFAR. All applications will be reviewed, however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted via email.