Posted On: 2020-04-29
Closing On: 2020-06-05
Location: Toronto, ON
Effective: July/August 2020
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
Download File

Job Description

Position Overview

Organization: Luminato Festival Toronto  

Title: Chief Development Officer

Reports to: Chief Executive Officer

Team: 5, 2 direct 3 indirect 

Location: 180 Shaw Street, Suite 301, Toronto, Ontario, M6J 2W5

Is this you?

You are reading this Position Profile because it is entirely possible you could become the next Chief Development Officer at Luminato Festival Toronto. Consideration for the role starts with your own – objective – personal analysis.

In other words, are you the right fit – an experienced hands-on fundraising executive who has significant experience securing large gifts and building and leading a high-performance fundraising team? You are a proud supporter of the arts community in Canada and would be motivated to be part of a team dedicated to raising the profile of the arts in Toronto and Canada. In the wake of COVID-19, you want to be part of bringing Toronto back to life.

You are a natural storyteller - a connector with no ego. You have an executive presence and feel comfortable in any environment – from high rise boardrooms in downtown Toronto, pitching top executives on their corporate support, to rolling up your sleeves and stuffing envelopes with your team, you can and will do it all. That, to you, is what being a team player is all about. You are known by your peers and by people who have worked for you as a bridge builder. You listen, take suggestions, and collaborate. You do not need or want to see your name in lights – in fact, you would rather let your team have the glory! You lead from behind and because of your style, folks trust you, regardless if they work on your team or in another department. As a result, you get it done.

Above all, you are an excellent fundraiser, especially fundraising involving major gifts from individuals, corporations or foundations. Donors respect and appreciate you because you build lasting relationships that are built on trust and integrity. You are not ‘salesy’; you are authentic, passionate, and real. You bring an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising that creatively matches donor interests with organizational needs.

Senior volunteers and board members speak of you with admiration and respect. They would say that you were a true partner in their own philanthropic journey – as ultimately you respect that they are volunteers. You respectfully find ways to utilize the gifts and talents of your board and involving volunteers in creative ways that resonate with their why.

You are data driven and grounded in strategy. You have extensive experience partnering with your leadership and the board on developing philanthropic strategies designed to maximize financial commitments for your organization across all philanthropic verticals.

If you want to join an organization that will contribute to the re-birth of a city post one of our world’s most difficult times, what are you waiting for?

The Organization

Luminato is Toronto’s international arts festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts, and programming that cuts across traditional artform boundaries. Working closely with Canadian artists to support the development and creation of distinctive new works, the festival also presents today’s most exciting artists from around the world. Luminato will celebrate its 15th anniversary in June 2021.

The 2019 Festival was an incredible 17 days in 23 venues across the city, showcasing approximately 660 artists and staging 191 performances and events including 11 premieres and 6 Luminato commissions. The June 2020 Festival, which was scheduled to take place June 11 – 28, 2020, was cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luminato is currently working on producing a two- to four-day virtual event for June 2020.

Created in 2007 as a pioneering city-building initiative post SARS, to date Luminato has reached over 10,000,000 people, bringing to Toronto over 16,000 artists from 40 countries, while investing over 60% of its budget in supporting and presenting Canadian culture and contributing $1.1 billion to the Canadian economy. In its first decade, Luminato became one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, with a respected place in the network of leading international arts festivals around the world. Now in its second decade, Luminato is a locally rooted, globally connected festival with a distinctly Toronto personality.

Luminato Festival Toronto showcases Canadian artists to the world and, through the presentation of outstanding international artists, connects those local voices with global conversations. The festival has also become one of Canada’s most active commissioning bodies, having commissioned close to 100 new works covering all art forms. Luminato is committed to continually deepening and enriching its year-round engagement with the local community, and to increasing tourist visitation by creating and offering authentic Canadian experiences. The festival shines a bright spotlight on Toronto as an excitingly diverse 21st-century global city, rich in creativity and ambition. It fosters pride in the city, proudly contributing to raising Toronto’s profile on the world stage.

The Position

The Chief Development Officer will drive the philanthropic vision for Luminato Festival Toronto in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer and the highly accomplished and well-respected Board of Directors. They will advance the organization’s mission and key objectives as well as strengthen the organization’s profile by delivering results through collaboration.

Our candidate will possess a love of the arts and will be inspired by Luminato Festival Toronto’s mission. Our Chief Development Officer will be a strategic thinker and a highly proficient fundraiser who will identify and develop opportunities to drive success in an integrated advancement environment.

The Chief Development Officer will be poised, confident and self-assured. They will build and nurture long lasting relationships with donors and sponsors and will effectively lead and manage the efforts of senior level volunteers. Organized, yet flexible and responsive, the new Chief Development Officer will apply rigor and analysis to guide and direct major gift activities, with a commitment to achieving and surpassing fundraising targets. Comfortable with decision making and calm under pressure, the successful candidate will be a team player who embraces collaboration.  

A proven people leader, the Chief Development Officer will inherit a team of five. 

The Ideal Candidate

Our successful Chief Development Officer will possess a passion for arts philanthropy and a strong understanding of donor relationship management, professionalism, excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills. They will be a proven people leader, a strategic thinker, and an executor. They will be well respected in the philanthropy community and will have a track-record of building high performance fundraising teams; will have a skill and passion for doing fundraising personally and for building long lasting relationships with donors and sponsors.

Authentic leadership capacity

  • Believes in the power and collective impact of exceptional teams and the importance of collaboration both with the philanthropy team and all key stakeholders— “we” is greater than “I”
  • Not content with the status quo—has the grit roll up their sleeves attitude and leads across the team to help achieve bold objectives
  • Experience coaching and building high performance teams

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

Business Acumen

Must Have:

  • Significant Major Gift leadership giving experience with a track record of success
  • Experience crafting a 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 capacity and network

Strongly Preferred:

  • 10+ years of progressive experience in all aspects of 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 donor”
  • Understands sales, sales process and forecasting
  • Experience working on landmark fundraising campaigns would be an asset


Must Have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or comparable experience

Strongly Preferred:

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

Application Instructions

Luminato Festival Toronto hires based on merit and is strongly committed to equality and diversity within its community and to a welcoming and inclusive workplace. Luminato Festival Toronto especially welcomes applications from Indigenous persons, visible minority group members, women, persons with disabilities, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.

If you are looking for an outstanding challenge, working with a great team for a very important, uniquely focused organization then what are you waiting for? Apply now by emailing your CV and Cover Letter to Lindsay Preston at We thank all those interested in this opportunity and to all those who will apply. Please note only qualified respondents will be contacted. The application deadline is June 5, 2020.