Posted On: 2019-12-23
Closing On: 2020-01-31
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management
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Job Description


At the Art Gallery of Ontario, we are seeking a Director, Philanthropy to lead strategy development and implementation of fundraising programs designed to drive growth, build a strong donor pipeline, deepen donor relationships, and provide donors with excellent stewardship.

This is a very exciting time for us. We have a very ambitious plan to become recognized as a global leader in the art world. This is a time that calls for people with bold vision, courage, and an innovative spirit. For this reason, we are seeking a person who can lead with commitment and passion, and who can motivate and engage employees, volunteers and donors in our AGO 2028 vision.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the Director will lead the Philanthropy team that is responsible for generating revenue for annual operations and long-term priorities, including our upcoming campaign. The Director, Philanthropy will consult and collaborate with the CDO, our executive management and leadership volunteers to ensure success in achieving overall financial and non-financial objectives. Also responsible for a personal portfolio of prospects, the Director will partner with our CDO and other senior leaders to formulate and implement customized strategies for acquiring, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors.

We want to attract, nurture and retain a world-class team, and we are looking for someone who can support this goal through practical, inspired leadership. The Director will develop a high-performance Philanthropy team, and will effectively guide and coach this team, providing strategic direction and leadership on the design and delivery of annual campaigns, major gifts, foundation and government grants, and planned giving.

As a member of our Development leadership team, the new Director will play a key role in the planning and execution of tactics for the Development Division as a whole. This is an exciting and unique opportunity for a talented fundraiser and people leader to join a team that is passionate about promoting community, creativity and culture in the city of Toronto and beyond.



We care deeply about our mission of Art, Audience, and Learning. At the AGO, we believe in the transformative power of art.

We recently completed a 10 year visioning exercise AGO 2028 that will see us lead global conversations from Toronto through extraordinary collections, exhibitions and programs, and by reflecting the people who live here. Our path forward is guided by an operational plan with four major strategic drivers – Content & Program, Diversity & Inclusion, Brand & Audience, and Admission - and an ambitious fundraising campaign in support of four grand initiatives.

We change as our city changes. Toronto is one of the world’s most diverse, vibrant and healthy cities, with a distinctive energy that comes from a mix of many different cultures. Toronto stands out as an aspirational example of inclusivity. Looking ahead to the next 10 years, we will harness the energy of Toronto to become among the great global museums, generating and presenting vital collections and exhibitions with significant contemporary relevance.

In the future, we will launch ambitious initiatives that will position the AGO as:

  • A leader in presenting Canadian exhibitions and programs to the world.
  • A partner of choice to leading global museums that will enable us to bring the highest quality exhibitions and programs to the AGO.
  • The beneficiary of outstanding collections of art.
  • A leader in contributing to the global conversation about important issues of our time.

We’ve come a long way since we were founded in 1900. In 2018, we welcomed over one million visitors, the highest annual attendance since our re-opening in 2008. When we announced a bold revamp of our admission model in Spring 2019, the public response was immediate. In the six months since launching our Annual Pass, which is free for visitors aged 25 and under and $35 for those 26 and up, more than 100,000 people have signed up. This has been a significant achievement in making art more accessible to everyone. Annual passholders have doubled our community that already includes approximately 100,000 AGO Members across 55,000 member households – a number that has been maintained over the past five fiscal years. In total, our reachable audience of patrons, members and passholders is now over 250,000, which is larger than that of the MOMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

One of the largest art museums in North America, our collection of over 98,000 works ranges from cutting-edge contemporary art to European masterpieces; from the vast collection by the Group of Seven to works by established and emerging Indigenous Canadian artists; with a photography collection that tracks the impact of the medium; and with focused collections in Gothic boxwood miniatures and Western and Central African art.

With our collection, the gallery focuses on five main areas:

  • Indigenous & Canadian art
  • European art
  • Prints and drawings
  • Photography
  • Modern and contemporary art

We are also a place of education and research for the community and for professionals. We offer courses for families adults, youth, and children, as well as a wide variety of family programs, summer camps, and school programs. The E.P. Taylor Library & Archives is a leading Canadian centre for research in art, with over 300,000 volumes, artist files, and art-related archives and special collections. In addition, the Marvin Gelber Print and Drawing Study Centre is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to the study of prints, drawings and photographs, and houses over 70,000 works which date from the 13th century to the present day.



As a beacon of cultural significance and creative exhibition, we have been supported throughout the years by a generous community of members, patrons and art enthusiasts from across the country. Philanthropic contributions have most recently helped us acquire 246 new works of art, bringing its total collection to just over 98,000 works.

We are grateful for generous contributions from AGO members, donors and private-sector partners. In addition, we are funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, the City of Toronto, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Our Development programs include major gifts, bequests, annual giving and special events, as well as gifts of art and other in-kind donations. Our priorities are also supported through a number of endowment funds, which collectively total nearly $100M. Private sector revenues, including memberships, individual and corporate giving, sponsorships, and fundraising events, represent approximately 30% of total operating revenues.

Currently we raise about $10M per year in philanthropic support for operations, and an additional $5+M in designated funding. This will rise exponentially during our upcoming campaign, which will be the most ambitious in AGO history. Our goal is to raise $500M in capital, endowment, expendible gifts and works of art in support of our 10-year strategic vision.



Annual Report 2017-2018

Business Plan 2017-2018

AGO Leadership Team

AGO Board of Trustees

Transformation AGO: Fact Sheet

AGO Annual Pass



Passionate about art and its positive impact on society, the ideal candidate will be an experienced development leader who will provide strategy and execution to our Philanthropy program. With a proven track record in annual operating fundraising, as well as foundation, major gifts, planned giving and stewardship, the new incumbent will deliver integrated and innovative fundraising programs designed to drive acquisition and growth, build a strong donor pipeline for both annual and campaign giving, deepen donor relationships, and provide donors with excellent stewardship.

The Director, Philanthropy will demonstrate excellent skills in building high value donor relationships and expertise in managing the donor cycle and the growth of our donor base, and actively moving them through to our major gift pipeline. The new incumbent will bring discipline to the enhancement of systems and processes particularly related to annual revenue programs, and will chart a path that will ensure the success of our upcoming campaign. Using their experience with data analysis and segmentation, the Director will focus on creatively increasing the donor base beyond the known and established arts donors in Toronto with a strong emphasis on developing the next generation of philanthropists, and converting our diverse audience into donors.

Demonstrating poise, transparency and a sense of humour, the successful candidate will have the proven ability to effectively lead and develop a high performance team. The ideal candidate will provide both direction and encouragement to our Development team, and will inspire employees to embrace a culture of philanthropy here. Positive and collaborative, the Director will excel at coaching and mentoring, and will support team members and colleagues in developing their skills and finding success. The Director, Philanthropy will also lead by example in demonstrating a creativity, confidence, and resilience in fundraising.

Warm, kind, and collegial, the successful candidate will possess exceptional navigational and interpersonal skills. The ideal candidate will bring a strong curiosity and open mind, and will use these qualities to learn about and demonstrate cultural fluency. Confident, sincere, and appreciative of others, the Director, Philanthropy will develop respectful and productive relationships with colleagues across the organization, and with leadership volunteers, and committees, recognizing that a strong culture of philanthropy is dependent on leveraging the expertise and relationships of others.



Under the general direction of the Chief Development Officer (CDO), the Director, Philanthropy leads the Philanthropy team charged with generating revenue for annual operations and long-term priorities through annual campaigns, major gifts, foundations, government grants, and planned giving, as well as overall stewardship of all donors to the AGO. The Director also leads strategy development and implementation of fundraising programs designed to drive growth, builds a strong donor pipeline, deepen donor relationships, and provides donors with excellent stewardship.

The Director, Philanthropy manages a team of fundraising professionals, as well as a personal portfolio of prospects. In addition, the Director formulates, executes and evaluates strategies for acquiring, cultivating and soliciting prospects in partnership with the CDO and senior leaders.

As a member of the Development leadership team, the Director, Philanthropy plays a key role in planning and execution for the Division. The Director consults and collaborates with the CDO, the Development leadership team, AGO executive management and leadership volunteers to achieve Development’s overall financial and non-financial objectives.

Strategic Leadership

  • In consultation with the CDO, leads the creation and implementation of multi-year strategic objectives and annual business plans for philanthropic giving, including annual individual and major gifts, foundations, grants and planned giving.
  • Collaborates with colleagues across the Gallery to ensure philanthropic support of institutional priorities and alignment with existing Gallery assets and programs.
  • Designs programs, pricing, benefits and promotional plans to maximize philanthropic opportunities.
  • Identifies and oversees the implementation of effective strategies and tactics for developing a robust annual and mid-level giving program.
  • Develops strong working relationships with the AGO Leadership Team and managers from various departments nurturing a culture of philanthropy across the organization.
  • Contributes to the development of the annual Development budget, and monitors budget and plan throughout the year in consultation with the CDO, staff and Development Operations team.
  • Participates as a division representative on Gallery groups and committees as assigned by the CDO. Acts as a senior Gallery representative at external functions as required.
  • Partners with the Campaign Director to identify strategies to increase annual giving support for the campaign, identify and migrate donors to major gifts, and promote, recognize and celebrate the campaign within Development and across the gallery.

Team Management

  • Plans and oversees the appropriate resourcing of work, and the development of skills, systems and procedures to achieve departmental goals and financial targets.
  • Provides mentorship and guidance to employees, focused on hiring and retaining talent, and managing a high-performance team for optimal results.
  • Ensures ongoing support for Philanthropy team through effective training and development, and opportunities that promote job satisfaction and professional excellence.

Fundraising and Revenue Generation

  • In collaboration with Campaign Director, leads Philanthropy team in identifying and cultivating a robust prospect pipeline for mid-level and major gifts through individual portfolio management as well as a variety of donor programs and touchpoints.
  • Actively manages a personal portfolio of prospects and donors, and partners with relationship managers in other AGO departments to deepen relationships with donors and secure gifts.
  • Works directly with AGO trustees, volunteers, and members of the AGO senior team to effectively engage, coach, and support them in fundraising, ensuring they are strategically integrated and effectively prepared to contribute to the fundraising effort.
  • Oversees planning and implementation of stewardship and recognition programs to ensure the highest standards of donor experience, and clearly articulates the impact of their giving.
  • In consultation with the Development Operations team, employs advanced techniques in research and data analytics towards the development of a strong acquisition strategy, migrating members to donors and upward, and driving revenue through segmentation and customized communications.
  • Regularly evaluates fundraising program effectiveness and efficiency, introducing new strategies and course-correcting to deliver best results.
  • Works closely with the Associate Director, Development Operations to ensure prospect identification, clearance and management systems are being utilized effectively and serving Philanthropy team objectives.
  • In partnership with the Marketing team and Development writer, oversees the development of compelling, high quality fundraising materials that communicate the AGO’s brand and value proposition to prospects, and clearly articulate to donors the impact of their generosity towards the AGO.
  • Supports the CDO in management of Philanthropy Working Committee, including objective-setting, meeting preparation, ongoing communications with volunteers, and facilitating their engagement in AGO philanthropy and donor stewardship.



  • Significant experience in a fundraising role at a senior level, with a proven record of success in revenue growth and innovation in a leadership capacity within annual, mid-level and major gift fundraising.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of effective and meaningful donor recognition programs, high-end patron’s programs and affinity groups.
  • Experience initiating, analyzing, monitoring, evaluating and altering strategic fundraising and stewardship plans.
  • Demonstrated, well developed communication skills (written and verbal) including experience in creating and presenting compelling proposals to donors.
  • Well-developed ability to be creative and innovative with respect to prospect identification, cultivation and solicitation.
  • Demonstrated track record of effective, successful management of senior volunteers in various roles and capacities.
  • Experience building a strong fundraising team; coaching and mentoring fundraising employees to improve their skills and build their career.
  • Experience developing and managing program budgets.
  • Well-organized, detail-oriented, effective at follow-through and priority setting.
  • Effective comprehension and application of confidentiality and diplomacy.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills including effective relationship building and the ability to relate effectively with individuals and employees at all levels.
  • Well-developed computer literacy including proficient use of Microsoft Office Suite, Raiser’s Edge or other donor database management systems.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of CRA guidelines; general understanding of current finance and accounting principles in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Experience working in a unionized environment would be an asset.
  • While knowledge of art is not a ‘must have’, an authentic interest in and passion for art is a requirement in this role.
  • A university degree or a combination of comparable skills and experience.
  • CFRE designation is considered an asset, along with being in good standing with the ethical codes of one or more of the following organizations: AFP, AHP, CAGP, CCAE.
  • Ability to work occasional overtime and weekends or evening hours.
  • Occasional travel is required in this position, and thus a valid driver’s license and passport are required.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the Art Gallery of Ontario. For more information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Tara George, Partner / Lead, KCI Search + Talent or Kara Spedding, Senior Consultant by email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. To apply, please send a resume and letter of interest, to the email address listed above by January 31, 2020.

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:

The AGO is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment. In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights, Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act & the AGO’s Recruitment & Selection Policy for Staff, a request for accommodation will be considered throughout the hiring process.