Posted On: 2020-02-03
Closing On: 2020-02-14
Location: Toronto, ON
Effective: March 2020
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Management

Job Description

Is this you?

Are you a passionate fundraiser who has experience leading development, communications, community engagement and strategic initiatives? Do you have a deep interest in youth welfare, social justice and ending youth homelessness?

You have a high tolerance for ambiguity, specifically during transitional phases. You aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and get into the ‘weeds.’ You consider yourself to be a fundraising generalist…you’ve done a bit of everything. You have experience that spans from annual giving programs through to securing gifts from high net worth individuals and government at all levels. To that end, you consider yourself a strong writer who adapts to their audience appropriately. You have a comfort level with events and appreciate the work that goes into planning and executing a successful one.

Your peers would say that you have a high attention to detail – you can pick up on things that most wouldn’t. You are known in your organization for being on top of the numbers. For example, if quizzed with no notice on the size of revenue, where it was coming from and how it’s being spent, you’d be able to rhyme the figures off…while comparing them against the year before with ease.

You have either reported directly to a board or have worked closely with a leader who has exposed you to your organizations board where appropriate. You also have experience working directly with senior volunteers and associated committees. You are a strong leader – your people say you are a joy to work with (not for). You are known for your positive can-do roll up your sleeves attitude, you approach your work with a glass half full mentality and finally – you are deeply committed to your organizations mission.

You are a serious fundraiser, decision-maker, strategist and event-planner. You know data and numbers cold. You are a community based professional and are the first one to raise your hand when something needs to get done.

If this sounds like you, please read on…

The Organization

Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth. YWS is dedicated to providing shelter and support programs for homeless youth ages 16­-24. They provide an independent shelter, committed to diverse client ­focused services, in a safe, non­judgmental environment. Their programs enable youth to live responsibly and independently in society.  

The ultimate vision is Ending homelessness…one youth at a time, one step at a time.

In 1986, a group of teachers and guidance counsellors created Youth without Shelter as they were frustrated with the lack of safe, emergency housing and support programs for their students. Since that time YWS has helped more than 15,000 homeless youth to build their confidence and life-skills and to find long-term stable housing and jobs. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, YWS are dedicated to providing shelter and support programs in a safe environment, with the goal of getting youth off the streets permanently.

Strategic approach: Strength-­based (Resilience) Model of Care

Building upon a solid base of programs and services the strategic approach at YWS is to ensure that every youth has the support and encouragement to develop to his/her potential. All programs and operations are designed and conducted in a manner that is youth-centric. 

A strength-­based (resilience) Model of Care is the foundation to the best possible successful future for the young people in YWSs care. 

Youth who come to YWS arrive with the label of “homeless” with all the negative connotations that come along with it, consequently self­-esteem and confidence is low. The strength-­based (resilience) Model of Care focuses on young peoples’ strengths: building a safe community within YWS’ walls where talking, listening and sharing are productive; and giving youth the opportunity to develop the integral skills and confidence to navigate the world and overcome their challenges.

Youth Without Shelter provides trauma informed care as a core principle of operations. For service providers to become effective with individuals in their care, there has to be a “needs based” planning, not only at a client level but at a program and system level. Majority of the youth YWS serves have had to deal with overwhelming personal experiences that may have changed their perception about life. YWS’ goal is to have a support system that will empower young people to succeed and help them transition from a post-traumatic state to post-traumatic growth.

The Position

Our successful candidate will be inheriting a highly functioning portfolio that has been expertly stewarded by the outgoing, long term and very respected staff member who is retiring. The incoming Director of Philanthropy & Engagement will have the operational responsibility of fundraising and resource development, engagement activities and marketing and outreach communications. Our successful candidate will join the senior leadership team at YWS and will report to the Executive Director and will also have a reporting responsibility to the Board of Directors. They’ll manage the Development & Engagement Committee of the board and will also ‘own’ board recruitment for this area.

YWS has recently completed a strategic plan and through this process have identified Major Gifts as an area of need for the organization. Therefore, our successful candidate will have experience building a Major Giving program, either by designing a successful program themselves or working directly alongside a manager who was responsible for the design. They’ll be a proven fundraiser and will have experience securing gifts not only from individual but from corporate and foundation as well. They’ll be highly relational, a true team player and someone who passionately lives the values of YWS. Experience in events will also be an asset for this individual.

Our successful candidate will inherit a highly functioning team. Our candidate will be a strong and well-respected leader of people and will act as a coach and mentor to their inherited team.

Above all, our successful candidate will be deeply committed to the vision and mission of YWS and will strive each day to inflict as much positive change on the organization and the youth they serve as possible.

Primary Accountabilities

Strategic leadership, fundraising planning and management

  • Create, implement and evaluate annual fundraising plans and strategies needed to maintain and expand the fundraising program.
  • Coordinate plan and strategies with the Executive Director, Board of Directors and Development & Engagement Committee.
  • Develop appropriate revenue goals and metrics for fundraising programs: monitor and report on the primary fundraising programs and their progress against goals.
  • Ensure that all fundraising efforts are within ethical, fiscal and legal standards and operating within Youth Without Shelter’s values and mission.
  • Develop and maintain donor, prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and recognition activities that will enhance fund raising activities.
  • Work with the Leadership Team to ensure their programs can maximize donor engagement and fundraising opportunities. Provide leadership to both the Board of Directors and the Leadership Team in building a culture of philanthropy within Youth Without Shelter.
  • Develop and lead the donor and sponsor engagement strategy.

Coordinate Special Event Activities

  • Work closely with the Development & Engagement Committee in soliciting and considering ideas for special event fundraising activities.
  • With Development & Engagement Committee, coordinate all aspects of fundraising special events or promotional events including planning, budgeting, implementation and follow-up.
  • With the Committee and Development & Engagement Team seek additional groups to conduct and grow third party event revenue stream.

Manage Individual Giving Programs

  • Plan and conduct e-philanthropy strategies (including direct marketing solicitations 2-4 times annually).
  • Ensure timely and accurate recording and receipting of all donations (financial and in-kind).
  • Analyze donor base to plan and maintain appropriate segmentation, update addresses, identify potential monthly or leadership donors.
  • Guide the growth of monthly and individual giving.
  • Coordinate the active identification, cultivation, solicitation, stewardship and recognition of leadership and/or monthly givers.
  • Establish and implement a leadership giving (sustainable funding model) program.

Lead and manage fundraising/marketing/outreach communications

  • Oversee the creation and distribution of the YWS newsletter and e-communications.
  • Maintain and grow YWS’s social media voice including emerging technologies to share the impact of giving to Youth Without Shelter. 
  • Administer and update the YWS website and all YWS event websites.
  • Attend (or schedule others to attend) selected networking events and other functions to promote community awareness.
  • Represent (or schedule others to represent) YWS at selected speaking engagements to promote the organization. 
  • Develop and produce the annual impact report, other marketing collateral, and key messages in support of YWS’s fundraising and outreach activities.

Coordinate Corporate/Organizational Engagement, United Way and Grant Funding

  • Develop and execute annual plans to identify, solicit and cultivate relationships with businesses, groups/clubs, and faith communities.
  • Grow annual giving amounts by organizations, faith communities, corporations, etc.
  • Integrate strategies for outreach to diverse communities.
  • Prospect, identify, cultivate and make application for grant and United Way funding and provide ongoing stewardship of grantors and United Way.

Establish and Maintain Volunteer Engagement Support

  • Coordinate and provide support to the Development & Engagement Committee.
  • With the Engagement Specialist develop annual engagement plan and identify opportunities to enhance the YWS Engagement Program.

Supervise Development & Engagement Staff

  • Provide supervision, support and training to development and engagement staff.
  • Recruit and hire staff as needed.
  • Provide ongoing feedback and conduct annual written performance reviews.
  • Ensure staff are knowledgeable about, and complying with, all YWS policies and procedures and that they are working in according to YWS’ mission and values.

Maintain Positive Resident Relationships

  • Conduct all interactions with residents in a manner that imparts dignity and understanding.
  • Develop positive, productive, professional relationships with the residents.
  • Encourage and inspire residents to achieve their potential. Convey belief in their ability to achieve their goals. 
  • Be a positive role model for the residents in all shelter related activities.

The Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate will possess:

  • Ability to demonstrate strong communications skills, both written and verbal. Strategic, compassionate communications skills. Ability to create compelling grant solicitation and donor stewardship and recognition communications.
  • Maintains a professional stance and encourages professionalism in all fundraising activities.
  • Maintains cordial, productive working relationships with other staff and volunteers while adhering at all times to strict confidentially of privileged management and donor information.
  • Establishes and maintains positive and productive working relationships with a cross section of publics including donors, community groups, volunteers and staff.
  • Demonstrates creativity and flexibility.
  • Accepts responsibility for actions and demonstrates initiative for professional growth.
  • Prioritizes responsibilities and exhibits time management skills.
  • Acts with integrity and resourcefulness.
  • Committed to the mission and values of the organization.
  • Strong word processing, database and web site management skills.
  • Minimum of five years fundraising/resource development leadership experience with measurable outcomes.

If you are interested in joining a focused organization dedicated to impacting positive change in the lives of Youth, what are you waiting for? Apply now by emailing your cover letter and CV to Lindsay Preston at

Please note, applications will be accepted until Friday, February 14, 2020. Only qualified applicants will be contacted.