Posted On: 2020-04-28
Closing On: 2020-05-27
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
Download File

Job Description


North York General Foundation (NYGF) is seeking a new Vice President, Communications and Donor Experience to develop and lead an integrated, multi-channel strategy focused on driving revenue growth, enhancing the brand, and elevating donor engagement to support one of Newsweek’s top 5 hospitals in Canada two years in a row and among the top 100 globally. Making a World of Difference to patients and their families is what drives our passion for health care philanthropy.

The Vice President will provide leadership in developing and implementing strategies for marketing and communications to support revenue generation, brand building and donor engagement activities. This role will directly oversee marketing, communications, special events, direct response, and donor relations.

The Vice President, Communications and Donor Experience will be a savvy and proven marketing and communications specialist with a strong background in developing innovative and integrated plans to: support revenue generation across all fundraising channels; build the Foundation’s digital footprint and influence; strengthen the NYGH brand in partnership with the hospital; enhance the donor experience at all levels; and position the Foundation to launch one of the largest capital campaigns in the Greater Toronto Area. 

Reporting to the Foundation President and CEO and leading a team of eight, the Vice President will serve as a key member of the Foundation’s senior leadership team and will hold critical relationships with prospective and current donors, board members, physicians, medical staff, and senior team members.



North York General Hospital (NYGH), affiliated with the University of Toronto, is one of Canada's leading community academic hospitals. We offer our culturally diverse community a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services across multiple sites. Through partnerships, collaboration and academic endeavours, we seek to set new standards for patient- and family-centred care. Working together with our patients and their families, we are making a world of difference.

We provide an exceptional care experience for our patients and their families and have proudly served our diverse communities in North Toronto, and beyond, since 1968.

The hospital partners with 36 different academic institutions, including the University of Toronto, to prepare future physicians, nurses and other health care professionals to work in interprofessional teams, providing essential care in a community hospital setting. NYGH programs are the training site for four core clerkship programs and we provide a site for core rotations to 22 different University of Toronto Residency Programs. Over 300 North York General physicians have faculty appointments at the University of Toronto. Each year, 1,200 nursing students come here to learn and develop their clinical skills.

Our staff, physicians and volunteers have a history of transforming health care to better serve our patients. We are leaders who adopt the most innovative health information technology, strategists who carefully chart patient flow and find ways to reduce wait times, and visionaries who dream of, and work towards, the ideal patient experience. From boardroom to bedside, we go above and beyond to offer the best and safest care. We put our patients first in everything we do.

In 2019, North York General Hospital was ranked the second best hospital in Canada by Newsweek Magazine and scored in the Top 100 in the world. In 2020, North York General remained in the top 5 in Canada and the top 100 globally.

Areas of Care

North York General Hospital provides a wide range of acute care, ambulatory and long-term care services at multiple sites. Our goal is to provide an exceptional care experience for our patients and their families. Everyone's role at our hospital contributes to our shared purpose of providing patient- and family-centred care.

In 2019, we embarked on the next stage of our evolution as a community academic hospital through three key planning initiatives:

New Strategy Planning:  Our roadmap for several years to drive decision-making.

Master Planning: A long-term plan for the hospital that includes infrastructure and service delivery.

Ontario Health Team Planning: Partnering with our community on a proposed new model of integrated care delivery.

These initiatives are all part of an organization-wide focus of planning for the future that has steadily gained momentum. With one of the fastest growing populations in the Greater Toronto Area — and one of the oldest — NYGH is facing unprecedented patient volumes and demand for services in a facility built more than 50 years ago. It’s vital we anticipate our patient populations’ needs to ensure we continue to meet them — tomorrow, next year, and 20 years from now.



Our mission is to raise and steward funds that enable North York General to deliver exceptional health care to our diverse communities.

Exceptional care requires exceptional support. At North York General Foundation, we know this to be true, which is why we are grateful to every one of our supporters who understand the central role that North York General plays in caring for our community.

The current $180M campaign was established when the $150M campaign was met a year early and there were additional hospital priorities which could be captured within the framework of a campaign. In late 2018, we announced a new goal of $180M and to date the Campaign has raised $174M.

The Foundation supports our hospital’s most urgent needs, including equipment replacement and upgrades, capital projects, and funding our applied research institute and educational awards. We look beyond the needs of the day to day and seek to invest in programs and infrastructure that will transform how our hospital delivers care and this improved care can be replicated and scaled across Canada.

This past year we have witnessed the greatest number of concurrent capital projects since the hospital opened 51 years ago. And all this progress was made possible by donor support and a strong partnership between the Hospital and the Foundation, especially planning and redevelopment. In fact, we granted $13.5M to the hospital to fund capital improvements, equipment and technology, and research, education and innovation – the highest in our history.

There are a number of new projects, totally driven by philanthropy, which concern mental health care in emergency medicine and additional technology in our medical imaging department. A new Revenue Generation Strategy to support this transition has been developed and will be delivered to the Board in May 2020. These projects will bridge the end of this current campaign while we develop capacity, gauge community interest and ability to support a mega campaign. Developing a compelling case for support and associated messaging for the next campaign is a critical aspect of this role.

For more information about North York General Hospital and its Foundation, please visit:



The Vice President, Communications and Donor Experience will be a growth minded, forward thinking and ambitious leader with a passion for healthcare who will bring marketing, communications, and brand building capability to further raise the profile of one of the top hospitals in Canada. 

A highly competent and experienced marketing and communications strategist, the new incumbent will bring expertise in enhancing brand awareness including a consistent look and feel that aligns with the accomplishments and positive reputation of the hospital and proactively engages audiences and stakeholders. In a tremendously competitive philanthropic environment, the new Vice President will be someone willing to take smart risks and leverage past success to even greater benefit. The ability to build the digital and social assets to support revenue, events, and profile in the community will be a top priority.  

The successful candidate will bring their expertise in social and digital to all revenue channels and be competent in performance-based and data led strategies and plans. Equally well versed in donor and/or customer mapping and how to engage stakeholders along their journey, the ideal candidate will enhance the full donor experience from their first interaction to each subsequent touchpoint and connection with the Hospital and Foundation.

Equally well versed in donor and/or customer mapping and how to engage stakeholders along their journey, the ideal candidate will enhance the full donor experience from their first interaction to each subsequent touchpoint and connection with the Hospital and Foundation.

Positive and optimistic, the new incumbent will be adaptive to change and thrive in a fast-paced environment. The ideal candidate will be creative in the face of a challenge, responsive in a crisis, and proactively seize opportunities to mobilize fundraising efforts that enable donors and the community to support the important work of the hospital. The new Vice President will bring a service orientation and a strong project management focus, in order to develop, drive and execute a complex, comprehensive, and demanding communications calendar. 

With an ability to build strong relationships with influencers in the hospital and act as a partner for the Chief Communications Officer and senior executives, the successful candidate will collaborate with the hospital on messaging and positioning. An understanding of the hospital environment will be an asset.

Genuine and caring, the new Vice President will be a team player with the ability to lead and mobilize an engaged and collegial staff with diverse backgrounds, skills sets, and levels of experience. A supportive leader capable of assessing and deploying resources appropriately in order to get the most out of his or her team, the ideal candidate will creatively and expertly manage multiple priorities and demonstrate a model of accountability and oversight. Leading by example, the successful candidate must love to roll up their sleeves and work alongside their staff and peers in a hands-on environment.



Strategic Leadership:

  • Provide vision, leadership, planning, management, execution and evaluation of all aspects of the Foundation’s marketing and communications strategy and donor engagement framework.
  • Collaborate as a member of the Senior Leadership Team on the Foundation’s annual plan, goals and strategies.
  • Responsible for developing and managing the annual Marketing & Communications and Donor Relations departments’ budgets.
  • Lead the development of creative and meaningful giving opportunities, cases for support, and communications/stewardship materials intended to attract significant, long-term donors.
  • Manage and/or participate in relevant committees and sub-committees of the Board of Directors.
  • Set clear priorities and KPIs for program success, and measure progress with a focus on ROI in an annual business plan.
  • Liaise, collaborate, and partner with the hospital Chief Communications Officer and participate in relevant hospital groups and committees.
  • Incorporate NYGF’s support for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a ‘growth mindset’ into internal and external strategies, team management, and all other initiatives. 

Marketing, Communications and Revenue Generation:

  • Develop comprehensive plans which support the Foundation’s future strategies and align with the Hospital’s new strategic plan and purpose statement.
  • Create direction and oversee all aspects of marketing and communications including brand development and consistency, advertising, promotion, experiential, collateral, market research and digital and social media.
  • Oversee the development and direct the implementation of strategic donor communications including coordinating web and social media sites, donor and impact reports, e-communication, gift acknowledgements, event invitations, newsletter updates, and fundraising campaign materials.
  • Develop and diversify direct response strategies to acquire new donors, leverage new and optimize existing channels, re-engage lapsed donors, and retain existing donors and support their movement through the donor pipeline.
  • Develop KPIs to evaluate marketing initiatives, including post-program analysis and course correction through review of budget variance, earned media, awareness, web, social share, and other digital metrics.
  • Accountable for event and 3rd party marketing strategies to maximize revenue opportunities and enhance presence within the community.
  • Manage integrated Hospital-Foundation rollout of campaigns and initiatives, ensuring alignment.

Donor Experience:

  • In partnership with the VP, Philanthropy and the Director, Donor Relations & Events, develop and implement a stewardship and donor relationship plan with measurable goals and strategies to maximize major and transformational gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Build out the stewardship program to engage donors in the life of the Hospital and position NYGF in the marketplace as the hospital providing ‘best in class’ donor experience.
  • Assess and develop an ambitious program of stewardship and recognition, including a review of the effectiveness of current efforts and where development and implementation of new programs would be most beneficial.
  • Support differentiated donor relations strategies across channels of giving i.e. major, annual, planned giving.

Team Management:

  • Manage the marketing, communications, donor relations, and events teams. Responsible for all aspects of recruiting, managing, motivating, and developing an effective and efficient team.
  • Administer regular performance evaluations, provide training, mentorship, and coaching, and encourage team members in the achievement of individual, departmental and foundation goals.
  • Working with HR, develop long term resourcing strategies to ensure the team is properly resourced to achieve long term revenue growth goals. Develop on-boarding and succession plans to ensure program continuity and donor centric engagement/long term loyalty.



  • Progressive leadership experience, with a proven track record in fundraising communication and direct marketing, ideally within a hospital, educational or other comprehensive, complex setting.
  • Demonstrated success in the development and implementation of strategic marketing and communications plans, campaigns, projects, and initiatives.
  • Proven experience applying data analytics and mining to create strategies to further engage the community to identify new prospects and cultivate donors.
  • Demonstrated passion, knowledge, and appreciation of acute care hospitals across the health care continuum.
  • Passionate about North York General Hospital and its leadership role in the Greater Toronto Area.
  • Proven track record in brand management and an ability to develop key messaging for the organization.
  • Demonstrated experience supporting major gift fundraising.
  • Experience in the strategic development and leadership of high-performance direct response, and events.
  • Strong relationship builder who works well in a collaborative environment with diverse groups including donors, Foundation and Hospital staff, committees, external strategic counsel, and Hospital and Foundation Governors.
  • Excellent communications skills including superior public relations, presentation, writing and editing with the ability to prepare material in someone else’s voice.
  • Strong analytical research skills and the ability to strategically use information gleaned through market research to improve and enhance communications to target audiences.
  • Demonstrated success in building and retaining a ‘best in class’ team by managing, evaluating, and inspiring staff.
  • Comfortable supporting and mobilizing strong, time-challenged senior volunteers and business leaders.
  • University degree, ideally in journalism, liberal arts, or business with a marketing focus or related field.  Consideration will be given to equivalent combination of education and experience.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of North York General Foundation. For more information about this Foundation leadership opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, Associate Vice President by email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by May 27, 2020.


To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

At North York General Foundation, we are committed to fostering an inclusive and accessible environment. We are dedicated to building a workforce that reflects the diversity of the community in which we live, including those with disabilities. North York General Foundation is committed to providing accommodations in all parts of the hiring process. If you require an accommodation, we will work with you to meet your needs.