Posted On: 2020-09-28
Closing On: 2020-10-30
Location: Toronto
Effective: January 2021
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

Position Overview

Organization:             Diabetes Canada (DC)

Title:                            Senior Vice President, Fund Development

Reports to:                  President & Chief Executive Officer  

Team:                          Five direct, ~30 total team members

Location:                     Anywhere in Canada (preference to the GTA). Head office is 1300-522 University Ave. Toronto, ON

Is This You?

Are you an experienced hands-on fundraising executive who has National experience, a deep understanding of various fundraising verticals including: corporate, planned giving, annual, major and mid level giving, foundation support, community fundraising and events? Do you have an excellent reputation for building and leading high-performance teams?

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.  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.

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. Senior volunteers and board members speak of you with admiration and respect.

If you want to pursue an opportunity that would afford you such a challenging and rewarding career, then what are you waiting for?  Please read on…

The Organization

Diabetes Canada is making the invisible epidemic of diabetes visible and urgent. Today, 11 million Canadians live with diabetes or pre-diabetes. Current growth rates mean that young people at age 20 face a 1 in 2 lifetime risk of developing the condition. To stem the tide of this epidemic, Diabetes Canada is raising its sights to deliver impact at a population level by advocating for healthy public policy, supporting healthcare providers to deliver exceptional diabetes care, funding research towards a cure, and enhancing their digital delivery channels to support the needs of those they serve.

Important Context

Laura Syron in June 2020 was appointed President and CEO. Laura is an accomplished and experienced leader who brings broad and deep experience in all aspects of not-for-profit leadership.  Her track record of success on both the mission and fundraising sides of the business at some of Canada’s top charitable organizations makes her ideally suited to lead Diabetes Canada into the future. Laura’s linked in profile says it all: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” This quote by John Quincy Adams embodies the leadership qualities Laura has embraced throughout her career. In fact, it has become a driving force in her intentional pursuit of some of the most challenging and sought-after portfolios at Canada’s top charitable organizations. She is looking for a partner who shares the same philosophies and wants to be a part of the senior leadership team who will help Diabetes Canada recover and grow!

The Position

The Senior VP, Fund Development is accountable for leading the recovery and growth of DC’s Fund Development portfolio. This Fund Development portfolio is one of three revenue streams for Diabetes Canada which also receives revenue from National Diabetes Trust (a social enterprise sister organization) and from Camps and Conference registration fees.   The Senior VP, Fund Development is accountable specifically for the Fund Development portfolio revenue.

Prior to COVID-19, the total portfolio was $23M and was comprised of four main components:  Direct Response Marketing ($7.5M), High-End Individual Giving including Planned Giving ($7M), Corporate Partnerships ($4.5M) and Community Fundraising and Events ($4M.)  The portfolio has declined from its five -year average of $28M between 2009-2013.  In 2020, due to COVID impacts, DC is projecting $14M from this portfolio.

The Senior VP, Fund Development leads a team of approximately 30 fundraisers across the country, organized by the four lines of business above. There is a senior leader of each line of business who directly reports to the Senior VP, Fund Development plus a Fund Development Coordinator, for a total of five direct reports. Of these positions, one (the ED, Direct Response Marketing) has very recently been filled with an outstanding candidate and a second (Director, Planned & Major Gifts) has been posted.

Primary Accountabilities

Revenue growth:

  • Drive net revenue growth in DC’s fundraising portfolio
  • Current potential growth areas under consideration are:  Mid-Level Giving, Corporate Partnerships, Foundations, Digital fundraising & Virtual events

Team leadership:

  • Lead, manage and coach a team of 30 direct reports across the country, including five Direct Reports (four Program Leads as well as a National Coordinator) 
  • Provide seasoned, strategic fundraising leadership to SLT and the Board as together they develop a new Three-year strategic plan to guide DC through recovery and growth

Data & Evaluation:

  • Lead the team to implement a disciplined and best practice approach to data
  • Ensure progress and pipeline are tracked in DC’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Blackbaud software
  • Join DC’s new Data Strategy Working Group to help build the strategy and ensure it meets the needs of DC’s fundraising portfolio

Mission Understanding & Asset Development:

  • Develop and maintain an in-depth understanding of DC’s mission programs in order to speak knowledgably and enthusiastically about the work of Diabetes Canada to prospects and donors
  • Partner with Mission and Marketing staff to co-create mission assets that reflect and provide opportunities to support DC’s mission work, while inspiring prospects, partners and donors to give

Volunteer Management:

  • Staff Support to Board’s Fund Development Committee – partner with Fund Development Committee Chair and members to support the pre-work of the Board regarding Fund Development
  • Play leadership role in helping DC to design and implement a new national volunteer engagement strategy, with focus from this role on fundraising volunteer engagement and activation

Business Management:

  • Lead and oversee the creation and management of annual business plans and budgets for all of Diabetes Canada’s fundraising programs

The Ideal Candidate

Our successful SVP Fund Development will possess a passion for health philanthropy and be a consummate professional and role model, with excellent communication skills, professionalism, 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 supporters. Lived experience is an asset.

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 and a roll up their sleeves attitude and a strong desire to lead 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 action-oriented people connector
  • 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


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
  • Inspirational leader who builds and inspires high performance fundraising teams both internally and with external agency partners

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 fundraising experience alongside a track record of success across a broad fundraising portfolio ideally with a National health-oriented charity
  • Experience crafting a strategy that has well-defined longitudinal goals but that has the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances – demonstrated success in taking a strategic approach to a charity’s overall fundraising enterprise
  • Capitalizes on opportunity, but not afraid to create opportunities to build long-term, productive relations with donors
  • Data centric and understands how to use to drive results
  • 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


Must Have:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or comparable experience

Strongly Preferred:

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

Application Instructions

Diabetes Canada hires based on merit and is strongly committed to equality and diversity within its community and to providing a welcoming and inclusive workplace. DC 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 with a great team in a uniquely focused organization then apply now by sending your application to Please include your cover letter, CV and an overview of your fundraising accomplishments over the past five years. The deadline for applications is October 30th, 2020. Please note only qualified respondents will be contacted.