Posted On: 2021-02-02
Closing On: 2021-02-19
Location: Kingston, ON
Employment Type: Temporary

Job Description


As a senior fundraising professional reporting to the Executive Director, Principal Gifts, the Senior Development Officer, Principal Gifts works closely with the Executive Director to implement a new principal gifts program, in support of Advancement and university strategic goals, and to maximize the engagement and philanthropic support of principal gift prospects particularly in the $5 million + range. Key responsibilities include facilitating strategies, leading and coordinating initiatives, and ensuring that prospect advancement steps are coordinated and completed in a timely manner. Working in conjunction with the Executive Director and other university stakeholders, the incumbent will also provide strategic and comprehensive development support to top university principal gift prospects in active cultivation. Additional priorities will include the management of a portfolio of 25 principal gift prospects and donors, developing initiatives that support the emerging principal gifts program overall, coordination of additional stewardship practices, and opportunity development. Working closely with the Executive Directors, the incumbent will provide expertise and support to the Associate Vice-Principal (Development), Vice-Principal (Advancement), Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Chancellor, board chairs and campaign cabinets regarding their involvement in principal gift fundraising for these initiatives.

This position requires extensive travel within and outside Canada.Work on evenings and weekends is also often required.



  • Nurtures and develops sustainable long-term relationships that will result in the highest level of philanthropic support for the university. 
  • Identifies, evaluates, cultivates, solicits, stewards and ultimately manages a portfolio of sophisticated and critical donors and prospects, with a primary focus on securing principal gifts of $5 million +.
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of university activities, funding priorities and needs. Applies this knowledge in matching the interests and needs of prospective donors with the strategic needs of the university.
  • Works in conjunction with the Executive Director to develop principal gift solicitation strategies, gift opportunities, and executes plans as required to meet objectives. Develops multi-year plans and strategies with precise deadlines, executes the plan, and negotiates as required to accomplish priorities and objectives.
  • Assesses current principal donor stewardship activities and builds systems to monitor, track and update leadership and colleagues as required. Prepares reports and works with other team members to discuss strategies, meet objectives and resolve complex problems encountered in implementing plans.
  • Meets with the Associate Vice-Principal and Executive Director on a regular basis to review progress against annual goals and prospect strategy development. In consideration of progress to date, takes a lead role in identifying and implementing further opportunities and strategies that may have arisen to ensure annual goals will be met.
  • Analyzes data and prepares written materials including case statements, tailored proposals, correspondence, briefing notes, progress reports, gift agreements, stewardship reports, accountability reports on behalf of university leaders. Ensures all necessary constituents are involved in key efforts focused on specific prospects.
  • Develops measurements for timely evaluation of program performance and forecasting. Analyzes data, tracks activity and prepares reports, including up-to-date prospect pipeline and active proposal evaluations required to formulate, execute, evaluate and benchmark strategic and priority-driven plans.
  • Understands the emerging trends of principal giving; analyzes, executes and benchmarks market research in order to build strong expertise in the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of prospective donors that can be leveraged to encourage them to support the university through volunteer and financial contributions.
  • Collaborates with the Vice-Principal, Associate Vice-Principal, Executive Directors, and the Gift Planning Office to develop sophisticated gift requests that would include both deferred and current gift considerations.
  • Collaborates with Donor Relations to establish timely and appropriate stewardship plans, ensuring gifts are handled and recognized according to sound Advancement practices.
  • Motivates, organizes and gains commitment from a broad range of influential volunteers and university senior administrators who will assist in securing philanthropic commitments.
  • Communicates regularly with other staff members in the Office of Advancement to coordinate supporting activities and expertise related to the management of principal giving prospects, and to stay abreast of any relevant developments and/or legislation that may assist in maximizing philanthropic revenue.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned in support of the unit and/or department.



  • University degree.
  • Minimum five years of relevant, successful experience in fundraising, with a focus on principal and major giving, preferably in a university setting.  
  • Demonstrated success in the identification, evaluation, cultivation, stewardship and direct personal solicitation of major gifts, preferably at the $1 M + level.
  • Experience working as part of a campaign effort managing a portfolio of prospects.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of diverse giving vehicles, as well as a demonstrated understanding of family wealth management and integrated gift strategies.
  • Proven track record in developing strategic fundraising plans and meeting the objectives of these plans.
  • Proven successful experience in program analysis, tracking and reporting results, using dashboards and data visualization tools.
  • Proven skill in recruiting, supervising and motivating diverse volunteers to achieve shared priorities.
  • Knowledge of the Canadian philanthropic environment and supporting legislation, understanding of philanthropic trends in the higher education sector.
  • Valid G-Class driver’s license and passport with no travel restrictions is required.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check required.
  • Consideration may be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.



  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment where there is mutual respect and collaboration across all teams.
  • Strong customer service orientation with a demonstrated passion for the university and its people.
  • Recognized leader at managing long-term relationships with donors, volunteers, colleagues and organizational administrators. Adept at matching the interests of the donor with the strategic needs of the institution. Superior interpersonal, communication and presentation skills to gather information and deliver key messages in a concise, creative and persuasive manner.
  • Persuasive and creative diplomacy and negotiations skills that allow success both within the campus environment and in the field. 
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with a broad range of internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to effectively work across multiple departments and portfolios within the university.
  • Highly motivated, innovative, creative and strategic thinker.
  • Ability to recommend and implement a project plan based on sound fundraising principles and in the best interests of the university.
  • Proficient research, analytical and computer skills to interpret information from a wide variety of sources; select appropriate methods of analysis, monitor emerging trends and issues, and disseminate information to support strategy and implementation.
  • Experience working with large database management systems and analytical tools including dashboards. An ability to adapt to new technology and trends, assess innovation for institutional benefit and impact.
  • Ability to make difficult and complex decisions with tact, maturity, good judgement and acute sensitivity to the political environment and to the reputation of the Office of Advancement and the university.
  • Excellent time management, project management and organizational skills, with the ability to juggle conflicting priorities flawlessly, while working within tight timeframes and a demanding workload.



  • Develops and determines innovative strategies to manage sophisticated and critical donor relationships as well as high prospect accounts in order to maximize the benefit to the university.
  • Assesses issues/priorities and provides expert guidance to senior administrators, staff and volunteers on a variety of areas relating to the Office of Advancement and principal giving.
  • Develops and implements annual and multi-year plans and strategies to meet established fundraising targets and maximize philanthropic revenue to the university.
  • Determines content of various materials, including briefing notes, project plans, meeting materials and reports.
  • Determines and implements necessary strategies to measure and benchmark the effectiveness of initiatives.
  • Determines the best means of retrieving and manipulating data to assist with strategy development. Selects the most effective method for presenting and conveying the meaning of results.
  • Determines and executes efficient means for obtaining results when handling large volumes of data.
  • Decides on the appropriate software, analytical tools and best type of analysis to perform on data to obtain desired results.
  • Determines most effective means to convey technical information to a variety of audiences.
  • Discretion to call meetings of the Vice-Principal (Advancement), university administration, Office of Advancement staff and top university volunteers to develop strategies, resolve disputes and address challenges.
  • Assesses the interests and needs of prospective donors and matches them to the strategic needs of the university.
  • Identifies and determines strategies to attract and motivate appropriate influential volunteers and senior university administrators.
  • Anticipates, analyzes and solves problems and implements solutions.

Interested candidates please apply online.