Posted On: 2021-02-10
Closing On: 2021-03-12
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior
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Job Description

The Opportunity

The University of Manitoba is seeking a Director, Donor Stewardship to play a pivotal role during this exciting time, as the University of Manitoba has just completed the province’s largest fundraising campaign to date, raising $626,260,909 from more than 62,000 donors.

The Director, Donor Stewardship will be responsible for providing leadership and a strategic vision for strengthening donor relationships through comprehensive engagement, stewardship, and recognition programs. Reporting directly to the Associate Vice-President (Alumni and Donor Relations), the incumbent will oversee strategic components of donor services throughout the lifecycle of a gift and determine the best strategies to provide an exceptional experience for prospects and donors. In addition, the Director will be responsible for driving and promoting a donor centric culture throughout the organization, developing key partnerships that are mutually beneficial for the donor as well as University Advancement, including serving as the Chief Donor Relations Officer for principal gifts and the top 20 prospects and donors. The role is part of the senior team providing fundraising expertise and leadership to the University’s executives (President’s Executive Team, Deans, Directors) and the entire university community.

The new incumbent will recruit and lead a team of 3 donor stewardship professionals in delivering on major responsibilities focused on the creation, management, and continuous improvement of stewardship programs that relay impact, educate, inspire donors, and instil donor confidence. These responsibilities are in the areas of, but not limited to, Donor recognition best and next practices, impact reporting for all gifts and donors in the donor pyramid, gift announcement and donor recognition opportunities, donor accountability and acknowledgement (gift agreements, fund utilization monitoring, pledge reminders, naming and gift acceptance policies, tax receipt processes, acknowledgement letters).

The Director, Donor Stewardship works closely with the President, Vice-President (External), the leadership team of Alumni and Donor Relations, as well as with alumni, donors, volunteers, and internal partners across the University, especially the Marketing Communications Office, Donor Relations, Alumni Relations and Events to deliver outstanding donor communications and experiences. 

The Director, Donor Stewardship will preferably be based in Winnipeg and work from their office at the University or they may enjoy a flexible work location anywhere in Canada with occasional travel to Winnipeg as needed.


About University of Manitoba

Since 1877, the University of Manitoba (UM) has been driving discovery and inspiring minds through innovative teaching and research excellence. Proudly located in the heart of Canada, UM has a strong and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community partners.

With two main campuses in Winnipeg and over 100 programs across multiple faculties, schools, and colleges, UM offers more learning, teaching, and research opportunities than any other post-secondary institution in the province. Most of the academic departments have graduate studies leading to master's or doctoral degrees. This academic year, our 5,730 academic staff and 4,000 support staff welcomed more than 26,500 undergraduate and 3,795 graduate students. Twenty percent of students are international and come from over 110 countries.

As one of the country’s top research institutions and the only research-intensive university in the province, UM researchers are making contributions that have a global impact. UM ranks 17th among Canada’s top 50 research universities for attracting research grants and contracts.

The University is home to more than 50 research centres, institutes, and shared facilities that promote the exchange of ideas and provide collaborative research environments that stimulate multidisciplinary research and development. In 2019/20 UM research received $192.2 million in sponsored research income. UM currently has 85 endowed and sponsored research chairs, including an allocation of 52 Canada Research Chairs, a Senior Canada 150 Research Chair, a Canada Excellence Research Chair, and a Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate.

Along with the Fort Garry campus as its central hub, the University of Manitoba operates three other major locations: the downtown Bannatyne Campus, the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre, and the William Norrie Centre. Additionally, the university also administers its French-language affiliate, Université de Saint-Boniface in the The University of Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which officially opened its doors in 2015. The Centre is dedicated to preserving the truth of Residential Schools and advancing reconciliation. This past year, UM welcomed over 2,600 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, including close to 300 graduate students. The University is home to one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada.

Many of the world’s great minds have been part of the University of Manitoba. Thirty-eight UM doctoral students have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and 99 students have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship–more than any other university in Western Canada.

Across the globe, in 140 countries, there are over 148,000 University of Manitoba alumni carving their own paths. The Distinguished Alumni Awards have honoured 27 outstanding alumni, joined by more than 1,600 event guests. Since 2015, UM has hosted over 200 class reunions and welcomed more than 4,000 alumni and community members back to campus for celebrations.

Philanthropic support affects the lives of UM students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes Manitoba, our nation, and the world. In 2019-2020 outright gifts and pledges to the University totaled more than $61 million. Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Our graduates give back to their alma mater and more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the University’s most recent record-breaking Front and Centre campaign.

The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre Campaign

The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign was concluded in Spring 2020 with 62,075 donors from 48 countries coming together to raise $626,260,909, surpassing the campaign’s initial $500 million goal and making it the largest philanthropic endeavour in Manitoba’s history. One in five alumni were donors to the campaign and more than $5.9 million was given by faculty, staff, and retirees.

Gifts will support 702 new scholarships and bursaries for students; 21 research chairs and professorships established and enhanced to inspire teaching and learning; and 37 building upgrades to create an outstanding educational environment. In addition, over 331 estate gifts were pledged for UM’s future. The campaign also helped to build seven new spaces that change the footprint of the University such as the Active Living Centre, the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building, Taché Arts Complex (Desautels Concert Hall & Rehearsal Building), Campus Children's Centre, Churchill Marine Observatory and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Centre. More than $252.1 million was designated by donors for research excellence, including the support of UM researchers on the front lines of developing vaccines or antivirals to mediate the COVID-19 pandemic.


Additional Information

University of Manitoba:


Key Duties & Responsibilities

The Director, Donor Stewardship will be responsible for providing leadership and a strategic vision for strengthening donor relationships through comprehensive engagement, stewardship, and recognition programs. Major responsibilities include creating, managing, and continually improving donor stewardship programs in the design of the Four Pillars of Donor Relations including, but not limited to:

  • Donor recognition best and next practices.
  • Impact reporting for all gifts and donors in the donor pyramid, including Endowment Fund Reporting.
  • Gift announcement and donor recognition engagement opportunities.
  • Donor accountability and acknowledgements.

Donor Stewardship Leadership (40%)

  • Create the vision for donor stewardship working in collaboration with Donor Relations leadership to design and implement an integrated donor stewardship program, developing a strategic roadmap that emphasizes meaningful interactions with prospects and donors before, during and after completion of the gift.
  • Formulate and execute strategies and tactics that foster long-term relationships with donors and create integral high-touch engagement opportunities for donors.
  • Serve as the Chief Donor Stewardship Officer for principal giving providing oversight, counsel, and support for donor programs and stewarding efforts for the top 20 prospects and donors.
  • Recruit, train, directly supervise, delegate work, and provide coaching and mentorship to Stewardship Officers.
  • Provide guidance and direction to faculties to establish consensus and ensure consistent high-quality donor experiences at all levels.
  • Oversee the department of Donor Stewardship, ensuring the planning and execution of donor centric communications, reporting, acknowledgement, and recognition, weaving in storytelling, and building trust through consistent, strategic, and meaningful contact.
  • Provide guidance and oversight in the expansion of the multi-year strategic and comprehensive donor programs plan to identify and deliver coordinated and integrated baseline communications to all donors.
  • Oversee the creation of tools, conceptualize, and develop leadership training as well as additional tools to aid development staff in donor programming.
  • Develop and assess policies and procedures across the division and university that are essential for a comprehensive donor relations program.
  • Work collaboratively with all centers of excellence to execute vision in alignment with overall organizational goals.
  • Act as an expert resource to benchmark and institutionalize comprehensive, integrated donor relations and stewardship best practices across campus to support fundraising goals and initiatives.
  • Leverage data and research to understand donor needs and interests in order to deliver effective engagement opportunities and acknowledgement.
  • Create a quantitative and qualitative measurement system to evaluate the effectiveness and success of all stewardship, donor relations, and recognition programs in alignment with Development promoting a uniform message.
  • Plan and monitor the budget, using resources for best results in planning activities involving prospects and donors and volunteers.

Stewardship (30%)

  • Drive a donor centric culture that promotes “wow” stewardship and creates integral touch points for stewardship and assure perpetual and mutually beneficial relationships with donors.
  • Provide leadership in expansion of the established program, supporting development staff through creating and assisting with individualized stewardship plans for donors to their colleges/units.
  • Partner with Legal Services for the continued improvement of best practices in gift acceptance.
  • Provide leadership in assuring compliance with donor intent, including monitoring, tracking, and reporting status/progress internally and to the donor.
  • Establish donor centric best practices for services such as gift processing and receipting in partnership with Advancement Services.
  • Manage information tracking processes regarding acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communications, and continued cultivation of past and current major donors to enhance their relationship with the University and increase the likelihood of continued contributions.
  • Oversee the use of consistent, accurate, and appropriate information-sharing mechanisms for acknowledging, recognizing, and reporting to prospects and donors.

Strategic Relations/Partnerships (25%)

  • Create, document, and direct highly collaborative services to provide expert consultation and strategic programming to senior leadership, faculty, and development officers to strengthen and enhance the University’s relationships with all levels of donors, including individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Work in collaboration with other teams on donor strategies to maximize donor engagement and execute creative and strategic programming.
  • Oversee and provide guidance on team members’ consultation with faculty development officers on a regular basis to ensure that all prospects and donors are appropriately acknowledged in a timely manner and recognized for their contributions and encourage full use of individualized stewardship plans as tools in the cultivation cycle.


Qualifications & Competencies

Required Experience & Education

  • A University degree is required. Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation is preferred.
  • A minimum of five years’ senior level experience in stewardship, fundraising, donor communications, or a related field. Experience within the higher education sector is preferred.
  • Three years prior management/supervisory experience is preferred, with the ability to lead and motivate staff.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of fundraising activities, donor motivations, and donor stewardship best practices, donor accountability, familiarity of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Code of Ethics and the Four Pillars of Donor Relations.
  • The ability to work strategically in developing and implementing donor stewardship programs and activities.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • The ability to work collaboratively and as a team player.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, manage, and monitor multiple projects simultaneously and work effectively under time constraints.
  • Competency in problem solving and navigating a complex working environment.
  • Familiarity with financial reporting specifically relevant to endowment fund reporting and gift impact reports.
  • Strong organization skills with a demonstrated data and systems approach.
  • Demonstrated ability to compile and interpret data from a variety of sources, select appropriate methods of analysis and monitor and communicate impact, emerging trends, and issues. 

Skills, Abilities & Qualities: 

  • Must be visionary and goal focused, be able to take leadership initiative while also work collaboratively as a team player. 
  • Demonstrated strategic planning and organizational skills are essential.
  • Skilled in applying specialized knowledge in the field of fundraising, particularly in donor-centred communications.
  • Excellent communication skills to deal effectively with senior level positions in the University as needed.
  • Ability to respond to internal constituents with tact, diplomacy, and discretion.
  • Proven ability to effectively lead and direct collaborative, customer-based services in a complex academic setting with multiple stakeholders.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to manage a diverse staff.  
  • Proven ability to relate to people in diverse circumstances and contexts projecting presence, warmth and sincerity in relationship building and fundraising.
  • Accuracy, attention to detail, and a customer service-oriented attitude.
  • Demonstrated ability to guard confidentiality and understand donor privacy concerns.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage a diverse workload with competing deadlines.
  • High energy and enthusiasm.
  • Commitment to higher education and donor relations as a career.


For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this leadership search on behalf of The University of Manitoba. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent by email at   

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by March 12, 2021

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:

The University of Manitoba is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from women, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual and gender identities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only. Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provisions of "The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy" (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae will be provided to participating members of the search process.

Please note that the salary range for this position is $69,942 - $125,889.