Job Board
SMH Foundation

Associate Vice-President – Gift & Estate Planning

Posted On: October 12, 2023
Closing On: November 24, 2023

Location: 30 Bond St, Toronto ON M5B 1W8
Effective: Asap
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $81.79-$96.22

File: Download

Associate Vice-President – Gift & Estate Planning

Position Information

Job Title: Associate Vice-President – Gift & Estate Planning
Department: Principal, Major, Planned & Leadership Gifts
Reports to: Vice President, Principal, Major & Planned Gifts

Department SUMMARY

St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation (SMF) is the exclusive fundraising organization to generate and manage philanthropic funds for St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare, within Unity Health Toronto. Through multiple lines of fundraising income generation and stewardship activity, SMF, in conjunction with Unity Health  will define and promote the St. Michael’s and Providence brands to maximize philanthropic revenue to fuel their healthcare, research, teaching and health equity missions. We will inspire our communities, local, provincial, national and international, to invest in our organizations’ priorities to drive and implement innovation that will equitably support all members of our society to manage and overcome disease and health crises and live healthier lives to create a more inclusive and thriving society.

Position SUMMARY

The primary role of the Associate Vice-President – Gift & Estate Planning (AVP/GEP) is to manage the Gift and Estate Planning function and program of St. Michael’s Foundation. The incumbent is responsible for achieving budget targets for the program and is accountable for yearly fundraising goals for outright cash gifts and bequest intentions/expectancies (currently at ~$7 million and ~$3.5 million, respectively).  The AVP/GEP oversees a portfolio of estates under administration and is responsible for ensuring timely distribution of these funds as well as for planning and implementing cultivation and solicitation activities to identify new bequest /expectancy intentions and providing stewardship to strengthen relationships with existing planned giving donors and prospects. The AVP/GEP also works with the major and principal gifts team and a body of volunteer professional advisors to monitor, educate and implement gift planning strategies and techniques for in-life and estate giving to maximize value to donors and the Foundation.

The AVP-GEP works closely with hospital leadership, physicians, senior volunteers, board members, other Foundation staff, and professional advisors such as lawyers, financial advisors and trust officers to execute the functions of their role. Significant volunteer and professional coordination, support and leadership is required of the incumbent.


Responsibility Fundraising Activities


  • Work at the strategic level with the VP, Principal, Major & Planned Gifts (VP/PMPG) and the President & CEO to develop a comprehensive gift and estate planning strategy for both realizations and new expectancies.
  • Lead for the Foundation, and particularly the Major and Principal Gifts team, the use of gift planning techniques as tools and strategies for both in-life and estate gifting.
  • Collaborate with all staff working on significant major and planned gifts to structure proposals and gifts in the most appropriate, ethical and financially advantageous manner for the donor to benefit St. Michael’s and Providence.
  • Personally manage a portfolio of prospects with gift interests ranging from bequests and insurance to trusts, annuities and complex deferred giving structures, on their deferred/planed gifts and in-life major giving.
  • Be an integrated member of the Major and Principal Gifts team contributing to current year revenue from personally managed donor relationships.
  • Set the Foundation’s strategy and oversee execution of Foundation-wide efforts to identify and solicit new planned giving prospects, working with all business units as appropriate to solicit new gifts.
  • Collaborate with the Director, BIIT (Business Intelligence and Information Technology) to monitor the business and develop predictive algorithms that guide solicitation and stewardship activities.
  • Collaborate with the Vice-President Marketing & Brand Strategy and the Director, Marketing & Communications, on all materials development to support the gift planning program.
  • Collaborate with the Director, Stewardship and Donor Relations, to devise and implement a stewardship strategy for donors who have committed a planned gift.
  • Provide principal staff support to the Professional Advisors Council, engaging a diverse group of professional advisors including lawyers, accountants, insurance advisors and financial planners and other professional advisors, in providing advice and guidance to the gift planning function.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the educational, research, clinical and financial needs and goals of SMF and promote specific areas of interest to major and planned giving donors and prospects.

Responsibility    Expectancy Solicitation Activities


  • Lead the development and execution of new planned giving intention solicitation strategies. This function may touch on and integrate with all areas of the Foundation’s activity, necessitating the AVP-GEP to be a collaborative and skilled partner with peers across the Foundation. Consistent with the emerging strategy of the Foundation, develop plans to double within the next three years the value and number of planned giving expectancies confirmed annually, and then double again by the end of decade.
  • Engage with the Professional Advisors Council to understand external market, tax and accounting forces that will impact solicitation programs and implement accordingly.
  • With the Director, Data & Analytics, develop the detailed data strategies required to support the solicitation strategies in a cost effective manner.
  • With the VP Marketing and Brand Strategy and Director, Marketing & Communications, adapt communications to existing and prospective planned giving donors in a manner that maximizes financial returns and reflects the brand strategy of St. Michael’s, Providence and Unity Health.

Responsibility    Current Gift and Estate Realization/Administration


  • Oversee current realizations and ensure that appropriate follow up is made to secure the gift and/or appropriate stewardship activities are provided to trustees and/or the deceased’s families.
  • Supervise one FTE staff member who will manage the daily work of all estate realizations.
  • Ensure all required estate administration oversight is applied to the highest ethical and legal standards, including review and passing of accounts, appropriate trustee compensation is applied and terms of wills have been honoured.
  • Resolve any complicated or unusual provisions in estates under administration and work to resolve in a timely manner. Escalate to Hospital legal counsel and/or senior Hospital/ foundation leadership or external legal counsel as appropriate.
  • When required, represent the Foundation in mediation meetings to ensure that the wishes of the deceased are followed and at the same time protect the interests of the Foundation.
  • Ensure that estate funds received are properly recorded as designated or undesignated funds and/or invested as endowment funds.
  • Oversee acceptance of all in-life structured gifts, such as insurance policies, gifts of residual interest and trusts.

Responsibility Stewardship Activities


  • With the President & CEO, the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO & Assistant Board Secretary and the Chief of Staff, maintain and develop all necessary board and administrative policies to govern the gift and estate planning program.
  • Direct the development of a stewardship strategy for gift planning donors (expectancies) collaborating with the Director, Stewardship and Donor Relations (SDR).
  • Develop a donor recognition strategy for gift planning donors, and then work with SDR staff to ensure recognition commitments are executed.
  • Develop a strategy and template(s) for planned gift stewardship plans, and ensure a plan is implemented for each planned giving expectancy donor.
  • Support major and principal gift colleagues in the individual stewardship of major and planned gift donors and volunteers.
  • Consistent with stewardship strategy, use stewardship groups/societies and related events to steward donors.
  • Develop and ensure the appropriateness and quality of all necessary materials, proposals, cases for support, letters, reports and acknowledgements for cultivation and stewardship of donors.

Responsibility    Lead the Gift Estate Planning Team – Management, Planning and Budgeting


  • Prepare and oversee an annual financial budget plan for the gift and estate planning program, including projected cash revenues and expenses.
  • Prepare and execute an annual plan of measurable goals, strategies, tactics and metrics to maximize gift planning to the organization.
  • Manage the budget of the GEP function.
  • Contribute to the development of the overall Foundation’s annual business plans and strategic plan.
  • Manage Gift and Estate Planning team members, including recruitment and retention, performance management, professional development and establishing and achieving fundraising goals.
  • Set goals, monitor work and evaluate results to ensure that team and operating requirements are met and are in line with the needs and mission of SMF.
  • Coach and mentor team members to develop their skills and assist them in developing their careers at SMF.

Responsibility     Team Membership and Leadership


  • As a member of the senior management team of the Foundation, contribute to overall management and strategy of the Foundation.
  • Represents and work with Foundation President & CEO on matters with donors, the hospital, volunteers and the industry on gift planning issues.
  • Work and interact with others according to the core values of the organization and to contribute to building a safe, inclusive and high-performing workplace.
  • Act as an ambassador in the profession and throughout the community, positively representing St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare within Unity Health and the Foundation.
  • Abide by the policies and procedures of the Foundation, and where applicable, the Hospital.
  • Abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and work in a manner that is safe, reporting incidents immediately to direct supervisor.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in order to meet the overall goals and objectives of the Foundation

Responsibility Team Membership and Leadership


  • Work and interact with others according to the core values of the organization and to contribute to building a safe, inclusive and high-performing workplace.
  • Act as an ambassador in the profession and throughout the community, positively representing St. Michael’s Hospital and Providence Healthcare within Unity Health and the Foundation.
  • Abide by the policies and procedures of the Foundation, and where applicable, the Hospital.
  • Abide by the Occupational Health and Safety Act, and work in a manner that is safe, reporting incidents immediately to direct supervisor.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in order to meet the overall goals and objectives of the Foundation.


  • A university degree or a combination of comparable skills and experience.
  • Must have a minimum of 15 years of experience working in fundraising with at least 10 of those years in planned giving, with most recent experience being a team leader of the GEP function
  • Working knowledge of tax and other legislation relating to gift planning.
  • Proficiency in gift planning and gift planning vehicles.
  • Demonstrated excellent communication skills (verbal and written).
  • Experience in creating and presenting compelling proposals to donors.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and very strong person to person relationship-building skills.
  • Ability to work with lawyers, estates trustees and professional advisors effectively and collaboratively and possess strong negotiation skills.
  • Ability to work with senior leaders, physicians, and other foundations effectively and collaboratively.
  • Basic understanding of healthcare delivery system in Ontario.
  • Ability to attain financial and program goals within prescribed timelines.
  • Experience working with volunteers and volunteer committees/boards in a wide range of capacities.
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple and changing demands.
  • Proven ability to exercise diplomacy and good judgment.
  • Keen understanding of current finance and accounting principles in the not-for-profit sector.
  • Exemplary attention to detail with excellent planning, organizational and time management skills.
  • Ability to work independently using an above average level of initiative.
  • Ability to work as part of a fundraising team.
  • Proficient in the use and learning of relevant work tools
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated commitment to and understanding of the mission and values of St. Michael’s Hospital.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours, including some evenings and weekends.