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University of Manitoba

Director, Advancement Marketing

Posted On: November 8, 2022
Closing On: December 5, 2022

Location: Winnipeg
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $95,000 to $131,649

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Director, Advancement Marketing

The Opportunity

The University of Manitoba is seeking a Director, Advancement Marketing. Reporting to the Executive Director, Marketing and Brand, the Director works to meaningfully engage with the University’s alumni and donors through key channels to move the University mission forward. The Director and this team play a vital role in promoting and building the reputation of the University, its faculties, units, and departments at the internal, local, regional, and national levels.

A senior marketing and communications professional with significant experience with integrated marketing and communications and brand management, the Director will bring a track record of success in leadership and team collaboration. The Director will demonstrate significant experience in building effective strategies for marketing and communications in support of fundraising strategy to drive ambitious revenue goals and brand awareness.

The Director will work directly with External Relations, Deans, department heads, researchers, and other academic leaders in divisions to share best practices in creating, managing, engaging, and supporting effective marketing strategies. When working with partners across the university, the candidate builds strong relationships and possesses strong verbal and written communication skills. The Director will need to be able to manage expectations and synthesize different points of view into a single strategic plan.

The position will closely partner with the External Relations leadership to support collaboration and coordination as part of the University’s overall strategy of deepening alumni and developing volunteer engagement. The Director will be supported by the leadership team and will build upon a culture consistent with principles of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and the University’s vision and values. They are primarily responsible for taking strategies, plans, and marketing and communications from initial concept through to full execution.

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. For this academic year, UM has more than 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with more than 21.9% international students representing 115 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 50 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 Saint Boniface ward of Winnipeg.

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. The University also has one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada, with more than 2,600 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, including more than 250 graduate students. Some of the country’s brightest stars in Indigenous research are at the University of Manitoba, advancing the University’s commitment to embedding Indigenous perspectives into learning, discovery, and engagement and helping to create pathways to Indigenous knowledge and achievement.

Many of the world’s great minds have been part of the University of Manitoba. Twenty-six 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.

Nine Order of Manitoba recipients with UM connections received the province’s highest honour in 2020. In 2019, four members of the UM community joined the prestigious ranks of the Order of Canada.

Across the globe, in 139 countries, there are over 181,000 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 2021-2022 outright gifts and new pledges to the University totaled $61.5 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.

Marketing and Brand at UM

Through a wide range of marketing services, the Marketing and Brand team is committed to sharing the stories of the University of Manitoba.

Who we are

We are a group of passionate marketers with backgrounds in graphic design, writing, branding, market research, event management, digital engagement, social media, and marketing strategy who are dedicated to telling UM’s story.

What we do

Whether we are working to advance the goals of our university through philanthropy, foster a greater understanding of Indigenous knowledge and perspectives, or announce research breakthroughs, our team works to tell stories that our audience will find authentic and compelling.

Why it matters

When we are asking people to choose UM, we are asking them to trust us with their education, their career, their future. Consistent and impactful communication lets our audience know that the University of Manitoba is the right choice. We offer an outstanding student experience, a lively and collaborative research environment, and programming that attracts alumni and the community back to campus again and again. We want the world to know!

Where we are

The marketing team is everywhere our university’s story needs to be told. You can find us on campus working with faculties and units to bring their stories to local and global audiences. We are based in Smartpark on Innovation Drive, and innovation is what helps us answer the questions facing our university: How can we tell the University of Manitoba’s story in a modern way while honouring its tradition and history? How can we share local stories and make them resonate with the world?

Additional Information

University of Manitoba

About UM

Facts and Figures

2022 Annual Financial Report

Board of Governors

UM Strategic Plan

UM Marketing & Communications

The UM Brand

UM News

Gratitude Report

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Strategic direction and counsel (35%)

  • Plays a lead role in the development of annual marketing communications plans, priorities and departmental needs that advance the university’s goals and the experience as it relates to alumni and donors.
  • Responsible for establishing and delivering an omnichannel content strategy that builds the university’s reputation and advances the strategic priorities and goals for alumni and donors.
  • Provides oversight and input from initial concept, execution, launch, and post-market analysis. This might include presentations, proposals, and reports that highlight the impact and return on investment for marketing communication activities.
  • Understands evolving trends in marketing, communications, higher education, and advancement in order to innovate and continuously improve the university brand.
  • Provides advice-driven solutions, expertise, and marketing communications best practices to External Relations senior leaders and team members.
  • Establishes mutually beneficial relationships with senior leadership across the university to ensure delivery of a consistent and integrated approach to marketing communications as well as a clear understanding of the direction and opportunities for furthering the alumni and donor experience.
  • Establish and grow strategic partnerships with key organizations, businesses, and employers to enhance awareness and impact of UM marketing communications plans and its programs.

Project oversight and execution (35%)

  • Manages and oversees the Advancement Marketing team in the conceptualization and execution of marketing and communications initiatives – in addition to serving as the project sponsor for key projects and initiatives that are both offline and online.
  • Establishes, measures and reports on the effectiveness of marketing, communications and operations for the department through key performance indicators and analytics.
  • Responsible for ensuring quality standards are consistently met across marketing and communications for alumni and donor audiences.
  • Establishes, maintains and improves operational processes and procedures in collaboration with departmental teams and cross-functional leadership.
  • Monitors and assesses industry trends and implements where appropriate.

Departmental oversight (30%)

  • Provides direction and oversight for the management of staff within unit.
  • Provide administrative and operational management to direct reports, including managing human resource functions, developing work plans, and assigning tasks.
  • Provides direction and oversight of operational requirements for unit.
  • Prepares annual operating budget for the team and provides recommendations to the ED, M&B for departmental budget expenditures relating to administrative and human resource needs.
  • As a member of the M&B leadership team, the Director, Advancement Marketing participates in all ED, M&B-related decisions affecting the department including creating or assisting in the definition of budgets, departmental policies and protocols.
  • Provides recommendations to the ED, M&B for departmental budget expenditures relating to administrative and human resource needs.
  • Provides direction and recommendations for marketing and communications expenditures. This includes resource prioritization and utilization of staff including forecasting peaks that might require vendors or additional staff resources.

Decisions & Actions

  • Hiring, training and mentoring for direct reports.
  • Assesses employee performance during probation/trial periods, recommending completion or extension of these periods as necessary. Terminates employment if required.
  • Determines content of job descriptions including duties and qualifications.
  • Makes budget allocation decisions for departmental activities, project spends and marketing communications channels related to alumni and donor audiences. Ensure resources are adequate and available to meet the needs of the department such as staffing, work assignments.
  • Identifies and contracts external marketing and communication suppliers.
  • Establishes marketing strategy for work initiated within M&B.
  • Establishes communications strategy for work initiated within M&B.
  • Incumbent is responsible for ensuring that all projects integrate with the strategic marketing and communications plans developed for partners and M&B unit.
  • Incumbent is responsible for upholding strategic direction of projects for partners and team.
  • Works independently to develop, plan and implement strategic plan for Advancement Marketing.

Decisions & Actions shared with others

  • Creates institutional alumni and donor marketing communications plans in consultation with M&B and External Relations leadership teams.
  • Collaborates on decisions to change the alumni and donor marketing communications strategies with the Executive Director, Marketing and Brand, AVP (Donor Relations), Executive Director (Alumni) and VP (External).
  • Creates institutional marketing communications budget in consultation with the ED, M&B.
  • Draft strategy and process changes impacting MCO and Advancement Marketing team and share with the ED, M&B.
  • Incumbent works with partners, stakeholders, managers across the university to ensure strategic alignment of marketing and communications priorities across portfolio and program areas.
  • Incumbent is responsible for establishing and maintaining strong, collaborative, mutually beneficial relationships with representatives from areas of strategic importance at the University, including senior administrators and directors.

Qualifications & Competencies

  • Leads with a flexible project management style. You can manage tasks within cross-functional teams that do not report directly to you across multiple departments. Your organizational skills give you and your team the ability to prioritize many projects simultaneously and work to strict deadlines under pressure.
  • Is outgoing, articulate, well-informed, intelligent and possesses common sense. This allows you to manage a team of marketing and communications professionals collaboratively so that you reach, alumni, fundraising, and donor goals together.
  • Is passionate about delivering creative ideas with a deep awareness of best practices in offline and online marketing and communications channels and emerging trends.


  • Senior level experience leading and inspiring a marketing and/or communications team – preferably in an agency or large complex organization.
  • Significant experience within a higher education, advancement and/or non-profit environment.
  • Demonstrated expertise in successfully building, managing, and evaluating marketing and communications strategies in a large, complex organizational environment.
  • Expertise in planning, developing, and measuring successful multi-channel marketing communications campaigns.
  • Demonstrated experience and best practice knowledge of developing and implementing traditional and digital/online marketing communications
  • Experience leading marketing research and analytics activities and in turn, using insights to design and recommend the ideal user or customer experience.
  • Experience managing successful relationships and projects with external stakeholders and vendors.
  • Demonstrated experience delivering high-quality and engaging stories and content.
  • An acceptable equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered.

Skills and Abilities:

  • Exceptional leadership and relationship building skills.
  • Excellent written and presentation skills.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate and negotiate.
  • Excellent time-management skills and ability to prioritize conflicting demands.
  • Ability to inspire, motivate and mentor creative teams.
  • Must have the ability to work and thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
  • Must possess a high degree of independence, diplomacy, and the ability to work collectively in a fast-paced environment.
  • Proven record of success in marketing, communications and working with all levels of staff, including senior administration; including board members; external stakeholders; government officials; business leaders and community representatives is an asset.

Other Job-Related Qualifications:

  • Must be available during non-regular business hours, such as evenings and/or weekends, to attend events / meetings off-campus, on a semi-regular basis.

Formal Education/Training:

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required.
  • The ideal candidate will also have specialized marketing communications education and/or PR diploma or certification.
  • An equivalent combination of skills and experience may be considered.

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, Helena Debnam, Senior Search Consultant, KCI Search + Talent by email at

To view full position brief, please visit

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by December 5th, 2022. All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Please note that the salary range for this position is $95,000 to $131,649 with a comprehensive benefits package. This position will be based at the Marketing and Brand office at the University’s Fort Garry Campus in Winnipeg, with some flexibility for occasional remote work.

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 process, please advise.