Job Board
Queen's University

Director, Donor Experience

Posted On: January 23, 2024
Closing On: February 7, 2024

Location: Kingston, ON
Effective: ASAP
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $97,310.00 - $133,330.00/Year

Reporting to the Associate Vice-Principal (Development), the Director of Donor Experiences is responsible for the strategic direction and management of all donor relations programming programs on behalf of the university. In this role, the incumbent will bring together development writing and donor relations into a new unit called Donor Experience.

Working collaboratively with staff in the Office of Advancement, as well as faculties, schools and university affiliated groups across campus, the incumbent creates, implements, manages, and assesses a comprehensive donor relations plan that strategically targets all levels of giving and is effective in cultivating existing donors for additional gifts and fostering long-term relationships between these donors, their families, and the University. The incumbent oversees gift acceptance and acknowledgments, donor stewardship and recognition, and development writing. The incumbent also provides high level expertise and direction to other Advancement staff and university partners, as well as senior university administrators. The incumbent is a dynamic leader who has a proven track record of building successful donor relations programs and is committed to driving innovation and excellence in this field.

Position is fully remote. Travel to campus and to donors as required. Evening and weekend work as required.


  • In consultation with the AVP (Development), develops a clear vision and plan, directly leads efforts to acknowledge donors and demonstrate the impact of their philanthropy on campus and beyond.
  • Develops metrics, evaluates strategies, and introduces new programs as necessary to improve the donor experience, including monitoring and analyzing trends in donor relations practices based on reliable internal and external data analysis. Continuously introduces new strategies to expand and ultimately lead to a culture of engagement and participation for donors at all giving levels.
  • Keeps abreast of emerging trends and best practices in donor behaviour and philanthropy to be able to design innovative and sophisticated donor relations strategies and programs which cultivate the life-long involvement of donors with the University.
  • In collaboration with Advancement staff, Financial Aid and Awards, faculties, and other university constituents, establishes consistent procedures for donor recognition, gift acceptance and acknowledgment, and endowment reporting to ensure criteria established by each donor and agreed upon by the University, are met.
  • Develops and maintains a strong partnership with colleagues in Advancement
  • Develops, delivers, and oversees a wide range of donor engagement programs and services designed to foster and enhance long-term relationship with its donors and cultivate existing donors for additional gifts
  • Leads and chairs the Terms and Endowment Committee for the Office of Advancement. Acts as Advancement representative on the Senate Committee for Scholarships and Student Aid (SCSSA).
  • Chairs the Constituency Advisory Group for the naming of university assets. Acts as the point of contact at the university for advice related to the Naming Policy and philanthropic and service naming opportunities and oversees the development of all submissions to the Board or delegates for approvals.
  • Oversees historical naming and recognition research and the management of the Secretariat’s university database for namings.
  • Leads and chairs a cross-functional donor relations and stewardship community of practice which includes faculty and university-wide based donor relations colleagues.
  • Ensures donor recognition programs and services build donor confidence through reinforcing annual and lifetime giving; donors are appropriately recognized and stewarded in a personal, timely and appropriate manner; and brand/campus standards are met from an institutional perspective.
  • Manages a portfolio of high capacity, special touch donors in stewardship with the aim at moving these individuals back into cultivation at the appropriate time.
  • Develops and maintains a working knowledge of the University’s activities, funding priorities and needs in both teaching and research. Applies this knowledge in matching the interests and needs of prospective donors with the strategic needs of the university.
  • Analyzes data, develops, and prepares annual budget documents, and manages the operating budget for Donor Relations. Represents the university and the Office of Advancement to internal and external audiences, ensuring understanding and adoption of University Advancement policies and procedures.
  • Fosters a work environment that values diversity, equity and inclusion through collaboration and employee engagement.
  • Meets with staff on a regular basis to review progress against annual goals and donor stewardship/engagement 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.
  • Plans, prioritizes, and manages the work of staff, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance, and coaching.
  • Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing, and evaluating performance and conducting formal performance reviews and talent reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Assesses staff training and development needs and ensures that employees receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance.
  • Investigates, addresses, and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including making decisions regarding disciplinary and discharge matters.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned in support of the unit or department.


  • University degree.
  • Working towards or recognized professional fundraising designation (CFRE or equivalent).
  • Minimum seven years of progressive experience and demonstrated success managing fundraising and donor relations programs, with a focus on donor engagement, donor stewardship, or a related field.
  • Clear understanding of and strict adherence to ethical fundraising standards.
  • Demonstrated success identifying, evaluating, cultivating, stewarding, and directing solicitation from corporations and foundations, preferably at the $500,000+ level.
  • Experience working as part of a capital campaign effort managing a portfolio of campaign prospects with a view towards satisfying the campaign needs of the university or department.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Canada Revenue Agency, other relevant regulatory regimes, and supporting legislation, as demonstrated through participation in securing complex gifts.
  • Solid understanding of family wealth management (involving business or investable wealth) such as wealth transfer strategies, taxation, philanthropy, family governance and wealth education.
  • Proven experience drafting, editing, and revising in a variety of formats including policies and procedures, preferably in the field of donor recognition, gift acceptance and acknowledgement.
  • Proven management experience demonstrating effective “hands on” skills in organizing, motivating, and directing staff and volunteers to achieve shared priorities.
  • Proven track record in successfully developing and implementing strategic plans, project planning, budget and revenue forecasting, program analysis, and meeting objectives.
  • Knowledge of Canadian philanthropic and university environment including challenges faced by post-secondary institutions.
  • Satisfactory Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check required.
  • A valid ‘G’ class drivers’ license (or equivalent) and passport with no travel restrictions is required.
  • Understanding of, and experience with reporting and acknowledgment systems preferably Advance and PeopleSoft considered an asset. Expert user of Microsoft programs such as excel, SharePoint, teams, etc.