Job Board

Director, Philanthropy

Posted On: October 21, 2022
Closing On: November 22, 2022

Location: Toronto
Effective: ASAP
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $144,000.00

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About TFS – Canada’s International School


Toronto French School (TFS) is a leading independent educational institution that has been instrumental in the

shaping of today’s Canada, as the first French immersion school in the country and a pioneer of bilingualism. They are an extremely diverse community that sets out to develop multilingual critical thinkers who celebrate difference, transcend borders and strive for the betterment of humankind. Throughout their history, TFS students have been characterized by their academic ambition, as well as by their determination to acquire an international perspective.

In pursuit of this mission, TFS recruits excellent staff members who are deeply committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning, and who also share their passion for the all-round development of students as accomplished individuals and responsible citizens. Their staff members benefit from exceptional professional learning opportunities and a competitive compensation package.

TFS is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults, and all of their staff and volunteers are expected to undergo child protection screening.

TFS recruits candidates who embrace the TFS values of integrity, discernment, respect and engagement.

About TFS Foundation

In an innovative model, the TFS Foundation leads the outreach to engage TFS families, alumni and friends in providing the support needed to advance the school’s mission. Its raison d’être is to strengthen school pride and connections with the school through engagement and giving.

This outreach includes leading the school’s fundraising program encompassing annual giving, major and special gifts, donor recognition and stewardship, as well as special events, such as a gala. In addition, the Foundation team leads programming to support engagement of alumni in the life of the school.

Led by a volunteer Board of Directors actively involved in fundraising, the team works collaboratively with its partners — Head’s Council (the TFS leadership team), the TFS Alumni Association Executive and the TFS Parents’ Association — to connect with our community, helping to nurture a culture of philanthropy and volunteering, which is essential to the school’s well-being.

The Foundation is currently in the active stages of a comprehensive campaign that will focus on capital renovations to TFS’s two campuses and on growing its current financial assistance program.

To successfully achieve these key objectives, the Foundation seeks to hire someone who will have a significant impact on its campaign and advancement successes.

The Foundation is comprised of a fast-paced and professional team, working tirelessly and cooperatively to rapidly achieve its objectives.

The Role

TFS is in the early stages of a comprehensive campaign that will transform its two campuses. With a focus on individual major gifts, the Director of Philanthropy will develop strong relationships with leadership volunteers, major donors and colleagues.

Reporting to the President of the TFS Foundation, the Director of Philanthropy (“the Director”) will work closely with members of the Head’s Council, the Office of the Head of School, the administrative departments, leaders of all branches and the TFS Foundation Board of Directors in support of philanthropic goals. In addition, the Director will collaborate with the TFS Parents Association and the TFS Alumni Association on initiatives related to their support of TFS.

Responsible for the development of strategies to maximize donor support to TFS, the Director must—together with the Director of Foundation Operations—manage the work of both staff and volunteers to ensure execution of these strategies. Currently, the Director supervises two direct reports and occasional contract employees.

Key Responsibilities

The duties and responsibilities of the Director of Philanthropy include but are not limited to:

Foundation Leadership and Management

  • Work with the President and Director of Foundation Operations in establishing the vision, strategic direction and annual business planning for the TFS Foundation.
  • Set and achieve annual and long-term goals, identifying resource requirements including staffing, developing and meeting budgets and setting expectations, and managing the performance of direct reports.
  • Develop an integrated fundraising strategy including major gifts, leadership and annual giving, stewardship, recognition and fundraising, as well as cultivation and stewardship events related to these areas.
  • Attend TFS Foundation Board meetings, and prepare and give presentations as needed, sometimes in collaboration with the President or individual Directors.
  • Support committees of the TFS Foundation Board, campaign cabinet and other volunteers.
  • Represent the TFS Foundation on internal TFS committees.
  • Ensure the Head of School and other members of academic leadership are briefed, coached and supported in their work on behalf of the TFS Foundation.

Major Gifts and Campaign

  • Collaborate with school leadership to define, identify and communicate funding priorities.
  • Develop strategies to support the entire gift cycle from prospect identification and research, through cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship.
  • Develop programs to support creation of a premier donor experience.
  • Develop and execute, in collaboration with the President, a comprehensive campaign model focused on individual major gifts.
  • Oversee the management and analysis of the donor pipeline to enable prospect management as well as performance projections.
  • Manage a pool of major gift prospects with revenue targets in the $1M range.
  • Support the prospect management and major gift activity of the President of the TFS Foundation and members of the Board of Directors.
  • Oversee the assignment of prospects to direct reports and volunteers.
  • Act as key support to individual volunteers or committees; track volunteer involvement in fundraising; ensure committees and volunteers are oriented, coached and supported, and have all the tools necessary to perform their duties.
  • Understand sophisticated individual donor gifting strategies, including planned giving and gifts of assets other than cash, in order to craft creative opportunities for high-net-worth donors.
  • Work with the Foundation Operations team to develop all collateral and systems to support major gifts and campaign activities, and report on individual and team performance.

Annual Giving

  • Develop programs to identify, solicit and steward lead annual donors.
  • Develop and support peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns when required to support annual strategies.
  • Conduct ongoing analysis to support the development of strategies and to report on individual and team performance.
  • Ensure systems are in place to support creative solicitation tactics.

Stewardship and Recognition

  • Lead the development of stewardship and recognition programs and activities in support of all fundraising programs, including individual donor stewardship strategies, the development of naming and plaquing recognition programs, stewardship matrices and stewardship events.
  • Ensure that gift agreements capture the intent, commitments and obligations of the donor, as well as those of

the School, the TFS Foundation and TFS.

Prospect Research and Operations

  • Act as a champion to ensure that all prospect records are kept current, complete and accurate.
  • Ensure that all appropriate supports and systems are in place for all fundraising programs, including donor analytics.
  • Conduct ongoing research regarding priority individual donor prospects, donor segments and wealth identification.

The Opportunity

The new Director will join the Foundation in the early stages of a major comprehensive campaign and will play a major role in crafting and co-leading the campaign. This is also an opportunity to work in a close-knit community, acting collaboratively with international school leadership and staff, and enjoying the energy of a school environment while building major gift expertise with six- and seven-figure donations.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will have five-plus years of experience in a senior fundraising role with a track record soliciting and closing major gifts and leading a team of fundraising staff. They will have worked in a donor- centred organization in which building authentic relationships is the foundation of all major gift requests. Ideally, they have a demonstrated ability to execute a campaign from start to finish, applying effective systems and procedures that will support successful implementation of the campaign.

The exemplary candidate will also have a passion for philanthropy, a strong understanding of donor relationship management and hands-on involvement working with donors to solicit gifts. Their track record encompasses the full donor cycle, including experience in building, cultivating and stewarding new relationships that lead to measurable fundraising results. This can be demonstrated by examples of gifts closed in the $25K to $500K-plus range. Experience working with a communications team to build compelling written documentation, such as proposals, cases for support and impact reports is essential.

Hands-on proficiency in leading a fund development team, helping them to set their own strategies and meet predetermined metrics will be crucial to the role. The Director must be a coach and a mentor, good at helping staff achieve their objectives, empowering them to get the job done and trusting in their competency. As part of a small working foundation, the Director must also be willing to roll up their sleeves when necessary, while remaining strategic when thinking about their team as a whole. In a complex organization such as the school, the Director needs to be able to remove any barriers to getting the work done.

A proven understanding of the complexity of the volunteer/professional relationship and how to build those relationships to their full potential is required. So is demonstrated success working cooperatively with stakeholders, with other departments within the organization, and with other organizations and entities.

Personal Attributes

The Director is a highly collaborative and team-oriented individual whose focus is on getting the job done. In a fast-paced organization like TFS, where much of the work year is compressed into a school year, they must be able to move fast, be nimble and flexible, and be able to prioritize both their work and that of their staff.

Comfortable with ambiguity and able to change directions quickly to serve the best interests of the school, they are results-driven while adhering always to the highest standards.

Meeting work objectives is key to the role; however, the Foundation would like to work with individuals who are good listeners, are truly interested in learning about others, bring a positive attitude to the role, and who can contribute to a fun and enjoyable work culture.

Core Competencies

  • Demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic activities and tasks with clear goals and objectives.
  • Ability to prioritize, identifying the key tasks that must be completed and knowing which activities move the strategic plan forward.
  • Ability to manage expectations in a positive and forward-looking way.
  • Ability to initiate, analyze, monitor, evaluate and alter strategic fundraising plans.
  • Demonstrated skills in time management, organization and attention to detail.
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills and the ability to present to small and large groups in a variety of contexts.
  • Strong project management skills with experience in work-back scheduling.
  • Proficiency in French and/or Mandarin is an asset.
  • University degree or relevant post-secondary education.
  • CFRE designation and/or involvement in a professional association is an asset.
  • Experience in Raiser’s Edge/NXT or equivalent donor database, and proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Google Workspace.


TFS is located in Toronto at Lawrence and Bayview Avenues. While candidates will be asked to come into the office, there are opportunities for balance around traditional breaks in the school calendar. There is also an understanding that efficiencies can come from occasionally working from home to manage work and personal demands.

Additional Information

Individuals must be able to work evenings and weekends as needed. Typically, this will include evenings at least once or twice a month, but number and timing depend on activities at the school and in the Director’s portfolio.

How to Apply

We thank all candidates in advance. We will, however, contact only those selected for an interview. To apply, please submit, in confidence, a resumé along with cover letter that sets out your interest in the role and highlights your relevant experience. Please include your salary expectations in your cover letter. The preferred method of application is online at

Toronto French School is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age or veteran status.

Contact Details

Sandra Paquette | 416 763 0404 |

Vesna Markovic | 647 608 3595 |