Job Board

Director, Philanthropy and Partnerships

Posted On: March 13, 2024
Closing On: April 14, 2024

Location: Toronto
Effective: Summer 2024
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $125,000-$140,000 plus comprehensive benefits and a flexible and supportive work environment.

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Position Profile

Director, Philanthropy & Partnerships

Unleashing the power of place for local communities to thrive in the global economy. At Shorefast, they see community as the unit of change to create economic resilience, both locally and on a global scale.

Position Overview

Organization: Shorefast

Title: Director, Philanthropy and Partnerships

Reports to: Jane Hilton, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives

Team: Two to be hired (Manager, Philanthropy & Coordinator, Philanthropy)

Location: Hybrid. Toronto, Ontario. Sporadic travel anticipated to Fogo Island, NL and Ottawa, ON


Shorefast is one of North America’s most creative and notable social enterprises and the charity behind the world renowned Fogo Island Inn and Fogo Island Arts. They are committed to making it possible for local communities to thrive in the global economy and they are forging a new path at the intersection of business, philanthropy and community economic development.

Their work has garnered significant attention, including a feature on 60 Minutes and named in The New York Times’ 52 Places for a Changed World.


The change Shorefast is after is big. They can’t do this work alone and they haven’t had to. It takes all, team members, community members, businesses, cultural and educational organizations, community associations, government agencies, and private philanthropists. The fabric of society is knit by active connection, contribution and collaboration. Shorefast are enormously grateful to be able to continue working alongside so many critical partners who are helping reimagine and shape a bright future.

Fogo Island has never been a story about just one place – it has a story that lends itself to many places. It offers a contagious example of place as a convening point for people and systems and how we can nurture entrepreneurial communities. Many have heard Zita Cobb (Shorefast Founder and CEO) say ‘a small island is a good proxy for a small planet’. Answers to our collective challenges can be found in the smaller scale and applied to larger ecosystems. When Shorefast was founded, they knew they would need to put change into practice from the ground-up, by understanding the specificity of the local context. Working within community – the most powerful unit of change – Shorefast made a determined choice to see the assets and opportunities in front of them, in the place they lived.

Shorefast’s approach is deeply informed by the history of Fogo Island. Fogo Islanders have been holding onto this place – standing upright in the wind – for centuries. It hasn’t always been easy, but their shared dedication and commitment to place has kept them moving forward. As an organization, Shorefast continues to build on Fogo Island’s legacy of asking the question “how can we live better together?” and in finding ever-evolving answers to how we can flourish as a part of the bigger whole.

Shorefast’s experience on Fogo Island, as both community members and economic development practitioners, has demonstrated that, when we build equitable and regenerative community economies, we’re building the foundation for a global economic order that serves the full ecosystem of life on our planet.

With the support of government and philanthropic partners, Shorefast undertook the Community Economies Pilot to bring together five Canadian communities to explore shared learnings. The outcomes of this national initiative are helping inform Shorefast’s creation of a network dedicated to strengthening community economies, big and small. In short, it’s about creating an economy in service of people, places, and nature.

As Shorefast builds on this ambition, they see philanthropy playing a growing entrepreneurial role in activating overt and meaningful systems change. Investing alongside governments to enable the essential on-the-ground community-led work, philanthropic dollars can address underlying root cause issues to achieve enduring positive change. There is much hope in an approach that sees a collective investment in energizing the assets that exist in places across our country. In doing so, Shorefast can build prosperity for more people in more places.

Increasing Importance of Shorefast Supporters

Shorefast’s suite of community businesses are designed to be economic engines driving toward their mission. They operate for the exclusive benefit of strengthening the cultural, ecological, and economic well-being of Fogo Island and distilling learnings for other enterprising communities across Canada. There is no private gain – all Shorefast’s business surpluses are directed to supporting Shorefast’s holistic set of community-based programs and initiatives.

In the last couple of years, Shorefast’s work has grown beyond their Fogo Island roots to create broader-scale change. As they work to help other communities across Canada thrive in the global economy, the charity’s operating costs are growing to reflect the national reach.

At the same time, Shorefast is recovering from the impacts of COVID-19. The province’s 16-month closure during the pandemic created a major financial blow to their businesses and thereby a decline in revenue for their charity.

Fortunately, their work is inspiring generous philanthropic contributions, including support from many past inn guests. Likewise, provincial and federal government grants have been critical and greatly appreciated. Together, they are moving towards shared prosperity and a healthy planet.


Shorefast sees community as the unit of change to create economic resilience, both locally and on a global scale.

There are many types of communities: communities of shared identity, communities formed from shared experience, and communities formed from geography. Many of us are part of multiple communities. At Shorefast, they focus on communities formed by place. As humans, we are bound to physical communities, and all their contradictions. Communities are where lives are lived and relationships play out between people and planet, nature and culture. It follows, then, that communities are the key to creating the foundation for a caring world.

Shorefast is a registered charity that is forging a new path at the intersection of business, philanthropy, and community economic development. Their suite of community businesses are designed to be economic engines driving towards their mission: To unleash the power of place so local communities can thrive in the global economy. All their business surpluses are directed to supporting Shorefast’s holistic set of programs and initiatives and distilling learnings to share with other enterprising communities across Canada.

Together, their work represents an intentional effort to think holistically about how to find a way of life that is equitable, dignified, sustainable – and joyful.

Shorefast’s suite of community businesses are designed to be economic engines driving toward their mission. You can read more about them here.


The Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships will report to the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. Our candidate will have the opportunity to work with Shorefast Founder & CEO, Zita Cobb. Zita is a notable Canadian and is a force for good. More on Zita, here. The successful candidate will be personally responsible for managing a portfolio of Major Gift donors and prospects, with gifts ranging from 25K – $499K. They will oversee a to be hired Major Gift fundraiser with a portfolio focused on support for Fogo Island Arts as well as a to be hired Coordinator to support Fundraising needs more generally. The Director will also support the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and the Founder & CEO in cultivating and stewarding Transformational Gifts ($500K+).

Our successful candidate will be an entrepreneurial professional, with front-line experience working across various functions within a fundraising operation. Our candidate will be comfortable working within a start-up environment and will enjoy building processes and systems to support a rapidly growing organization and Fundraising team. Our successful candidate will play a pivotal role in positioning Shorefast for greater impact through revenue generation from Individuals, Foundations, and Corporations. The incumbent will benefit from an existing pipeline of qualified major gift prospects.

Our successful candidate will be responsible for building and overseeing a team, with two direct reports in 2024. Our candidate will be comfortable working with executive leadership, the board of directors, and some of the brightest minds in Canada and beyond. They will bring emotional intelligence and cultural sensitivity to their work with Shorefast’s on-island colleagues and the community of Fogo Island. An intuitive and adept relationship manager, the successful candidate will be an exceptional communicator able to inspire people.

The successful candidate will bring intellectual curiosity, intelligence, and genuine interest in the mission (including economic development, arts and culture, and environmental stewardship). They will work closely with leadership to develop customized proposals, corporate decks, and fundraising collateral. In addition, they will lead the development and delivery of a Stewardship framework.

Key Areas of Accountability

  • Manage a portfolio to achieve a revenue target ($2M+ annually) and build and lead a team to meet the overall team fundraising targets
  • Working closely with the Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, develop and execute the philanthropic giving strategy and pipeline. Work closely with colleagues cross-departmentally to collaborate on strategy and ensure alignment
  • Alongside leadership, establish annual philanthropic projections and manage revenue and expense budgets for philanthropic revenue streams
  • Create compelling proposals and impact reports, tailored to the prospect/donor (individuals, foundations, corporations)
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant development and trends in non-profit management, programming and philanthropy. Provide fundraising thought leadership, advice and guidance as needed
  • Ensure the oversight, mentorship and development of the team, and support frontline fundraisers to achieve targets
  • Embody Shorefast’s vision and values through developing and overseeing customized stewardship programs across giving areas
  • Work with colleagues to build a culture of philanthropy across Shorefast (including social businesses)

The Ideal Candidate

Credentials & Experience

  • Demonstrated history in closing major gifts and meeting or exceeding revenue targets
  • Strong management skills with experience mentoring and supervising a team
  • 7-10 years professional fundraising experience, with progressive levels of responsibility
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, with proven ability to craft persuasive proposals and donor communications
  • Superior interpersonal skills, with demonstrated cultural sensitivity and ability to connect with a range of stakeholders
  • Experience developing and managing departmental and project budgets
  • Experience working with a nonprofit board and other senior level advisors/volunteers
  • CFRE or campaign fundraising experience considered an asset
  • Familiarity with economic development, the arts, or environmental sector considered an asset
  • Experience with Fundraising CRM (ideally Salesforce) and an appreciation for information management systems
  • Exceptional organizational skills with a demonstrated ability for accuracy and attention to detail

Character & Competencies

Must Haves:

  • A respected ability to motivate everyone for the mission – with infectious energy, insight, and drive, one who sparks fresh dynamism, aligning, challenging, and inspiring a diverse team to the very highest of standards
  • An honest and generous approach to building a team and building careers
  • A willingness to support and accommodate disruptive ideas that drive success
  • A passion for life-long learning and staying current, for discovering, understanding, and implementing cutting-edge technologies and processes for greater reach, take up, and cost-effectiveness
  • Excellent problem-solving skills: structuring/analysis/synthesis; A positive attitude for self and team: anything can be solved; anything can be accomplished
  • Honesty, openness, transparency, authenticity, and you model these in all situations and for all interactions
  • The ability, insight, and drive to navigate complex organizational and community dynamics
  • Confidence tempered by self-awareness, good humour, and humility

Ideally will exhibit:

  • An attachment to place – perhaps from having lived in a small town – with a strong history of community involvement and service to others
  • A belief that opportunity can always be found in facing problems
  • Refreshing but respectful candour
  • A modus operandi that puts the mission ahead of personal advancement
  • The highest of personal and professional standards – ‘good enough’ is never enough

Land Acknowledgement

On Fogo Island, we respectfully acknowledge the land on which we gather and work as the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk, whose culture has been lost forever as a result of colonization. We also acknowledge the province of Newfoundland & Labrador as the ancestral homelands of many diverse populations of Indigenous peoples, including Mi’kmaq, Innu, and Inuit.

We commit to using our platforms to encourage a reverence for Indigenous peoples and their knowledge, and to strive for truth and healing as we move forward together on a journey towards peace and collective prosperity.

Application Instructions

Shorefast is an equal-opportunity employer and strongly values diversity, including gender and sexual diversity, within its community. Shorefast is committed to reflecting our country’s diversity. We are pleased to accept applications from under-represented groups and encourage applications from Indigenous persons, youth, women, new immigrants, and persons with disabilities. We encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. We regret that only qualified respondents will be contacted.

Please note the hiring range for this opportunity is: $125,000 – $140,000 plus comprehensive benefits and a flexible and supportive work environment. There will be some travel (mainly within Canada) for our successful candidate.

If you are looking for an innovative and captivating challenge, working with a great team for a very important, focused, and successful organization that is creating bold and transformational change, then please send your CV along with a covering letter explaining why you should be a serious candidate to: Preston Human Capital Group ( by April 14, 2024 at 5pm ET.