Job Board
University of Waterloo

Donor Relations Officer

Posted On: February 11, 2021
Closing On: March 31, 2021

Location: University of Waterloo
Effective: Earliest start date: March 1, 2021
Employment Type: contract
Level: intermediate

Term: 14 months


Develops and executes a range of stewardship, donor relations and donor communications activities to engage and acknowledge the Faculty of Mathematics’ donors in order to foster the positive donor relationships that are critical to philanthropic support of the faculty. Manages corporate sponsor accounts and programs for the Faculty. This position will work with Math’s development staff to oversee gift and sponsorship acceptance and acknowledgement, donor recognition, communications and stewardship and to initiate, implement and evaluate donor and sponsor relations programs for the faculty. Responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship system that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction and recognition of donors and sponsors at all levels. Manages the Faculty of Mathematics affinity groups and associated engagement activities to deepen and broaden engagement and philanthropic support with targeted audiences and the Faculty of Mathematics.


Program Management 

  • Oversees the development, management, and implementation of a revitalized, innovative, and first class donor relations program to complement the objectives of the overall fundraising goals of the Faculty of Mathematics including first-time donors, annual, principal, major and leadership giving donors, students and alumni 
  • Suggests creative donor recognition options (e.g., events, naming opportunities, award nominations, gifts) that are appropriate for the type/level of the donor gift, budget, timeline, and specific donor history and preferences
  • Maintains accurate, up-to-date Raiser’s Edge records of donors’ stewardship activity
  • Manages a system to prepare, send and track acknowledgements from the Dean, Director, Chairs, Associate Director and development staff for selected gifts
  • Manages a system to prioritize, prepare, send, and track stewardship reports for gifts as well as any special stewardship requests, including researching and producing all content for the reports
  • Manages a system to prioritize, prepare and track any major gift proposals as well as any special proposal requests
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of donor recognition plans, which may include special acknowledgements, press releases, plaques, recognition gifts, event announcements, and/or signage, as well as any special donor recognition requests
  • Budgets for, incurs, and reports on all stewardship-related expenses
  • Proactively seeks donor engagement opportunities


  • Participates in planning meetings with the donor’s primary solicitors to determine the appropriate activity types and timing for each donor
  • Meets regularly with the Director of Advancement, Associate Director of Development, development staff, the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office representatives, and Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Affairs Office representatives to enhance current stewardship programs and design new programs intended to accomplish a collaborative approach that invites input and participation, a commitment to stewardship planning which incorporates meaningful donor. engagement and integrated stewardship planning and programming with the central advancement donor relations and stewardship team
  • Develops and sustains excellent working relationships at all levels of the faculty and university to generate interest and participation in stewardship initiatives
  • Prepares and provides clear, concise, and complete verbal and written information for stewardship communications tools at a level appropriate to the audience (e.g. students, donor, external awards review committee, etc.)
  • Works collaboratively with development, alumni and student relations staff to develop, implement and track a strategic affinity plan that engenders a culture of philanthropy across the Faculty of Mathematics through engaging students, alumni, affinity and donor group events
  • Works collaboratively with development staff to develop and implement strategies to attract additional contributions from existing donors
  • Acts as a contact for development officers and donors to address questions about donor funds


  • Ensures that all gifts and pledges are acknowledged appropriately and effectively and in a timely manner
  • Writes custom acknowledgement letters and other responses to direct mail and individual gifts
  • Composes donor and prospective donor correspondence for the Dean and development staff
  • Creates and arranges delivery of custom stewardship reports and other communications (e.g., endowment reports, thank you notes from scholarship recipients, relationship documents, chair reports, 1957 Society certificates) that demonstrate the impact of the donor’s gifts
  • Arranges the ordering and installation of various donor recognition items (e.g., plaques, donor walls, trees, gardens)
  • Collaborates with appropriate development staff on the design and execution of selected stewardship events including in person stewardship reports and dedication ceremonies
  • Makes guest recommendations for event invitation lists based on donors’ interests and relationships
  • Organizes large-scale, high-profile recognition events (e.g., gift announcements, ground breakings, grand openings, donor receptions, special performances) on campus, in the community, and occasionally abroad. This may involve, but is not limited to creation of the event agenda, engagement of speakers, booking of venue, contracting of audio-visual services, distribution of invitations, tracking of participants, purchase of gifts, arrangements of photography and publicity, budgeting and reconciliation, etc
  • Organizes special campus visits, tours, speaking engagements, luncheons with student award recipients, etc. for donors and prospective donors
  • Arranges invitations to special events (e.g., institutional anniversary celebrations, retirement parties, president’s ideas exchanges, distinguished lectures, etc.)
  • Provides on-site oversight on event days to direct activities and problem solve as needed
  • Coordinates scholarship recipient communications with scholarship donors, including thank you letters to be written by students
  • Working with the development staff, drafts gift agreements as needed, circulate through appropriate channels and track signatures
  • Ensures gifts are being spent in a timely and appropriate manner (e.g., awards are disbursed, endowment funds are being utilized) 

Sponsorship / Corporate

  • Manages sponsors and stakeholders of the Corporate Partnership Program, including collaborating with development staff to solicit and develop new sponsorships for the program and map out corporate activations
  • Develop and execute on both short- and long-term sponsorship strategic plans for the Corporate Partnership Program
  • Greet and steward sponsors at Corporate Partnership Program events and related activations
  • Provide summary report to all faculty-wide sponsors of their return on investment
  • Responsible for the management of approved sponsorship activation budget(s) in accordance with the goals outlined for the Corporate Partnership Program sponsor(s) 

Affinity Groups and Awards Management

  • Develops, implements, and evaluates short- and long-term business plans for the affinity groups (e.g.,  entrepreneurial / Start Up Pledge, Women in Computer Science, Women in Math, Think About Math) within the framework of a Faculty’s advancement strategy
  • Ensures that objectives, projects, and critical paths for affinity fundraising initiatives are being met and makes adjustments as needed
  • Ensures the delivery of an exemplary, donor-centric affinity group programs and awards
  • Coordinates administrative requirements and communications with affinity group members to ensure an exceptional member experience
  • Accountable for providing support to volunteers and committees providing leadership to the programs
  • Ensures the timely onboarding of new affinity group members including thank you letter from the Dean, and new member welcome package
  • Coordinates the acknowledgement of affinity member gifts and pledges and prepares pledge payment reminders
  • Leads planning and execution of annual awards including nomination recruitment, selection, and recognition
  • Coordinates the development and distribution of member communications including e-news, member directory, website updates, other special messages/updates, and associated action entry into Raiser’s Edge
  • Plays a key role in working with volunteers, colleagues and program staff to identify major donor prospects
  • Ensures membership is tracked and coded in Raiser’s Edge


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 5+ years of experience working in a stewardship, donor relations or marketing role with a proven track record of planning and delivering high-quality personalized stewardship events and activities
  • Experience managing volunteers and volunteer committees
  • Previous experience working with women donors, entrepreneurs, and other affinity group fundraising
  • Previous work in an academic setting is an asset
  • Experience with front-line fundraising an asset 
  • Competencies will include: excellent problem-solving capabilities and analytical skills, process and detail oriented with ability to think creatively and strategically, good understanding of event planning and stewardship best practices, organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to handle multiple priorities and deadlines
  • Exceptional interpersonal, verbal, and written communication skills with proven ability to interact appropriately with various individuals, including senior university administrators, donors, sponsors, alumni, vendors, and volunteers
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite and video editing, etc. and digital marketing (web, social media, and e-newsletters)
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Involves moderate physical demands (walking, and stair climbing, lifting and carrying up to 20 pounds
  • There may be unusual hours or schedules, different event venues both on and off campus, and some domestic travel

Please apply using the following link: