Job Board
Sunnybrook Foundation

Executive Director, Donor Communications, Impact & Accountability

Posted On: July 26, 2022
Closing On: September 9, 2022

Location: Hybrid
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $135,000 - $190,000

File: Download


Sunnybrook Foundation (SBF) is building capacity to inspire lasting support for Sunnybrook Hospital and seeks an experienced senior donor engagement leader to drive the strategic growth of the portfolio and provide services and experiences that deepen donor engagement with Sunnybrook Foundation and Hospital. The Executive Director, Donor Communications, Impact & Accountability will have responsibility for the overall vision and direction of the organization’s donor relations efforts and will build the roadmap, develop policies, procedures and best practices resulting in the creation and delivery of high-quality and high-impact donor communications including but not limited to stewardship, recognition, case and proposal development, impact reporting, and gift fulfillment.

Reporting to the Vice President, Advancement and working closely with the Foundation CEO, the Executive Director will play an important role in the Foundation’s Senior Management Team (SMT). As a member of SMT, this individual will be a contributing architect of the Foundation’s expansion over the next decade and lead its teams to set strategic direction and develop annual business plans to realize the Foundation’s bold ambitions. The Executive Director, Donor Communications, Impact & Accountability will be a critical point of contact for philanthropy staff, volunteers, donors, and strategic partners. With a hospital team that embraces philanthropy and understands the significant role of the Foundation, the Executive Director will be a key partner for hospital senior management and executives as it relates to donor relations and recognition.

This is an opportunity to build upon a strong foundation while bringing innovation, best practices, consistency, and sustainability to all areas of the program. Initial priorities will include close collaboration with philanthropy colleagues to align stewardship plans with donor opportunities, drive proactive donor renewal strategies, build cases and proposals that drive transformational giving, and lead the development of principle-driven donor policies and procedures to guide Sunnybrook’s continued fundraising growth.

The successful candidate will lead a dedicated and comprehensive team of stewardship, donor relations, and communications staff responsible for delivering programs, events, and collateral that communicate impact, instil confidence and inspire giving.

This is an exciting time to join Sunnybrook Foundation as it invests in new resources, strategies, and structures that will enhance Foundation-Hospital collaboration and create opportunities for partnership and innovation in order to invent the future of health care. The Executive Director will join a Foundation that has unparalleled momentum at a world-renowned health care centre where life-saving innovation happens when it matters most.

Sunnybrook Foundation works within a hybrid model; a combination of in-office and remote work is anticipated.


Philanthropy plays a critical role in every discovery, innovation and moment where Sunnybrook provides high-quality care when it matters most.

Sunnybrook Foundation inspires lasting support for Sunnybrook. Together with our donor community, Sunnybrook Foundation raises critical funds for Sunnybrook’s world-class academic health sciences centre to achieve our shared vision to invent the future of health care. Sunnybrook Foundation is committed to leading with our values and developing a model of shared leadership that will support our plans for ambitious growth.

Located within Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on Bayview Avenue in Toronto, the Foundation consists of more than 80 professionals and support staff who work in close partnership with our Hospital colleagues. With ambitious goals ahead, the Foundation is committed to continuing to grow our results and impact as we help Sunnybrook to raise sights, uncover new possibilities, develop talent, and deliver exceptional care.

Last year, thanks to the commitment of our dedicated volunteers, donors, and staff, we raised more than $72 million to support Sunnybrook’s priorities and we are also fortunate to have an endowment fund of more than $90 million that helps to support Sunnybrook’s mission.



Sunnybrook is a world-renowned academic health sciences centre with a reputation for providing the highest quality care and for teaching and research excellence. The Hospital’s 13,000 staff, students, physicians, and volunteers provide extraordinary care at critical times in the lives of the more than 1.3 million patients we see each year. Sunnybrook treats more people with their lives on the line than any other hospital in Ontario with over 80 hospitals referring their patients to Sunnybrook every day.

Sunnybrook leads by discovery, innovation, teaching, and learning. We have evolved to become one of Canada’s largest and most dynamic health science centres. First opened in 1948 as Sunnybrook Veterans Hospital and renamed Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in the 1990s, today, Sunnybrook has established itself across three campuses and is home to Canada’s largest trauma centre. Sunnybrook is a fully affiliated University of Toronto teaching hospital.

Our vision at Sunnybrook is to invent the future of health care with a focus on trauma, cardiac, stroke, high-risk pregnancy and newborns, and cancer. Our Primary Care Programs include:

2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan

Our health care systems in Ontario and across Canada are changing rapidly and as a result, there are significant influences that have shaped our thinking and our goals and objectives within each of our strategic directions. Among these have been the impact of the global pandemic and how this has been a catalyst for change in areas such as accelerating the implementation of our digital care strategies. Our strategic thinking has been cognizant of the significant social justice issues that have been brought to the forefront and we have amplified the important work of addressing equity, diversity, and inclusivity through our Strategic Plan.

Our vision to invent the future of health care remains highly relevant and our passion for innovation is fundamental in our drive to continually improve patient care. As Sunnybrook celebrates its 75th anniversary of caring for our first patient, the hospital continues to live its dual mandate of serving our local community and as a regional centre that provides complex and specialized care when it matters most for Ontarians. Balancing these mandates in times of financial uncertainty remains a challenge and through this plan, the organization is increasingly looking for opportunities to generate new lines of revenue and to ensure efficiencies are realized.

While our 2025 Strategic Plan has been developed during one of the most challenging times in the history of our health care system, the lessons we have learned during this period and the values that define Sunnybrook, have guided our strategy to position us well for a successful future.




Strategic Leadership

  • Engage in setting longer-term purpose, vision and strategic directions, and annual business planning for the Foundation, as a member of the Foundation’s Senior Management Team.
  • In collaboration with leaders across the Foundation, develop systems and measures that appropriately assess performance and progress to ensure the achievement of SBF’s targets, and is accountable for the results.
  • Accountable for the overall performance of donor engagement programs including maintaining positive public relations and protecting the Foundation and Hospital’s reputation.
  • Build meaningful connectedness with volunteers, donors, and hospital staff in order to advance the mission of the organization.
  • Prioritize development of key change management initiatives; assess readiness to engage in change efforts and facilitate the design and execution of the change effort including mitigating risks.
  • Act as a project sponsor for key initiatives; model SBF values and set the cultural tone within the department.
  • Lead the development and renewal of donor policies and practices that promote transparency, principle-based decision making, and donor equity.
  • Adhere to and ensure compliance with Foundation processes, policies, systems, and practices.

Department Planning & Oversight

  • Establish the department’s strategic focus, objectives, and annual goals. Ensure strategies are aligned to SBF’s vision, purpose, values, and long-term strategic directions.
  • Lead the development and implementation of strategies related to donor communications, stewardship, and engagement including annual business planning and associated budgets.
  • Working closely with the VP, Advancement, act as a key point contact for the Donor Relations Committee of the Sunnybrook Foundation Board.
  • Collaborate with SBF leaders to develop and implement comprehensive and integrated donor relations, stewardship, and acknowledgement strategies and practices across all revenue streams and gift types (transformational, major and planned giving, annual giving, event participants and sponsors, etc.).
  • Collaborate with the Director, Knowledge and Systems to develop key performance indicators, surveys, and other tools that benchmark and measure progress and performance.
  • Provide leadership and subject expertise to support the philanthropy team in creating and assisting with individualized stewardship plans for donors, aligned with the areas of health care.

Donor Communications

  • Build a culture of review and continuous improvement to ensure SBF donor communications meet strategic objectives and amplify best practices.
  • Provide oversight for the creation of all donor communication materials, providing guidance and approvals including but not limited to: proposals, cases for support, donor impact reports, and correspondences.
  • Oversee the creation and dissemination of annual impact and stewardship reports, including donor and program-specific reports.
  • Provide oversight and leadership for the implementation of gift announcements, recognition and stewardship events and related activities.
  • Strategic lead for the development of impactful proposals and cases for support including standard templates as well as specific and customized content aligned with health care programs and priority projects.
  • Support and facilitate the use of program content from the hospital and other sources for donor communications strategies, programs, and collateral.
  • Provide strategic leadership to the development and delivery of information tracking processes regarding acknowledgement, recognition, ongoing communications, and continued cultivation of past and current major donors to enhance their relationship with the Foundation.
  • Support revenue growth through the identification of donors with potential for continued cultivation to enhance their relationship with the Foundation and increase giving.

Stewardship & Gift Fulfillment

  • Work with SBF and hospital colleagues to develop standards, tools and practices that support and inspire exceptional gift fulfillment.
  • Oversee all donor stewardship and recognition plans and organizational guidelines; act as the lead for developing and accessing policies and practices related to gift acceptance and fulfillment, recognition, naming, etc.
  • Ensure that stewardship and reporting requirements are met, identifying opportunities for enhancement and innovation on an ongoing basis.
  • In collaboration with the philanthropy team, ensure that gift agreements are monitored, terms are fulfilled, issues are identified and resolved, and communications with the donor are managed.
  • Serve as a senior stewardship lead for top prospects and donors providing oversight, counsel, and support for donor stewardship and cultivation efforts.
  • Oversee the delivery of donor-centric practices for services such as donation processing and receipting in partnership with gift processing staff.

Team Leadership

  • Lead and manage the team responsible for executing donor communications, engagement, and stewardship activities for the Foundation.
  • Measure, monitor, and manage the overall performance of the program and direct reports against set performance targets.
  • Coach and motivate staff and volunteers to achieve program objectives.


  • Demonstrated commitment to shared leadership in a values-driven, mission-driven context.
  • Progressive leadership in senior fundraising roles with mastery in the areas of donor motivations, stewardship practices and accountabilities in settings of significant complexity; preferably in a health care or academic environment.
  • Exposure to and experience with major gift fundraising and donors, and an understanding of stewardship frameworks and customized experiences.
  • Demonstrated success building donor engagement programs, protocols, policies, and processes to support the delivery of meaningful donor experiences.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising and stewardship communications.
  • Demonstrated ability leading and developing professional and management-level employees with diverse skills and experience.
  • Experience guiding and motivating staff with the ability to develop and mentor individuals and teams toward success.
  • Proven success in developing relationships, engaging, and working with senior volunteers, physicians, and hospital administration (or equivalent) to advance the mission of the organization.
  • Ability to liaise and build relationships with senior managers and strategic partners (internal and external).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of and interest in promoting a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility; previous experience and understanding of working with staff, volunteers, and donors from diverse cultural, socio-economic, and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Solid understanding of donor databases, ideally Raiser’s Edge. Experience using technology to monitor donor engagement activities.
  • Ability to leverage data to understand donor needs and motivations, identify trends, and deliver effective engagement and recognition opportunities.
  • Excellent communications skills including reporting and writing.
  • Strong judgement with experience identifying and anticipating issues.
  • Work comfortably in a highly collaborative environment; manage competing interests and maintain a positive, flexible and responsive attitude.
  • Understand and successfully navigate the philanthropic industry, keeping abreast of best practices locally, regionally, and globally.


KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Sunnybrook Foundation. For more information about this Foundation leadership opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, Vice President, Search + Talent by email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by September 9, 2022.

Sunnybrook Foundation is strongly committed to inclusion and diversity within its community and welcomes all applicants including but not limited to: visible minorities, all religions and ethnicities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and all others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Sunnybrook Foundation is committed to providing accessible employment practices that are in compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodation for disability during any stage of the recruitment process, please indicate this in your cover letter.

Please note that the salary range for this position is $135,000 – $190,000

To view the full Position Brief, visit