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Western University

Executive Director, Principal Gifts

Posted On: September 23, 2022
Closing On: October 15, 2022

Location: London, Ontario
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $114,950 to $149,450

About Western

Since 1878, Western University has been committed to serving our communities through the pursuit of academic excellence and by providing students, faculty, and community members with life-long opportunities for intellectual, social, and cultural growth.  We seek excellent students, faculty, and staff to join us in what has become known as the “Western Experience” – an opportunity to contribute to a better world through the development of new knowledge, new abilities, new connections, and new ways to make a difference.

About Us

The University Advancement division plays a leading role in strengthening awareness of and support for the University’s mission and goals by leading alumni relations and fundraising efforts across campus and beyond. All departments within the Division build enduring alumni and public trust through understanding and support for Western University in a coordinated campus wide effort that results in the engagement and funding needed to make an impact. There are 3 departments within the Division – Departments of Development, Alumni Relations and Advancement Operations.

The department of Development’s mission is to connect Western’s alumni, friends, students, parents, faculty, staff, corporations and foundations through strategies and programs that build long-term relationships and philanthropic support for the University.


The Executive Director, Principal Gifts will provide strategic direction and leadership for the development of fundraising strategies for principal gifts and for strategic initiatives of the highest value and priority to Western. The role will provide strategic and operational leadership to a dedicated team of fundraising professionals and will support and advance institutional objectives related to University Advancement, while participating as a member of the Development leadership team, interacting with leaders at all levels, including the President, Deans, Chairs, Vice-Presidents, Associate Vice-Presidents, Professors and student leaders on development projects and strategy. In this role, the Executive Director will serve as an expert, coach and partner for university development staff related to principal gifts activities.



–    Undergraduate Degree in a related field (Master’s Degree preferred)

–    Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation would be an asset


–    8 years’ senior leadership experience leading a fundraising, or revenue-generating portfolio towards multi-million dollar targets

–    8 years’ experience executing gifts at the $1 million dollar plus level

–    7 years’ experience with accountability for leading staff, budgets and projects

–    Experience fundraising within a university or other complex non-profit environment is preferred

Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:

–    In-depth knowledge of fundraising principles and techniques, as well as project management methodologies

–    Compelling and persuasive communication skills to engage individuals and teams inside and outside the University

–    Ability to collaborate across internal and external boundaries to meet common objectives, improve outcomes and support work beyond one’s own unit

–    Ability to develop strategies and tactics that are in line with the University’s mission and which balance competing priorities

–    Ability to deal confidentially with information that has financial, political, regulatory and reputational implications

–    Critical thinking and analytical skills to assess complex higher education issues of concern to stakeholders, including the media and the public

–    Ability to effectively drive and manage change initiatives that align with organizational strategies and/or provide opportunities to increase efficiency

–    Ability to draw on diversity of skills, backgrounds and knowledge of people to achieve more effective results

–    A desire to grow and advance skills, which is demonstrated by attending conferences, workshops and other professional developmental opportunities to enhance performance

–    Ambitious with the ability to identify opportunities, develop action plans and set challenging goals in order to achieve desired outcomes

–    Project management skills to align projects with strategic goals and operational objectives

–    Ability to remain highly motivated, resilient, innovative, and collaborative when faced with challenges

Western Values Diversity

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Western is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, members of racialized groups/visible minorities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, persons of any sexual orientation, and persons of any gender identity or gender expression.

Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities throughout the recruitment process.  If you require accommodations for interviews or other meetings, please contact Human Resources at or phone 519-661-2194.

Please Note:

Effective September 7, 2021, all employees and visitors to campus are required to comply with Western’s COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.