Job Board
McMaster University

Senior Director, Advancement Campaign

Posted On: November 27, 2023
Closing On: January 12, 2024

Location: Hamilton, ON
Employment Type: contract
Level: beginner
Salary Range: $119,553.00 - $179,329.00 (annual)


McMaster’s vibrant student experience, world-class research, and community engagement are empowered by the support of thousands of alumni and donors who also believe strongly in McMaster. Together, our donors and alumni help make the university what it is today and help nurture the next generation of leaders in our world. The Advancement team also plays a critically important role in advancing the university’s strategy, in support of McMaster’s ambitious vision, in partnership with the academic and administrative leaders across the University.

McMaster is a university with impact and is building leadership capacity to launch the most ambitious fundraising campaign in our history. We are in the planning phase of our next campaign when the necessary internal infrastructure, resources and campaign strategy are put in place. McMaster University is seeking a highly strategic and diplomatic Senior Director, Advancement Campaign to support campaign planning activities in the university’s quest for academic excellence and global recognition in designing and overseeing the campaign plan, in close liaison with the senior leaders at McMaster.

We are committed to engaging stakeholders and donors from around the world, fostering global relationships that will shape the future of our institution. At the heart of this transformation is the need for dynamic and inclusive leadership, to unite our university community and mobilize resources towards this philanthropic goal. The Senior Director, Advancement Campaign will play a critical role ensuring that campaign operations are orchestrated with strategic coherence and precision, and in continually monitoring and evaluating progress towards our target. They will play a pivotal role in ensuring excellence and consistency are at the heart of messaging, engagement (including events, communications and digital engagement) and measurement of impact – ultimately driving us toward the anticipated campaign target. The Senior Director, Advancement Campaign will serve on McMaster’s Advancement leadership team, balancing effective internal collaboration and engagement, with externally-facing strategic initiatives. This is also an exciting opportunity for the incumbent to provide leadership in the recruitment, engagement and coaching of a campaign staff team and senior volunteer leadership groups.


  • Lead and create McMaster’s campaign plan including structure, staffing, priority areas, key milestones and timelines, and strategic fundraising areas, in collaboration with the UA Senior Management Team – to position McMaster in the strongest possible position to achieve its campaign goal.
  • Engage, inspire and collaborate with the communities required for a successful campaign, including campaign staff, leadership volunteers, and internal partners.
  • Collaborate internally and externally with senior groups to identify, agree and frame campaign priorities – to inform the campaign case development in partnership with the VP Advancement and Senior Leadership across Advancement.
  • Provide leadership and understanding relating to the University’s Research portfolios, to support the identification of priority areas for philanthropy.
  • Establish and foster a diverse and committed team of campaign staff including hiring, training and supporting growth and development.
  • Provide strategic thought leadership and counsel to the VP Advancement, the President and Senior Management Team around the successful execution of the campaign strategy, including measurement and reporting.
  • Actively manage risks associated with the campaign, regularly assessing and reporting on these, and introducing responses and mitigations as necessary.
  • Participate in (and lead some) key groups, including volunteer leadership groups, Campaign Cabinet (a group comprising senior volunteers and internal leaders to drive campaign success), and internal working groups.
  • Lead the team to set objectives and priorities for annual plans and budgets; be accountable for managing annual fundraising targets and overall results.
  • Act as an inspiring ambassador for the campaign across communities, exemplifying the highest standards and best practices that ensure donors have extraordinary experiences.
  • Foster transparency and accountability by promoting fundraiser integrity, discipline, and compliance with relevant fundraising standards, ethics processes and structures.
  • Instill discipline across Advancement to ensure donor data and information is maintained, consistent, robust and complete – and benchmark and evaluate McMaster donor programs periodically against industry standards to seek innovation in the campaign.


  • Organize and support activities for campaign planning across all stakeholders in collaboration with the VP Advancement, with particular attention to institutional leadership, President, Vice-President, Deans and Academic Leadership, Advancement, units and Campaign Cabinet
  • Oversee all campaign-related internal and external communications, ensuring consistent messaging and optimizing communications channels to promote campaign priorities and celebrate successes – in collaboration with Advancement Communications and Marketing.
  • Design and organize strategic campaign events (including associated meetings and travel), and ensure the impact of events is maximised.
  • Determine appropriate goals and metrics for campaign fundraising programs; monitor and report on progress against goals and on the key activities of fundraising programs, initiatives and staff.
  • Support and advise on strategies to cultivate and solicit a portfolio of principal, major and planned gifts, annual and corporate donors to meet campaign goals.
  • Develop and oversee the campaign training and an engagement program for McMaster staff, and build the capacity of the McMaster Advancement team for the campaign through staff mentoring and coaching.
  • Collaborate with and support the Alumni Engagement team to ensure an integrated approach to the engagement of McMaster alumni in the campaign.
  • Develop and implement donor and partner recognition strategies for the campaign.


  • Design and lead a strategic approach to engaging key volunteers who will support the success of the campaign.
  • Recruit and train key leadership volunteers to support the campaign within volunteer structures, in collaboration with the VP Advancement and Senior Management – including playing a key role in the identification, cultivation, recruitment, training, and ongoing support of Campaign Cabinet volunteers.
  • Serve as the lead person supporting the Campaign Cabinet and other assigned campaign volunteer groups, working to ensure that activities are on track, volunteers are well-supported, and goals are being met.
  • Undertake prospect review and evaluation with campaign volunteers, Board members, leadership and staff, and others as required.
  • Ensure that events and communications are coherent and clear for senior volunteers and that their contributions are recognized in the most appropriate way.
  • Seek and cultivate new strategic relationships to build the organization’s visibility, impact, and success towards the campaign goal.


In addition to joining a top ranked university, McMaster offers a very competitive Total Compensation Package that includes but is not limited to:

  • Employer Paid benefits such as Extended Health, Dental, Emergency Out-of-Country Travel Coverage & Basic Life Insurance,
  • Progressive paid annual vacation plan
  • Participation in a competitive Group Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP),
  • Training, coaching and professional development opportunities,
  • Employee tuition assistance for continuous development and education,
  • Opportunity to be a part of an academic environment working alongside professionals who share a passion for learning.

For full details, reference McMaster’s Total Rewards website for additional information.


  •  Completion of a Bachelor degree at minimum. A Master’s degree or an appropriate level of experience.
  • CFRE designation.


  • 10-15 years of progressive philanthropy and advancement experience at a senior level in a capital campaign environment preferably.
  • A track record of leading and running successful fundraising campaigns.
  • Experience leading a university or equivalent comprehensive fundraising campaign is an asset
  • Experience working closely with a VP Advancement, AVP, Development Programs and the President, Vice-VP Advancement, AVP, Development Programs and the President, Dean, or Senior leader is required
  • Working knowledge of the post-secondary sector and current trends in North American Advancement


  • Demonstrated experience in alignment of fundraising activities to the organizational strategic plan, and in the creation and implementation of fundraising business plans.
  • Previous exposure to, and involvement with, a capital campaign would be a significant asset.
  • Excellent project management capacity complimented by exemplary people skills.
  • Proven ability to build, manage and develop key relationships with partners, donors and others involved in making the campaign a success.
  • Proven ability to support staff colleagues and manage volunteer involvement in major gifts fundraising.
  • Ability to think creatively, strategic thinking and experience in strategic planning and leading annual planning in a complex organization
  • Demonstrated success in leading and executing change
  • Extensive people and relationship management skills and demonstrated through past responsibilities
  • Exercises excellent diplomacy and judgment while navigating difficult situations
  • Ability to listen, compile learnings from, and influence key stakeholders
  • Comfortable in international settings and working with a variety of cultures – second language is an asset
  • Superior interpersonal and communication skills
  • Exceptional presentation and public speaking skills – comfort and ability to adapt speaking style to different sizes and types of audience
  • Excellent organizational skills and demonstrated ability to prioritize multiple and changing demands.
  • Ability to build and influence a strong campaign team and coach and mentor advancement staff to improve their skills and build their career.
  • Ability to work with senior leaders, academic leaders, and other stakeholders both internal and external effectively and collaboratively.


To apply for this job, please submit your application online.


McMaster University is located on the traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee and Mississauga Nations and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement.

The diversity of our workforce is at the core of our innovation and creativity and strengthens our research and teaching excellence. In keeping with its Statement on Building an Inclusive Community with a Shared Purpose, McMaster University strives to embody the values of respect, collaboration and diversity, and has a strong commitment to employment equity.

The University seeks qualified candidates who share our commitment to equity and inclusion, who will contribute to the diversification of ideas and perspectives, and especially welcomes applications from indigenous (First Nations, Métis or Inuit) peoples, members of racialized communities, persons with disabilities, women, and persons who identify as 2SLGBTQ+.

As part of McMaster’s commitment, all applicants are invited to complete a confidential Applicant Diversity Survey through the online application submission process. The Survey questionnaire requests voluntary self-identification in relation to equity-seeking groups that have historically faced and continue to face barriers in employment. Please refer to the Applicant Diversity Survey – Statement of Collection for additional information.

Job applicants requiring accommodation to participate in the hiring process should contact:

to communicate accommodation needs.


To ensure an ongoing and vibrant University community that meets the needs of our students, staff and faculty and supports the University mission, ability to work on-site continues to be a requirement for most University positions. The University is supportive of exploring flexible work arrangements that effectively balance operational needs and employee interests.