Job Board
University of Manitoba - Asper School of Business

Senior Director, Major Gifts

Posted On: June 1, 2023
Closing On: June 30, 2023

Location: 181 Freedman Crescent, Winnipeg, MB
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: senior
Salary Range: $110,000 - $140,000

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The Opportunity

The University of Manitoba is seeking an experienced major gift fundraising professional and leader to join their team as Senior Director, Major Gifts for the Asper School of Business. The Senior Director, Major Gifts (Asper School of Business) will provide strategic direction and leadership to the Directors and Major Gifts Officers supporting the faculties.  They will also work closely with other senior Alumni and Donor Relations staff including heads of Major Gifts, Alumni Relations, Gift Planning, Annual Giving, Advancement Services, and Stewardship, with the goal of ensuring an integrated approach in the areas of fund development, alumni relations, and stewardship in furthering the University’s and Faculty’s advancement goals.

The I.H. Asper School of Business is one of the world’s leading institutions of business education and research, in support of our vision, the Senior Director will provide high-level expertise, strategic direction and facilitation in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies, designed to maximize long-term financial stability for the Asper School of Business. Increasing visibility, enhancing our reputation, and supporting Asper’s strategic goals will be a significant part of the Senior Director, Major Gifts mandate in close collaboration with the Deans and the faculty.  The successful candidate will be an outgoing and creative self-starter with experience cultivating, stewarding, and soliciting 5 to 6 figure major gifts.

Externally, the Senior Director, Major Gifts will interact with current and potential donors and supporters including high-net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, community leaders, and volunteers. They will personally manage a portfolio of approximately 35 active donors as well as potential donors, with the capacity to give in excess of $500,000.  Leading a team of two donor relations staff and overseeing relationships of over 175 – 225 alumni and donors, this dynamic team raises, on average, over $20M annually.

The Asper School of Business is committed to fostering a learning environment that embraces and values the involvement of all members of our community. We take great pride in the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff.

About University of Manitoba

Since 1877, the University of Manitoba (UM) has been driving discovery and inspiring minds through innovative teaching and research excellence. Proudly located in the heart of Canada, UM has a strong and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community partners.

With two main campuses in Winnipeg and over 100 programs across multiple faculties, schools, and colleges, UM offers more learning, teaching, and research opportunities than any other post-secondary institution in the province. Most of the academic departments have graduate studies leading to master’s or doctoral degrees. For this academic year, UM has more than 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with more than 21.9% international students representing 115 countries.

As one of the country’s top research institutions and the only research-intensive university in the province, UM researchers are making contributions that have a global impact. UM ranks 17th among Canada’s top 50 research universities for attracting research grants and contracts.

The University is home to more than 50 research centres, institutes, and shared facilities that promote the exchange of ideas and provide collaborative research environments that stimulate multidisciplinary research and development. In 2019/20 UM research received $192.2 million in sponsored research income. UM currently has 85 endowed and sponsored research chairs, including an allocation of 50 Canada Research Chairs, a Senior Canada 150 Research Chair, a Canada Excellence Research Chair, and a Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate.

Along with the Fort Garry campus as its central hub, the University of Manitoba operates three other major locations: the downtown Bannatyne Campus, the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre, and the William Norrie Centre. Additionally, the university also administers its French-language affiliate, Université de Saint-Boniface in the Saint Boniface ward of Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which officially opened its doors in 2015. The Centre is dedicated to preserving the truth of Residential Schools and advancing reconciliation. The University also has one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada, with more than 2,600 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, including more than 250 graduate students. Some of the country’s brightest stars in Indigenous research are at the University of Manitoba, advancing the University’s commitment to embedding Indigenous perspectives into learning, discovery, and engagement and helping to create pathways to Indigenous knowledge and achievement.

Many of the world’s great minds have been part of the University of Manitoba. Twenty-six UM doctoral students have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and 99 students have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship–more than any other university in Western Canada.

Across the globe, in 139 countries, there are over 181,000 University of Manitoba alumni carving their own paths. The Distinguished Alumni Awards have honoured 27 outstanding alumni, joined by more than 1,600 event guests. Since 2015, UM has hosted over 200 class reunions and welcomed more than 4,000 alumni and community members back to campus for celebrations.

Philanthropic support affects the lives of UM students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes Manitoba, our nation, and the world. In 2021-2022 outright gifts and new pledges to the University totaled $61.5 million. Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Our graduates give back to their alma mater and more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the University’s most recent record-breaking Front and Centre campaign.

The Asper School of Business

Established in 1937 and accredited for the past two decades, we strive for teaching excellence and innovative research. We reflect the values embodied in our province of connected community, cultural diversity, and strong work ethic. Our 22,000 alumni have and continue to strengthen businesses and hold leadership positions in organizations around the world.

When the Faculty of Management was named the I.H. Asper School of Business in 2000, it was appropriate to change the logo as well. With the help of a small committee, Barry Hammond of Flamingo Design was given the task of designing a new logo that reminiscent of the past but was sufficiently different to communicate change.


Our mission is to lead in knowledge creation and develop our students as ethical business leaders who embrace diversity and advance innovation.


We will be known internationally for excellence in research and teaching, experiential learning, leadership in Indigenous business scholarship, outstanding engagement locally and globally, and the quality of our graduates.



Delivering excellence in research and teaching as balanced mandates, in administrative support, and in preparing graduate students.


Remaining on the forefront of knowledge creation and preparing graduates to be innovative change agents in a dynamic global business environment.


Providing a welcoming and respectful environment that honours Indigenous perspectives and embraces diversity* in all its forms.


Promoting accountability, sustainable practices, critical thinking, academic freedom, and ethical conduct.


Building exemplary and diverse partnerships (internal and external) that contribute to the University, Manitoba, the country and the world.

Additional Information

University of Manitoba

About UM

Facts and Figures

2022 Annual Financial Report

Board of Governors

UM Strategic Plan

UM Marketing & Communications

The UM Brand

UM News

Gratitude Report

Asper’s Strategic Plan 2019-2023

Asper’s Employee Report 2021

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Direct Fundraising – 40%

  • Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a personal portfolio of approximately 35 rotating active donors and prospects with a primary focus on the I.H. Asper School of Business while maintaining strategic oversight of direct reports and their respective donor relationships and those of their direct reports (in excess of 500 additional constituents).
  • Acts as the principal donor strategist for each potential donor in their personal portfolio with specific responsibility to develop and implement a written donor strategy and relationship record of all interactions.
  • Identifies, qualifies, cultivates, and solicits prospects for gifts in excess of $500,000, with a focus on $1M+ donors.
  • Organizes time efficiently and effectively, allowing for significant interface with donors and prospects.
  • Represents the University of Manitoba to external constituencies and facilitates relationships between individuals, corporations, foundations, and key members of the university, leading to major gifts.
  • Works proactively to strategically identify, recruit leverage and support University senior administrators and other key stakeholders’ participation in gift solicitations and in Faculty Advancement initiatives.
  • Identifies prospects that may be ready for a planned gift and develops recommendations for cultivation/solicitation strategy in consultation with the Director, Gift Planning.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Donor Stewardship administers and stewards each gift according to the donor’s wishes.
  • Works closely with the key members of the department to plan targeted outreach activities aimed at increasing the donor pool and cultivating/stewarding existing prospects.
  • Promotes collaboration with colleagues to engender trust in the prospect management process.
  • Works in a donor centered way to match donor interests with key projects.
  • Actively participates in “moves management” sessions to plan out the key steps to strategically advance the relationships with key donors.
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of the university’s priorities and needs in both teaching and research, particularly pertaining to the I.H. Asper School of Business.
  • Establishes a relationship with the Dean of the I.H. Asper School of Business and other key faculty members and engages these individuals as needed in the fundraising process.
  • Works with the Dean to develop a faculty-based case for support for Asper School fundraising priorities.
  • Provides direct supervision and strategic insight into the development of the faculty-based cases for support for faculties located on the Fort Garry campus (with the exception of the College of Nursing).
  • Oversees the creation of persuasive, appropriate funding proposals communicating the Faculty’s plans, programs, services, and initiatives for potential donors.
  • Regularly communicates plans and progress against the fundraising goal to the Dean.
  • Marshall’s resources from the Donor Relations unit and the External Relations to ensure a high level of service to the Faculty.


Team Leadership – 35%

  • Directs the Major Gifts team on the Fort Garry campus, implementing measures to develop and maintain a strong team environment and a goal-oriented and evaluative approach to all advancement activities.
  • Independently recruits, mentors, leads, coaches, evaluates, and disciplines staff within the Fort Garry based Major Gifts team.
  • Provides strategic and tactical advice, guidance, coaching, and feedback for the Major Gifts team members’ activity and ensures integration and coordination amongst all Faculty Advancement programs.
  • Obtains resources, including information and approvals, required for Faculty Advancement team members to meet their fundraising goals within the fundraising strategic plan.
  • Works with direct reports in the development of annual individual work plans that complement the annual Strategic Plan.
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing, and evaluating performance, and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Drives activity amongst the team in accordance with the performance metrics outlined in their job descriptions and individual development plans.
  • Keeps up to date on trends related to fundraising and education and develops strategies for the team to address issues.
  • Promotes cross collaboration with other colleagues, both within Donor Relations and all of External Relations.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters open and frequent communication, teamwork, a passion for the mission, and understanding of External Relation’s vision and purpose.


Strategic Planning – 25%

  • Develops and implements a strategic Faculty fundraising plan, aligned with and part of the overall Donor Relations unit plan. The plan will be based on the institutional priorities and subject to the final approval by the Associate Vice-President (Donor Relations).
  • Provides the overall leadership and direction for achieving the strategic Faculty fundraising plan.
  • Evaluates the success and efficiency of the strategies and modifies as needed to meet objectives.
  • Works closely with the Associate Vice-President (Donor Relations), the Directors, Major Gifts, and the Director, Alumni Relations to institute strategies related to alumni engagement, donor centred activity and building a culture of philanthropy within the Asper School of Business specifically and broadly across all faculties on the Fort Garry campus.
  • Maintains communications with key stakeholders (Deans, alumni, students) on Advancement strategies, plans, activities, achievements, and progress against goals.
  • Directly addresses any and all faculty issues regarding Advancement.

Qualifications & Competencies

Required Experience & Education

  • A minimum of 5-7 years experience in successful fundraising is required, with a minimum 5 years proven experience in major and transformational gift solicitation.
  • Experience with higher education fundraising is an asset. Consideration will be given to equivalent senior fundraising, business development and sales experience in other sectors.
  • Demonstrated success developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing strategic fundraising plans and meeting objectives.
  • Outstanding prospect management and tracking skills, including identifying, evaluating, cultivating stewardship, and directing personal solicitation of major gifts or equivalent required.
  • Experience relating to people in diverse contexts, projecting presence warmth and sincerity in relationship building and fundraising.
  • Proven experience and success with staff leadership and teambuilding, including recruiting, organizing, directing, and retaining team members, as well as the ability to inspire, motivate and coach a dedicated group of professionals.
  • Demonstrated experience and success managing, motivating, and mentoring volunteers to achieve shared goals.


Abilities, Qualities, and Attributes

  • Excellent communication (both written and verbal).
  • Public speaking and presentation, facilitation, and negotiation skills.
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills with an ability to compile and interpret data and make data driven strategic decisions accordingly.
  • Demonstrated successful project management skills.
  • Sound knowledge of laws, practices, and philosophy of charitable giving.
  • Clear understanding of and strict adherence to ethical fundraising standards.
  • Visionary, with the ability to think and plan strategically with creativity.
  • Goal focused and able to take leadership initiative and work collaboratively as a team player.
  • Highly energetic with the ability to independently manage multiple projects from conception to completion in a fast-paced environment.
  • High level of initiative, maturity, tact, and diplomacy; excellent judgement and discretion.
  • The ability to serve as an articulate, credible representative of the University with diverse constituencies and particularly with the sophisticated individuals who support the institution.
  • The ability to understand the research and teaching dimensions of a proposed project, to conceptualize them in an integrated proposal, and to make a compelling case to a donor for philanthropic support.
  • The ability to navigate and be effective within a complex matrix organization that values collaboration and teamwork as well as individual initiative and creativity.


Other Considerations

  • The position requires extensive travel (10% minimum); valid passport and a valid driver’s license as well as access to an automobile is essential.
  • Preference will be given to those candidates who are of Indigenous descent and are graduates of the University of Manitoba.
  • Must be available during non-regular business hours, such as evenings and/or weekends, to attend events / meetings off-campus, on a semi-regular basis.
  • Experience with higher education fundraising is an asset. Consideration will be given to equivalent senior business development and sales experience in other sectors.
  • A University Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is required.
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation or equivalent will be considered an asset.

For More Information

KCI Search + Talent has been retained to lead this search has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the University of Manitoba. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Helena Debnam, Search Consultant, KCI Search + Talent by email at

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by June 30, 2023.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:


All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.


Please note that the maximum salary for this position is $110,000 – $140,000 per annum, based on experience, and a comprehensive suite of benefits is also provided.


The University of Manitoba is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from women, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual and gender identities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only. Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provisions of “The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy” (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae will be confidentially provided to participating members of the search process.