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Heart & Stroke

Senior Manager, Stewardship & Donor Experience

Posted On: March 3, 2023
Closing On: March 31, 2023

Location: Remote: Anywhere in Canada
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $85,000-$105,000

File: Download

Position Overview

Organization: Heart & Stroke

Title: Senior Manager, Stewardship & Donor Experience

Reports to: Director, Central Development Services

Direct Team: Two (Development Writers)

Cross Functional: Regional Development Leads; Executive Fundraising and Marketing Leadership, Marketing/Digital/Communications teams, Mission Directors, Finance

Location: Remote: Anywhere in Canada

Is This You?

You are a result oriented and creative stewardship professional who is looking to make your mark. You are ready to have a direct hand in owning the strategy for stewardship, end to end. This excites you because you are constantly seeking new ways to innovate and improve on the donor experience. You’ve been successful to-date because of your relationship building ability. You work exceptionally well with your development colleagues because you respect the demands they are under, and you are continually seeking new ways to drive efficiency. You genuinely care about the people you work with, the donors who come across your path, and the organizations that you passionately represent. You are the furthest thing from transactional. You put integrity and ‘doing right’ first and that translates into your earnest and hardworking approach.

You consider yourself to be creative, highly entrepreneurial, a self starter with a positive and realistic attitude. You are comfortable navigating difficult conversations and manage these interactions with poise and maturity.

You would be excited to support one of Canada’s most beloved and necessary causes working alongside a dedicated and passionate national team.

If this sounds like you, keep reading!

Executive Summary

Heart & Stroke’s mission is to promote health, save lives, and enhance recovery as it relates to heart disease and stroke. They are committed to a culture that exemplifies their core values: CHAMPION Health, PRACTISE Humility, EMBRACE Change, DRIVE impact, LEARN and GROW, and BE HEARTFELT.

Heart & Stroke is a leading funder of life-saving research, which has led to breakthroughs such as heart transplant surgery and a revolutionary stroke treatment that cuts the death rate by 50%.

They empower Canadians to live healthier lives — from preventing and controlling high blood pressure to getting more physical activity. And they fight for change that will create better health for all, such as reducing salt in the food supply and improving access to stroke rehabilitation.

But there’s a lot more to do. Much more.

The threat is urgent.

Heart disease, stroke, and related conditions take one life every five minutes in Canada. An estimated 1.6 million more Canadians are living with the devastating effects of these diseases. An astounding 9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor, such as high blood pressure, obesity, tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and diabetes.

The threat of heart disease and stroke has never been more urgent. And it’s amplified by our aging population, sedentary lifestyles, poor diets, and more.

Life. We don’t want you to miss it.

For more than 60 years, Heart & Stroke have been dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Their work has saved thousands of lives and improved the lives of millions of others. They have invested more than $1.52 billion in heart and stroke research, making them the largest contributor in Canada after the federal government. In that time, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent. The health promotion and advocacy programs across the country are saving lives every day. Working together, employees, volunteers, donors, and world-class researchers have made Heart & Stroke Canada’s most widely recognized and trusted authority on cardiovascular health.

Big challenge, ambitious goals

To tackle these challenges, Heart & Stroke focuses efforts on areas where they can make the biggest impact. They are working to beat heart disease and stroke with innovative programs such as:

Heart-Brain Connection: Seeking to gain better understanding of the critical connections between the heart and the brain, in January 2021, Heart & Stroke & Brain Canada announced a partnership resulting in a research award in the amount of $6M – the Heart-Brain Connection IMPACT Award. This research will investigate and unravel the heart-brain connection to improve knowledge and treatments.

Closing the Gap on Health Inequities: Prioritize closing the gap in Women and Indigenous health. All research applications must integrate Sex- and Gender-Based Analysis and Reporting (SGBAR) to be considered for funding and to create and sustain meaningful change. They are working on a framework to apply the principles of Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) to be integrated across all research programs, in the way that it is for IMPACT Award.

Heart & Stroke currently funds two research Chairs in Women’s Indigenous Heart and Brain Health in partnership with the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR). In late 2021, H&S is also hosting the third annual Canadian Women’s Heart Health Summit in partnership with the Canadian Women’s Heart Health Centre at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute.

Heart Failure: Working to lessen the burden of heart failure, which afflicts over 600 thousand people in Canada, in collaboration with World Heart Federation and other Canadian health partners. The first order of business is to collect data to better understand current resources and services throughout all health care institutions in the country.

Advocating for Healthy Policies: Pushing for a national pharmacare program to provide the access to medically necessary medication that everyone in Canada deserves and reduce the burden on the health care system. Working to restrict youth vaping and cap nicotine levels in vapes, as well as restrict the marketing of unhealthy products such as sugary drinks to children.

Increasing Cardiac Arrest Survival Rates: Looking at new ways to increase the survival of out-of- hospital cardiac arrest. They support a vast network of Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation training across Canada and have been instrumental in placing Automated External Defibrillators in public places. Looking for innovative ways and partnerships to drive the survival rate up.

The Position

The Senior Manager, Stewardship & Donor Experience is an integral position within Heart & Stroke, who are on a mission to expand and grow their fundraising initiatives. Our successful candidate will report to the Director, Central Development Services and will be accountable for leading the Foundation’s comprehensive donor stewardship program (encompassing individuals, foundations and corporations) nationally. Our candidate will identify and develop best-in-class strategies, systems, and processes for effective stewardship of donors, ensuring all receive meaningful communications, recognition and opportunities for engagement.

As the national lead, our candidate will be extremely collaborative with their national frontline fundraising colleagues and will own the strategy and execution of stewardship across the organization, coast to coast. In partnership with their regional development lead colleagues, our candidate will play a key role in the development of custom stewardship plans for major donors and corporate partners and will develop and implement new donor stewardship strategies for various segments.

Our candidate will lead two development writers – a team likely to grow in time. Together they will oversee the development of ‘off the shelf’ and customized opportunities including the case for support, donor proposals, stewardship reports and other support materials for Development teams and senior volunteers.

We are looking for a highly experienced stewardship and donor relations professional who would be excited to play a key role in the management of donor communications, gift and partnership agreements, donor recognition, strategy and planning support to stewardship events and the stewardship pipeline within the CRM. This is truly an end to end stewardship role, and our candidate will own the donor lifecycle, at all levels, from end to end.

Highly collaborative, our candidate will be a leader, providing direction and insight toward Heart & Stroke’s stewardship plan, leading colleagues through influence and importantly ensuring a flawless donor experience for Heart and Stroke supporters at all levels.

Primary Accountabilities

Manage Strategic Development Writing

  • Lead the strategic writing team in the development of all cases for support, pitch decks, proposals and stewardship materials
  • Develop innovative ways to engage and steward donors, including leveraging technology for a broader reach
  • Curate development and volunteer toolkits to support fundraising efforts across the country
  • Curate content for development teams, maintain, update and manage on central SharePoint site while establishing user guidelines and resource standards
  • Build and manage a plan and system that ensures the timely stewardship of all donors
  • Work in collaboration with the Regional Development teams to ensure the implementation of stewardship plans takes place

Develop Comprehensive Donor Engagement and Stewardship Plans

  • Develop and implement comprehensive donor cultivation & stewardship plans and systems across all fundraising segments and regions
  • Develop and maintain stewardship grid and benefits matrix for donors working closely with Lead, Corporate Opportunity Development
  • Lead the development of the fundraising strategy for key initiatives with a focus on the cultivation and stewardship framework
  • Ensure consistency in stewardship and recognition benefits across the organization
  • Enhance Heart and Stroke’s donor experience, including tailored donor stewardship experiences for key donors
  • Liase with Development team and Regional Development Leads on donor stewardship and recognition plans and stewardship reports

Develop and Manage Processes and Systems to Support Donor Engagement, Cultivation and Stewardship

  • Audit and evaluate current stewardship processes, including internal and external volunteer feedback, including tax receipt process
  • Develop the stewardship action tracking system in the CRM and train the Development Teams on implementation
  • Lead the development of the major gift acknowledgement and thank you letter process that will be implemented by the Development teams
  • Lead the development and management of the Gift Agreement process and perform an audit for a comprehensive view of all deliverables, determine gaps and assess risk
  • Lead the development and management of Stewardship Report Process and Proposal Development Process
  • Create stewardship dashboards and reports in collaboration with the Development team and Regional leads
  • Set the KPIs and metrics to monitor stewardship practices, while working with Regional Leads to ensure that tracking of stewardship activities is taking place

Talent Management

  • Lead team, including talent development of that team, insuring high standards, competence and that staff is well supported in fulfilling their accountabilities, developing their skills and achieving career potential
  • Providing clear direction on business goals and priorities; ensure optimal deployment of resources to achieve business goals
  • Build and develop cohesive lateral relationships cross functionally
  • Establish a performance plan (in partnership with HR) and objectives and review on an ongoing basis; provide coaching and feedback as per the performance management process
  • As required, recruit skilled talent in support of current and future Foundation needs, following Foundation policies, interviewing methodology and assessment guidelines
  • Familiarize and comply with Heart and Stroke policies while ensuring accurate administration of employee related information: absence records, vacation requests, etc.
  • Manage budget for external consultants and writers to support the Development team priorities

The Ideal Candidate

The successful candidate will possess a passion for health philanthropy and be a consummate professional and role model, with excellent communication skills, professionalism, and interpersonal skills.

The ideal candidate will possess/be able to:

  • 8+ years working within a matrixed philanthropic environment, ideally with direct experience creating stewardship plans for major donors (individual, foundation, corporate)
  • Ideally possess direct people leadership accountability. If not, can successfully demonstrate ability to lead through influence
  • Direct experience with writing for a philanthropic audience and stewardship reporting
  • Intensive knowledge of best practices in stewardship and donor experience
  • Superior ability to produce high-quality work under tight deadlines, combined with a comfort managing multiple projects, priorities and deadlines
  • Superior organizational, project management and resource management skills
  • Creative ability to develop and curate materials to inspire curiosity and a desire to learn more
  • Ability to work in a multi-layered, complex, results-oriented institution with multiple internal and external stakeholders
  • A strong team work ethic and demonstrated planning and organizational abilities
  • Ability to coach, mentor and develop a team, providing timely feedback
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills; able to work well with all levels of staff
  • Ability to work with technology and software required for virtual stewardship purposes/experiences
  • Self-motivated with sound judgement and ethical decision-making skills
  • Exceptional organizational and communication skills; capable of effectively and calmly managing many projects simultaneously
  • Working knowledge of CRM (Blackbaud, Salesforce) is an asset

Application Instructions

Send your application to Please include your cover letter and CV.

In addition to a competitive salary, Heart & Stroke believe that time off is integral to the personal health and wellness of employees. They offer a generous paid time-off package including vacation days, personal days, wellness days, and paid company-wide closure between December 25 and January 1. They also provide competitive health, medical, dental and vision benefits, basic life and disability insurance, an employee assistance program (EAP) and a defined contribution pension plan with employer matching.  Heart & Stroke employees also enjoy a flexible hybrid working model and reimbursement for mobile phones and home office setup, as well as opportunities for professional development.

Heart & Stroke is committed to fostering an inclusive, barrier-free, and accessible environment.  If you are contacted for an interview and require accommodation to participate in the recruitment and selection process, please advise and we will work with you to meet your needs.

At Heart & Stroke, we believe in equity, diversity, and inclusion; it’s embedded in our values and core mission work to support all people in Canada to lead healthier lives. We are committed to applying this principle to cultivate a welcoming environment that embraces diversity among our employees.  Candidates from diverse backgrounds, including but not limited to, Indigenous peoples, racialized and LGBTQ2+ communities, women, and people with disabilities, are encouraged to apply.

We thank you for your interest in this opportunity. Please note that only qualified respondents will be contacted.