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Director of Development

Company: Discovery House
Date Posted: August 17, 2017

Alberta consistently has one of the highest domestic violence rates in Canada, with approximately 200,000 adults in our province living with family violence. Discover House is a multifaceted non-profit organization supporting women and children fleeing domestic violence. They approach care holistically, providing access to safe shelter, as well as innovative therapies, counselling, financial, emotional and educational support. At Discovery House women and children acquire the tools they need to overcome trauma and become confident and safe members of society, ready to build healthy relationships.

Discovery House measures impact and success in three strategic areas: Service, Sustainability, and Leadership. The organization employs best practices in service delivery to improve client outcomes in goal attainment, basic needs, service referrals, safety assessments and housing. Sustainable growth includes maintaining quality services while continuing to meet the expanding and changing needs of the community. Leadership objectives include identifying innovative approaches to support safe and healthy environments for families fleeing domestic violence, to be credible influencers of transformational social change, and to be a non-profit employer of choice.

In 2016 there was a 36% increase of domestic violence calls to the Calgary Police Service. Discovery House was able to support over 650 women and children fleeing domestic violence in our shelter and through our Community Housing Project.


This is a senior position reporting to the Executive Director. The Director of Development is involved in strategic planning and has access to highly sensitive and confidential information, requiring the ability to make discretionary decisions which impact fundraising programs and services. Decisions made by this position influence the entire organization. This position has a high volume of work, with morning, evening and weekend hours occasionally required. It is essential to have the ability to prioritize multiple competing demands and to see the big picture. This role will lead execution of Discovery House’s current fund development plan to secure $725,000 in philanthropic revenue in 2017-18, while also setting the agency up for successful achievement of fundraising results in the $1M-$2M annual range over the next several years.

Primary Purpose of the Position:

To assist the Executive Director in achieving the Discovery House vision of a community free of domestic violence. The position will be responsible for planning and managing all philanthropic activity, and for building and cultivating relationships with the following constituencies: donors, key community stakeholders, and members of the non-profit/government community.

This position exercises considerable independent managerial discretion in the development and building of an annual program which includes events, grant-seeking opportunities, direct mail and digital solicitations, and developing a business plan and case for support to engage prospects and donors. This individual has independent discretion and operates across all aspects of typical managerial decisions.

This position is accountable to develop and execute a strategy for business development to ensure sufficient funds are available to achieve the identified philanthropy goals and objectives of the organization.

Maintaining professional relationships with donors and stewards is vital to the success of this role and to the organization. Adverse relationships will have a detrimental impact on organizational success.

Ensuring the confidentiality related to donations and development programs is critical to the ongoing success for this position. Disclosure of this information would be detrimental to Discovery House.


Required Qualifications:

• A university degree in a related field with 5-plus years’ fundraising experience. Experience in a non-profit setting is preferred.

• Membership in the Association for Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the CFRE designation preferred.

• Demonstrated experience in developing, implementing and evaluating a comprehensive fund development program that includes annual giving, monthly giving, events, digital fundraising, major and planned gifts.

• Track record in cultivating and successfully soliciting six-figure major gifts.

• Excellent verbal and written communication abilities. Ability to articulate a vision and engage stakeholders and donors. Strong listening skills.

• Sound judgment and decision-making capabilities with the ability to work independently, yet collaboratively.

• Ability to coach and cooperate with senior and executive members. Management or leadership experience. Able to inspire, elevate and mentor.

• Working knowledge of donor databases, with specific experience with Donor Perfect viewed as an asset.

• Passion for working in the not-for-profit sector.


The Director of Development is responsible for all aspects of fundraising and those aspects of external relations as they relate to development for Discovery House:

• Achieve annual and campaign fundraising targets, while recognizing that achievement of financial targets is not the only measurement of success for a fundraiser.

• Responsible for all aspects of fundraising and those aspects of external relations as they relate to development.

• Provide leadership in the development of short and long-term strategic fundraising plans.

• Develop and implement a comprehensive fundraising plan that incorporates annual giving, major and principal gifts, specialized campaigns, and planned giving.

• Personally manage and build a diverse prospect portfolio and assist the Executive Director, volunteers, and others in identifying, cultivating, soliciting and stewarding donors to Discovery House.

• Work with the Executive Director and other teams to develop and manage any fundraising volunteer groups that will actively engage donors and members of the community.

• Consult with the Executive Director and fellow Senior Executive Team members on all matters pertaining to fund development. Attend and participate in Board meetings as required.

• Collaborate with other members of the Discovery House team who have responsibilities for donor relations, external relations and communications to ensure effective positioning with various stakeholders.

• Successful management of fundraising resources (budget, staff, volunteers) in alignment with the organization’s fundraising initiatives.

• The practice of ethical fundraising in keeping with the Discovery House’s mission and values and in accordance with charitable giving standards.

• Ensure ongoing familiarity with current trends in fund development.

• Ongoing personal development as a professional fundraiser.

Core Competencies:

Discovery House has established a team charter with seven competencies that flows from its mission and values. Competencies define the behaviors, knowledge and skills critical to success within the Discovery House culture. Further information about the seven competencies and detailed definitions can be accessed here at

LISTENING: Ability to listen actively and without bias.

UNITY & DIVERSITY: Ability to shift ways of thinking and operating when better methods and paths are identified through our fostering of different viewpoints.

PLAYFULNESS: Ability to focus on self-care and structured activities with an emphasis on fun, wellness and team building.

PURPOSE: Ability to be innovative and work collaboratively with community partners to end domestic violence.

COMMON GROUND: Ability to embrace diversity of thought and spend more time on areas of agreement rather than areas of disagreement.

VIEWPOINT SHIFT: Ability to express varying perspectives and to challenge the norm fearlessly.

TRANSPARENCY: Ability to share information around decision-making in ways that best serve the whole.


A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.


Mike Kerr or Heather Fookes

Davies Park

530, 1000 - 7 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB T2P 5L5

Phone: (403) 263-0600


Additional information can be found at: