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Senior Director of Development, Development and Alumni Engagement

Company: University of Calgary
Date Posted: September 21, 2017

Senior Director of Development, Development and Alumni Engagement


The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. The university has a clear strategic direction – Eyes High. We aspire to be Canada’s most entrepreneurial university in the country’s most enterprising city. To this end, we’ve launched Energize: The Campaign for Eyes High, a $1.3 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign, which promises to positively charge our campus community, our city and beyond through philanthropic support for student experiences that unleash potential, research outcomes that benefit society and community connections that strengthen our ties.


The Senior Director of Development is a senior position reporting to the Associate Vice-President, Development. This position is responsible for leading and supporting members of the University’s development team, strategic planning, and procedure development for key fundraising operations that support the University’s development goals and partnerships. This position is also responsible for advancing institutional donor relationships through face to face meetings, personally managing a number of the University’s key donor relationships and driving a significant portion of the University’s annual fundraising goal.

This position requires an ability to work under pressure, juggle multiple timelines, manage professional staff, negotiate with donors, and interact with a diverse client base including other members of the fundraising team. The impact of the decisions of the incumbent will have a significant effect on the Development and Alumni Engagement Office and the University.

This senior position is frequently a first point of contact for key stakeholders including major donors, community leaders, as well as the University’s program directors, Deans and Department Heads. The advice, decisions and actions of the Senior Director may create contractual, legal, tax and ethical implications for the University. This role depends on leadership, diplomacy, foresight and sound judgment being effectively exercised by the Senior Director of Development to ensure continued goodwill and financial support for the University.

Primary Purpose of the Position:

The Senior Director, Development is accountable and responsible to the Associate Vice-President, Development, for advancing the department’s strategic vision and achieving annual goals and objectives. The incumbent will provide coaching and mentoring, direction, structure, expertise, priorities and procedures to a team of University development staff in the development office. The incumbent’s assigned team is responsible for supporting faculty and institutional priority projects for fund development in partnership with project leads, faculty deans, department heads, and institute and/or centre directors.

As the Senior Director of Development your primary purpose is to be responsible for the short and long-term planning, development, delivery and evaluation for an assigned staff team within the Development and Alumni Engagement Office. You will collaborate with the Associate Vice-President, Development and colleagues overseeing related efforts in prospect management and research, donor relations/engagement, principal gifts, and development services. This position is responsible for the development and implementation of fundraising activities across the faculty and institutional team, identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors on behalf of the University and engaging alumni in the University’s mission and vision.

The Senior Director of Development has extensive line responsibilities to recruit, hire, motivate, and lead a team. This position manages the strategic objectives of direct reports, including annual goal setting and regular performance reviews and is accountable for all performance management related issues.


Required Qualifications:

A university degree in a related field with 7+ years fundraising experience in a post-secondary education institution is preferred. Substantial exposure to the non-profit sector, within a university environment or a large, complex organization is required.

Candidates will possess the following:

• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.

• Excellent listening skills, proven leadership ability, strong organizational skills, ability to analyze the market place and make appropriate recommendations.

• Ability to combine people and resources in a manner that will achieve objectives within established limits. Ability to coach and mentor a portfolio of development teams and individuals.

• Good negotiation skills, ability to manage relationships, honesty, integrity, high standards, understanding and commitment to an academic environment.

• Innovation, ability to motivate others, and a passion for what you do. Sound judgment and decision-making capabilities and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively are required.

• Proven leadership, management of professional staff and effective setting of goals and priorities.

• Organizational abilities including planning and organizing complex programs and high-impact projects with minimal direction.

• Proven ability to build fundraising strategies in support of organizational goals, develop prospective donors and secure major gifts.

• Experience in all facets of an integrated development program including events, sponsorship, annual giving, major gifts and legacy giving.

• Regional development experience is an asset.


Must be comfortable working directly with members of the University’s executive leadership team, Deans, and Department Heads. Ability to exercise a high level of tact and discretion in both internal and external interactions.

Ability to demonstrate:

• Fundraising expertise in a large, complex environment.

• Accomplished leadership skills, strategic vision and successful change implementations in a large/complex organization.

• High level of knowledge about relational database systems and technology applications to enhance business workflow and scalability.

• Capacity to analyze, translate and report financial and statistical data.

• Sound judgment and ethical decision-making capabilities and the ability to work collaboratively.

• Strong customer-focused attitude.

• Excellent organizational skills.

• Excellent problem solving, and critical thinking skills.

• Sound facilitation, strategic planning, project and resource management.



• Develop and implement plans and strategies to enhance the University’s development program and to generate consistent and significant increases to the funds generated through all development staff.

• Provide leadership and counsel to a team of professional staff members working in support of institutional and faculty-based priorities.

• Lead assigned faculty and institutional development portfolios.

• Actively engage with select major gift prospects and donors to advance their philanthropy.

• Evaluate and make recommendations to the Associate Vice-President, Development and University senior leadership, regarding human resources strategies for development operations: recruiting, hiring, ensuring sound orientation and ongoing training, and support professional development.

• Conduct regular and ad hoc review meetings with directly reporting staff as well as formal mid-year and annual evaluations. Ensure that all staff within their portfolios are well-managed and all HR requirements are met. Ensures own actions and those of staff reflect sensitivity to the needs and interest of many campus areas with diverse development objectives.

• Engage with University’s executive leadership, faculty deans, department heads, institute and/or centre directors to guide fundraising strategies and ensure that fundraising tools such as cases for support and proposals are in alignment with institutional goals.

• Ensure the key components of faculty and institutional fundraising campaigns are coordinated with faculty-based and other campaigns to capitalize on relationships with the corporate community, foundations, alumni, and individuals and promote achieving development goals.

• Ensure compliance with prospect management procedures.

• Develop annually a comprehensive business plan and budget.

• Provide direction and leadership to direct reports to ensure goals are met on schedule.

• Ensure ongoing familiarity with University direction, economic environment, current trends in philanthropy and best practices in fundraising and leadership.

• Lead by example in building a strong culture of trust, collaboration, innovation and team work.

• Perform other duties as required.


Core Competencies:

Envision the Future

• Sensing Future Trends - Anticipates and interprets future trends, by drawing on their experience and university knowledge to make decisions, to problem-solve and to align people and resources in increasing challenging and complex situations.

• Vision of the Future - Defines the future direction of the university, department, team or program and uses the vision to guide and align the efforts of all members of the university.


Foster Innovation

• Climate for Innovation - To champion and facilitate the development of breakthrough research and new solutions; to bring in changes and new ideas that improve services, methods or approaches. Shows the ability to turn difficult situations into opportunities.


Engage and Support Others

• Relationships - To establish and grow open and reciprocal relationships, understanding the importance of leveraging others to successfully achieve university objectives.

• Empowerment and Enablement - To empower and enable others with appropriate authority and responsibility, and supporting their efforts to take responsibility.

• Focus on Development - Cultivate the development of oneself and others through coaching, mentoring, personal and professional development and supporting successful performance.


Focus on Results

• Priorities Focus - The drive to achieve positive results and the ability to focus on accomplishing key objectives for oneself, the team and/or the university.

• Climate for Results - Create or contribute to an environment which inspires potential, trust, learning and excellence while delivering results.

• Change Focus - Facilitate and lead change by involving others and securing the necessary resources even when faced with complexity and/or ambiguity.


Acting with Integrity

• Integrity - To support the core values of the university, to be congruent in what you say and do; to be trustworthy, respectful and honest, and to exhibit a high standard of integrity in all interactions.

• Accountability and Fairness - To 'do the right thing'; be accountable and fair. This quality enables leaders and staff to be patient, flexible and accessible.



A competitive compensation package will be provided including an attractive base salary and excellent benefits. This position is classified in the Management Career Band, Level III of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. The University of Calgary’s comprehensive benefits and pension program is designed to promote a productive level of health and well-being to staff members through coverage for health, dental, life insurance, income protection for disability, and retirement income planning. To learn about our comprehensive benefits package please visit: Further details will be discussed in a personal interview.


Allan Nelson or Heather Fookes

Davies Park

530, 1000 - 7 Avenue SW

Calgary, AB T2P 5L5 Phone: (403) 263-0600


Additional information can be found at: