Wilfrid Laurier University

Director, Development, Faculties & Director, Development, Strategic Initiatives
Posted Date: 
Thursday, February 22, 2018
Closing Date: 
Monday, March 19, 2018


Wilfrid Laurier University (Laurier) is seeking two seasoned fundraising professionals for the newly created roles of Director, Development, Faculties, and Director, Development, Strategic Initiatives, to lead and inspire the philanthropy team in supporting the university’s priorities. Reporting to the Vice-President, Development and Alumni Relations, these senior roles will be integral to elevating fundraising at Laurier and successfully completing Catalyst: The Campaign for Wilfrid Laurier University, with a goal of $130 million. The campaign, which spans the entire university, launched in 2009 with $108 million raised to date. Our intent is to reach the goal and wrap the campaign by April 2019.

The Directors will have strategic oversight for developing, implementing, and evaluating initiatives to achieve activity and revenue targets; managing and advancing a personal portfolio of 100+ major donors and prospects; and collaborating with senior leadership, staff and other stakeholders in Waterloo, Kitchener and Brantford. These positions will work in collaboration with the Director, Development, Lazaridis School of Business and Economics. The primary distinction between the two roles is as follows:

Director, Development, Faculties – Based at the Waterloo Campus, this incumbent will supervise a team of three to five, and will oversee fundraising on behalf of the Faculties of Arts, Music, Education, and Social Work (with the exception of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics). The primary focus will be on building relationships with Alumni and Corporate Partners to fund capital projects, programs, research, and scholarships.

Director, Development, Strategic Initiatives – Based at the Brantford Campus, this incumbent will supervise a team of three to five, and will oversee fundraising for key cross-cutting initiatives including Libraries, Student Affairs, Athletics and Recreation, Indigenous Initiatives, all activities in Brantford, and potentially, the new Milton Education Village.


Founded in 1911, Wilfrid Laurier University offers a broad range of over 100 graduate and undergraduate degree programs through nine faculties and one federated institution.  Innovative programs in arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, social work and education reflect Laurier’s determination to address global social, health and environmental problems and advance creative pursuits.

In addition to recognition for academic excellence, Laurier embraces the philosophy that the measurement for students’ success is through more than grades – it is based on the quality of the lives they lead, and those they inspire. For over 19,000 undergraduate and undergraduate students, a Laurier education is about building the whole person: mind, body and spirit.  An essential complement to in-class learning are co-op work terms and community service, which form a foundation that Laurier students continue to build upon long after graduation.

Working together across disciplines to address issues of global importance, Laurier researchers engage in projects in countries around the world and are active in global interdisciplinary networks. Laurier boasts state-of-the-art and specialized research facilities on both the Waterloo and Brantford campuses and, in partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories, is in the process of building world-class research infrastructure in the Northwest Territories.

Over 100,000 alumni have embraced the Laurier experience. Whether getting involved in Student Union events, participating in intramural programs or on varsity teams, or volunteering, Laurier students are a part of our close-knit Golden Hawk community.

A Multi-Campus University

Establishing itself as an international multi-campus university, Laurier maintains two campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, a Faculty of Social Work in nearby Kitchener, a weekend MBA program in Toronto and an office in China. 

In 2008, the Town of Milton and Laurier signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which formed an official partnership to explore the establishment of an innovative educational and cultural destination in the Halton Region. Many milestones have been achieved towards this ultimate goal, including their strategic collaboration in the Milton Education Village Innovation Centre, which opened in April 2014.

As well, through an innovative partnership between Laurier and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/ Brantford, construction is underway on a new athletics and recreation facility that will expand athletic opportunities for students at the Brantford campus, enhance broader community access to health, wellness and social supports, and further bolster the revitalization of the city’s core. 


The Strategic Academic Plan continues to endorse the core principles of discovery and innovation, civic engagement, diversity, integration, global citizenship, sustainability, justice, quantitative and scientific analysis, communication, and performance.  

Setting the context for the Plan was the 2013 Strategic Mandate Agreement (SMA) process between Laurier and the Province of Ontario resulting in a two-pronged mandate that captures Laurier’s distinctive mission. Wilfrid Laurier University will:

1. Lead the province and the nation in combining the comprehensive human development of students with outstanding intellectual development in a liberal arts and sciences tradition, and

2. Lead by example in innovative and highly efficient multi-community, multi-campus delivery of academic and professional undergraduate and graduate programs within a comprehensive university context.

Reflecting on the SMA and other critical environmental factors, the Plan identifies essential strategies grouped into three pillars:

  1. Academic Excellence
  2. Experiential Learning
  3. Diversity


For further details on the Strategic Academic Plan, please visit: https://downloads.wlu.ca/downloads/common/documents/strategic-academic-plan.pdf.


Our Vision: To be regarded as the finest and most highly respected Development, Alumni Relations and Advancement Services program in Canada.

Mission: Our team advances the mission of Laurier by strengthening relations with our students, alumni and friends. We provide creative opportunities for engagement and philanthropy to enhance the success of the university.

We Value:

  • Lifelong relationships that achieve our mission.
  • The heartfelt efforts and contributions of our volunteers.
  • The generous commitment of our donors.
  • Honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour in all of our relations.
  • Accountability to our constituencies and stewardships of our resources.
  • A culture of service.
  • The celebration of diversity, inclusivity and equality among our team.
  • An atmosphere for personal growth and professional development.
  • Diversity of opinion, and support for creativity and innovation.
  • Teamwork, collaboration and collegiality.


We are a passionate team of 42 professionals dedicated to advancing Laurier’s mission. Led by the Vice-President, Development and Alumni Relations, we have recently reorganized the Development Team into three fundraising teams (Faculties, Strategic Initiatives, and the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics).

In 2016 close to 3,300 donors made gifts to Laurier. Just over half – 53 percent – of donors are alumni. In total, alumni, individuals, corporations, and foundations gave $8,000,000 to the university.


Reporting to the Vice President, Development and Alumni Relations, the Director, Development, Faculties and the Director, Development, Strategic Initiatives are key members of the Development and Alumni Relations leadership team at Laurier, participating in department-wide planning. The successful incumbents will oversee, develop and implement customized campaign strategies and individualized approaches to secure gifts and pledges in collaboration with senior administrators, faculty and volunteers.   

The Director, Development, Faculties will supervise a team of three to five individuals, (currently there are two Associate Directors, a Development Office and a Development Assistant), and will oversee fundraising on behalf of the Faculties (with the exception of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics). The primary focus will be on building relationships with Alumni, Foundations and Friends of Laurier to fund capital projects, programs, research and scholarships. This role is based at the Waterloo Campus with travel as required.

The Director, Development, Strategic Initiatives will supervise a team of three to five individuals, (currently there is an Associate Director, three Development Officers and a Development Assistant), and will oversee fundraising for capital projects as part of Laurier’s “city building” focus. Key initiatives include Libraries, Student Affairs, Athletics and Recreation, Indigenous Initiatives, all activities in Brantford, and potentially, the new Milton Education Village with a focus on strategic corporate partnerships. This role is based at the Brantford campus and will require frequent travel.

Both roles have a university-wide mandate, requiring regular interaction, communication and collaboration with staff and stakeholders at all campuses and offices.

Team Leadership

  • Work closely with VP Development and Alumni Relations to establish annual and multi-year fundraising goals for the team and specific goals for team members.
  • Manage, coach and mentor the team to strengthen strategies and provide feedback to direct reports to ensure success.
  • Work with the team to set goals and priorities, develop strategy, and monitor the team’s progress to ensure goals are achieved.
  • Participate in annual performance management process.


Major Gift Fundraising and Prospect Management

  • Manage an assigned list of 100+ major gift donors and prospects representing individuals, foundations, corporations and associations for the purpose of securing financial support.
  • Develop and implement strategies for identification, cultivation, and solicitation of prospects to achieve financial targets.
  • Coordinate prospect/donor calls, make visits and ensure all necessary follow-up including correspondence to donors, contact reports, updates to Banner, drafting of terms and conditions.
  • Develops and implements, in concert with the Donor Relations Officer, stewardship strategy for individual donors, including gift announcements, donor cultivation/recognition events, and reports to donors on progress and outcomes of fundraising projects they have supported with a view to strengthening those relationships.


Fundraising, Planning, Strategy Development & Reporting

  • Collaborate with Faculty and Staff resources to develop fundraising plans that align with the strategic priorities of the university.
  • Maintain a good working knowledge of the activities, priorities and needs in teaching, research and other areas.
  • Recommend specific actions to increase the effectiveness of development activities including own performance.
  • Engage and work closely the Dean, individual faculty members and staff in fundraising and donor relations activities on behalf of the unit.
  • Work collaboratively with Alumni Relations and Annual Giving teams to ensure prospect identification and relationship building occurs.


External Communications

  • Collaborate with the Communications team and other Development and Alumni Relations staff to prepare and coordinate all communication pertaining to fundraising and donor relations.
  • Prepare and edit relevant communications materials, such as project descriptions, case statements, funding proposals, and gift agreements.


Volunteer Management, Faculty Liaison and Administration

  • Identify, recruit and manage volunteers to assist in fundraising activities as appropriate.
  • In consultation with other colleagues, ensure the effective and efficient use of centralized resources and information.
  • Contribute to the preparation and management of the annual budget for Development and Alumni Relations.



  • Demonstrated success with major gift and corporate fundraising closing six- and seven-figure major gifts.
  • Proven performance in prospect development, management and stewardship.
  • Demonstrated leadership and team building skills including experience in goal setting, motivating, leading, supervising, evaluating and developing a capable team of professionals.
  • Experience collaborating with a variety of stakeholders, particularly senior volunteer leadership.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively with senior leadership, volunteers and colleagues.
  • Strong planning, budgeting and project management skills.
  • Sound analytical and decision-making skills.
  • Excellent relationship building skills, good judgement and diplomacy.
  • Collaboration and teamwork; strong work ethic; ego in check.
  • Strong oral, written, and presentation skills.
  • Commitment to post-secondary education and continuous learning; a university degree is required for this position.
  • CFRE designation is preferred but not required.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct these searches on behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University. Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the above email address by March 19, 2018.  For more information, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President or Anita Nielsen, Senior Search Consultant via email at WLU@kciphilanthropy.com or via phone at (416) 340-9710 ext. 1027.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit: http://kciphilanthropy.com/search

All inquiries, applications, and nominations will be held in strict confidence.