Georgian College

Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations
Posted Date: 
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Closing Date: 
Friday, November 2, 2018


Job Description


Georgian College is seeking an engaging, data-driven, collaborative leader to be our Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations to lead the development, implementation, and evaluation of our comprehensive advancement and alumni relations portfolios in support of Georgian’s strategic priorities. These portfolios include fundraising, alumni relations, scholarships and awards management, community engagement, and conference and events services.

Reporting to the Vice President, External Relations, the Executive Director will provide strategic and operational leadership to a team of 15 administrative and support staff members. The Executive Director will also work closely with the Senior Leadership Team, Georgian’s Board of Governors and Advancement Committee, Campaign Cabinet and volunteers, and the Alumni Executive Committee to continue the success of the Phase I and Phase II Power of Education campaigns.

This is an outstanding opportunity for a seasoned and experienced fundraising professional who is passionate about postsecondary education, and energized by our vision to accelerate success through exceptional teaching and learning, innovation, and partnerships.

The position will be based at our Barrie Campus. As well, the Executive Director will be required to live in Barrie, or within the surrounding area.



Located on the traditional lands of the Anishnaabeg people, Georgian College is home to 11,000 full-time students, including more than 2,500 international students from 60 countries. Our programs are taught by faculty with industry expertise across seven locations in Central Ontario: Barrie, Midland, Muskoka (Bracebridge), Orangeville, Orillia, Owen Sound, and South Georgian Bay (Collingwood). We also operate three employment service locations in Barrie, Orillia, and Orangeville.

Georgian is Ontario’s number one co-op college and a recognized leader in student work experience, with the support of 6,200 employers. We produce graduates with the skills and the mindset to be innovative thinkers and changemakers – leaders who can turn ideas into businesses, innovations into careers, and challenges into opportunities. Our students believe they can make a positive difference in the world, and we do too. Georgian is the first and only college in Canada designated a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U for our leadership in social innovation and changemaking in higher education.

Students study part-time, full-time, online, or in combination – choosing from degrees, combined degree-diplomas, graduate certificates, diplomas, and certificates. We deliver numerous apprenticeship and technical trade options, providing employers with highly-skilled graduates to grow and sustain their operations.

Georgian’s four year baccalaureate degrees offer the hands-on and theoretical learning employers are looking for. Combined degree-diplomas with Lakehead University provide the best of college and university in just four years of study. Georgian also offers degree studies with York University, Central Michigan University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

While our core focus is – and will always be – students, we’re also dedicated to the development and success of our 75,000 graduates as well as employers, donors, industry partners, and our communities. Georgian is number one in graduate employment among all Ontario colleges. According to 2016-17 key performance indicators, 87.3 per cent of Georgian graduates found work within six months – well above the provincial average, which we’ve exceeded for more than a decade.

Georgian College has built an unmatched reputation for relevant, cutting-edge curriculum and quality work experience in our region. We pride ourselves on providing real value to our students, grads, employers and communities. We embedded entrepreneurial outcomes in every program, with support for students and community members offered through the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre and Centre for Changemaking and Social Innovation. Georgian also collaborates with individuals and industry leaders to meet a wide range of evolving research and development needs. The new Advanced Technology Centre will house the Alectra Centre for Research, Innovation and Commercialization and serve as a regional hub where academia and industry will come together to innovate, test concepts, work to diversify our economy, and create new opportunities for the future.



A group of 15 talented and dedicated individuals, the Advancement and Alumni Relations team works diligently to raise funds, engage with alumni and support student success.

Fundraising at Georgian consists of capital campaigns, major gift giving, endowments, planned giving, annual giving including scholarships and awards management, corporate partnerships and signature events. With the generous support of our students, donors and industry partners, $2.6 million was raised in fiscal 2017 to ensure Georgian students have the resources they need to pursue their academic and career goals.

The Alumni and Community Development team, in partnership with the Alumni Association, seeks to create opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the college through information, services, alumni perks, events, and promotions. A three year alumni relations strategic plan was recently developed to promote alumni engagement, and to inspire lifelong connections by focusing on four key priorities that align with Georgian’s strategic priorities: accelerated success, meaningful collaboration, inspired innovation, and strong foundations.

Georgian’s 75,000 alumni live and work in countries across the globe and our goal is to develop strong and progressive alumni connections through improved communication strategies, enhanced community partnerships, partnering in the student experience, and ensuring that all members of our Alumni Association feel represented. Our pledge to our membership is to vigorously work to be an alumni association that every Georgian graduate feels connected to, empowered by, and proud of.

Our Conference and Event Services team offers a variety of services to meet the needs of individual guests and corporate clients. Georgian’s certified event planners offer a one-stop shop and work closely with clients to ensure their success and satisfaction as they visit our Barrie campus for conferences, corporate training, sports events, church retreats, social gatherings, or for summer accommodations. As part of the Advancement and Alumni Relations department, the team also supports internal events such as awards and scholarship ceremonies, donor announcements and appreciation events, and alumni-related activities. In addition, the team supports the College’s student orientation, Open House, job fairs, convocations, and logistics for the annual Auto Show. 



For more information about Georgian College, please visit:

• About Georgian College:
• Strategic Plan, 2016- 2021:
• 2017-2018 Annual Report:
• Publications:
• Technology, Innovation and Research:
• Alumni Relations:
• Conference & Event Services:
• Ashoka U Changemaker Campus:



The ideal candidate will be a data-driven, seasoned fundraising professional with significant expertise and proven experience in capital campaigns, major gifts, planned giving, annual giving, corporate partnerships, and in delivering outstanding alumni relations programs.

Working with Georgian’s academic and senior leadership the Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations will shape and develop our future advancement strategies and encourage best practice fundraising, discipline and accountability. With strong analytical and planning skills, and a focus on efficiencies and outcomes, the new incumbent will assess our current programs, then formulate and articulate our path forward. The successful candidate will ensure processes and systems are established to confirm that quality data informs decisions.

The new incumbent will enhance our fundraising achievement by nurturing sustainable relationships with our donors, our alumni, and with our stakeholders. The successful candidate will bring a personal track record of asking and closing, an appreciation of our alumni potential and an understanding of post-secondary education advancement.

The Executive Director will be an advocate for advancement and alumni relations within the College. An accomplished leader with an executive-level presence, the successful candidate will strive to elevate advancement and alumni relations at Georgian. The ideal candidate will collaborate with our academic leaders to define funding priorities fully-aligned with the College’s goals. Creative, innovative, and comfortable pushing the envelope, the new incumbent will leverage multi-faceted partnership opportunities within the nuances and interconnections of our programs.

Warm, engaging, and empathetic, the Executive Director will encourage meaningful team engagement, ensuring that team members feel valued and recognized. Providing consistent and clear communication, the ideal candidate will promote rigour around information sharing among the advancement and alumni relations team. The new incumbent will be a mentor and coach who will ignite, excite, and motivate our team to reach their full potential. Knowing when to step in and when to step away, the ideal candidate will lead the team in strategy, planning and implementation.

The Executive Director will be a consummate professional, visible, comfortable and present in our communities to encourage opportunities for ongoing engagement with our donors, alumni, volunteers, and our campus communities.

Astute, nimble, and able to pivot when needed, the ideal candidate will be confident and decisive, with the ability to drive concepts to timely completion. The new incumbent will effectively work through decision chains, and will know when to push forward or pull back. Collaborative, calm, and flexible when dealing with organizational complexities, the successful candidate will navigate and influence using persuasion, rather than authority.

Passionate about our mission to inspire innovation, transform lives, and connect communities through the power of education, the Executive Director will share our values focused on excellence, community engagement, integrity, inclusion, and sustainability.



Reporting to the Vice President, External Relations, the Executive Director, Advancement and Alumni Relations will be responsible for:

Fundraising and Resource Development (35%)

•Develops and delivers an annual revenue generation, donor stewardship, and staff development plan, with explicit, measurable goals towards the overall advancement of our students/college.
•Identifies college-wide fundraising requirements; recommends and documents the priorities and appropriate funding allocation for approved needs; develops and oversees all fundraising goals, activities, and campaigns while ensuring alignment with the strategic plan.
•Directs campaign initiatives including: volunteer recruitment and support, managing the prospect pipeline, prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts.
•In consultation with the President and the Advancement Committee Chair, sets the meeting agenda and supports committee members.
•Takes a leadership role in securing government revenue, industry partnerships, in-kind support, and other forms of revenue.
•Builds, sustains, and stewards philanthropic relationships and long-term strategic partnerships to support funding opportunities.
•Leads the development of programs/initiatives for the effective recognition and stewardship of donors and engages, motivates, and supports senior college leaders/volunteers in donor cultivation and stewardship.

Alumni Relations and Engagement (10%)

•Ensures the effective recruitment and sustained engagement of Georgian alumni through targeted communication, events, awards and recognition, alumni appeals, perks and partnerships, and the Alumni Executive Council.
•Directs and evaluates strategies to effectively market meaningful affinity partnerships, alumni benefits/services, and ensures offerings are integrated and promoted at key college events.
•Identifies alumni lead gift opportunities and sets goals for the annual giving program.
•Accountable for the performance and maintenance of CRM systems used and the overall privacy, integrity, and use of alumni/donor data and records.

Community Development (10%)

•Directs the development of an annual community engagement plan, including responsibility for sponsorship and activation in consultation with deans and campus location leaders, and prepares an annual report for the Board of Governors.
•Assesses and makes key recommendations to the Senior Leadership team for participation at community events across the region.
•Recommends how best to shape our community engagement approach towards identifying stakeholder’s interests and new opportunities for Georgian over the longer term.
•Identifies strategic integration and alliances with community organizations towards the overall advancement of the college.

Advancement Communications (10%)

•In collaboration with Marketing and Communications, initiates and stewards to completion all advancement and community development communication and campaign materials, which includes an annual magazine, speeches, web content, advertising, donor collateral, news releases, and event planning and execution.

Awards and Scholarships (10%)

•Prepares an annual scholarships and awards strategic plan with specific fundraising targets. Oversees annual fundraising for student awards and scholarships and the effective and efficient administration of the awards and scholarship program including promotion, evaluation, notification, awards ceremonies/distribution, and donor recognition.

Conference and Event Services (5%)

•Ensures a superior customer service experience and annual targets are met or exceeded by providing leadership and support to the Conference and Event Services unit.

Human and Financial Management (20%)

•Provides strategic direction and leadership to the department in conjunction with unit Managers, oversees all aspects of staffing including recruitment, training, orientation, and performance management.
•Plans, prepares, and administers the department budget. Works closely with the finance department in preparation of reports related to flow-through of donor contributions.



•Significant experience in a similar role leading capital campaigns, fundraising programs, marketing, public relations, community development and alumni relations.
•Advanced oral and written communications skills with the ability to influence, inspire, and engage key stakeholders.
•Ability to build and maintain productive and successful relationships with individuals representing a large, diverse group of stakeholders.
•Extensive knowledge of advancement and fundraising systems and processes, including data collection, management, and renewal.
•Proven track record soliciting major gifts.
•Experience working with alumni/scholarship and awards programs is an asset.
•Demonstrated ability to manage human and fiscal resources including the development/evaluation of business plans, budgets, and reporting.
•Ability to direct and manage numerous projects simultaneously and to assess relative priorities both short and long term.
•Innovative with an entrepreneurial mind-set.
•University degree in related field.
•Certified as, or pursuing Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation.
•This position requires frequent local travel, a valid driver’s license and access to a vehicle.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Georgian College. For more information about this executive leadership opportunity, please contact Tara George, Senior Vice President & Partner, or Sylvia Kadlick, Senior Search Consultant at To apply, please send a resume and letter of interest to the email address above by November 2, 2018.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Georgian College supports diversity, equity and a workplace free from harassment and discrimination. Georgian College is committed to an inclusive, barrier-free recruitment and selection process and workplace. If you are contacted to participate in the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, please advise the interview coordinator of any accommodations needed with respect to any materials or processes used to ensure you have access to a fair and equitable process.