President & CEO

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation
Posted Date: 
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Opportunity

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation is seeking a President & CEO, to provide strategic and operational leadership for the Foundation and for its signature program, Kids, Cops & Computers. Overseeing three dedicated staff, the President & CEO will be responsible for all aspects of revenue development, program development, operations, marketing and communications, and general administration.

In partnership with the Board of Directors, the President & CEO will lead the organization through a period of significant growth executing on a new strategic plan which seeks to double program enrollment across Canada over the next five years. The President & CEO will drive the development and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising plan and will work with partners, Board members, and staff to achieve the Foundation’s goals and objectives.

About Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation, co-founded by G. Scott Paterson and John McMahon in 1998, launched the innovative Kids, Cops & Computers (KCC) Program in Toronto as a response to the growing digital divide which was limiting the ability of deserving youth to keep up with their peers in school. The Program promotes access, equity and opportunity for deserving yet financially disadvantaged youth.

Kids, Cops & Computers is a community-based intervention with a proven track record of effectively supporting youth to become technologically proficient, improve academic outcomes, build confidence, make better life choices and build their communities.

Kids, Cops & Computers connects communities with experts in the fields of technology, policing and education. The Program partners with school boards and police organizations as well as corporations benefiting from extensive in-kind support. Programming is oriented to students in grade 7 (12 years of age) with continuing support lasting until they graduate high school.

A new laptop computer is provided to students entering the program. The laptop is earned based on program participation throughout the school year. It is meant to assist students in completing research and school assignments, nurture creativity and support students in social interaction among their peers using social media and other applications.

The Kids, Cops & Computers program:

1.Provides brand new laptop computers which students use both in school and at home.
2.Offers comprehensive programming that compliments providing the laptop with police mentorship and educator support through monthly Lead and Learn sessions designed to assist students in developing digital literacy skills, learning to use their computers in a safe and effective way.
3.Encourages good citizenship by involving students in ongoing mentorship and interaction with police officers and educators and engaging them in school and community activities including fundraising for their junior peers to take part in the Program.

Kids, Cops & Computers is differentiated from other programs for at-risk youth by its unique ability to rally sustained support from diverse stakeholders including: educators, law enforcement officers, and representatives from the private sector. Partners draw from their wealth of expertise and resources to collaboratively meet the needs of at-risk youth, provide practical solutions that foster positive change, and develop communities.

In its 20 years of operation in Toronto, the Kids, Cops & Computers program has taken place in 95 schools with some 4,700 students participating.

In 2015, Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation partnered with the RCMP Foundation to expand the Kids, Cops & Computers program to non-urban communities across Canada. To date 345 students have participated in schools located in five provinces. With the addition of these students, over 5,000 will have taken part in Kids, Cops & Computers across Canada by the end of 2018.

Program Partners

•Toronto Police Service

An active program partner since the inception of Kids, Cops & Computers, TPS Community School Liaison officers deliver the monthly Lead and Learn sessions. In doing so they encourage positive and trusting relationships between police officers and students
•Toronto District and Toronto Catholic District School Boards

Schools in identified neighborhoods host the program. Principals and teachers nominate students and support their participation.

•RCMP Foundation

Program partner that delivers Kids, Cops & Computers in non-urban communities across Canada where the RCMP operates.

•HP Canada

Official Technology Partner since 2015, HP is the exclusive technology provider for Kids, Cops & Computers. The partnership provides financial support, product discount, subject matter expertise and volunteer support.

Revenue Development

Two very successful signature events represent most of the Foundation’s Revenue. Both events are supported by active volunteers who successfully attract increasing numbers of event sponsors and attendees. Thanks to in-kind support MGR events are notably successful, with ROI at 86% and 76% respectively.

•The Annual Celebrity Sports Mixer attracts a guest list of over 700 attendees comprised of many Bay Street professionals who mingle with various amateur and professional athletes, broadcasters and other celebrities. The event, which is MGR’s cornerstone event, secures over 130 sponsors and will raise $450,000 this year. See Sports Celebrity Mixer for more information.
•The Inspiration Night Gala, an annual dinner featuring a tech-based guest speaker raised $235,000 this year. The event, which has been sold-out for the past three years, has raised over $700,000 in net proceeds over its five years of operation. See Inspiration Night  for more information.

Merry Go Round’s other revenue comprises a growing number of grants and donations from foundation and corporate sectors, as well as third party event revenue, some of which is raised by students involved with the Program.

Gift-in kind supporters include Symantec, who provides anti-virus software for every computer, and Pizza Nova, who donates pizza to school launch events, pizza parties for outstanding schools, and the annual Inspiration Day student celebration.   

Strategic Vision

Merry Go Round Children’s Foundation is completing a five-year strategic plan that will see the organization embark on a Pan-Canadian expansion to launch Kids, Cops & Computers programs in every province of the country and double the annual new student enrolment to 2,000 by 2023. The expansion will require that the Foundation substantially increase its network and base of supporters.

For more information, please visit us at:

Additional Information

•Meet the Students –
•Corporate History –
•Annual Reports:
•Financial Statements:

Ideal Candidate Profile

The President & CEO will be a growth-oriented fundraiser and seasoned executive with proven skills to build revenue across a variety of development streams, including corporate giving and partnerships, individual giving and events. The new incumbent will draw on their past expertise creating and implementing marketing and communications strategies to strengthen the Foundation’s profile and increase general awareness.

Demonstrating honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency in all situations, the President & CEO will be open to exploring new and fresh ideas to drive the strategic vision forward. The ideal candidate will enthusiastically partner and collaborate with other stakeholders who share common objectives.

Possessing a positive attitude and unafraid to ask the tough questions, the new incumbent will be comfortable reporting to and working closely with members of the Board of Directors. With solid management and leadership experience in the non-profit sector, the President & CEO will act as mentor, coach and guide to focus the efforts of staff and Board. A consensus-builder, the ideal candidate will demonstrate diplomacy and tact.

An inspirational and impactful champion of the cause and an engaged networker, the President & CEO will leverage existing networks. Embracing the diversity of Toronto and Canada, and the lived experience of stakeholders, the successful candidate will be a champion of equality of access to opportunity.  Candidates will be familiar with technology (hardware, software and uses of technology in business, personal computing and computer based learning) and will have knowledge of the technology sector in terms of major players, lines of business, and interrelationship of specialties.

Passionate about youth, the ideal candidate will be motivated and driven by the Foundation’s future potential. The new incumbent will be comfortable working with youth and in youth oriented environments and be familiar working with traditionally underserved communities and delivering programming to these communities; the successful candidate will have some experience working with youth and families in a community development capacity. 

A university degree is preferred for this position and the new incumbent must successfully complete a vulnerable person’s sector screening. A valid driver’s license, access to a vehicle and the ability to travel are also necessary for this role.

Key Responsibilities

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the President & CEO will focus on:

Fundraising & Financial Leadership
•Increase the Foundation’s financial capacity, viability and sustainability though collaboration with the Board of Directors.
•Ensure the fiscal integrity of the Foundation; submitting to the Board a proposed annual budget, operating within the approved budget, maximizing resources and generally maintaining the organization in a positive financial position.
•Develop and maintain key relationships with current and prospective funders, including individuals, corporations and organizations.
•Oversee the day-to-day financial operation of the organization and all regulatory financial accounting and reporting in compliance with relevant legislation and industry best practices (including, but not limited to; CRA, Imagine Canada, the AFP Code of Ethics and GAAP).

Strategic Leadership
•Provide visionary and strategic thinking to lead the Foundation in achieving its short-term and long-term goals.
•Help to develop and hold a clear vision of the organization which is shared by the Board, staff, partners and community.
•Maintain and foster relationships with current community partners; Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board and Toronto Police Service, and developing new ones.
•Support the Board and staff to execute on, monitor and evaluate the strategic and operational plan.
•Translate strategy into realistic and achievable implementation plans and report on progress to the Board.
•Lead the ongoing environmental scan of internal and external activities to question assumptions and directions and adapt accordingly.
•Engage and work with the Board on matters of governance, accountability, mission, vision and strategy.
•Clearly discern and articulate relevant operational issues to the Board and provide the required background information to support their decision making. Similarly, communicate the impact of Board activity and decisions to employees and partners to facilitate internal and external alignment.

Program Leadership
•Maintain and continue to improve the quality, reach and impact of the Program.
•Maintain Program evaluation, including key performance indicators, metrics and statistical analysis.
•Conduct environmental scans and gap analysis to ensure ongoing relevancy, while identifying new opportunities to achieve the mission.
•Report comprehensively on Program efficacy and execution to both internal and external stakeholders.

Marketing and Communications
•Oversee the strategic development of internal marketing and communications functions, including the identification and understanding of key markets and messaging for those markets.
•Strengthen the profile and increase general awareness and name recognition of the Kids, Cops & Computers program through outreach and marketing efforts.
•Oversee the Foundation’s external communication channels and strategies.

External Relations
•Serve as the face and voice of the organization to the broader community, in traditional and social media, through public speaking engagements, etc.
•Work effectively (where merited) in a community engagement capacity through collaboration with other bodies that share a demonstrated interest in our mission and vision to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for our organizations, but most importantly, for the kids.
•Develop strategic relationships with external stakeholders in the public, non-profit and for-profit sectors.
•Demonstrate knowledge of the sectors in which the Program operates; technology, education, community development, policing.

Operational and Human Resource Management
•Ensure the effective recruitment, training, supervision, performance appraisal, professional development, support, mentorship and succession planning of all Foundation employees.
•Develop and maintain appropriate and sound organizational structures and systems.
•Establish organizational priorities and manage time and resources appropriately to achieve the best outcomes.
•Oversee the operation and maintenance of all IT infrastructure requirements; hardware, software, website, telephony, webinar platform, CRM database, hosting, SSL certification, payment gateways, etc.

For more Information

For more information about this opportunity, please contact Tara George at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) via email at All inquiries and nominations will be kept in strict confidence.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Please note that expressions of interest are requested no later than February 28, 2018. Candidates who wish to be considered for this position are asked to submit a resume and covering letter to the above email address.