Shaw Festival Theatre

Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts
Posted Date: 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
Closing Date: 
Friday, August 11, 2017

Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

Effective: As soon as possible


Employment Type: Full-time

Level: Senior

Job Description

As one of the world's leading theatre companies, The Shaw is dedicated to increasing diversity and inclusion in our audiences, our programs, and in all of our hiring of staff, artists and recruiting of board members. The Shaw is committed to a future where our theatres are inclusive of all peoples, fully reflective of our diverse communities. 

As such, the Shaw Festival is an equal opportunity employer committed to a barrier free recruitment and selection process.

In accordance with the Accessibility of Ontarians and Disabilities Act (AODA) please advise Human Resources if you require an accommodation throughout the recruitment process. We will be happy to assist. The Shaw Festival is an ensemble repertory theatre company inspired by the spirit of Bernard Shaw to create unforgettable theatre encounters. 

Founded in 1962, the Shaw is the second largest theatre company in Canada, producing 11+ productions in rotating repertory every season. The Shaw Festival is currently recruiting a full time Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts to join our Development Team. 

If you are an experienced fundraiser who enjoys building relationships with donors who are passionate about the arts and if you believe in donor-centred fundraising, then this is the right position for you! Under the new leadership of Tim Carroll, Artistic Director and Tim Jennings, Executive Director, this is an exciting time of growth and transformation at The Shaw. Having recently completed a strategic plan, we are looking for an experienced fundraiser to join our team to help us reach our goals. 


The Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts is responsible for working with staff and volunteers to secure gifts at the $25,000+ level for the Shaw Festival's annual operations funds, special project, capital project and endowment. Applying an integrated development approach, this position builds relationships with donors to match their philanthropic interests with the ongoing needs of the organization.


This position reports to the Director of Advancement.

Working Relationships:

This position works with the following staff: Executive Director; Artistic Director; Director of Advancement, and senior members of the Development staff team including the Associate Director of Development, Governors Circle Manager, Membership Manager, and Director of Donor Relations. 

This position requires flexible work hours, working weekends especially during the height of the season (May to September), and travel in southern Ontario and north-eastern United States.

Key Responsibilities

With a focus on identifying, cultivating and soliciting individuals at the $25,000 and above level, this position will:

  • Qualify a group of caseload donors (approximately 120); may be a combination of corporate, individual and foundation donors.
  • Create individual goals for each person on his or her caseload based on the donor's history of giving and the organization's knowledge of that donor's potential.
  • Create a plan for each donor that will serve as a foundational communication and engagement plan for each person on the caseload. Will faithfully and on a timely basis execute that plan so individuals on the caseload are retained and upgraded.
  • Work with colleagues to secure appropriate project information, including budgets, and create offers, proposals and asks that will be used with persons on the caseload to secure gifts. 
  • Track activities through formal call reports and update donor information in the donor database, Tessitura
  • Create monthly reports as required by management that accurately reflect caseload activity and performance. 
  • Participate in department budget and goal setting strategic sessions
  • Attend and participate at donor cultivation and stewardship events as required
  • Perform other major donor activities as may be required


Accountability - performance measured by

  • Ability to qualify caseload donors that represent the highest giving potential for the organization.
  • Ability to create reasonable financial goals for each donor, which is based on the donor's giving and the potential.
  • Ability to create a personal contact and ask plan that takes into account the individual donor's interest, motivations, giving patterns and ask preferences, for each donor on his or her caseload, in a timely and cost-effective manner, and retains and upgrades donors. 
  • Ability to secure project and organization information and create and write effective offers, proposals and asks. Ability to secure information that can be sent back to donors to report on how their money was used. 
  • Ability to create timely reports that reflect caseload and MGO performance. 
  • Ability to manage people, process, deadlines and budget while adhering to the policies and procedures of the organization and ability to get along with peers, subordinates and management and maintain a positive and constructive attitude while solving problems. 
  • Ability to protect the mission, goals and values of the organization.



There is flexibility for this position to be a home ofice-based position, ideally from the Greater Toronto Area, with periodic travel to the Niagara-on-the-Lake offices (e.g. 1 day per week and events as required). Travel to the US north-eastern states will also be part of the role.


  • Minimum 5 years in progressively senior fundraising positions with a focus on securing major gifts.
  • Successful track record in securing gifts at the $25,000 level and above.
  • Sound judgement and decision making capabilities.
  • Exceptional verbal and written presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated expertise in integrated moves management.
  • Ability to inspire others to achieve outstanding results.
  • University Degree in a related discipline, CFRE certification an asset.
  • Passionate about the performing arts, and theatre in particular.


Interested candidates should submit their cover letter and resume prior to July 28, 2017, VIA EMAIL ONLY AND DIRECTLY TO:

Shaw Festival Theatre, Canada

10 Queen's Parade

Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0

Att: Director Human Resources



We thank all applicants in advance for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.