The Royal Conservatory of Music

Senior Director, Development
Posted Date: 
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Closing Date: 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017


The Royal Conservatory of Music is seeking a Senior Director, Development to oversee all annual fundraising activities. This position is responsible for planning and implementing annual giving programs, including individual giving; corporate sponsorships, partnerships and donations; foundation support; planned giving; and fundraising and stewardship events. Reporting to Shawn St. Michael, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, the new incumbent will work alongside the Senior Director, Major Gifts and Stewardship and the Senior Director, Development Services to jointly lead the activities of the Department. The Senior Director, Development will lead a team of three fundraising professionals.

The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Development Department is undergoing a period of exciting strategic growth and renewal as it builds its professional team and refines and expands its programs to meet the multiple goals of the organization and its many program areas. The Conservatory plans to enhance and diversify its internationally renowned programs to reach an even wider audience and bring significant benefits to Canadians from all walks of life. The Senior Director, Development will play a critical role in realizing these goals, and through inspirational leadership and a commitment to reaching and exceeding revenue targets, motivate our team to achieve even greater success.


Since its founding in 1886, The Royal Conservatory of Music has evolved to become one of the largest and most respected music and arts education institutions in the world. Setting the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performances, and teacher education programs, The Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally.

At the heart of The Royal Conservatory is the conviction that the arts are humanity’s greatest means to achieve personal growth and social cohesion. The over five million alumni of The Royal Conservatory have enjoyed the many benefits of music study and carried these benefits into subsequent careers in a wide range of fields, including medicine, business, politics, education, science, and sports. Others, such as Glenn Gould, Oscar Peterson, Angela Hewitt, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, and Measha Brueggergosman, have achieved international musical acclaim and defined Canada to the world.

The Royal Conservatory reaches over 500,000 participants across Canada each year through its uniquely-structured programs that provide a critically important complement to the public education system, helping students develop the discipline, persistence, creativity, and well-developed cognitive abilities needed to excel academically and develop socially.
Program areas include the following:

• The Certificate Program provides an internationally recognized standard of musical achievement through its sequenced course of study and individual student assessments, from beginner to advanced levels. Annually, 100,000 Royal Conservatory examinations take place in more than 300 communities across North America.
• The Glenn Gould School is The Royal Conservatory’s internationally recognized centre for professional training in music performance at the post-secondary and post-graduate levels. On par with such leading institutions as The Juilliard School, The Curtis Institute, and The Royal Academy of Music.
• The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists provides superior pre-university/college training for exceptionally gifts young musicians through to the end of their high school years. With exceptional teaching by dedicated faculty, as well as access to outstanding facilities and performance opportunities, The Taylor Academy is recognized as one of the finest training programs for young artists in North America.
• Performing Arts at The Royal Conservatory features diverse music programming bringing world- class Canadian and international artists to the beautiful performance spaces in its Toronto home: Koerner Hall, Temerty Theatre, and Mazzoleni Concert Hall in historic Ihnatowycz Hall.
• Royal Conservatory School offers a wide range of programs to students in the community, including classical music, jazz, and world music, to students of all ages and stages of music literacy, as well as acclaimed early childhood music education programs.
• Learning Through the Arts® (LTTA) connects arts activities to the study of the curriculum to engage students deeper in learning and unleash their creative potential. LTTA has been proven to be highly effective in elevating academic achievement among students, especially those in Indigenous communities and from low income families.
• The Marilyn Thomson Early Childhood Education Centre develops and delivers innovative early childhood education programs and digital products for use in the home and classroom. Working closely with the RCM’s own neuroscience lab and in partnership with McMaster University, The Marilyn Thomson Centre is poised to significantly advance the reach and impact of early childhood development in Canada.
• Publishing: The Royal Conservatory’s renowned curriculum and related teaching materials are published through, The Frederick Harris Music Co., Limited. These award-winning materials support music teachers and their students across North America and around the world.
• Teacher Certification: The Royal Conservatory provides outstanding pedagogical training to music teachers across North America through its Teacher Certification program, as well as teacher seminars and workshops.


Under the leadership of Shawn St. Michael, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, the Development Department has entered a new era of fundraising by reorganizing and refocusing its activities to meet The Conservatory’s changing needs. A staff team of 14 professionals annually raises approximately $11 million on a continuum of giving between annual programs and major gift initiatives. Leadership level donations for significant naming opportunities, endowments and other major initiatives are also secured in addition to this amount.

The Conservatory has a robust annual fundraising program that raises $3 to 4 million a year in support of the institution’s varied programs and offerings, particularly The Glenn Gould School, The Taylor Academy and Performing Arts. The Annual Program also generates significant unrestricted revenue through a number of initiatives, including a seat naming program for Koerner Hall, the Conservatory Circle patron program, the Dean’s Fund Challenge, and The Royal Occasion, the Conservatory’s signature fundraising event.


A seasoned professional with broad-based annual program fundraising experience, the Senior Director, Development will have the drive to achieve and exceed fundraising targets. The new incumbent will excel at building relationships with a genuine commitment to donor-centered philanthropy. Drawing on an appreciation of music and the arts, the ideal candidate will be bring new perspectives and fresh ideas, and will comfortably and ably function in a fast-paced environment.

The Senior Director, Development will have the expertise, confidence, and entrepreneurial spirit to introduce new approaches to build our annual programs as part of an integrated fundraising environment. With proven abilities developing and implementing a comprehensive annual program encompassing corporate partnerships and sponsorships, individual and planned giving, foundation support and fundraising events, the new incumbent will seize opportunities to develop and increase The Conservatory’s annual revenue goals.

The ideal candidate will demonstrate superior planning and execution skills, employing data-driven analysis, along with attention to detail and accuracy. The Senior Director will be highly donor-centric and will embrace the responsibility of ensuring excellence in donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.

A savvy leader whose actions reflect best practices and demonstrate the highest ethics and standards, the new incumbent will have the maturity and skills to mentor and manage professional staff. The Senior Director will possess significant volunteer management experience, with the ability to skillfully support the activities of senior-level volunteers working on behalf of The Royal Conservatory. The ideal candidate will model leadership behavior, inspire self-motivation in team members, and strive towards ambitious targets. Working closely with our individual program departments, the successful candidate will encourage collegial partnerships, and will routinely seek out opportunities to learn from others while sharing their own knowledge and expertise.

Motivated by The Conservatory’s creative, multi-faceted and intellectually stimulating environment, the Senior Director, Development will ambitiously strive to achieve exceptional results and exceed goals.


Reporting to the Vice President, Institutional Advancement, the Senior Director, Development will:

• In conjunction with the Vice President, Institutional Advancement, plan and implement initiatives in support of annual fundraising programs.
• Direct and oversee activities for the annual giving programs, including individual giving, corporate partnerships and sponsorships, foundation support, fundraising and stewardship events and planned giving.
• Cultivate, solicit and steward a personal portfolio of key donors and prospects.
• Negotiate and oversee key corporate partnerships, positioning The Conservatory as a significant sponsorship opportunity alongside other leading organizations in the cultural sector.
• Guide and support the activities of senior level volunteers involved with corporate fundraising through the Corporate Committee.
• Develop strategies and implement plans to increase the support of scholarships for students in The Conservatory’s professional training programs.
• Collaborate with the Manager, Corporate and Foundation Partnerships and Senior Writer, Development to create compelling proposals.
• Oversee initiatives to generate broad-based support for The Conservatory, such as the Dean’s Fund Challenge (direct marketing) and the Koerner Hall Name a Seat Campaign.
• Design and implement innovative programs to introduce new donors to The Royal Conservatory to build and maintain a robust prospect pipeline.
• Develop strategies and implement plans to launch a comprehensive planned giving program.
• Analyze and monitor progress toward established goals; recommend adjustments as required in order to meet targets.
• Incorporate a moves management system of tracking and accountability.
• Plan and develop annual and project-based budgets.
• Coach and mentor the Annual Giving Programs team.
• Provide external industry knowledge, monitor trends in the philanthropic environment and implement best practices as appropriate.


• Skill in developing and implementing successful strategies for the identification, cultivation and solicitation of donors within annual fund programs.
• Significant experience working in an annual fund and major gifts environment.
• Demonstrated ability to identify and develop donor relationships and clear evidence of ability to close gifts.
• Drive to achieve success and meet financial targets.
• Demonstrated experience with proposal development, including strategy, writing, and design.
• Previous leadership experience and strong management skills.
• Proven ability to motivate, coach, and inspire staff.
• Exceptional collaborative and interpersonal skills, with ability to work with and through others using influence and persuasion.
• A results-oriented focus, a driven attitude and an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and problem solving.
• Exceptional organizational and execution skills; capable of effectively and successfully managing many priorities and projects simultaneously.
• Previous experience working in a complex, centralized/decentralized organizational environment.
• Strong communication skills (oral and written).
• Exceptional time management, planning, and organizational skills, with an emphasis on detail and accuracy.
• Excels in an environment of change and ambiguity.
• Reputation for integrity and high ethical standards.
• A professional and exceptional donor-centric service approach.
• University degree preferred.
• CFRE designation or equivalent is an asset.


Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Sandra Taylor, Senior Search Consultant, at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) via email at or via telephone at 416-340-9710 extension 1032 by July 12, 2017. All enquiries will be kept in strict confidence.