Director, Major Gifts – UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA
*Although the University of Manitoba is seeking a Director, Major Gifts, candidates with less experience are welcome to apply and may be considered for the role of Major Gifts Officer (Asper School of Business). For more information, please contact Mona Ip at KCI Search + Talent by email at
Location: Winnipeg
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $95,000 – $128,000
Posted On: March 4, 2022
Closing On: April 4, 2022

 The University of Manitoba is seeking an experienced major gift fundraising leader to join its team as Director, Major Gifts (Asper School of Business). As a senior advisor to the Associate Vice-President (Donor Relations), the Dean of the Asper School of Business as well as to Faculty and Alumni and Donor Relations leadership teams, volunteers, and the university more broadly, the new Director, Major Gifts will provide high-level expertise, strategic direction and facilitation in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies, designed to maximize long-term financial support for the Asper School of Business. Activities will increase visibility, enhance reputation, and support the Faculty’s strategic goals.

Reporting to the Associate Vice-President (Alumni and Donor Relations), the Director, Major Gifts (Asper) will work closely with other senior Donor Relations staff including heads of Major Gifts, Gift Planning & Lifetime Giving, Advancement Services, and Stewardship, with the goal of ensuring an integrated approach in the areas of fund development, and stewardship in furthering the University’s and Faculty’s advancement goals. As a senior leader on the Donor Relations team, the incumbent will also oversee the lead fundraisers in three additional faculties, ensuring a cohesive, strategic approach is undertaken throughout the academy.

Externally, the Director interacts with current and potential donors and supporters, including high-net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, community leaders and volunteers.  They will personally manage a portfolio of approximately 35 active donors and potential donors, with the capacity to give in excess of $25,000 and focused on closing gifts in excess of $250,000. On average, the Asper School of Business has raised $6 million per year for the past three years.

The Director, Major Gifts (Asper) is a key member of a dynamic Alumni and Donor Relations team that includes colleagues based in Faculties and at the central Alumni and Donor Relations office.

This position will be based at the Asper School of Business, on the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus in South Winnipeg, with some flexibility for occasional remote work.


About University of Manitoba

Since 1877, the University of Manitoba (UM) has been driving discovery and inspiring minds through innovative teaching and research excellence. Proudly located in the heart of Canada, UM has a strong and engaged community of students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors, and community partners.

With two main campuses in Winnipeg and over 100 programs across multiple faculties, schools, and colleges, UM offers more learning, teaching, and research opportunities than any other post-secondary institution in the province. Most of the academic departments have graduate studies leading to master’s or doctoral degrees. For this academic year, UM has more than 31,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with more than 21.9% international students representing 115 countries.

As one of the country’s top research institutions and the only research-intensive university in the province, UM researchers are making contributions that have a global impact. UM ranks 17th among Canada’s top 50 research universities for attracting research grants and contracts.

The University is home to more than 50 research centres, institutes, and shared facilities that promote the exchange of ideas and provide collaborative research environments that stimulate multidisciplinary research and development. In 2019/20 UM research received $192.2 million in sponsored research income. UM currently has 85 endowed and sponsored research chairs, including an allocation of 50 Canada Research Chairs, a Senior Canada 150 Research Chair, a Canada Excellence Research Chair, and a Canada Excellence Research Chair Laureate.

Along with the Fort Garry campus as its central hub, the University of Manitoba operates three other major locations: the downtown Bannatyne Campus, the James W. Burns Executive Education Centre, and the William Norrie Centre. Additionally, the university also administers its French-language affiliate, Université de Saint-Boniface in the Saint Boniface ward of Winnipeg.

The University of Manitoba is home to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, which officially opened its doors in 2015. The Centre is dedicated to preserving the truth of Residential Schools and advancing reconciliation. The University also has one of the largest Indigenous student populations in Canada, with more than 2,600 First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students, including more than 250 graduate students. Some of the country’s brightest stars in Indigenous research are at the University of Manitoba, advancing the University’s commitment to embed Indigenous perspectives into learning, discovery and engagement and helping to create pathways to Indigenous knowledge and achievement.

Many of the world’s great minds have been part of the University of Manitoba. Twenty-six UM doctoral students have received a Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and 99 students have been awarded the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship–more than any other university in Western Canada. Nine Order of Manitoba recipients with UM connections received the province’s highest honour in 2020. In 2019, four members of the UM community joined the prestigious ranks of the Order of Canada.

Across the globe, more than 181,000 University of Manitoba alumni are forging their paths in 139 different countries. The Distinguished Alumni Awards have honoured 27 outstanding alumni, joined by more than 1,600 event guests. Since 2015, UM has hosted over 200 class reunions and welcomed more than 4,000 alumni and community members back to campus for celebrations.

Philanthropic support affects the lives of UM students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes Manitoba, our nation, and the world. In 2021-2022 outright gifts and new pledges to the University totaled $61.5 million. Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Our graduates give back to their alma mater and more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the University’s most recent record-breaking Front and Centre campaign.

The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre Campaign

 The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign was concluded in Spring 2020 with 62,075 donors from 48 countries coming together to raise $626,260,909, surpassing the campaign’s initial $500 million goal and making it the largest philanthropic endeavour in Manitoba’s history. One in five alumni were donors to the campaign and more than $5.9 million was given by faculty, staff, and retirees.

Gifts will support 702 new scholarships and bursaries for students; 21 research chairs and professorships established and enhanced to inspire teaching and learning; and 37 building upgrades to create an outstanding educational environment. In addition, over 331 estate gifts were pledged for UM’s future. The campaign also helped to build seven new spaces that change the footprint of the University such as the Active Living Centre, the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building, Taché Arts Complex (Desautels Concert Hall & Rehearsal Building), Campus Children’s Centre, Churchill Marine Observatory and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Centre. More than $252.1 million was designated by donors for research excellence, including the support of UM researchers on the front lines of developing vaccines or antivirals to mediate the COVID-19 pandemic.

About Asper School of Business

The I.H. Asper School of Business has thrived for more than 80 years providing world-class education to leaders and innovators who contribute ethically to the social and economic well-being of Manitoba and the world. Our research influences business and leadership in Canada and throughout the world. Taking our place among leading business schools we are committed to transforming research and scholarship, building a community that creates an outstanding learning environment, forging connections to foster high impact community engagement, and inspiring minds through innovative and quality teaching and learning.

Our research influences business and leadership in Canada and throughout the world. Beginning as a small department in 1937, the Asper School of Business has grown into a major research and teaching unit with more than 60 full-time staff and approximately 1800 students at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels.

Our students thrive because of our strong connections with the business community, in a region with high labour demand across all industries, and our intimate class sizes and dynamic course offerings provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and dig deep into the issues and challenges of today’s business world. The Asper School of Business community extends far beyond our UM campus, including alumni, industry, donors, and community partners across the province and around the world.

Additional Information

University of Manitoba

Asper School of Business

About UM

Facts and Figures

2021 Annual Report

Board of Governors

UM Strategic Plan

Community Giving

2021 Gratitude Report

Front and Centre Campaign

UM Alumni Community


Key Duties & Responsibilities

Direct Fundraising: 40%

  • Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a personal portfolio of approximately 35 rotating active donors and prospects with a primary focus on the Asper School of Business.
  • Acts as the principal donor strategist for each potential donor in their personal portfolio with specific responsibility to develop and implement a written donor strategy and relationship record of all interactions.
  • Identifies, qualifies, cultivates, and solicits prospects for gifts in excess of $250,000.
  • Organizes time efficiently and effectively, allowing for significant interface with donors and prospects.
  • Represents the University of Manitoba to external constituencies and facilitates relationships between individuals, corporations, foundations, and key members of the university, leading to major gifts.
  • Works proactively to strategically identify, recruit leverage and support University senior administrators and other key stakeholders’ participation in gift solicitations and in Faculty Advancement initiatives.
  • Identifies prospects that may be ready for a planned gift and develops recommendations for cultivation/solicitation strategy in consultation with the Director, Gift Planning and Lifetime Giving.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Donor Stewardship administers and stewards each gift according to the donor’s wishes.
  • Works closely with the key members of the department to plan targeted outreach activities aimed at increasing the donor pool and cultivating/stewarding existing prospects.
  • Promotes collaboration with colleagues to engender trust in the prospect management process.
  • Works in a donor centered way to match donor interests with key projects.
  • Actively participates in “moves management” sessions to plan out the key steps to strategically advance the relationships with key donors.
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of the university’s priorities and needs in both teaching and research, particularly pertaining to the Asper School of Business.
  • Establishes a relationship with the Deans of the Asper School of Business and other key faculty members and engages these individuals as needed in the fundraising process.
  • Works with Dean to develop cases for support for faculty and college fundraising priorities.
  • Oversees the creation of persuasive, appropriate funding proposals communicating the faculty’s plans, programs, services, and initiatives for potential donors.
  • Regularly communicates plans and progress against the fundraising goal to the Dean.
  • Marshalls resources from the Donor Relations unit to ensure a high level of service to the faculty.
  • Keeps up to date on trends related to fundraising and education and develops strategies for the team to address issues.

Team Leadership: 35%

  • Directs the Asper School’s advancement staff, implementing measures to develop and maintain a strong team environment and a goal-oriented and evaluative approach to all advancement activities.
  • Provides direct supervision and ensures a cohesive strategic approach to advancement activities is also undertaken within three additional faculties; the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Arts, and Faculty of Science.
  • Independently recruits, mentors, leads, coaches, evaluates, and disciplines staff within the cluster of faculties overseen.
  • Provides strategic and tactical advice, guidance, coaching, and feedback for the faculties’ advancement team members’ activity and ensures integration and coordination amongst all the faculties’ advancement programs.
  • Obtains resources, including information and approvals, required for the faculties’ advancement team members to meet their fundraising goals within the Asper School of Business fundraising strategic plan.
  • Works with direct reports in the development of annual individual work plans that complement the annual Strategic Plan.
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing, and evaluating performance, and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Drives activity amongst the team in accordance with the performance metrics outlined in their job descriptions and individual development plans.
  • Keeps up to date on trends related to fundraising and education and develops strategies for the team to address issues.
  • Promotes cross collaboration with other colleagues, within Donor Relations and all External Relations.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters open and frequent communication, teamwork, a passion for the mission, and understanding of External Relation’s vision and purpose.

 Strategic Planning: 25%

  • Develops and implements a strategic Faculty fundraising plan, aligned with and part of the overall Donor Relations unit plan. The plan will be based on the institutional priorities and subject to the final approval by the Associate VP (Donor Relations). Oversees the development of the plans that will support the faculties within this cluster.
  • Strategically integrates all facets of advancement (principal, major, planned, leadership, and annual giving along with alumni relations, engagement, and communications) to propel the faculties forward and maximize revenue for the faculty.
  • Provides the overall leadership and direction for achieving the strategic Faculty fundraising plan. Oversees and directs the planning process for the faculties within the cluster.
  • Promotes cross collaboration with other colleagues, within Donor Relations and all of External Relations.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters open and frequent communication, teamwork, a passion for the mission, and understanding of External Relation’s vision and purpose.
  • Evaluates the success and efficiency of the strategies and modifies as needed to meet the objectives of the plan.
  • Works closely with the Associate VP (Donor Relations), and the Senior Director, Principal Gifts to institute strategies related to alumni engagement, donor centred activity and building a culture of philanthropy within the Asper School of Business.
  • Maintains communications with key stakeholders (Deans, alumni, students) on Advancement strategies, plans, activities, achievements, and progress against goals.
  • Directly addresses any and all faculty issues regarding Advancement.


Qualifications & Competencies

  • University Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
  • Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation or other professional designation is preferred.


  • 7-10 years’ experience in successful fundraising is required, with a minimum 5 years proven experience in major and transformational gift solicitation.
  • Progressive experience managing fundraising programs, with focus on major gift fundraising is required.
  • Experience with higher education fundraising is an asset. Consideration will be given to equivalent senior business development and sales experience in other sectors.
  • Outstanding prospect management and tacking skills including identifying, evaluating, cultivating stewardship and directing personal solicitation of planned major gifts or equivalent required.
  • Success interacting with the public in a wide variety of settings is required.
  • Experience relating to people in diverse circumstances and contexts projecting presence, warmth and sincerity in relationship building and fundraising.
  • Successful experience in making cold calls.
  • Proven success developing and implementing strategic plans and meeting objectives.
  • Proven leadership and human resource management skills including recruiting, organizing, directing, motivating, coaching and retaining staff.
  • Understanding of the administrative, academic and governance structure of the university environment and challenges faced by post-secondary institutions.
  • Demonstrated success working with university senior administration and various faculty, institutional partners, volunteers to achieve shared goals.


  • Skilled in applying specialized knowledge in the field of fundraising.
  • Above average interpersonal, communication (both written and verbal), public speaking and presentation, facilitation and negotiation skills.
  • Excellent communication skills to deal effectively with senior level positions in the University (President, Provost, VP, Deans and Vice Deans) and with CEOs and upper management of corporations.
  • Organization and project management, including managing multiple projects from conception to completion with tightly prescribed timelines.
  • Project planning and strategic planning, implementation, monitoring and assessment capabilities.
  • Strategic and creative thinking, planning and actions within a high-pressure work environment.
  • Strong initiative and collaborative approach in working with donors, alumni, academic and administrative staff, students and volunteers.
  • Strong track record of building high value, productive donor relationships.
  • Skilled in computer applications.
  • Sound knowledge of laws, practices and philosophy of charitable giving.

Desired Behaviours:

  • Demonstrated ability to guard confidentiality.
  • Ability to prioritize and manage a large diverse workload with competing deadlines.
  • Demonstrated commitment to higher education.
  • Ability to work independently and be self-motivated in initiating contacts with potential donors.
  • Highly energetic, results-driven and visionary.
  • Ability to take leadership initiative and work collaboratively as a team player.
  • Ability to articulate the case for support so that individuals “buy in” to the vision/mission/goals and with sufficient effectiveness to secure gifts at assigned donor giving levels.

 Other Job Related Qualifications That May Be Preferred:

  • The position requires extensive travel (10% minimum); valid passport and a valid driver’s license as well as access to an automobile is essential.

Additional Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this leadership search on behalf of The University of Manitoba. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Mona Ip, Senior Executive Search Consultant, KCI Search + Talent by email at

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by April 4, 2022.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view full position brief, visit

The University of Manitoba is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from women, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual and gender identities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only. Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provisions of “The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy” (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae will be provided to participating members of the search process.

The University of Manitoba requires all faculty, staff, students and visitors aged 12 and older to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. UM wants to ensure our campuses are as safe as possible for our community and to allow us to return to as much in-person activity as we can, as quickly and safely as we can. Only those who have submitted proof of vaccination or have an approved medical or religious exemption, are allowed on campus. All UM staff are required to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination, even if you are working remotely.

Please note that the hiring salary range for this position is $95,000 to $128,000 with a comprehensive benefits package.