We are seeking an Executive Director, Stewardship to strategically lead the University of Toronto’s central stewardship program, and to provide support and services to divisional advancement teams. Reporting to the Assistant Vice-President, University Development, the Executive Director, Stewardship will have overall responsibility for a stewardship team of 10 people that encompasses stewardship programming and donor communications.
Location: Toronto     
Employment Type: fulltime
Level: management
Salary Range: $150,000 – $190,000

As member of the senior management group within the Division of University Advancement, the Executive Director will provide collaborative leadership, direction and insight to the University’s stewardship of high-end donors and benefactors, so that these donors are inspired to form, maintain and strengthen their relationship with the University. The Executive Director will also participate in the planning and implementation of the comprehensive campaign to help ensure its success.

With overall responsibility for the vision, design, management and strategic direction of a comprehensive stewardship system that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction with and recognition of donors, the Executive Director will collaboratively identify and develop best-in-class strategies, systems, and processes for effective stewardship of donors. This includes oversight and implementation of an integrated donor relations program that encompasses donor recognition events, endowed position installations, and building naming dedications, and well as donor reports and stewardship communications.

The Executive Director will build effective working partnerships with Advancement colleagues in central and divisional advancement programs, with faculty and staff across the institution, and with volunteers and other external constituencies. Through collaboration, co-design, and proactive two-way communication, the Executive Director and the Stewardship team will engage with colleagues to support their needs, and to benefit from their ideas and experience.

Our objective is for the University to maintain a best-practice, industry-leading stewardship program and team. The Executive Director must possess a strong desire to define the leading edge of donor stewardship practice in Canada, to attract and develop outstanding future advancement leaders, and to enhance the University’s reputation for advancement excellence.  With a particular emphasis on the University’s most generous donors, commensurate with the growing scale of our philanthropic community, the incumbent will be responsible for ensuring the retention of goodwill and enthusiasm of our most generous donors, and to build upon our reputation as a best-in-class destination for philanthropists who want to make a powerful impact.

Compensation: The position is classified as a 2AP, with a salary range of $150,000 to $190,000 per annum. Information about U of T benefits can be found at https://hrandequity.utoronto.ca/careers/benefits/

Alternative Work Arrangement: The University of Toronto is committed to formalizing requests and opportunities for staff to participate in alternative work arrangements by providing operationally supported, wellness driven work arrangements.

About The University of Toronto

Canada’s largest and most renowned research-intensive university, the University of Toronto has 93,000 students in more than 1000 programs of study across three campuses, along with 22,000 faculty and staff, and 630,000 alumni in more than 180 countries.

Widely recognized as a global leader in research and education, the University is consistently ranked as one of the top universities in the world and the top university in Canada, placing 22nd in the most recent annual Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, and 32nd in the QS World University Rankings. The University of Toronto is also 1st in Canada in the research-focused Academic Ranking of World Universities.

Established in 1827, the University has an estimated economic impact on the GTA economy of $6.58 billion and on the Canadian economy the impact is $15.7 billion.  U of T has an operating budget of $2.1 billion, research grants and contract support of $1.1 billion, and more than 24 million holdings in a research library that is ranked one of the top 3 research libraries in North America.

U of T’s globally-recognized network of faculty members, alumni, and partners creates a unique educational experience for undergraduate and graduate students. With one of the strongest teaching faculties across all disciplines – spanning medicine to business, urban studies to engineering, humanities to education, and more – our students have the opportunity to learn from and work with professors who are some of today’s thought leaders.

The ideas and inventions that are created here make their way into the global economy in many ways, through start-ups, small businesses, commercialization, and partnerships. You can see U of T members engaged in community projects, our faculty experts in the news, and over 550,000 graduates spread across 165 countries.

Canada’s leading teaching and research University, the University of Toronto is ranked one of the Greater Toronto’s Top 100 Employers 2021 for the 14th consecutive year, and one of Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers for 2020. Committed to enhancing the diversity and experience of both staff and students, U of T offers employees challenging work, flexible family-friendly programs and opportunities for professional and personal development.

Advancement at the University of Toronto

The Division of University Advancement (DUA) promotes and supports the University of Toronto by engaging a worldwide community of more than 600,000 alumni, plus many donors and friends. DUA encompasses a highly skilled team of staff focused in the areas of development, alumni and volunteer engagement, advancement services, and advancement marketing and communications.  The uniquely integrated structure of University Advancement encourages each division to bring its particular strengths and expertise to the common cause of advancing U of T’s relations with alumni, donors, and friends.

Having completed the largest campaign in Canadian University history in 2018, the University of Toronto’s Boundless campaign brought together more than 100,000 donors in 99 countries to raise $2.641 billion and saw a tripling of alumni engagement. This incredible achievement reflects our supporters’ shared belief in U of T’s ability to imagine a brighter future for the city, the country and the world.

The Boundless campaign created incredible impacts for the University, by opening doors of opportunity for students through scholarships and bursaries; building major facilities to enhance undergraduate education for future generations; fuelling innovative and award-winning research, faculty and programs; and increasing engagement with alumni around the world.

The Division of University Advancement at the University of Toronto is committed to a transformative agenda deeply rooted in the University’s vision for growth and innovation.  We are focused on doubling fundraising performance on a sustainable basis; doubling the number of newly engaged alumni by 2023; achieving Advancement goals through the foundational integration of Alumni Relations and Development both centrally and through collaborations with divisional colleagues; creating an organization and culture that fosters leadership, initiative, effectiveness, and community; and contributing to the creation of an external relations strategy for a transforming image, reputation and standing of U of T along an axis of differentiation and excellence

On December 13, 2021, the University will be announcing an ambitious and exciting new campaign. Stay tuned for further information!

Additional Information

The Role: Executive Director, Stewardship

Experience & Competencies

The ideal candidate will possess the following knowledge and abilities:

  • Ability to collaboratively develop and proactively communicate a clear vision and strategy for the business of stewardship at the University.
  • Leverages the knowledge and skills of colleagues in DUA, in Divisions, and across the institution when strategizing, planning, and problem solving.
  • Solid administrative skills with significant expertise in project management and co-ordination, preferably within an active campaign environment.
  • Previous exposure to major- and principal gifts-level fundraising and donors, and an understanding of how to adapt stewardship frameworks to create a bespoke experience for these donors.
  • Understands the needs and context of front-line fundraisers in relation to donor stewardship, and enables systems and services that deliver excellence, and support efficiency and efficacy.
  • Experience leading and managing a team of professionals is essential, including the interpersonal and managerial skills to manage a complex stewardship program within the University environment.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising and stewardship communications, excellent reporting and writing skills, and knowledge and experience with digital media.
  • Success in mentoring, coaching, motivating and inspiring advancement colleagues, volunteers and staff to bring out the best in both individuals and teams.
  • The ability to refine and streamline an internal systems and processes, including those related to meeting deadlines, tracking, follow-up, monitoring, and reporting of progress.
  • Prioritization skills to manage a large volume of work in a fast-paced, high performance team environment; able to meet deadlines and budgets.
  • The ability to navigate and be effective within a complex matrix organization that values collaboration and teamwork as well as individual initiative and creativity.
  • The ability to serve as an articulate, credible representative of the University with diverse constituencies and particularly with the sophisticated individuals who support the institution at the principal gift level.
  • A deep understanding of the mission of a research-intensive university, including intellectual knowledge to understand the research and teaching dimensions of a proposed project, to conceptualize them in an integrated proposal, and to make a compelling case to a donor for philanthropic support.
  • A university degree, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualities and attributes:

  • Strong ability to think and plan strategically and creatively.
  • Broad perspective of trends and emerging tactics for donor stewardship.
  • A warm and engaging personal style, and a sincere interest in exceptional customer service.
  • A superb leader who mentors, encourages, and supports others; works to create buy-in with direct and extended team.
  • Approachable, open, and highly collaborative.
  • Proactive and clear communicator; actively and frequently seeks input; superb listening skills.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Understands how to leverage technology for customization and systemization.
  • Tact and diplomacy; excellent judgment and discretion; a reputation for integrity; political astuteness.
  • The ability to work independently and demonstrate patience and flexibility.
  • Strong capacity to engender trust and to establish lasting relationships.
  • Highly organized systems thinker with a strong process orientation and ability to implement at scale.
  • Excellent attention to detail, and understands the ramifications of errors in work with top donors.
  • Strong emotional intelligence and maturity; a sense of humour; ability to see things in perspective.
  • An appropriate degree of sophistication and self-confidence.
  • Optimism, and the ability to engender optimism in others.
  • Action oriented individual who brings energy and passion to the role.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.

Key Results Areas

  • Leads the continued growth and sophistication of stewardship services and programs at the University of Toronto that serve to connect donors with the institution and with the impact of their giving. The University of Toronto seeks to set the standard for exceptional stewardship, achieved through a commitment to excellent service and authentic accountability.
  • Delivers and provides continuous improvement of a suite of services and programs that fulfill three core value propositions: providing tools for divisional colleagues that facilitate efficiency, effectiveness, and consistency; providing a baseline of interaction and thanks for donors via central program; and, adding value to stewardship relationships by facilitating the involvement of senior officers of the University.
  • Ensures enhanced stewardship programming, including increased communications between the President and $1 million plus donors, annual briefings and a concierge-like approach to engagement of this donor population.
  • Leads a program that ensures that donor recognition and engagement is in alignment with the University’s mission, policies and guidelines, recognizing that the University’s stewardship policies and guidelines play a key role in safeguarding our donors’ reputations and the University’s reputation.
  • Fosters a culture of accountability, collaboration, and exceptional service across DUA, divisional advancement teams and academic units.
  • Encourages the use of best practices, sharing of new ideas and a consistent and disciplined approach to continuous improvement.

Major Activities

Department Leadership and Management

  • Develops and implements a successful, integrated stewardship program that encompasses principal and major gift donors, and supports and integrates with stewardship and donor relations for gift planning, annual and leadership giving and corporate and foundation relations programs.
  • Develops and implements strategic long-range and immediate plans for comprehensive stewardship programs and ensure conscious and explicit stewardship strategies are in place for all donors of $1 million plus.
  • Fosters and promotes a culture of excellence, innovation and continuous improvement.

Stewardship of Principal Gift Donors

  • In collaboration with the Principal Gifts team and the Director, Donor Relations, ensures that there is a process for developing, monitoring and implementing tailored stewardship programs for the University’s $1 million plus donors, including principal gift donors.
  • Convenes quarterly/semi-annual meetings regarding $5 million plus donors to review stewardship activity as a team, in collaboration with the Principal Gifts team and divisional colleagues.
  • With the Director, Donor Relations, leads and manages the implementation of the Chancellors’ Circle of Benefactors recognition society for the University’s principal gift benefactors, including programming such as the annual dinner.
  • Ensures that the Vice President and the AVP are kept up to date on recommended plans and initiatives, receive regular updates on status and are promptly informed of any emerging issues and recommended actions.
  • Leads an ongoing set of initiatives to enhance and personalize stewardship of the University’s donors, foster closer relationships between the donor, the institution, and the institution’s leadership, and recognizes donors appropriately.

Gift Announcements and Recognition

  • Leads the implementation of gift announcements, recognition/stewardship events and related activity for donors of $5 million plus.
  • Coordinates with divisional colleagues on strategy, guidelines and best practices for gift announcement, recognition and stewardship events for $1 million plus donors.
  • Provides best practices and guidelines for gift announcements below the $1 million level.
  • Manages and monitors the Donor Recognition Partnership program and budget.
  • In collaboration with Corporate and Foundation Relations, designs and implements appropriate recognition programs for corporate and foundation donors.

Reporting and Accountability

  • In collaboration with the Principal Gifts team, contributes to the effort to ensure that principal gift agreements are monitored, and that a process is in place to ensure that the terms are fulfilled, issues are identified and managed, and communications with the donor(s) are appropriately managed.
  • Establishes and manages information tracking processes regarding acknowledgement, recognition, on-going communications and continued cultivation of past and current major donors to enhance their relationship with the University and increase the likelihood of continued contributions.
  • Develops templates and standard materials for stewardship proposals, including the development of specific messaging and the provision of data on the University’s relationship with key donors and partners to assist Divisions with providing a full picture of their relationship with the University.
  • Ensures that stewardship and reporting requirements are met, identifying enhancements and emerging needs in this regard on an ongoing basis.
  • Oversees the development of guidelines, policies and standards for stewardship programming as required in collaboration with the AVP, University Development.

Measurement, Monitoring and Metrics

  • Leads and manages special projects such as development of stewardship key performance indicators, reporting, surveys, scorecards and other such initiatives as they arise.
  • Regularly reviews central and university-wide divisional programs to maintain best practice status of the program.

Best practices, Tools and Guidelines

  • Oversees and manages the development of tools, guidelines and initiatives to support divisional colleagues in planning and executing stewardship programs and plans.
  • Leads the coordination of the exchange of information, the standardization of stewardship expectations at various levels, sharing best practices and examples across divisions, establishing clear guidelines and thresholds, and being a source of ideas, innovation and advice.
  • Develops and assesses policies and procedures across the division and university that are essential for a comprehensive donor relations program.
  • Mentors and guides Divisional advancement staff, acting as a coach and consultant aiming to assist Divisions to maximize their cultivation, solicitation and stewardship activities.

Financial Management

  • Prepares annual department operations budget as per directives from Advancement Services, in collaboration with AVP, University Development; responsible for preparing regular directed financial forecasts and variance analysis for Stewardship department.
  • Responsible for the annual budgeting process for the Department of Stewardship which has an overall budget of $1.1 million and also oversees approximately $150K of the master Campaign Budget.
  • Monitors relevant project and program budgets to determine if work processes or resource allocations need to be modified to meet defined targets.
  • Provide rationale for any budgeted increases by explaining financial requirements.
  • Reviews monthly budget updates from relevant managers to ensure department expenditures are meeting financial objectives and prepares monthly, quarterly, and year end forecasts.
  • Signing Authority for invoices for department and expense reports of direct reports.

Human Resource Management

  • Full managerial authority over the staff in the work unit/department.
  • Implement changes to the organizational structure, including organizational change, hiring, layoff, demotions, creating and eliminating positions.
  • Define duties and responsibilities of staff including defining hours of work, the schedules of work, and the methods and techniques of work.
  • Determine work assignments for staff based on understanding of needs, individual skill, project requirements and availability of resources.
  • Ensure work tasks are completed on schedule and standards and staff follow policies.
  • Budget responsibilities related to the human resources management.
  • Hire staff based on assessment of candidates and understanding of departments needs.
  • Discuss performance with employees to provide feedback and address performance related issues as part of the employee development process.
  • Evaluate employee performance based on assessment of individual’s work and achievement of performance goals.
  • Determine appropriate salary adjustments for employees based on performance and organization salary structure.
  • Consult with HR when dealing with serious issues that effect employment relationships.
  • Strategically manage labour relations implications of business disruptions; participate as representative of department in broader strategic management initiatives related to planning for business disruptions in the University.
  • Develop plans and work processes for department projects based on understanding of project requirements and timelines.
  • Guide department staff by providing the necessary direction and training to complete department/project work, based on knowledge of department procedures and specialized expertise.
  • Recommend training courses, seminars and conferences for staff to update and enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Resolve technical problems and staff-related issues that arise during department/project work on a timely basis, to ensure work can be completed with minimal delay.
  • Manage conflict between staff members.
  • Maintain positive relations with union representatives.

Application Process

For more information, please contact Tara George, Partner/Lead, at KCI Search + Talent via email at UofT@kcitalent.com by January 14, 2022.

Candidates interested in applying for this position should please send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above. All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. If you require accommodation during the recruitment and selection process, please let us know. We will work with you to provide a seamless recruitment experience.

To view the full Executive Brief please visit: www.kcitalent.com.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous / Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2S+ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas

Vaccination: As an employee of the University, you must be fully vaccinated to be able to attend and perform duties on University premises as required, even if some or all of your duties can be performed remotely.  To read about our exemptions please visit our Guidelines on Vaccination.