Queen’s University — Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts

The Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts helps to foster long-term relationships between the university and its principal donors and prospective principal donors in the $5 million + range. The incumbent is responsible for the development, implementation and tracking of strategic and targeted donor outreach, engagement and communications programs including special events designed to ensure that Queen’s principal donors are appropriately engaged.

Posted On: 2021-04-28
Closing On: 2021-05-16
Location: Kingston, ON
Website: https://clients.njoyn.com/CL4/xweb/xweb.asp?clid=74827&page=jobdetails&jobid=J0421-0864&BRID=EX199109&SBDID=22118&LANG=1
Employment Type: Full-Time


Job Description

Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts, Development

Are you interested in an employment opportunity that engages alumni worldwide, to foster a lifelong association with Queen’s University?

Reporting to the Executive Director, Principal Gifts, the Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts, helps to foster long-term relationships between the university and its principal donors and prospective principal donors in the $5 million + range. Principal donors are a key constituency whose engagement is vital to the advancement of Queen’s strategic priorities and transformational initiatives.

The Donor Engagement Officer is responsible for the development, implementation and tracking of strategic and targeted donor outreach, engagement and communications programs including special events designed to ensure that Queen’s principal donors are appropriately engaged through the fundraising cycle of identification, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship. Program responsibilities include planning, executing and evaluating engagement activities; developing and implementing strategic communications and contact plans in support of best practice, moves management principles for multiple prospects and prospect groups; preparing a variety of communication materials through diverse channels of delivery including cases for support, proposals, impact reports, donor/alumni stories, etc. This requires the incumbent to serve as a project manager, editor and writer for a wide variety of print and electronic projects, and to interact with all members of the Queen’s community, including faculties, staff, senior administration, donors, and volunteers.

As the Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts you will:

Engagement Communications

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and the Senior Development Officer, Principal Gifts, creates and manages strategies for principal donor engagement communications and special events in support of the university’s principal gifts strategic plans. Identifies donor audiences, tactics, messaging and evaluation to ensure activities support objectives. Ensures plans and programs reflect the strategic objectives of the university. Fosters relationships with Advancement & faculty colleagues, departments, alumni, donors, students and volunteers, in order to accomplish programmatic goals.
  • Works with Advancement Marketing, Communications & Donor Relations and Advancement Services to ensure principal donor and prospect engagement is strategic and effective at communicating the transformational opportunities and strategic priorities of the university and the ROPI (Return on Philanthropic Investment) of principal gifts. Considers the most strategic use of university leaders, including the Principal, Deans, and other senior administrators; and how best to leverage communications from volunteers, including the Chancellor, Board Chair, and Dean’s Council.
  • Works with Advancement and faculty-based Marketing & Communications to select, write and edit feature stories and social media posts for campus community communications and alumni and donor communications. Gathers information for written and electronic products, drafts interview questions, identifies and writes feature stories on faculty, staff, senior administrators, students, alumni and donors for feature stories.
  • Participates in writing case statements, donor proposals and briefing notes in support of key solicitation opportunities.
  • In consultation with the Executive Director and Senior Development Officer, engages with key audiences through a variety of social media channels. Follows the Queen’s Social Media Guidelines, recommends, develops and regularly posts content, which may include basic photo video capture and editing, responds to questions, and moderates online discussions, as needed, to support communications objectives.
  • Promotes a culture of inclusion that embodies Advancement values, with a commitment to the university’s equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives designed to foster an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment for individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities.
  • Ensures adherence to communications standards for the Office of Advancement through proofreading, consistent use of language and the Queen’s Style Guide.

Principal Donor Stewardship and Special Events

  • Works in conjunction with Donor Relations and schools/departments to create and manage individualized stewardship plans for principal donors. Coordinates the development of impact reports that demonstrate ROPI and demonstrate accountability to donors and support their continued engagement.
  • Provides oversight on the delivery of key engagement events including event budgets, timelines and other aspects of the event project, ensuring events are delivered on time, within budget and with a high degree of guest satisfaction. Works effectively with internal and external event suppliers to reach optimum event solutions and services.
  • Manages, coordinates and maintains all stewardship materials, including print, website, social media, and e-marketing to ensure effective messaging of donor stories and impact of giving. Works in collaboration with Central Advancement on lifetime giving milestones and donor walls, corresponding naming and recognition opportunities. Liaises with Advancement and faculty-based Marketing and Communications teams to ensure consistent messaging.

Program Analysis & Administration

  • Assists with the development of fundraising goals and strategies which map upon the strategic direction and needs of the university. In consultation with team members, develops and supports logistics for implementing plans using technology. Initiates, distributes and updates status reports and provides timely messaging to clients and stakeholders.
  • Assists with pre/post visit planning and follow-up including updating all contact and solicitation activity on the Advance database.
  • Evaluates program performance and needs; makes recommendations to the Executive Director for changes designed to enhance reporting and analysis. Understands the integration of Principal Gifts initiatives across the university and identifies areas for further integration and improvement; designs and implements changes as they pertain to maximizing alumni engagement and investment.
  • Provides analytical support in quality reviews of team deliverables and informs management of any information that may identify challenges to project schedules, missed project deliverables, incomplete tasks or inaccurate results.
  • Serves as a strategic contact person for Development activities within the unit and maintains communication with other departments, throughout the community, and with all appropriate external bodies. Effectively manages inquiries and special requests for successful completion.
  • Performs other duties as required in support of the unit and/or department.

The Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts also calls for:

  • Four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent required (preferably at the Honours level).
  • Minimum three years of proven experience in a customer-focused, communications, fundraising, volunteer management or a related environment, preferably in an educational setting.
  • Experience developing and executing effective donor engagement plans, and meeting objectives, preferably for major or principal donors.
  • Proven success in interacting with alumni and donors, preferably in an educational environment.
  • Proven “hands on” experience in project management and coordinating multiple projects/tasks, while meeting deadlines and maintaining accuracy. Demonstrated understanding of project management principles, practices, techniques and tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively research, write and edit to deadlines for diverse communications (briefing notes, fundraising proposals and reports, correspondence, stories, announcements, case statements) for print, web, e-communication and social media.
  • Experience in planning and staging special events that support relationship-building, preferably in an educational setting.
  • An understanding of accessibility issues and federal and provincial legislation pertaining to electronic communications regarding accessibility, privacy and electronic security and anti-spam.
  • Experience in program analysis and reporting.
  • Advanced knowledge of operating systems including Windows, Microsoft, Adobe Suite (InDesign & Photoshop), database packages, website updates and email creation in HTML format, online event registration, e-communication systems, and Internet tools for data and statistical analysis. Ability to use and implement new technologies to the Office of Advancement’s advantage.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Queen’s culture and organization considered an asset.
  • Consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.

To apply or for additional details on this continuing appointment, please visit Career Q, on our Human Resources website at: https://clients.njoyn.com/CL4/xweb/xweb.asp?clid=74827&page=jobdetails&jobid=J0421-0864&BRID=EX199109&SBDID=22118&LANG=1  by May 16, 2021, quoting competition J0421-0864. The University thanks all who express an interest in this position and advises that only those selected for interviews will be contacted.

The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant’s accessibility needs. If you require accommodation during the interview process, please contact Carla Ferreira Rodrigues, at ferreirc@queensu.ca or 613-533-6771.


One of Canada’s leading universities, Queen’s has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence, research and a diverse and vibrant learning environment. With its strong tradition of public service, the University has helped to shape Canadian values and policies, educating notable political and cultural figures.


Queen’s University is located in the heart of the community in historic Kingston, midpoint between Montreal and Toronto, and the nation’s capital.