Cuso International is an international cooperation and development organization that works to create economic and social opportunities for marginalized groups. Together with our partners, we are focused on efforts to advance gender equality and social inclusion, improve economic resilience, and deliver progress on climate action. We believe that by sharing skills, we can build better futures. Founded in 1961, Cuso International works in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada.

Cuso International is seeking a motivated and skilled Associate Director, Major Gifts & Legacy Giving to foster donor engagement and generate revenue growth in support of Cuso’s ambitious program goals.

This position will play a critical role in the development and stewardship of current major and legacy gift donors and new major and legacy gift relationships. Drawing on a history of professional fundraising experience, the Associate Director will create opportunities to expand relationships with individual, corporate and foundation donors and identify new prospective donors with an affinity to Cuso International. Fostering a philanthropic culture throughout the organization is integral to this role. The Associate Director will work closely with and support senior volunteers in major gift development, as well as manage and provide direction to the Senior Philanthropy Officer.

Reporting to the Director, Resource Development, the Associate Director, Major Gifts and Legacy Giving will primarily lead the development and stewardship of a portfolio of 100 major donors and prospects, each with the capacity to give $5,000 plus. In addition, about one quarter of their time will be focused on the implementation of a planned giving program.  Areas of responsibility include moves management strategy, research and prospect identification, cultivation, proposal development, solicitation, stewardship and volunteer management.  The Associate Director will offer current knowledge and expertise primarily in the area of major gifts as well as some basic knowledge related to planned giving – with an appetite for continued learning.

This role of Associate Director, Major Gifts and Legacy Giving will enjoy a flexible location anywhere in Canada, close to an airport to facilitate travel. Occasional national and international travel for meetings and donor engagement will be required.

The Associate Director, Major Gifts and Legacy Giving will be a results-driven professional who will help raise Cuso International’s fundraising achievements to new levels. Working within a highly collaborative team, the ideal candidate will skillfully cultivate internal and external relationships, as an ambassador for philanthropy within and for Cuso International.

With proven major gift expertise, the successful candidate will be responsible for developing and nurturing a recently identified and pre-qualified portfolio of major gift donors, including individuals, corporations and foundations. The new Associate Director will be a talented communicator and influencer, able to position and promote the remarkable success stories and ongoing impacts of Cuso International’s programs.

Energetic and hardworking, the new incumbent will pro-actively lead the growth and development of Cuso International’s major gifts and legacy giving portfolio and will adapt and thrive in an evolving fast-paced but supportive environment.

Although previous exposure to international development is not required, the successful candidate will ideally be familiar with the complexities of national organizations. Inspired by Cuso International’s vision, mission, and demonstrated impact of long-term poverty alleviation, by helping people to acquire tools and skills, the new Associate Director will be a key contributor to the organization’s ongoing funding and programming success.

Strategic direction

  • Develop and implement sustainable major and legacy gifts programs to meet organizational fundraising goals, moves management objectives, key performance indicators and other measures in collaboration with the Director, Resource Development
  • Provide major gift/legacy giving revenue projections and participate in forecasting and budgeting exercises
  • Ensure the effective development, management and monitoring of an annual budget for these programs and maintain strict control of all expenditures through performance-to-budget analysis
  • Support the Director, Resource Development with the development, implementation, and evaluation of the annual operating plan, department workplan, strategies, policies and procedures
  • Develop and implement a multi-year strategic work-plan for the development of Major Gift (individuals and corporate), Legacy Gifts and Foundation Grants
  • Document all key development activity using Raiser’s Edge as appropriate, with particular emphasis on moves management reports and related cultivation and solicitation activity, and ensure regular progress reports on key performance indicators of all portfolios
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of major gift and legacy fundraising, including effective solicitation techniques, giving incentives and relevant tax issues
  • Manage the work and performance of the Senior Philanthropy Officer in line with the Resource Development team’s operational plan and provide strategic vision and guidance to develop and deliver core fundraising programs
  • Ensure compliance with organizational decisions, policies and procedures within area of responsibility

Fundraising leadership

  • Develop and implement strategies and plans for a rolling portfolio of major donor and prospects, including individuals, corporations and foundations, each with the ability to leverage the impact of philanthropy at Cuso International
  • Participate in prospect clearance and qualification with the CEO, Board of Directors and Director, Resource Development including:
    • Proactively securing meetings with prospects to discuss their links, interests, and opportunities to give
    • Carrying out targeted project and prospect research, and preparing appropriate briefing materials, cases for support, profiles and meeting notes including clear direction on specific next steps with each prospect
    • Developing proposals and financial illustrations for prospects and their advisors
    • Acting as a lead or co-solicitor with volunteers or staff as assigned or required
  • Cultivate relationships with current and prospective donors through donor identification, research, proposal development, solicitation and stewardship activities
  • Design and implement effective stewardship programs for assigned donors, including relevant events and team projects
  • Identify marketing needs for assigned funding priorities and collaborate with communications and marketing to develop materials/collateral and other supports

Internal and external relations

  • Act as the primary relationship contact to a portfolio of major gift donors, corporations, individuals, foundations and coordinate applicable Cuso International departments to ensure stewardship of lead donors
  • Provide support to the CEO and Director, Resource Development with senior volunteers through their involvement in the donor journey
  • Build relationships with program staff, volunteers and alumni; engage them in Cuso International’s philanthropic efforts
  • Represent major gifts and legacy giving in cross-departmental working groups
  • Maintain in-depth knowledge of Cuso International, program initiatives, and strategic directions within assigned program areas, and act as a key information source within the team
  • Undertake specific additional responsibilities or provide support on special projects from time-to-time, as may be agreed upon with the Director, Resource Development.

Experience and knowledge

  • Proven experience in major gift fundraising with a successful track record soliciting and closing gifts of $5,000 plus from individuals, corporations and foundations
  • Experience in legacy giving with basic knowledge of planned giving vehicles and promotional practices
  • Superior relationship-building and interpersonal skills to engage internal and external stakeholders. Demonstrated ability to listen, persuade and develop positive relationships with influential or high-net worth individuals
  • Experience in engaging and supporting senior level volunteers for major gift development
  • Strong understanding of the development of major gifts and legacy giving as well as fundraising principles, ethics and practices and operational budgets
  • Prior management experience within a results-oriented team
  • Excellent English verbal and writing skills for diverse audiences, including delivering oral presentations to key individuals and groups. French language abilities will be considered an asset
  • Excellent time management, planning and organizational skills, and strong attention to detail
  • A relevant post-secondary degree or diploma in a related discipline, or an appropriate blend of relevant education, background and experience. CFRE designation will be considered an asset
  • Knowledge of Raiser’s Edge or other fundraising database systems
  • Proficiency with Microsoft applications

Qualities and behaviours

  • High-level of energy, self-motivation, enthusiasm and initiative
  • Sound judgement, professionalism and discretion in dealing with confidential information and key constituents of Cuso International
  • Strong and positive work ethic
  • Ability to work in a team in a dynamic and evolving environment

Closing On:
 January 16, 2023

Cuso International is committed to creating and fostering an inclusive culture. We strive to actively celebrate diversity, advance our equitable practices, and drive greater inclusion. We offer a comprehensive employee benefits package and insurance, generous days of paid time off, including vacation and sick days, and more.

Location: Canada
Reports to: Director, Resource Development
Position type: Permanent, full-time
Classification: Management
Language: Bilingual (English/French) preferred
Salary range: CA$80,000 – CA$100,000 per annum

Please visit our careers page at for full details and to submit your application.

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