Each year, thousands of students across Canada drop out of high school. In low-income communities, high school dropout rates can be more than double the national average. Dropping out creates an achievement gap that lasts a lifetime and the cost to Canada’s economic, health, and justice systems is steep.

At Pathways to Education, we don’t believe any young person should face those odds. Our programs change the lives of young people across the country by working with local communities and donors to help overcome barriers to education and improve graduation rates.

To help drive our important mission, Pathways to Education is seeking a Chief Development Officer (CDO) to lead our public and private resource development activities and strategically grow Pathways’ $38M+ revenue base to ensure we can help more students and support long-term organizational sustainability.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Chief Development Officer will be an integral member of a highly collaborative senior leadership team and will work closely with Pathways’ Board of Directors and fundraising volunteers. As a manager and mentor, the CDO will lead a strong and dedicated team of 20 resource development and government relations professionals who have the responsibility to secure and service government agreements, fundraising operations, stewardship activities, fundraising planning, and all philanthropic giving (major gifts, corporate partnerships, annual, sponsorship, and events).

While the CDO will lead using their skills and experience in resource development, these skills will be complemented by their knowledge and understanding of government relations, marketing and communications, and program management which will help drive strategy and build positive relationships across the organization.

This is a very exciting time to join Pathways as we embark on our next stage of development and growth. Our new CDO will be integral to our success, and we are excited to welcome our new team member.  The hiring range for this position is $190,000 – $230,000 plus a generous and comprehensive benefits program. Please note that Pathways to Education is a hybrid work environment, with the expectation to work at our office in downtown Toronto a minimum of three days per week. This position also requires frequent travel within the GTA and occasional travel elsewhere in the country. Relocation support is available.

Location: Toronto, ON Employment Type: fulltime Level: management Salary Range: $190,000 – $230,000



Our Vision

Breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

Our Mission

For youth in low-income communities, Pathways to Education provides the resources and network of support to graduate from high school and build the foundation for a successful future.

What We Believe

We believe in the strength and potential of young people and the communities that stand behind them. We believe in the power of our partners, including individual volunteers, organizations, and government supporters. We believe in our ability to learn from others and apply that learning to make our work the best it can be. We strive for impact, whether in the life of one student, the strength of one community, or the health of our country. Our goal is to ensure that one day, every young person in Canada can graduate from high school.

How does income affect educational success for youth?

Economic uncertainty, unemployment, food insecurity, and mental health concerns are exacerbated for youth living in low-income communities and for the record number of newcomer youth who already face considerable barriers to success.

Data tells us that youth from low-income households are more likely to leave school early. Their families may struggle to pay for rent or food, school supplies, and transportation, directly affecting a young person’s ability to be present and actively learn. These same families are also less likely to afford additional educational supports, such as after-school tutoring.

Some low-income youth have additional family responsibilities, like caring for younger siblings or maintaining part-time work to help support the household. Many youth in low-income communities, including newcomer youth, can also lack access to the supports and benefits of mentor networks.

Taken together, these barriers can limit a young person’s potential for the rest of their lives. Societally, this lost potential can have a negative impact not only on individuals and their families, but also on achieving the full potential of our communities and our country.

The Pathways Program

The award-winning Pathways to Education Program is delivered to high school students living in low-income communities across Canada. Students in our program receive a comprehensive set of supports needed to overcome the barriers they face and succeed in school, including food vouchers, after-school tutoring and mentoring, financial support, and career planning. In the 2021-22 school year, the average graduation rate in the communities that Pathways serves was 78%.

Program Components

  • Tailored student plans – Pathways staff work one-on-one with students to map out a tailored support plan that is focused on helping them achieve their goals.
  • Tutoring – Pathways staff work in conjunction with schools in their community to ensure the tutoring offered to Pathways students matches their lesson plans. Volunteers devote time to helping students with their schoolwork.
  • Social support – Youth are surrounded by other Pathways students and soon realize that they are not alone. Adult role models are available to provide social support and guide students in their decision making.
  • Mentoring – Through Pathways’ network of volunteers and corporate partners, students are given opportunities to speak with mentors in fields that are of interest to them and to acquire career-related advice and skills.
  • Financial Support – Pathways provides students with both short- and long-term financial supports, including lunch vouchers, transit passes, and scholarships for post-secondary education or training.
  • Planning for life after high school – With Pathways’ support, many Pathways alumni go on to pursue post-secondary education or training. Others gain meaningful apprenticeships, internships, and employment opportunities.

Local Program Partners

Currently, the Pathways Program is delivered in 31 locations across Canada, allowing us to support thousands of youth to attain high school graduation each year.

To achieve this work, Pathways partners with local organizations that possess deep community knowledge and credibility to deliver the Program directly to students.

Pathways to Education is a globally recognized, made-in-Canada innovation success that is endorsed by the World Bank.

Our Impact

The Pathways to Education Canada story started in 2001 with the Regent Park Community Health Centre’s vision to break the cycle of poverty through education. Now, over 20 years later, Pathways to Education’s award-winning program has supported more than 20,000 students in low-income communities across Canada.


The support Pathways is fortunate to have from across Canada reinforces a commitment to transforming lives and delivering better outcomes for students, and in turn, contributes to a healthier society and stronger economy.

Thanks to ongoing government support, along with generous corporate and private donors, in FY2023, Pathways Canada surpassed $38 million in funding to deliver the Pathways Program and reach more students than ever.

Pathways continues to respond to economic and societal challenges by working directly with communities to develop and scale innovative approaches that meet the changing needs of students. Our Board of Directors, President & CEO, and our leadership team have developed an ambitious agenda that focuses on further increasing Pathways to Education’s impact on youth, and in turn, drive greater social change. We envision that this increased impact will come about through realignment of programming against current needs, rethinking our approaches to program design and delivery, and identification of new market segments to better serve the evolving needs of both youth and communities.

All of this innovation, evolution, and impact is enabled by the support that we are able to generate through resource development. Currently, the team is composed of 20 staff members, approximately 1/3 of our overall organizational staff size.

Our resource development and government relations professionals have the collective responsibility to secure and steward all:

  • philanthropic support (annual, major and planned gifts, and related events)
  • corporate partnerships and sponsorships
  • government funding and agreements


Leadership, Strategy & Planning

  • Contribute as a member of the Executive team to the development of the strategic plan, providing expertise in resource development while supporting the advancement of other key organization pillars.
  • Employ a collaborative approach to developing departmental goals and objectives that are aligned across the organization and with strategic objectives.
  • Plan, develop, refine, and execute the multi-year private and public fundraising plan that supports revenue growth and sustainability, and assess the resources required to achieve this plan.
  • Create medium and long-term philanthropic and public funding goals and objectives with measurable monthly and annual targets.
  • Evaluate the effect of internal and external forces (political, economic, and non-profit sectors) on current and future fund development activities.
  • Strengthen, advocate for, and support a strong culture of philanthropy amongst senior leadership and the broader Pathways community.
  • Serve as a key community ambassador, being highly visible as a passionate representative of the Pathways mission and team.

Staff Leadership

  • Lead and develop a strong resource development team by promoting a culture of excellence, innovation, achievement, and collaboration.
  • Ensure that appropriate goals and key performance indicators are established for individuals and the team while ensuring regular reporting is in place to monitor progress.
  • Lead by example by establishing and demonstrating a pace of activity, excellence, and results.
  • Provide coaching, mentoring, and support to foster team and individual growth.
  • Guide and support revenue development staff (and volunteers, where applicable) on strategy and tactics with donors.
  • Provide information and learning opportunities to ensure that resource development staff are versed on various giving vehicles and avenues for revenue.
  • Encourage consideration and discussion of ethics, integrity, and risk management vis-a-vis resource development prospects and relationships, and ensure that appropriate policies are in place, understood, and implemented.
  • Ensure Government partnerships staff have a clear understanding and direction of Pathways’ alignment to government priorities.

Board & Senior Volunteers

  • Ensure structures and procedures are in place for effective recruitment, training, onboarding, and evaluation of Board and senior fundraising volunteers.
  • Support active participation by Board and senior fundraising volunteers in major gift prospect identification, stewardship, and solicitation.
  • Partner with Board members to support conversations with Federal and provincial officials.
  • Provide coaching and support to Board and senior fundraising volunteers for donor meetings and other activities.

Resource Development

  • Work with the Resource Development team to:
    • Develop a balanced funding mix of revenue programs tailored to the needs of Pathways that will attract, retain, and motivate donors and fundraising volunteers.
    • Maintain and increase both the number and overall revenue from major gift prospects and donors to meet annual revenue targets.
    • Identify and acquire new sources of sustainable long-term funding and multi‐year pledges.
  • Work with the Board, the Senior Leadership Team, the resource development team, and other relevant volunteers to identify potential major donor prospects to grow the major gifts pipeline.
  • Identify, cultivate, and manage a personal portfolio of major and principal gift donors and prospects at the $1,000,000+ level.
  • Support the staff and volunteers in strategy development and relationship building for fundraising purposes.
  • Participate as needed in the identification, development, and stewardship of corporate partners.
  • Connect with Program colleagues, Local Partners, Alumni, and volunteers and engage them in appropriate and meaningful ways with donors and potential donors.
  • Collaborate with Marketing Communications and Program colleagues to create meaningful donor communications.

Federal and Provincial Funding

  • Lead and support the process to secure multi-year financial commitments from federal and provincial governments.
  • Lead and support the Director, Government Partnerships and the Pathways Government Relations consulting firm to:
    • Develop government partnerships strategies and plans including financial targets, stewardship activities, and policy engagement to build strong relationships at the federal and provincial levels and strategically position Pathways to Education for ongoing success.
    • Initiate, renew, and grow government funding commitments through the effective stewardship of critical relationships.
  • Participate in activities intended to build Pathways’ profile with various governments through strategic and intentional outreach activities with elected and public officials.
  • Collaborate with the CEO and recommend appropriate organizational responses to new policies, programs, press, budgets, and legislation that align with the work of the organization and represent strategic opportunities.


  • Proven and progressive experience in senior fundraising roles, including experience successfully securing gifts at the six-, seven-, and eight-figure gift level through various avenues, with both individual donors and corporate partners.
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in staff management and strategic leadership roles is required, along with experience operating as part of a cross-functional senior leadership team, setting and implementing organizational strategy.
  • Solid understanding of the Canadian political system and processes, along with knowledge of government funding cycles, philanthropic funding environment, and the voluntary and education sectors.
  • Demonstrated ability to build, manage, and maintain new and long-standing strategic relationships.
  • Highly developed communication skills (written and verbal) and strong public speaking skills.
  • Verbal proficiency in French will be considered an asset.
  • Excellent teamwork and interpersonal skills, including the ability to work respectfully and inclusively with diverse populations and multiple stakeholders.
  • Initiative and resourcefulness to work independently and drive program/department development, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Strong strategic planning experience coupled with development and implementation experience.
  • Excellent judgement and decision-making skills
  • Post-secondary education in a related field or equivalent work-related experience.


KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Pathways to Education. Candidates with interest are invited to contact Samantha David, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent at for more information.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

The deadline for candidate submissions is June 28, 2024. Resumes and letters of interest should be sent to the email address listed above.

The head offices of Pathways to Education Canada are located on the Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation as well as the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat and Haudenosaunee peoples. We also recognize those First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Peoples who now call Toronto home. May we also acknowledge the systemic challenges facing Indigenous Peoples are not limited to the past; they are still present today. We therefore understand that our role is to learn more about our own local areas and its accurate history and continue to build our competency to act on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action that are relevant to our role in education and youth programming.

Pathways to Education Canada is committed to fostering a diverse work environment, one that is inclusive of different races, ethnic origin, citizenship, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ages, family status, disability status, and intersectional identities. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply and advise us of any accommodations or supports needed to ensure fair and equitable access throughout the recruitment and selection process. if you require any accommodations during the recruitment process, please be sure to notify the Search Consultant.


·       Pathways to Education Website·       About Pathways to Education·       Our History·       Our Impact·       Stories of Success·       Relevant Research·       Community Mapping·       2022 Annual Report·       2023 Financial Report·       Our Board of Directors·       Our Donors·       Pathways Alumni Network·       Pathways Newsroom

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Chief Development Officer – Pathways to Education

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