Development Officer, Major Gifts

Posted On: 2020-12-22
Closing On: 2021-01-26
Location: Toronto
Employment Type: Full-Time
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Job Description


The National Arts Centre Foundation is seeking a Development Officer, Major Gifts who is enthusiastic about the arts and keen to grow in a fast-paced, creative and dynamic environment.

Over the first eighteen months in the role, the NAC Foundation commits to a full onboarding process where the incumbent will learn about National Arts Centre (NAC) projects and priorities, and key processes of the Foundation.  The Development Officer, Major Gifts will be assigned a portfolio of up to 200 prospects, a blend of individuals, corporate donors and some special event supporters.  There is an opportunity for this role to take on some Gift Planning projects or prospecting of new potential Foundation partners, as the incumbent grows in the role and work allows.

The first few months in the role will be more focused on a combination of NAC learning and orientation, as well as support of the NAC Foundation CEO in her activity with donors, meeting strategy and material preparation.  Following this, the incumbent will take on increasing responsibility of their own portfolio.

This position reports to the leadership position in Major Gifts – the Senior Development Officer, and will be an integral member of a three-position team.  The Development Officer, Major Gifts will also have regular interactions with the NAC Foundation CEO, the Chief Advancement Officer and other members of the Foundation team.  The NAC Foundation is made up of an Annual Fund and Database team, an Advancement Services team, an Events, Protocol and Stewardship team, and a Major Gifts team.  The Development Officer, Major Gifts may be called upon to liaise with other departments within the NAC, including Production and Artistic departments, as prospects and projects require.

This position is somewhat unique in scope in that the NAC is a truly National organization with friends and supporters from coast to coast.  In normal times, this role offers the occasional opportunity to travel to meet with donors or potential donors.  In the current circumstances, most NAC staff are working from home and therefore a candidate could work from outside of Ottawa.  When people are able to return to work, we would require the incumbent to be located in the National Capital region of Ottawa, as attending performances is part of the responsibilities of all Development positions at the NAC Foundation.

This is an exciting and important time for the performing arts in Canada. Throughout the pandemic, the NAC has remained an active presenter of programming, working in partnership with other arts companies across the country to deliver programming to Canadians using digital platforms to bring artists into the homes and onto laptops around the world.  We are poised to play a vital role in the recovery of the performing arts sector when the world returns to something we all recognize as normal – join us on that journey and make your mark!



Canada is our stage:

Founded in 1969, The National Arts Centre is Canada’s bilingual, multi-disciplinary home for the performing arts. The NAC presents, creates, produces, and co-produces performing arts programming in various streams—the NAC Orchestra, Dance, English Theatre, French Theatre, Indigenous Theatre, and Popular Music and Variety—and nurtures the next generation of audiences and artists from across Canada.

The NAC’s vision is to lead and support the renewal of the Canadian performing arts sector over the next three years, with The Next Act, its 2020-2023 strategic plan. Through collaboration and investment in creation, production, co-production, and dissemination, along with a heightened focus on community engagement, learning, and innovation, the NAC will shape a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future for the performing arts in Canada.

The NAC is situated in downtown Ottawa, bordering on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Centre’s performance facilities include four halls (Southam Hall, 2,076 seats; Babs Asper Theatre, 897 seats; Azrieli Studio, 305 seats; Fourth Stage, 160 seats), dressing rooms, workshops and rehearsal halls. A box office, restaurant, interior parking and intermission bars provide services to patrons. The NAC’s Public Spaces host free events and programming. In addition, several multi-purpose rooms are available for education, performances and receptions.

In 2018-2019, the NAC staged 1,451 shows and events and attracted 996,328 patrons to performances, events and commercial activities. Programming activities consist mainly of the six disciplines — Music, English Theatre, French Theatre, Dance and NAC Presents as well as the newly introduced Indigenous Theatre — plus a variety of other programs such as galas and festivals.

The NAC is comprised of a 10-member Board of Trustees and led by Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Deacon, supported by 17 directors and eight artistic and creative leaders. In total, there are 275 full-time employees and 666 part-time employees.

The NAC, which is a separate legal entity from the NAC Foundation, reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Of the NAC’s total revenue, half is derived from an annual parliamentary appropriation, while the other half comes from earned revenue — box office sales, the NAC Foundation, food and beverage services, parking services and hall rentals. The Auditor General of Canada is the NAC’s external auditor.



The National Arts Centre Foundation raises funds to support the National Arts Centre’s work in performance, creation and learning across Canada. Since its founding in 2000, the National Arts Centre Foundation has raised over $150 million to enrich the lives of Canadians through the performing arts and champion our country’s artists, students and educators.


To inspire Canadians to support the National Arts Centre’s priorities in performance, creation and learning by:

Strategically planning meaningful ways to engage donors, potential donors and volunteers;
Developing annual fundraising plans to achieve maximum support for the performing arts and education activities of the NAC;
Designing and implementing stewardship plans to ensure long term donor relationships;
Raising the profile of the NAC and promoting and supporting the performing arts across Canada; and
Becoming a recognized leader in philanthropy through adoption of best practices and commitment to our values.



NAC Foundation Website

NAC Strategic Plan 2020-2023

NAC Annual Report and Financial Statements 18/19

NAC News Releases

National Arts Centre Education

NAC National Creation Fund



The Development Officer, Major Gifts will liaise closely and collaborate with members of the Major Gifts team along with the CEO of the NAC Foundation and the Chief Advancement Officer.  Reporting directly to the Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts, they will focus on a personal prospect portfolio of up to 200 prospects in various stages of the fundraising cycle, contribute to the strategy for donors across the major gifts team, and play an integral role in helping the NAC Foundation team achieve annual financial targets.

Specific responsibilities:

Cultivate relationships and manage a personal portfolio of 125-200 prospects including new, existing and lapsed donors
Personally solicit prospects for major gifts, planned gifts, and blended gifts of between $5,000 and $50,000 and with the help of the team, prepare supporting documentation including proposals, letters, one-pagers and grant applications
Identify new individual major gift, corporate and foundation prospects and lead the transition of prospects through the donor cycle from research to stewardship
Develop strategies and work with the major gifts team and CEO/CAO to advance fundraising needs of the NAC and maximize major and leadership gift opportunities
Prepare donor correspondence, gift agreements, pledge reminders, gift acknowledgement letters, briefing materials, and project and program profiles for a suite of NAC/NAC Foundation initiatives for personal approaches, and in support of the CEO, volunteers and senior leaders
Provide support in coordination of stewardship materials with major donors and partners regarding the impact of their giving, use of funds and periodic updates as necessary and appropriate
Ensure appropriate and timely communications with donors including, but not limited to, prompt gift acknowledgements/thank you letters, invitations to special events etc.
Meticulously maintain the donor database (Raiser’s Edge) using best practices and procedures for data entry and record keeping
Willingness to learn and develop planned giving specific skills and knowledge in keeping with industry best practices
Assist in other duties as required in furthering the goals of the Development team and the Foundation
Act as an ambassador for the NAC Foundation in the community; support the execution of and attend major donor events as needed, to cultivate and steward attendees
Develop positive working relationships with NAC program and administrative staff as a member of the Foundation team



A minimum of 3 to 5 years of successful relationship building experience in a high activity charitable/non-profit environment, or demonstrated related experience in an associated field
Demonstrated track record of cultivating, soliciting and closing leadership and major gifts at the $5,000 to $25,000 level or more
Knowledge of the Canadian charitable, philanthropic and not-for-profit sector. Knowledge of the corporate sector an asset
Ability to operate and thrive in a collaborative environment, as well as to work independently with demonstrated flexibility and initiative
Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills in English; bilingualism will be considered an asset
Proficiency with donor databases and data entry; knowledge of Raiser’s Edge specifically will be considered an asset
Demonstrated ability to interact comfortably, tactfully and effectively with donors, varied internal and external constituencies and a wide range of stakeholders
Ability to think strategically and adapt quickly
Detail oriented, focused and strategic thinker, with initiative, passion and energy
Excellent abilities with MS Office including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook
A relevant post-secondary degree or combination of relevant training, education and experience
Ability and willingness to travel occasionally within Canada



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of The National Arts Centre Foundation. For more information about this opportunity, please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent by email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. Interested candidates should send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by January 26, 2021.


To view the full Position Brief, please visit:

It is the National Arts Centre’s goal to be an inclusive organization that engages and welcomes all Canadians. We believe that the basis of this inclusivity requires a socially and culturally diverse workforce and therefore actively seek to recruit candidates who are Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour (IBPoC), persons from the LGBTQ2+ community, persons with disabilities and women. We encourage you to self-identify in the recruitment process.

Please note that the salary range for this position is $58,600 – $84,300.

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Development Officer, Major Gifts

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