The Opportunity

The University of Toronto is excited to create this new position to support our Faculties, Campuses and Divisions, their academic and Advancement leaders, and their leadership volunteers.  The Executive Director, Development Volunteer Partnerships will design and implement strategies to nurture Divisional and University-wide fundraising volunteer leadership and their meaningful service and engagement of volunteers in advancing U of T’s fundraising objectives.

Through these efforts, the Executive Director will foster a culture of engaged volunteers that will be an essential driver in reaching the University’s ambitious fundraising goals. In addition, these efforts will help support increasing levels of volunteer satisfaction, involvement, engagement, and impact.

A senior Advancement professional with experience in volunteer management, the Executive Director will bring a track record of success in senior fundraising leadership positions. The Executive Director will demonstrate significant experience and success in building effective strategies for volunteer engagement in support of fundraising strategy to drive ambitious revenue goals. This must include a strong commitment to recruiting, developing, and empowering fundraising volunteer leadership, with a thoughtful emphasis on those from equity-deserving groups and communities.

The Executive Director will be a member of the Vice-President, Advancement’s Senior Management Forum and will attend the Divisional Senior Advancement Leadership Team meetings from time to time. This role has an objective of building capacity for successful volunteer leadership across the University in our Faculties, Campuses and Divisions. The Executive Director will work directly with advancement leads, Principals, Deans, and other academic leaders in divisions to share best practices in creating, managing, engaging, and supporting effective fundraising volunteers and committees.

The position will closely partner with the Office of the Vice President, Advancement and also with the AVP University Development to coordinate and integrate the recruitment, onboarding, retention, cultivation, stewardship and evaluation of senior fundraising volunteers across the University. Working closely with the AVP Alumni Relations and team, the Executive Director will support collaboration and coordination as part of the University’s overall strategy of deepening alumni and development volunteer engagement. The Executive Director will be supported by and will build upon a culture consistent with principles of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the University of Toronto’s Advancement Values.

This position has a target hiring salary range of $150,000 to $190,000 per annum, plus a potential annual bonus of up to 10%. A full range of pension and benefits are also provided, and further information about U of T benefits can be found at

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.

This is a permanent, full-time position and will be based in J Robert S Prichard Alumni House at the University of Toronto at 21 King’s College Circle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  The University is proud of its on-campus and in-person student and alumni experience, and therefore Senior leaders are expected to work on-campus. Flexible work hours are available if responsibilities can accommodate, as well as occasional work-from-home for added flexibility. There will be occasional travel in this role and candidates must possess a valid passport.

About The University of Toronto

Deeply rooted in one of the world’s most diverse city regions, U of T brings a comprehensive approach to solving complex social, economic, and health issues at scale. Our unrivalled commitment to excellence, inclusion, and removing barriers to higher education opens up worlds of opportunity for students. 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.

Canada’s largest and most renowned research-intensive university, the University of Toronto has more than 95,000 students in more than 1000 programs of study across three campuses, along with nearly 23,000 faculty and staff, and more than 640,000 alumni in over 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 18th in the most recent annual Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, and 26th 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 operating budget of $3.12 billion, research grants and contract support of $1.45 billion, and more than 19 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.

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 640,000 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. In this ecosystem, there is an emphasis on the collaboration, diplomacy, teamwork and mission focus as the Division of University Advancement supports our Faculties, Campuses and Divisions as a shared service.

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 annual 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.

DEFY GRAVITY: The Campaign for the University of Toronto

On December 13, 2021, the University proudly launched Defy Gravity: The Campaign for the University of Toronto. The largest university campaign in Canadian history will harness the power of our worldwide community, including 640,000 alumni, 95,000 students, and 23,000 faculty and staff, for the betterment of humanity.

From pioneering work in the humanities to the breakthrough development of neural networks, the University of Toronto has a long history of tackling the impossible and transforming society through the ingenuity of its faculty, students, and alumni.

In a world searching for positive change, we will build on this tradition to address some of the biggest challenges facing our city, country, and planet as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and grapple with this age of climate change, inequality, and mass technological disruption.

Through our commitment to inclusive excellence, we will bring together top minds from every conceivable background and discipline to lead pandemic recovery and enable healthy livesbuild inclusive cities and societiescreate a sustainable futurespark creativity and culturedrive scientific discoverypower bold innovation and entrepreneurship, and support student success as we educate the next generation of creative, engaged, and empathic citizens.

The campaign theme, Defy Gravity, reflects U of T’s history of advancing the frontiers of knowledge by transcending disciplines and borders in a diverse and inclusive community that emboldens students to think big—a community that accomplishes things no one else believed possible.

Our campaign has two ambitious goals to meet today’s challenges

For the first time in U of T history, the campaign will include a goal for alumni engagement: to inspire 225,000 alumni to get involved as volunteers, mentors, donors, participants, and leaders and encourage them to contribute their time and talent to the University one million times collectively.

The campaign will also seek to raise $4 billion for the University’s highest priorities, a goal commensurate with our excellence, the breadth of our aspirations, the global footprint of our faculty, students, alumni, and donors, and our potential for life-changing impact.

Our Campaign Priorities

The campaign will advance U of T’s commitment to inclusive excellence and help the University bring together people from every conceivable background to create a healthier, more sustainable, and equitable world.

Support Student Success
Create a Sustainable Future
Build Inclusive Cities & Societies
Enable Healthy Lives
Drive Scientific Discovery
Spark Creativity & Culture
Power Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Additional Information

Announcing Defy Gravity: The Campaign for The University of Toronto
About The Defy Gravity Campaign
Campaign Volunteer Leadership
University of Toronto’s Three Priorities
President’s Welcome
Inclusion at U of T
U of T News
U of T Magazine
Division of University Advancement
Chancellors’ Circle of Benefactors

The Role: Executive Director, Development Volunteer Partnerships

Key Results Areas

  1. Develop, lead, and implement annual and multi-year plans and strategies for the substantive engagement of a diverse spectrum of senior development volunteer leaders across the Divisions to support ambitious fundraising goals of Divisional campaign objectives and University-wide philanthropic goals.
  2. Develop and implement strategies to diversify Divisional and University-wide volunteer engagement, to identify, engage, and enlist volunteer leaders from underrepresented and equity-deserving groups, to support their success, and to work with others to remove barriers to inclusion and belonging for such members of our community.
  3. Build capacity for effective volunteer leadership across Divisions and increase the impact and effectiveness of staff in fundraising volunteer management roles.
  4. Support, coach and advise Divisional academic and advancement leaders on managing volunteer fundraising committees, including roles and responsibilities, composition, strategies for meeting agendas and follow ups, issues management, and tracking and measuring success.
  5. Work closely with Divisional academic and advancement leadership to build a laddered pipeline of development volunteer leadership with increased levels of responsibility and engagement in programs of varied institutional focus, resulting in enlisting influential volunteer leaders that affirm our advancement’s mission and directly help us raise significant fundraising goals and higher levels of engagement over time.
  6. Work closely with the leadership of University Advancement to ensure alignment with campaign volunteer management and alumni relations, in compliance with relevant University and Provostial guidelines and policies. Ensure collegial and collaborative engagement with Divisional advancement programs, supporting the operationalization of Division of University Advancement and Development Volunteer Office (DVO) services and supports for Divisional fundraising volunteer leadership.
  7. As required, represent the University’s priorities and mission to external constituents as an effective, credible institutional leader, persuasively projecting opportunities for engagement and maximizing opportunities for fundraising volunteerism.
    Supports the recruitment of strategic volunteer leadership and supports the management of volunteer committees/groups that will be established to support the campaign’s advancement activities and engagement.
  8. Works with others to define goals and desired outcomes for development volunteer leadership; supports others as needed to identify, cultivate and engage prospective volunteers, and effectively steward those volunteers.

Major Activities

Development Volunteer Strategic Engagement

  • In close collaboration with the AVP Divisional Relations, and senior advancement leadership within the DUA and the Divisions, develops and implements strategies, initiatives, and annual business plans to structure and implement a program for development volunteer service and engagement.
  • Develops multi-year strategies that frame the University’s unique strengths and opportunities as they relate to fundraising volunteerism, align with University-wide campaign structures and practices, integrate volunteer and development strategies, maximize engagement, and rally our volunteer leaders around a compelling vision for the University’s longer-term aspirations and fundraising goals.
  • Provides strategic leadership and resources to, and on-going mentoring of, senior administrators, faculty, and Divisional senior development leaders in relation to fundraising volunteer engagement at the University.
  • Provides on-going mentoring to the Advancement leads, Principals, and Deans with respect to volunteer service and engagement on their Advisory Councils, Cabinets and Committees.
  • Mediates and resolves complex disputes that threaten to interrupt or delay the progress of initiatives, by applying knowledge, experience, expertise, diplomacy and creativity in identifying and facilitating alternative routes to outcomes that support objectives and priorities.

Development Volunteer Leadership and Management

  • Oversees the design and implementation of a Divisional fundraising volunteer leadership development program to support strategic fundraising priorities across the University’s three campuses
  • Establishes the infrastructure, including the DVO, to build a sustainable development volunteer ecosystem supporting the needs and aspirations of the University’s long-term overall fundraising goals, advancement strategy and annual plan.
  • Develops resources, templates, tools, and other materials to support colleagues in working with fundraising volunteers
  • Advises academic and advancement leaders on strategic plans and policies relating to fundraising volunteer management and to ensure the development and implementation of appropriate, effective and coordinated programs University-wide.
  • Oversees the development of onboarding, engagement and training framework and practices to allow them to best serve the University throughout their tenure as volunteers.
  • Leads the planning, preparation, and coordination of periodic in-person training and education events for all active fundraising volunteer leaders.
    Works in collaboration with Stewardship and Alumni Relations on the recognition of fundraising volunteers at all levels pursuant to university guidelines for stewardship with a goal to them enjoying tailored cultivation and stewardship designed to maximize their fulfilment, satisfaction, engagement and personal philanthropy over time.
  • Works to have DVO’s priorities and volunteer engagement programs developed to the University’s standards in close collaboration with senior DUA leaders and in compliance with all relevant Provostial and Governing Council policies for approval, so that they protect academic integrity, manage reputational issues, support equity across the University, and achieve optimal results.
  • Serves as a practice leader, researching industry trends and advising on fundraising volunteer management. Supports a community of best practice in fundraising volunteer leadership across the Divisions and within DUA.
  • Serves as a resource to academic leaders and front-line development staff on fundraising volunteer training, engagement and evaluation. Develops programs on effective volunteer management within the University’s Advancement College.
  • Supports broadening the base of meaningfully engaged fundraising volunteers, establishing volunteer “career-paths” and a pipeline/watchlist of fundraising volunteer talent that includes broader representation from equity-deserving groups.
  • Develops and institutes processes and tasks to evaluate fundraising volunteer engagement, satisfaction and retention.
  • Provides administrative oversight of recognition and engagement programming and communications in coordination with the Campaign Steering Committee’s objectives.
  • Establishes and manages ad hoc Volunteer Engagement working groups, consisting of leadership volunteers who may gather periodically to discuss and offer consultation on strategies for meaningful training, education, support, recognition and engagement of fundraising volunteer leaders.
  • Works collaboratively and in partnership with DUA and Divisional leadership to creatively engage and steward fundraising volunteers on behalf of the University.
  • Provides strategic development and propagation of best practices in fundraising volunteer management supporting Divisional academic and advancement leaders including:
    • Coaching, consulting and training opportunities for Divisional staff, academic leaders and volunteer leaders;
    • Development, implementation and evaluation of training and engagement opportunities supporting mutually rewarding experiences for fundraising volunteers; and,
    • Development and curation of a repository of precedents representing the collective work of the DUA and Divisions and best practice at the U of T.
    • Represents Divisional Relations on various University committees and boards involving fundraising volunteers.

Development Volunteer Office

  • Establishes the Development Volunteer Office (DVO), complementing and supporting University campaign-related fundraising volunteer initiatives while focusing on the interdisciplinary management and stewardship of Divisional development volunteer leadership in concert with:
    • Office of the VP Advancement (Honorary Chairs, Campaign Co-Chairs)
    • AVP University Development and Campaign team (Campaign Steering Committee)
    • AVP Alumni Relations and Director, Alumni Engagement Metrics and Recognition
  • Prepares an annual plan outlining DVO’s goals, priorities, and objectives.
  • Establishes priorities and goals in conjunction with various stakeholders both within the Divisions and within the DUA and ensures that goals are achieved.
  • Directs DVO’s staff, implementing measures to develop and maintain a strong team environment and a goal-oriented and evaluative approach to all advancement activities.
  • Oversees the development, implementation and management of the departmental budget and ensures that all HR and appointment practices comply with University policies and guidelines.
  • Tracks financial performance including revenue/experience and budget controls.
  • In collaboration with Advancement Communications & Marketing, oversees the development and implementation of DVO’s communications strategies and alignment of all messaging to develop persuasive advancement communications materials that project a compelling vision for fundraising volunteer leadership.
    Initiates or participates in other projects to cultivate liaison or promote community outreach and generate goodwill toward the DUA, divisions and the University as a whole.

Volunteer Management Systems

  • Supports the development of a fundraising volunteer management system, based on existing processes and best practices, for the coordination and tracking of fundraising volunteers to:
    • Deliver a comprehensive understanding of the breadth of fundraising volunteer leadership at the UofT;
    • Support coordination and collaboration amongst Divisional and DUA partners;
    • Develop an integrated pipeline and watchlist of development volunteers to support long-term sustainability and beneficial journey for volunteer leaders; and,
    • Ensure best practice regarding Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in concert with the recommendations of the Advancement EDI taskforce.
    • Track and measure the success of the fundraising volunteer program.

Human Resources Management

  • This role will be responsible for building the program and managing 2 FTE staff-appointed employees.
  • Plans strategically for and defines the organizational structure of the unit; Defines roles and responsibilities of staff, based on understanding of individual skills and project requirements.
  • Develops plans and work processes for department projects, and manages staff to ensure work tasks are completed on schedule and standards and policies are followed.
  • Provides leadership to department that meets University expectations and commitments including ensuring the workplace is safe and harassment free.
  • Guides department staff by providing the necessary direction and training to complete work, based on knowledge of department procedures and specialized expertise.
  • Recommends training courses, seminars and conferences for staff to update and enhance their skills and knowledge.
  • Hires staff based on assessment of candidates and understanding of department’s needs.
  • Evaluates employee performance based on assessment of individual’s work and achievement of performance goals.
  • Discusses performance with employees to provide feedback and address performance related issues as part of the employee development process.
  • Consults with HR when dealing with serious issues that affect employment relationships.

Required Experience & Competencies

The ideal candidate must possess the following knowledge and experience:

  • A minimum of 10+ years fundraising experience in senior positions, including experience in a management capacity and directing the work of others.
  • Extensive senior volunteer management experience, with proven success in establishing relationships with individuals of influence.
  • Demonstrated experience and success managing, motivating, and mentoring volunteers and advancement professionals, bringing out the best in teams and individuals.
  • Highly knowledgeable and experienced in both new and traditional methods of volunteer engagement. Capacity to excel at influencing and leading an organization towards positive growth.
  • Proven fundraising and major gift experience within the Advancement field.
  • A track record of executive advancement responsibility and leadership in a large complex organization, preferably in an educational or medical institution.
  • Demonstrated strategic conceptualization, analytical and planning skills.
  • Knowledge of current trends as they relate to duties and responsibilities of the role.
  • University degree is required.

As well as the following abilities and qualities:

  • Vision, the ability to think and plan strategically.
  • A creative, entrepreneurial spirit.
  • Ability to mentor, coach, motivate and inspire colleagues and volunteers.
  • Ability to build and foster a culture based on respect, humanity, and inclusion in all our relationships.
  • High level of initiative, maturity, tact and diplomacy; excellent judgement and discretion.
  • A deep understanding of and sympathy for the mission of an academic and research-intensive university.
  • 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.
  • An engaging personal style, a sincere interest in people, patience, a willingness to listen, and the capacity to engender trust and to establish lasting relationships.
  • Reputation for integrity, openness, decisiveness and sound judgement.
  • A high level of comfort interacting with academic leaders as well as donors and volunteers.
  • The ability to navigate and be effective within a complex matrix organization that values collaboration and teamwork as well as individual initiative and creativity.
  • Excellent attention to detail and superb organizational skills, including the ability to set ambitious goals and to establish an internal system for meeting deadlines, tracking, follow-up, monitoring, and reporting of progress.
  • Strong project management and prioritization skills, and the ability to work in a busy and results-oriented environment with a strong focus on results; ability to meet deadlines and budgets.
  • A high energy level, an appropriate degree of sophistication and self-confidence, optimism (and the ability to engender optimism in others) and a sense of humour.
  • Exceptional oral and written communication, presentation and interpersonal skills.
  • Strong research, analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Cultural sensitivity and capacity to work with international students, donors, and volunteers.
  • Occasional travel is required, therefore a valid passport is required.

Application Process

For more information, please contact Tara George, Partner/Lead, at KCI Search + Talent via email at by October 7, 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.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

This position is open to all Canadian citizens, permanent residents and those legally able to work in Canada. Other individuals may also be considered, per Canadian immigration laws. Candidates should please include their status when applying for this position.

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.

As part of your application, you will be asked to complete a brief Diversity Survey. This survey is voluntary. Any information directly related to you is confidential and cannot be accessed by search committees or human resources staff. Results will be aggregated for institutional planning purposes.

Vaccination: The University may from time to time introduce or re-introduce new, previous, or revised measures relating to COVID-19 or any future pandemic. You will be provided with appropriate information and instruction on applicable measures. For more information on the University’s COVID-19 response, please refer to the University’s Response to COVID-19.

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