Job ID: 27678

Position Overview

The Office of Advancement is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Senior Director.

The Advancement Office exists for the mutual benefit of the University of Calgary and its stakeholders and coordinates development, alumni relations, communications and community partnerships. The development area in particular is an active, collaborative team that enhances University fundraising efforts in support of designated University priorities.

The Senior Director, Development is a senior position reporting to the Associate Vice-President, (Development). This position is responsible for leading large teams of experienced fundraisers working on both disciplinary and transdisciplinary university priorities.  The Senior Director co-leads strategic planning and procedure development for key fundraising operations that support the University’s development goals and partnerships in partnership with the Associate Vice-President (Development), the other Senior Directors, Development and the Advancement team at large. This position is also responsible for advancing major and principal-level donor relationships through face-to-face meetings, personally managing a portfolio of the University’s key donor relationships, managing senior level volunteers and driving a significant portion of the University’s annual fundraising goal.

This position requires an ability to work under pressure, juggle multiple timelines, manage professional staff, negotiate with donors, and interact with a diverse client base including other members of the fundraising team.  The impact of the decisions of the incumbent will have a significant effect on the Advancement office and the University.

This senior position is frequently a first point of contact for key stakeholders including major donors, community leaders, and provides direct support and expert counsel to the University’s Deans and Department Heads, Vice-Provosts, academics and program directors in development and philanthropy. The advice, decisions and actions of the Senior Director may create contractual, legal, tax and ethical implications for the University. This role requires the Senior Director to exercise leadership, diplomacy, foresight and sound judgment to ensure continued goodwill and financial support for the University.

The Senior Director, Development is accountable and responsible to the Associate Vice-President (Development) for advancing the current fundraising strategic vision and achieving annual goals and objectives.  The incumbent will provide coaching and mentoring, direction, structure, expertise, priorities and procedures to a team of University development staff. The incumbent’s team is responsible for supporting priority projects for fund development in partnership with project leads, faculty deans, department heads, and institute and/or centre directors.

The Senior Director, Development’s primary purpose is to be responsible for the short and long-term planning, development, delivery and evaluation of pan-university fundraising priorities and the related staff fundraising team. They will collaborate with the Associate Vice-President (Development), Development Leadership Team members, Senior UCalgary Leadership Team members, and colleagues overseeing related efforts in prospect management and research, donor relations/engagement, principal gifts, and development services and will be the primary resource for the coordination, operation and leadership of their unit. This position will also be responsible for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding donors within their own pipeline.

The Senior Director, Development will be responsible to recruit, hire, motivate, and lead a diverse team. This position manages the strategic objectives of direct reports, including annual goal setting and regular performance reviews and will be accountable for all performance management related issues pursuant to their team.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Lead development and implementation plans and strategies to enhance the University’s overall fundraising efforts and to generate consistent and significant increases to the funds generated through all development staff.
  • Supervise a team of professional staff members working in support of institutional and faculty-based priorities.
  • Specifically lead assigned priority projects and associated staff.
  • Act as a key university representative with select major and principal gift prospects and donors, alumni and community members to advance the university’s philanthropic goals
  • Evaluate and make recommendations to the Associate Vice-President (Development) and university senior leadership, regarding human resources strategies for development operations: recruiting, hiring, ensuring sound orientation and ongoing training, and support for professional development.
  • Direct regular and ad hoc review meetings with direct reporting staff as well as formal mid-year and annual evaluations. Ensure that all staff within portfolio are well managed and all HR requirements are met.
  • Ensure own actions and those of staff reflect sensitivity to the needs and interests of many campus areas with diverse development objectives.
  • Engage with University’s executive leadership, faculty deans, department heads, institute and/or centre directors to guide fundraising strategies and ensure that fundraising tools such as cases for support and proposals are in alignment with institutional goals.
  • Execute the key components of their work in coordination with both faculty-based and institutional fundraising efforts to capitalize on relationships with the corporate community, foundations, alumni, and individuals.
  • Ensure compliance with prospect management procedures.
  • In partnership with the Associate Vice-President (Development) input into an annual comprehensive business plan and budget.
  • Provide direction and leadership to direct reports to ensure goals are met on schedule.
  • Ensure ongoing familiarity with University direction, economic environment, current trends in philanthropy and best practices in fundraising and leadership.
  • Lead by example in building a strong culture of trust, collaboration, innovation and teamwork.

Qualifications / Requirements:

A University degree in a related field with 7-10 plus years fundraising experience in a post-secondary education institution is preferred. Substantial exposure to the non-profit sector, within a University environment or a large, complex organization is highly desirable.
Candidates will possess the following:

  • Excellent communication skills (verbal and written); excellent listening skills, proven leadership ability, strong organizational skills;
  • Ability to analyze the market place and make appropriate recommendations; ability to combine people and resources in a manner that will achieve objectives within established limits;
  • Ability to coach and mentor a portfolio of faculty development teams and individuals;
  • Good negotiation skills, ability to manage relationships, honesty, integrity, high standards, understanding and commitment to an academic environment;
  • Proven success in establishing productive relationships with senior volunteers that translate into new prospects and donors
  • Innovation, ability to motivate others, and a passion for what you do.  Sound judgment and decision-making capabilities and the ability to work both independently and collaboratively are required.
  • Proven leadership, management of professional staff and effective setting of goals and priorities. Organizational abilities including planning and organizing complex programs and high-impact projects with minimal direction.
  • Proven ability to build fundraising strategies in support of organizational goals, develop prospective donors and secure major gifts. Experience in all facets of an integrated development program including events, sponsorship, annual giving, major gifts and legacy giving.
  • Must be comfortable working directly with members of the University’s executive leadership team, Deans, Vice Provosts and Department Heads.
  • Ability to exercise a high level of tact and discretion in both internal and external interactions.

Ability to demonstrate:

  • Fundraising expertise in a large, complex environment.
  • Accomplished leadership skills, strategic vision and successful change implementations in a large/complex organization.
  • High level of knowledge about relational database systems and technology applications to enhance business workflow and scalability.
  • Capacity to analyze, translate and report financial and statistical data.
  • Sound judgment and ethical decision-making capabilities and the ability to work collaboratively.
  • Strong donor-centric attitude.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills.
  • Sound facilitation, strategic planning, project and resource management

Application Deadline:  February 15, 2023

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is classified in the Management Career Band, Level 3 of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. Management and Professional Staff (MaPS) Positions are currently under review as part of the Alberta Labour Relations Board exclusion review process. Visit the HR website for more information.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website.

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ( and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources (

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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Senior Director, Development, Office of Advancement – University of Calgary

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