The Opportunity

*The University of Manitoba is seeking a Senior Director, Major Gifts for 3 additional faculties: Asper School of Business, Faculty of Law and Price Faculty of Engineering. For more information please contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, KCI Search + Talent by email at

The University of Manitoba is seeking an experienced major gift fundraising professional and leader to join their team as Senior Director, Major Gifts for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The Senior Director will serve as a senior advisor to the Associate Vice-President (Alumni and Donor Relations), Dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Deans of all the Colleges within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty and Alumni and Donor Relations leadership teams, volunteers, and the university more broadly. Reporting to the Associate Vice-President (Alumni and Donor Relations), the Senior Director will provide high-level expertise, strategic direction and facilitation in the development and implementation of fundraising strategies, designed to maximize long-term financial support for the University of Manitoba’s Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. Activities will increase visibility, enhance reputation, and support the Faculty’s strategic goals.

The Senior Director, Major Gifts works closely with other senior Alumni and Donor Relations staff including heads of Major Gifts, Alumni Relations, Gift Planning & Lifetime Giving, Annual Giving, Advancement Services, and Stewardship, with the goal of ensuring an integrated approach in the areas of fund development, alumni relations, and stewardship in furthering the University’s and Faculty’s advancement goals.

Externally, the Senior Director, Major Gifts interacts with current and potential donors and supporters including high-net worth individuals, corporations, foundations, community leaders, and volunteers. They will personally manage a portfolio of approximately 35 active donors as well as potential donors, with the capacity to give in excess of $1M. They will also lead a team of two donor relations professionals, and through them oversee relationships with over 175 – 225 alumni and donors. This team raises, on average, over $16M annually.

With an exceptional reputation, The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences has positioned the University of Manitoba as an international leader in interprofessional education, research, and practice. As a senior leader in the Faculty, the Senior Director, Major Gifts works closely with the Dean of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and other academic leaders to identify areas of need and opportunity, craft compelling cases, leverage the Faculty’s broad links in the community, and develop and execute strategic and effective donor outreach activities. The new incumbent benefits from an office at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences located on the University’s downtown Bannatyne campus, as well as at the central Alumni and Donor Relations Office located at the Fort Garry campus.

The Senior Director, Major Gifts is a senior member of a dynamic Alumni and Donor Relations team that includes colleagues based in other Faculties and at the central Alumni and Donor Relations office.

About University of Manitoba

Philanthropic support affects the lives of UM students in meaningful ways and fuels research that shapes Manitoba, our nation, and the world. In 2019-2020 outright gifts and pledges to the University totaled more than $61 million. Donors have helped grow the University of Manitoba endowment fund into one of the largest of its kind, with returns among the highest of all Canadian universities. Our graduates give back to their alma mater and more than 23,000 alumni have shown their support to the University’s most recent record-breaking Front and Centre campaign.

The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre Campaign

The University of Manitoba’s Front and Centre campaign was concluded in Spring 2020 with 62,075 donors from 48 countries coming together to raise $626,260,909, surpassing the campaign’s initial $500 million goal and making it the largest philanthropic endeavour in Manitoba’s history. One in five alumni were donors to the campaign and more than $5.9 million was given by faculty, staff, and retirees.

Gifts will support 702 new scholarships and bursaries for students; 21 research chairs and professorships established and enhanced to inspire teaching and learning; and 37 building upgrades to create an outstanding educational environment. In addition, over 331 estate gifts were pledged for UM’s future. The campaign also helped to build seven new spaces that change the footprint of the University such as the Active Living Centre, the Stanley Pauley Engineering Building, Taché Arts Complex (Desautels Concert Hall & Rehearsal Building), Campus Children’s Centre, Churchill Marine Observatory and Dairy Farmers of Manitoba Discovery and Learning Centre. More than $252.1 million was designated by donors for research excellence, including the support of UM researchers on the front lines of developing vaccines or antivirals to mediate the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences

The University of Manitoba brings together its community of health educators, experts, and researchers in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The Dr. Gerald Niznick College of Dentistry and School of Dental Hygiene, Max Rady College of Medicine, and the Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy and Rehabilitation Sciences are integrated in the Faculty. The Faculty offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate educational programs in the health professions and basic medical sciences to currently more than 3,100 students. The majority of Manitoba’s future health professionals are learning their craft at the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. To date, the University has graduated over 27,000 doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, dental hygienists, and rehabilitation specialists.

As an international leader in health education, training, research and practice, The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences reflects the health sector’s evolving focus on inter-professional models of care and forthcoming expanded roles for health professionals under the Province’s Regulated Health Professions Act. Situated at the downtown Bannatyne campus, adjacent to the Health Sciences Centre, the Faculty’s nine-building complex allows for extensive inter-disciplinary research, inter-professional education and training, as well as comprehensive service delivery to students in the health professions.

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences is a research leader in the areas of immunity, inflammation, and infectious disease; population and global health; patient-oriented research, and integrative research in health and well-being. It receives external research funding of more than $103.7 million annually.

In its 2016-2021 Strategic Framework, the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences advanced a specific set of priorities: to demonstrate excellence in education and the learner experience; to conduct leading edge research; to provide quality teaching and satisfaction in the working environment; to build our community, partnerships and offer enhanced interprofessional collaboration and education; to build Indigenous health and achievement; and to invest in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. The Faculty is well on its way to achieving these priorities which will allow the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences to realize its shared vision to be a leader in innovative research and health professional education that supports collaborative practice.

The Rady Faculty of Health Sciences Advancement staff have responsibility for fund development, alumni engagement, and advancement communications. The office works in partnership with the Associate Vice-President, Alumni and Donor Relations and the Alumni and Donor Relations unit to ensure alignment and consistency between the overall goals of the University and outstanding results for the Faculty. During the last seven years, the Faculty’s median average results from philanthropy and fundraising efforts have been $11.9 million per year.

At the conclusion of the remarkable Front and Center Campaign in April 2020, $117 million was successfully raised for the needs of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences in support of transformative projects such as the establishment of the Institute of Global Health at the University of Manitoba and other priority funding areas such as student financial aid, research, as well as equipment and capital upgrades.

Looking ahead, there is further significant potential to continue to develop and increase support for the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. As we plan for future fundraising initiatives, we work to inspire potential donors to partner with us on priority projects such continued investments in research to build on the Faculty’s great advancements in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Indigenous health, diabetes, dementia and maternal health as well as funding for the University’s potential new Integrated Health Education Complex, a multi-million dollar project in the planning stages.

Additional Information

University of Manitoba:

Key Duties & Responsibilities

Direct Fundraising (40%)

  • Responsible for the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of a personal portfolio of approximately 35 rotating donors and prospects with a primary focus on the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and its colleges, while maintaining strategic oversight of direct reports and their 175-225 donor relationships.
  • Acts as the principal donor strategist for each potential donor in their personal portfolio with specific responsibility to develop and implement a written donor strategy and relationship record of all interactions.
  • Identifies, qualifies, cultivates, and solicits prospects for gifts in excess of $1 million.
  • Organizes time efficiently and effectively, allowing for significant interface with donors and prospects.
  • Represents the University of Manitoba to external constituencies and facilitates relationships between individuals, corporations, foundations, and key members of the university, leading to major gifts.
  • Works proactively to strategically identify, recruit leverage and support University senior administrators and other key stakeholders’ participation in gift solicitations and in Faculty Advancement initiatives.
  • Identifies prospects that may be ready for a planned gift and develops recommendations for cultivation/solicitation strategy in consultation with the Director, Gift Planning and Lifetime Giving.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Donor Stewardship administers and stewards each gift according to the donor’s wishes.
  • Works closely with the key members of the department to plan targeted outreach activities aimed at increasing the donor pool and cultivating/stewarding existing prospects.
  • Promotes collaboration with colleagues to engender trust in the prospect management process.
  • Works in a donor centered way to match donor interests with key projects.
  • Actively participates in “moves management” sessions to plan out the key steps to strategically advance the relationships with key donors.
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of the university’s priorities and needs in both teaching and research, particularly pertaining to the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences.
  • Establishes a relationship with the Deans of the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and its constituent Colleges and other key faculty members and engages these individuals as needed in the fundraising process.
  • Works with Deans to develop cases for support for faculty and college fundraising priorities.
  • Oversees the creation of persuasive, appropriate funding proposals communicating the Faculty’s plans, programs, services, and initiatives for potential donors.
  • Regularly communicates plans and progress against the fundraising goal to the Deans.
  • Marshalls resources from the Alumni and Donor Relations unit to ensure a high level of service to the Faculty.

Team Leadership (35%)

  • Directs the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences’ advancement staff, implementing measures to develop and maintain a strong team environment and a goal-oriented and evaluative approach to all advancement activities.
  • Independently recruits, mentors, leads, coaches, evaluates, and disciplines staff within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences team.
  • Provides strategic and tactical advice, guidance, coaching, and feedback for the Faculty Advancement team members’ activity and ensures integration and coordination amongst all Faculty Advancement programs.
  • Obtains resources, including information and approvals, required for Faculty Advancement team members to meet their goals within the Rady Faculty Health Science fundraising strategic plan.
  • Works with direct reports in the development of annual individual work plans that complement the annual Strategic Plan.
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing, and evaluating performance, and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Drives activity amongst the team in accordance with the performance metrics outlined in their job descriptions and individual development plans.
  • Keeps up to date on trends related to fundraising and education and develops strategies to address issues.
  • Promotes cross collaboration with other colleagues, both within Alumni and Donor Relations and all of External Relations.
  • Promotes an organizational culture that fosters open and frequent communication, teamwork, a passion for the mission, and understanding of External Relation’s vision and purpose.

Strategic Planning (25%)

  • Develops and implements a strategic Faculty fundraising plan, aligned with and part of the overall Alumni and Donor Relations unit plan. The plan will be based on the institutional priorities and subject to the approval by the Associate VP (Alumni and Donor Relations).
  • Provides the overall leadership and direction for achieving the strategic Faculty fundraising plan.
  • Evaluates the success and efficiency of the strategies and modifies as needed to meet the objectives of the plan.
  • Works closely with the Associate VP (Alumni and Donor Relations), the Director, Major Gifts, and the Director, Alumni Relations to institute strategies related to alumni engagement, donor centred activity and building a culture of philanthropy within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences and its constituent Colleges.
  • Maintains communications with key stakeholders (Deans, alumni, students) on Advancement strategies, plans, activities, achievements, and progress against goals.
  • Directly addresses any and all faculty issues regarding Advancement.

Qualifications & Competencies

Required Experience & Education

  • A University Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is required. Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation or equivalent will be considered an asset.
  • A minimum of 7 years experience in successful fundraising is required, with a minimum 5 years proven experience in major and transformational gift solicitation.
  • Experience with higher education fundraising is an asset. Consideration will be given to equivalent senior fundraising, business development and sales experience in other sectors.
  • Demonstrated success developing, implementing, monitoring, and assessing strategic fundraising plans and meeting objectives.
  • Outstanding prospect management and tracking skills, including identifying, evaluating, cultivating stewardship, and directing personal solicitation of major gifts or equivalent required.
  • Experience relating to people in diverse contexts, projecting presence warmth and sincerity in relationship building and fundraising.
  • Proven experience and success with staff leadership and teambuilding, including recruiting, organizing, directing, and retaining team members, as well as the ability to inspire, motivate and coach a dedicated group of professionals.
  • Demonstrated experience and success managing, motivating, and mentoring volunteers to achieve shared goals.

Abilities, Qualities, and Attributes

  • Excellent communication (both written and verbal), public speaking and presentation, facilitation, and negotiation skills.
  • Proven analytical and problem-solving skills with an ability to compile and interpret data from a variety of sources, select appropriate methods of analysis, monitor emerging trends and issues, and make data driven strategic decisions accordingly.
  • Demonstrated successful project management skills.
  • Sound knowledge of laws, practices, and philosophy of charitable giving.
  • Clear understanding of and strict adherence to ethical fundraising standards.
  • Visionary, with the ability to think and plan strategically with creativity.
  • Goal focused and able to take leadership initiative and work collaboratively as a team player.
  • Highly energetic with the ability to independently manage multiple projects from conception to completion in a fast-paced environment.
  • High level of initiative, maturity, tact, and diplomacy; excellent judgement and discretion.
  • 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.
  • The ability to understand the research and teaching dimensions of a proposed project, to conceptualize them in an integrated proposal, and to make a compelling case to a donor for philanthropic support.
  • The ability to navigate and be effective within a complex matrix organization that values collaboration and teamwork as well as individual initiative and creativity.

Other Considerations

  • Valid driver’s license and access to a personal vehicle required.
  • Valid passport required and availability for national travel every two months and occasional international travel.

For More Information

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

Interested candidates are invited to send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by July 14, 2021.

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

Please note that the maximum salary for this position is $147,026 per annum, based on experience, and a comprehensive suite of benefits is also provided.

The University of Manitoba is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from women, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual and gender identities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only. Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provisions of “The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy” (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae will be confidentially provided to participating members of the search process.

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Senior Director, Major Gifts

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