Specialist, Annual Giving & Grants

 About Spark

The purpose of Calgary’s science centre is unwavering. Spark exists to make lives — and the world — better through an affinity for science. Through visits to Spark, and encounters with Spark in the community and online around the world, people are lifted up by the positive power of curiosity, experimentation and creativity. Spark is a registered charity.

The outcome is profound. Spark helps people of all ages fuel up for the future because at Spark, science, technology and invention are embedded in cultural experiences. This creates new points of access to the disciplines at the core of innovation. Join the Spark team to transform lives and inspire the future.

Position Overview

The Specialist, Annual Giving & Grants reports directly to the Director, Advancement. The Specialist, Annual Giving & Grants is a key member of the Advancement Team and coordinates the annual fund and grant application process with various stakeholders. This position plays a critical role in creating a culture of philanthropy by growing financial support through effective relationship management with Spark’s annual donors, major sponsors, donors and foundations.

Key Responsibilities

  • Manage a caseload of 40-50 grant funders and grant prospects across the relationship spectrum (identification through to solicitation and stewardship).
  • Achieve fundraising targets as agreed with Director, Advancement with a focus on annual fund program as well as government, corporate, and foundation grants.
  • Lead the grant application process, liaise with other Spark teams to gather all relevant information, and complete applications and reporting as directed.
  • Monitor project progress to ensure grant commitments are met, and provide interim and final grant reporting and recognition.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with potential and existing grantors with a goal to increase grant renewal and funder retention.
  • Successfully operate within the studio model, which includes frequently collaborating with the Advancement team, other Spark teams and with the Directors and the Executive team to maintain an ongoing listing of potential prospects, including their funding focus, deadlines, and the relevant Spark initiatives.Create, implement, and evaluate the organization’s annual fund program, including mailings, appeals, reports, and other relevant correspondence.
  • Implement fundraising and stewardship campaigns including planning, writing copy/ coordinating with writer, segmenting data, producing and coordinating direct mail, newsletters, annual donor impact report and donor calling.
  • In collaboration with the Director, develop offline campaign themes, segmentation tactics, creative strategy and detailed plans.
  • Contribute to development of targets for revenue, donors, retention and reactivation.
  • Work closely with other Spark staff to implement multi-channel campaigns especially as they relate to emails and social media, mid-level donors and monthly donors
  • Liaise with the Finance Team to ensure proper tracking and reporting of funds.
  • Liaise with program staff to ensure accurate and consistent messaging.
  • Coordinate with graphic designers to develop and produce creative.
  • Conduct testing on campaigns to refine knowledge and improve results.
  • Develop and generate analytical reports on campaigns and donors, providing and implementing recommendations to improve fundraising results.
  • Develop and implement strategies to renew and increase donor giving levels and commitments.
  • Provide regular program and activity reporting to the Director, Advancement.
  • Ensure personal and team activities are aligned with business and strategic goals of Spark as a whole.
  • Model high performance, flexibility and kindness in a rapidly changing growth environment.
  • Other duties as required and assigned.

Qualifications & Knowledge

  • A minimum of 5 years of experience or expertise in grant fundraising and annual fund campaigns.
  • A solid understanding of grant writing, and developing annual fund programs.
  • Fluency in Raiser’s Edge, NXT or similar fundraising software is required as well as able to use most platforms.
  • Willingness to learn and adapt to change and have an innovative approach to fundraising.
  • Demonstrable successful track record in managing annual giving campaigns, securing and stewarding grants.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; strong listening skills.
  • Strong organizational skills with a focus on detail and fiscal oversight
  • Strong ethics and ability to manage confidential data if required.
  • A proven track record of adding value to an organization’s culture and initiatives.
  • A positive attitude!
  • Desire to work on a high performing team with a continuous upgrading culture to achieve high impact results.
  • Fluidity and a desire to work hard and grow are essential.
  • A high degree of creativity with the ability to leave your ego at the door.
  • The successful candidate may be required to work occasional evenings and weekends.

Culture at Spark

Spark’s goal is to become one of the top 10 most-worth-visiting science centres in the world. Through skilled and confident programming, Spark will attract visitors from around the city, province and globe, and immerse them in emotive experiences as they explore ever-evolving, quirky and thought-provoking galleries. The skilled programming at this level of success will only be possible with an organization-wide commitment to effective performance. High performance at Spark is both defined and experienced by diverse cultures and proactively advances equity among all human beings as part of the definition of effectiveness.

Spark’s high performance culture is driven by a shared purpose. Team members are united by values and proud of the reputation we are building together. What does high performance look like at Spark?

Commitment to Purpose. Everyone at Spark is a purpose driven leader. You are passionate about entertaining people of all ages in creative encounters with science, technology and engineering, and the output of your work reflects our values: collaboration, curiosity, courage, commitment, and creativity. Why? Because it makes the world a kinder, safer and better place.

Culture of Philanthropy. Spark is a registered educational charity that relies on the support of sponsors and donors to ensure it can do this work to make the world a better place.

Commitment to Continuous Learning. Your individual growth is driven by a desire to be a part of the team that makes Spark one of the best science centres in the world. Every day is a professional development day at Spark. You are expected to seek out learning opportunities and pursue professional growth. At times the growth may be uncomfortable, and you embrace it as part of the journey.

Agents of Change. We are a culture of experimentalists. It is expected and encouraged for staff to make suggestions that can improve a program, presentation, process or service. It is also expected and encouraged for suggestions to be accepted and tried with a thank you for helping each other get even stronger.

Coaching Mindset. Sparklers are committed to helping each other become even stronger in our roles. Upgrading each other’s work is enjoyable and rewarding because teams are built on trust. Supervisor feedback feels like coaching, not criticism or punishment. Remember, you can say anything if you are kind, clear and non-judgmental. This is how high performance teams are built.

Winning and Losing as a Team. We work together to drive action and results that are aligned with Spark’s mission in the outside world. We encourage healthy debate and science-based decision making. Our relationships allow us to make big asks of each other and get big things done together with a sense of urgency and excellence. If someone appears to fail, you ask, “What did I do or not do to contribute to that, as it is my failure too.”

Achieving Results. Spark is dedicated to excellence in all aspects of communicating science and we carry that dedication to excellence in every aspect of Spark’s work. We encourage each other to set stretch goals and work together across all departments to exceed them.

 To Apply:

Interested candidates can submit their cover letter and resume, in confidence, to careers@sparkscience.ca with “Specialist, Annual Giving & Grants” in the subject line.

Closing Date: November 12, 2021. Please be aware: Interviews may take place before the deadline.

We thank all applicants for their interest.  Only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Spark is committed to employment equity and diversity and encourages applications from all qualified individuals.

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