The Opportunity

MS Canada is seeking a strategic and engaging Vice-President, Philanthropy to lead the philanthropy portfolio including principal and major gifts; corporate partnerships and sponsorships; and annual giving with an annual revenue accountability of $30M (and growing). The Vice-President will work closely with the CEO, Board of Directors, key leadership volunteers, and our Mission and Community teams to launch and drive our new $200M+ campaign that will advance our vision of a world free of MS.

Reporting to the CEO and as a contributing member of the Executive Team, the Vice-President, Philanthropy will work collaboratively with leadership volunteers, executives, and team members at all levels to achieve critical, shared outcomes.  A consummate team player, the Vice-President will lead, guide, and motivate a talented and capable team of 20, driving accountability to achieve both team and individual goals.

The Vice-President will be an experienced and accomplished fundraising leader who will strengthen the culture of philanthropy across the organization by delivering exceptional, best-in-class donor cultivation and stewardship practices, building long-lasting and productive relationships, and delivering superior donor experiences.

The Vice-President will enjoy a flexible work location anywhere in Canada. Travel across Canada for meetings and donor engagement will be required in this role.

About MS Canada

This is an exciting time to join MS Canada as we move forward with our bold vision of a world free of MS. With a mission to connect and empower the MS community and to create positive change, MS Canada provides essential services to people with MS and their families and funds research to find pathways to cures.

Canada has one of the highest rates of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the world, with an estimated 90,000 Canadians living with the disease. While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 20 to 49, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with the disease. The total annual estimated socioeconomic cost of MS in Canada in 2019 was estimated at $3.4 billion. At MS Canada, we are privileged to be a part of a determined group of change agents who are working tirelessly to create a world free of MS with thousands of volunteers engaged in and advancing our programs, fundraising events, public awareness campaigns and advocacy activities.

MS Canada is governed by a board of directors comprised of 14 volunteer members who are elected annually. Through our Community Engagement Framework, hundreds of leadership volunteers are driving collective action across the country. Leading community-based initiatives in fundraising, advocacy, public awareness, research and programs, leadership volunteers act as important connections to our grassroots.

Our strategic vision not only builds upon the work of the entire MS community but also brings a new chapter to move forward with our mission of connecting and empowering the MS community to create positive change that helps realize our vision of a world free of MS.

Through discoveries, innovation, and collective action, we will work together to alleviate the uncertainty that MS causes, help provide accessible options for disease management, and reach out to partners to eliminate physical and social barriers in our communities.

Our strategy not only lays out the roadmap in our journey to create a world free of MS, but we hope it also provides inspiration for all in the MS community to connect and collaborate in order to advance treatment and care, enhance well-being, understand and halt disease progression, and prevent MS from happening. Discover. Innovate. Act.

What is MS

MS is currently classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves). The disease attacks myelin, the protective covering of the nerves, causing inflammation and often damaging the myelin. Myelin is necessary for the transmission of nerve impulses through nerve fibres. If damage to myelin is slight, nerve impulses travel with minor interruptions; however, if the damage is substantial and if scar tissue replaces the myelin, nerve impulses may be completely disrupted, and the nerve fibres themselves can be damaged.

MS is unpredictable and may cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of coordination, weakness, tingling, impaired sensation, vision problems, bladder problems, cognitive impairment and mood changes. Its effects can be physical, emotional and financial. Currently, there is no cure, but each day researchers are learning more about what causes MS and are zeroing in on ways to prevent it.

We are here to help. No one needs to face MS alone. In communities across Canada, MS Canada provides information, support, educational events, and other resources for people living with MS and their families.

Researchers funded by MS Canada are working to find the cause of MS, develop better treatments that improve quality of life, and ultimately cure the disease for everyone who is affected by it.

Philanthropy at MS Canada

The core support of MS Canada has been from tens of thousands of dedicated individuals, companies and foundations in communities across Canada. In 2022, MS Canada raised over $46 million through a diverse fundraising portfolio of community fundraising events, major gifts, direct marketing, and other fundraising initiatives:

  • $11.0 million came from Community-based fundraising events
  • $13.3 million came from Direct Marketing
  • $18.4 million came from Leadership Giving (major and planned giving)
  • $2.4 million came from partnerships and cause marketing
  • $1.2 million came from other bespoke and miscellaneous fundraising activities

In 2022, MS Canada reinvested funds in the following programs:

  • $4 million in MS research – research grants, scholarships, fellowships, and investments
  • $3 million in programs and services – including education programs, self-help groups, recreational and social programs, information and referral services, financial support for daily living or equipment need
  • $5.2 million in public education and awareness – awareness campaigns, newsletters
  • $2.4 million in volunteer support and development – volunteer recruitment and training,
  • $1.6 million in government and community relations – educating all levels of government about needed changes to benefit Canadians living with MS and assistance to clients dealing with local transit and accessibility issues
Research at MS Canada

Canada remains at the forefront of MS research around the world. Through generous contributions from donors, corporate sponsors, and fervent fundraisers, MS Canada has invested over $212 million dollars in research since its inception in 1948. This investment has led to significant results for people affected by MS. More specifically, MS Canada-funded studies have gone the distance in areas such as imaging, diagnosis, genetics, tissue repair, rehabilitation, and disease-modifying therapies. With each passing year research continues to reveal new knowledge about the cause of MS, as well as the mechanism by which MS impacts the central nervous system.

Although much progress has been made, many questions regarding MS remain unanswered. As a result, Canadian researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds and expertise are turning their attention to MS and working together to uncover important knowledge and develop treatments that will effectively manage symptoms and slow progression.

To ensure that momentum in MS research continues, MS Canada administers an annual research competition that provides support for researchers whether they are in the early stages of graduate school or conducting research as independent investigator. Funding researchers across the academic and clinical spectrum enables education and training for the next generation of MS leaders while reinforcing their passion for the field.

In addition to supporting research, MS Canada engages young researchers in education and training programs, mentorship initiatives, and networking opportunities which aim to stimulate interest in MS research and encourage collaboration amongst the future generation of MS experts.

The overarching goal of MS Canada is to invest in research that will provide the greatest benefit to individuals who are deeply affected by MS. Each year the organization is hopeful that its commitment to research will bring the MS community one step closer to finding a cure for this complex and often unpredictable disease.

Additional Information & Resources

About MS Canada

Mission and Values Strategic Plan

Imagine Canada Standards

Financial Information

Impact Reports



Board of Directors

For more information, please visit

Key Responsibilities
  • Develop and implement a diversified and integrated fundraising strategy, aligned with the strategic framework, with clearly defined goals and outcomes.
  • Work in partnership with the CEO, executive team, board of directors and MS Governors to successfully develop the strategy for and launch a new $200+ million comprehensive campaign.
  • Provide leadership to mobilize staff to create a cohesive and integrated approach to fundraising across the country in the areas of principal gifts, major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, foundations, and corporate partnerships and engagement.
  • Drive increased focus and capacity of principal and major gifts across the
  • Play a central role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors, involving leadership volunteers and the CEO as needed, and actively manage a portfolio of top prospects and donors.
  • Provide direct support to team prospecting and solicitation activities to expand portfolios and advance outcomes, paying special attention to building pipelines in all areas of giving.
  • Oversee strategies that effectively steward donors at all levels of giving to optimize the donor
  • Work with the Marketing & Communications team to chart the strategic direction for fundraising and donor stewardship in digital channels, ensuring the implementation of current best practices in all areas including social, mobile, web, direct mail etc.
  • Lead the strategic execution of the annual giving program, which includes the direct response
  • Increase sponsorship, cause marketing partnerships, and corporate donations, and oversee corporate and cultivation events in partnership with the Marketing & Communications team.
  • Ensure consistent and effective use of donor software (Salesforce) to inform decision-making and maximize fundraising opportunities.
  • Establish performance measures, evaluate, and monitor the success of fundraising
  • Develop and maintain productive relationships with board and leadership volunteers, providing assistance as required to support fundraising activities.

Senior Executive & Team Leadership

  • Work in partnership with the CEO to lead MS Governors activities and reporting related to major giving and campaign activity, in concert with relevant Executive Team members.
  • Function as an integral part of a high-performing executive team, focused on collaboration, working successfully across units and achieving impact.
  • Work effectively with the Community, Mission and Marketing & Communications teams to drive fundraising activities, develop strong pipelines, build compelling proposals/cases for support, and deliver on sponsorship activation in markets.
  • Manage, coach and track results of the Philanthropy team, including management of multiple direct

Qualifications & Competencies

  • Progressively senior fundraising leadership experience with a proven track record of results. Ability to model a highly collaborative approach, with the ability to work effectively across teams at all levels of the organization and across functional units to achieve impact.
  • Demonstrated experience building, managing and retaining successful fundraising
  • Deep experience building relationships and securing gifts at the 6 and 7-figure level with individuals and families, foundations and community leaders.
  • Experience planning and executing significant, comprehensive campaigns inclusive of all revenue streams, activities, and teams.
  • Highly developed strategic and annual program planning and operations
  • Experience managing diverse revenue streams including principal gifts, major gifts, annual giving, planned giving, foundations, events, corporate sponsorship and partnerships, direct mail, telemarketing and internet-based fundraising.
  • Strong skills in volunteer management including coaching and supporting Board and other senior fundraising volunteers and leveraging volunteer engagement into revenue-generating
  • Superior verbal, written and presentation
  • In-depth knowledge of fundraising and other information systems, data management and procedures with experience using data to inform decision-making and maximize fundraising
  • Demonstrated commitment to measuring outcomes and thrives within a results-oriented
  • Entrepreneurial and creative flare to develop and test innovative approaches to revenue
  • Up to date on market trends and where the future of fundraising is
  • Bilingualism (English/French) would be an asset for this role but is not a mandatory
  • Candidates should possess or be qualified and willing to work towards a CFRE
  • A University degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience is required for this

Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of MS Canada. For more information about this exciting leadership opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, SVP/Lead, Search + Talent by email at

Interested candidates should submit their resume and a cover letter of interest no later than April 23, 2024. All enquiries and nominations will be kept in strict confidence.

To view full position brief, please visit

The hiring salary range for this position is $180,000 – $200,000 as well as comprehensive health benefits, health spending account, and RRSP match.

MS Canada has a bold vision for the future. We have a team of dedicated professionals who share a common goal to create a world free of MS. We strive to be an employer of choice and provide a working environment that values diversity, teamwork, and professional development. MS Canada embraces diversity and encourages all qualified applicants to apply.

We are committed to accessibility for all candidates and will accommodate applicants in need of assistance. Please contact us should you need accommodation.

This position is a position of trust. The incumbent will be required to complete the screening process including completion of a criminal and credit background check in compliance with the National Screening Measures Policy.

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Vice President, Philanthropy – MS Canada

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