Vice-President Advancement (Full Time)


St. Mary’s University is a dynamic and innovative teaching and research university located on a beautiful historic site. We provide affordable, accredited and highly valued degrees in the Liberal Arts, Sciences and Education. Founded in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition, and as the only independent Catholic university in
Canada, St. Mary’s University prepares its students to live with integrity, compassion and confidence while embodying a compassionate commitment to ethics, social justice, and respect for diversity of opinion and belief. St. Mary’s became a proud member of Universities Canada in 2022, and has over 1000 full- and part-time students, approximately 200 full- and part-time faculty and staff, and an average class size of 25. Located in Mohkínstsis (Calgary) on the ancestral territory of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani First Nations), the Tsuut’ina and Îyârhe Nakoda Nations, as well as the Metis Nation, Region 3, St. Mary’s is focused on developing the whole person: mind, body and spirit. Consistent with our Catholic values, St. Mary’s University is committed to fostering an institutional culture that
values, supports, and promotes equity, human rights, respect, and accountability within our community. St. Mary’s is a university where all are welcome and inclusive excellence is important. We are committed to removing barriers for those who have been historically underrepresented or discouraged in our society.

A transformational and inspiring member of the Senior Leadership Team who embraces the opportunity to champion the University’s new strategic plan that encompasses a bold vision for growth and an exceptional student experience. This position will develop and execute on an Advancement strategy that articulates the
University’s societal value, attract philanthropic support, and develop programs and opportunities that engage community, alumni, government, foundations and business in meaningful and impactful partnerships and investments.

The Vice-President Advancement will report to the President, work collaboratively across the University community, and be responsible for attracting and stewarding new sources of revenue and donor pools, ensure an exceptional donor experience, and create connections that last a lifetime. As a people leader, they have passion and experience in cultivating and leading a high-performing team that supports fundraising, alumni relations, communications, and marketing, with a reputation of developing meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with students, faculty and staff and a deep national network of contacts with key constituents.


Provide inspirational leadership to a dynamic team, focusing on building and managing relationships. The incumbent will ensure the success of the Advancement team by establishing a shared vision and direction for a full-scale institutional advancement program, including the development and execution of programs that produce measurable results and visibility for the University through open communication, transparency, accountability, and trust. Key component within this role will oversee include:

  • Develop and oversee the University’s Advancement strategy, aligning initiatives to university values and priorities.
  • Foster outstanding stakeholder relations (both internal and external)
  • Supporting the Advancement team to achieve desired outcomes, including effective communications to the community, budget management, and reports on overall impact.

Philanthropic Development:

  • Lead strategic planning for the Advancement office as well as design and implement metrics to analyze the execution and success of various programs including fundraising, marketing & communications, alumni engagement, and stewardship.
  • Work with the appropriate faculty, staff and students to identify, develop, and attract new revenue/donor pools and advance the donor pyramid and fundraising approaches.
  • Oversee a comprehensive, multi-faceted, multi-year strategic and operational plan for all philanthropic programs and relations at the University.
  • In consultation with the President and other leadership team members, and faculty, staff, students, and alumni, identify funding priorities and projects.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to create strategies and programs, as well as building partnerships that attract public and private support for research.
  • Manage the donor stewardship plan, ensuring appropriate and regular recognition and appreciation for gifts and philanthropic activity.
  • Overall accountability for maximizing support through the annual giving campaign while ensuring all fundraising targets are achieved for the good of advancing the University’s mission.
  • Understand tax and other regulatory factors that may impact philanthropic development.

Communications & Marketing:

  • Support and manage a highly effective communications strategy with a focus on community engagement, fostering strong relationships, and effective marketing initiatives.
  • Provide oversight of engaging, analytics-based electronic communication platforms including the University’s web and social media presence.
  • Create marketing strategies for St. Mary’s University student recruitment and retention based on market research and the strategic enrollment management plan.
  • Advance University branding through various platforms to successfully reach different audiences.
  • Promote a strategic engagement strategy and communication plan to gain support across all constituent groups by fostering production, meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders.

Alumni Relations and Engagement:

  • Engage and renew a robust alumni relations program in a mutually beneficial, lifelong connection to each other and to the University with a philanthropic lens.
  • Cultivate a desire on the part of alumni to give back to the University as ambassadors, volunteers, parents, and philanthropists.
  • Anticipate and proactively pursue opportunities to advance the University and alumni relationships through partnerships, campaigns, and advocacy.


  • Minimum of 10 years demonstrated executive leadership experience and a proven track record of small and large-scale philanthropic outcomes in post-secondary education, arts, health, or not for profit field.
  • Bachelor’s degree, ideally with a relevant accreditation or Masters level education.
  • Exceptional relationship builder with strong interpersonal skills and who has a track record of philanthropic leadership and stewardship.
  • Expertise with the tools, techniques and leading practices in fundraising, stewardship, communication, and advancement.
  • People leadership experience, recruiting and developing high-performance, outcomes-based teams.
  • Ambassador with regional, national, and global networks.
  • Master communication strategist.
  • Ability to promote, or at least respect, the institution’s Catholic mission and identity
  • Ability to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as Truth and Reconciliation.


  • As a part of the St. Mary’s University family, eligible employees receive a competitive compensation package and comprehensive total rewards program that includes, but not limited to, a group benefits package, health spending account, RRSP matching, generous time off, and tuition remission. Compensation will be
    commensurate with qualifications and experience.


All applicants must submit a cover letter and resume, along with salary expectations directly via email to in word or pdf format, with the Subject Line of: “VP, Advancement” by end of day on October 15, 2023. We are unable to accept applications and dossiers through third party platforms

St. Mary’s University is an equal opportunity institution committed to an inclusive, barrier-free recruitment and selection process and work environment. We hire on the basis of merit and are passionate about building and sustaining an equitable and inclusive work environment for students, staff and faculty, where diversity in all areas is celebrated and valued. Support services and accommodations are available if required to ensure an equitable, and inclusive working environment. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, questions regarding equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility can be sent to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee ( and requests for accommodations at any stage of the recruitment process can be sent to Human Resources ( Any information received relating to accommodation will be addressed confidentially. We encourage all qualified individuals to apply. Priority will be given to Canadians and permanent residents of Canada.

We thank all applicants for their interest, however only those applicants being interviewed will be contacted. No phone calls please.

St. Mary’s University 14500 Bannister Road SE Calgary, AB T2X 1Z4 Fax:  403.254.3774

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Vice-President Advancement – St. Mary’s University

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