Director, Donor Relations, Medicine Development University of Calgary, Development and Alumni Engagement Canada

Director, Donor Relations, Medicine Development, Development and Alumni Engagement


Job ID: 15386

Updated: Yesterday

Location: Foothills Campus


Position Overview


The Development and Alumni Engagement team within the Cumming School of Medicine is currently seeking a Full-time Regular Director, Donor Relations .


The Cumming School of Medicine's (CSM) Development Office is a major business unit of both the school and the University of Calgary's Development and Alumni Engagement (DAE) team. Its role is to support significant revenue generation in support of the university's annual fundraising target, steward donors and inspire the community with the power of philanthropy to transform health outcomes.

The CSM Development Office also plays a significant role working with numerous external partners on projects of mutual interest and ownership, such as the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, Alberta Health Services, Calgary Health Trust and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

The role of Director, Donor Relations reports to the Associate Vice President of Development for the CSM, and is broadly responsible for the fund development communications needs of the CSM team. The Director is accountable for implementing communications, donor recognition, and stewardship initiatives at the faculty. This position will be fully responsible for planning and implementing an overall donor relations strategy that supports and advances the work of the Development Office, and ensures donors are aware of the impact their gifts have on improving health outcomes.

There is a high volume of work requiring strong communication, leadership, facilitation, negotiation and client service skills. The position deals with complex issues, and requires sound judgment and decision-making, and the ability to manage fluid expectations, projects, budgets, shifting priorities and deadlines. The position will foster the development of other staff in the Development team, and serve as a role model and mentor to other staff. Decisions made by this position will have an impact CSM and University wide, as well as on key external partners. The impact of error and stress levels are high, and evening and weekend hours are sometimes required.

Position Description


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

  • Work with the DAE stewardship team to ensure meaningful and sustainable stewardship activities are implemented on an annual basis

  • Plan philanthropic communications, cultivation, stewardship and recognition strategies for donors to the CSM, including those at the annual giving and major gift level

  • Work collaboratively with key business units (DAE Strategic Events and Communications and Campaign teams, CSM Communications, the Dean and other senior faculty leaders) to develop and execute strategies as part of an overall plan to maintain excellent donor and partner relationships

  • Lead the communications team within the Cumming School of Medicine's (CSM) development office, providing strategic counsel to a team of nine fundraisers who account for more than 50 percent of the University of Calgary's annual fundraising revenue

  • Provide strategic, proactive leadership in developing and implementing philanthropic communications, cultivation, stewardship and recognition initiatives

  • Celebrate, recognize and steward our existing donors

  • Increase the profile and fundraising potential of the CSM locally, nationally and internationally

  • Execute an integrated internal and external communications strategy for stakeholders, ensuring best practices implemented for achieving targets, meaningful communication, stewardship reporting, publication development and other communication vehicles

  • Liaise with communications colleagues, including: CSM Communications, institute communications, central stewardship and communications partners, along with prospective and current fundraising partner organizations

  • Ongoing strategic support for the CSM's fundraisers, including the creation of campaign materials, proposals, key messages and other cultivation tools

  • Work across Development and Alumni Engagement team to implement best practices related to advancement, internal communications, cultivation, storytelling, etc.

  • Work with donor relations team to strategically plan all CSM donor and philanthropy communications activities to ensure accurate and timely co-ordination of all written, digital and verbal communications

  • Provide advice and recommendations regarding the creation of new policies and procedures related to philanthropic communications, cultivation, stewardship and recognition

  • Integrate and plan strategy in collaboration with the University of Calgary's overall donor relations strategic goals and objectives

  • Provide leadership, mentorship and coaching to direct reports with accountabilities for donor communications, recognition and stewardship execution

  • Manage and supervise freelance writers, photographers, designers and agencies and contract staff, as required; help prepare annual budgets and administer annual tendering process (quotes on printing, pre-press, mailing house costs and ongoing relationships with suppliers)


Qualifications / Requirements:

  • University degree with a focus on communications or related discipline is required; minimum seven years' experience in a strategic communications role, preferably in a large, complex organization

  • Knowledge of current best practices in donor communications and stewardship

  • Non-profit and/or advancement experience is an asset

  • Demonstrated experience in multi-stakeholder communications planning, budgeting and implementation

  • Demonstrated experience in implementing policies and procedures, along with successful change management with teams

  • Demonstrated experience in managing a team of direct reports, as well as working with external resource providers is essential

  • Demonstrated verbal and written communications skills are a must

  • Must be able to work confidently with staff of all levels, including members of the university and school's senior leadership teams

  • Must be comfortable working with community leaders community when required

  • Demonstrated ability to lead projects to completion

  • Exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills

  • Respect for confidentiality and a strong sense of professional ethics; high degree of diplomacy

  • Knowledge of University culture and operating procedures is an asset


Application Deadline: May 20, 2018


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 Professional Career Band, Level IV of the Management and Professional Staff Career Framework. 


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. For more information about Development and Alumni Engagement, please visit


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 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 professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

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