Job ID25041-7258
CompanyMcMaster University
Date Posted2019-03-11
Job TypeFull-time
Job CategoryEducation

Should the successful applicant be a Unifor Unit 1 bargaining unit member, who meets the eligibility conditions of Article 19.02 of the Unifor Unit 1 Collective Agreement, then the Limited Term Assignment will be defined as a Career Growth Opportunity in accordance with Article 19 of the Unifor Local 5555 Unit 1 Collective Agreement.

The University Advancement division of McMaster University is an integrated department that encompasses the areas of Communications & Public Affairs, Development, Alumni Advancement, Stewardship & Donor Relations, Volunteer Engagement, Advancement Services and the Office of the Vice President; areas that coordinate their activities and work as a team to build reputation, relationships and resources.

University Advancement is seeking a dynamic, entrepreneurial, goal-oriented individual to join McMaster University’s Development team. Reporting to the Manager, Development, the Senior Development Officer is responsible for developing and closing complex strategic gifts. The incumbent will build a strong pipeline of philanthropic gifts comprised primarily of future gifts including bequests, real estate, and securities. This role will also focus on growing private sector financial support in a highly competitive, challenging environment.

The Senior Development Officer plays a critical role on the University Advancement team in the achievement of the principle objective of ensuring McMaster University’s current and future financial viability through the management of a program for the identification, cultivation and solicitation of potential donors and sustaining relationships with alumni, individual and corporate donors and community partners. The Senior Development Officer is responsible for securing  significant and ongoing financial support for McMaster and consistently enhancing the pool of future donors to ensure growth in both the traditional and non-traditional revenue received annually by the University. As a key member of the University Advancement team, this position is responsible for making a positive commitment to University Advancement's mission, vision, values, and principles:  Integrity, Quality, Respect, Service, Strategy and Teamwork. Due to the nature of this position, some evening and weekend work as well as travel is required.

Purpose and Key Functions:

•           Develop new strategies to build and maintain a competitive position for securing gifts and maximizing giving opportunities to enable the achievement of not only the Senior Development Officer’s financial and visit portfolio goals and broader Development operation goals, but also the overarching objectives of University Advancement and McMaster University.  Experience in strategy development and implementation is required.

•           Responsible for meeting ambitious financial and visit goals, set on an annual basis.

•           Conduct major gift calls and visits to individuals, corporations, and foundations both independently and with faculty, staff, and volunteers. Excellent proposal writing skills are required.

•           Oversee and manage the day to day operations of a diverse donor and prospect portfolio of significant individual and organizational donors and sustain a program of donor stewardship activities.  Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills are necessary. Experience working with ADVANCE is required.

•           Work with a wide range of individuals such as students and Deans to corporate leaders investing in a professional chair and alumni contemplating a charitable bequest.

•           Conduct prospect research to identify new potential donors such as individuals, alumni, corporations, foundations, and organizations.

•           Remain current with post-secondary education activities and trends in demographics and giving activities in the corporate sector and advancement in the methodologies and vehicles of fundraising.

•           Work closely with the department of Research within University Advancement as well as internal and external colleagues and volunteers to keep apprised of trends in giving, methods of identifying and evaluating potential donors and time sensitive opportunities as they arise.

•           Identify and incorporate new and leading edge fundraising vehicles and methodologies throughout the development cycle from potential donor identification through to stewardship.

•           Use judgement, tact, and sensitivity to secure funds for a variety of University priorities and to move donors through the donor cycle from discovery through to stewardship.

•           Develop business plans to identify ambitious fund-raising goals for project and potential donor driven initiatives, ensuring full integration with other units within University Advancement and the Faculties, but also permitting latitude as unanticipated opportunities arise in a global and rapidly changing marketplace.

•           Create dynamic and fluid action plans out of the business plans which focus on the achievement of significant dollar and donor acquisition goals as well as the ongoing stewardship of new and existing donors to ensure their continued commitment to the University.

•           Engage in the regular evaluation of efficiency and results of the plan, seek input from colleagues and share information of relevance to other fund-raising portfolios and activities.

•           Interact and communicate consistently with key members of the internal community including, but not limited to, the President, Provost, Vice-Presidents, and Deans in order to ensure their appropriate involvement and awareness of fund raising activities.  Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required.

•           Represent Development, University Advancement and McMaster University to the internal and external community, including the international public, by being both informed, articulate and enthusiastic about the mission and work of the Institution.

•           Facilitate meetings with internal and external constituents such as donors, allied professionals and volunteers. Experience managing volunteers is required.

•           Provide information and advice to potential donors and existing donors regarding the implications of a gift on their financial and tax situation.

•           Negotiate with donors and the appropriate University parties when drafting gift agreements and terms of reference.

•           Monitor and report on a budget specific to the portfolio’s budget needs and expenditures.

•           Consult with both internal and external parties on specific policies and procedures relating to specialized portfolios.

•           Actively seek out and analyze demographic, psychographic, and giving data as well as legislative information pertaining to charitable giving and effectively employ this information in the development of fund-raising plans and strategies.

•           Establish relationships within the collegial network of fund-raising professionals and establish a presence as a participant in the profession by way of attendance at professional conferences and involvement in professional associations.

•           Keep apprised of University initiatives, events, faculty and staff, policies and issues.

•           Remain up-to-date and informed of activities within the international business community and industries with specific alignment to education such as information technology, communications and commerce.

•           Gather, calculate, evaluate, and understand statistics related to donor giving patterns.

•           Analyze and evaluate individual and corporate financial information for the purpose of determining net worth and capacity for donating.

•           Apply business acumen to enable the development of tailored gift illustrations and proposals.

•           Understand and interpret financial and legal and budget management information.

•           Plan and coordinate a variety of events and expenditures in order to minimize cost and staff time and maximize existing University-wide and University Advancement opportunities.

•           Write a variety of documents such as business plans, correspondence, contact reports, and briefing notes.

•           Create gift illustrations indicating the benefit of matching donations at a variety of gift levels and pledge periods.

•           Prepare and deliver presentations for both internal colleagues and external parties on a variety of subjects related to development and fundraising.

•           Update, verify, and maintain all relevant information related to fund-raising activity both in hard copy and electronic formats and ensure that all information complies with University and provincial and federal policies and legislation.

•           Participate, as required, in a leadership role in University Advancement activities such as small project teams that will be established for specific fund-raising initiatives.


Provide lead hand supervision and is responsible for the quality and quantity of work of others.

Manage volunteers and ensure adherence to quality standards and procedures for short-term staff.


Bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study. A McMaster degree is an asset. Requires 5 years of relevant experience.

Additional Information:

Your fundraising experience is focused on helping donors fulfill their philanthropic objectives by closing major gifts - both current and future with a focus on real estate and other non-cash assets; and/or assisting donors in setting up donor-advised funds, trusts or insurance policies. You possess superior technical expertise related to advantages and tax implications of strategic giving vehicles and have evidence of on-going professional development e.g. participation in CAGP gift planning courses, relevant courses and/or certifications in financial and personal tax planning, and CFRE certification.  

Some evening and weekend work, and occasional travel is required. This position will be located at McMaster’s One James North centre.

The Senior Development Officer is a 36-month limited term, contract opportunity in alignment with the Brighter World Research Initiative.

For more information, visit McMaster University for SENIOR DEVELOPMENT OFFICER, GIFT PLANNING

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