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Senior Director, Development (Major Gifts) - UNICEF Canada

Application Deadline : 2019-03-13
Institution : UNICEF Canada
Location : Toronto, Ontario
Description :


UNICEF Canada is a leading humanitarian organization dedicated to helping children around the world survive, thrive and reach their full potential.  We are seeking an exceptional major gifts fundraiser and leader for the new role of Senior Director, Development (Major Gifts). As UNICEF’s major gift program momentum grows, the Senior Director will lead a team of dynamic, mission-driven, fundraisers and manage a portfolio of high net worth donors and prospects.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, and based in our national headquarters in Toronto, this new role will have overall responsibility for the entire Major Gift program across the country, including individuals and family foundations, and will lead a team of four staff located across Canada. With a specific focus on relationship-based revenue generation and partnership cultivation, the Senior Director will be responsible for team activities and revenue goals of over $6 million annually.

As UNICEF’s most senior major gift fundraiser and subject matter expert, the Senior Director will be a key member of the Senior Leadership Team and is responsible for annual and long-term strategic planning and team activation in order to meet major donor revenue growth and awareness goals in a manner consistent with UNICEF Canada’s mission and vision.


UNICEF is the world’s farthest-reaching humanitarian organization for children. Across 190 countries and territories, and in the world’s toughest places, it works day in and day out to help children survive, defend their rights, and keep them protected, healthy and educated. To give them a fair chance to fulfil their potential.

UNICEF Canada was founded in 1955, and is one of 33 National Committees located in countries around the world. Its team exists to fundraise for UNICEF’s highest priorities, and to work neutrally with governments and the private sector in Canada and internationally to advance the rights and well-being of children and youth. Our main office is located in Toronto, Ontario.

UNICEF was the world’s first international organization for children, established by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946. Until 1953, its name was an acronym for “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund,” because UNICEF’s very first mandate was to meet the urgent needs of children after World War II. 

In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the UN family of organizations, broadening its mandate to address the long-term needs of children around the world. Although the words “International” and “Emergency” were no longer in the official name, ‘UNICEF’ was retained as an acronym.

About Fundraising at UNICEF Canada

UNICEF’s mission has always been for children first – regardless of race, religion or politics. UNICEF Canada has always relied on voluntary contributions, and is funded entirely by donations from generous Canadians. Because of the generosity of its donors, UNICEF is able to reach and help millions of children around the world.

Last year UNICEF Canada’s major gift team raised $5 million. This year, the goal is to grow to $6 million. Priority projects include:

  • UNdaunted Campaign - With a permanent mandate from the United Nations to guard the rights of all children, UNICEF strives to ensure that girls and boys, wherever they live and whatever their circumstance, have the opportunity to realize their full potential.

This is why UNICEF Canada has launched UNdaunted, an opportunity to come together in support of girls’ education – the most sustainable and effective way to reduce poverty and strengthen communities. A $20 million investment in sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to generate a $100 million return.  By investing in girls’ education, inequities can be addressed and directly influence outcomes for girls, for their communities and for future generations.

  • Women UNlimited - What do you get when you engage a dynamic group of female leaders and philanthropists with the work of UNICEF – which has saved more children’s lives than any other organization? The power of women to lead and make a lasting difference for children in some of the world’s toughest places.

Women UNlimited is an exclusive circle of women who are committed to creating maximum impact for children. This exciting four-year donor journey focused on education projects on three different continents, following the success of The 25th Team, Women Unlimited participants learn from global experts, travel to see the direct impact of their investment, and have the opportunity to influence and advocate for sustainable change.

Working at UNICEF Canada

For two years in a row, UNICEF Canada has been a recipient of the Nonprofit Employer of Choice award.

One team member shared that UNICEF “has a strong mission that inspires employees to go above and beyond, with a focus on empowering the people our charity serves, while balancing that with making our donors feel a part of that action and advocacy. They support professional development, while being very accommodating to non-work life events.”

Another remarked: “Working at UNICEF, knowing the global reach and impact my work has fuels my passion to do my best. It helps even more to be working with great people that genuinely care about each other.”



A strategic and forward-thinking leader, the Senior Director, Development will bring ambition, creativity, and vision to this unique, senior fundraising opportunity. As a seasoned major gifts fundraiser and natural relationship-builder, the Ideal Candidate will implement significant growth of our major gifts program with energy and initiative.

The new incumbent will have a solid track record of major gift pipeline development, including significant experience closing six-figure level gifts from high net-worth Canadians. An exceptional relationship manager, the Senior Director will thrive and be energized by meeting new people, making connections and passionately champion our organization’s mandate and mission.

With the ability to manage up and down with equal ease, the successful candidate will be a driven individual and inspiring leader. The Senior Director will lead a team of major gift professionals in an inclusive, collaborative, and supportive way, fostering strong team engagement for all members across the country. Highly organized, goal oriented and capable of juggling multiple priorities, the successful candidate will foster an environment of fundraising best practice, and will motivate others to achieve ambitious, but realistic targets.

With experience in and/or curiosity about human and international development, the new incumbent will exhibit ethical leadership, be passionate and mission-driven, and embrace UNICEF’s mandate to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, helping to meet their basic needs, and giving them a fair chance to reach their full potential.


Revenue Generation & Moves Management

  • Drive opportunities to position UNICEF as a charity of choice, with a key focus on developing new strategic, long-term, major donor relationships.
  • Act as a senior solicitor and personal relationship manager for individual donors giving at the five, six, and seven figure level.
  • Lead the prospecting, pipeline development, and activation via robust moves management to meet forecasting activities annually and for long-term planning.
  • Work closely with the Board, Executive and Director, Development (Operations) teams to develop transformative major gift opportunities, moves management and long-term engagement strategies for prospects and donors.
  • Work alongside the Directors, Development Operations and Corporate/Community and their teams to establish collaborative strategic fundraising approaches that enable short- and long-term achievement of goals and targets, including new business strategies, key influencer engagement, stewardship planning and strong donor relations practices.
  • Ensure the development of strategic internal and external alliances towards the specific goal of generating revenue, lead generation and/or building brand and organizational profile. Cross collaborate with all fundraising and marketing channels, including intermediate donors, as well as corporate, community and signature events.
  • Build partnerships with other National Committees, UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnership (PFP) Division and Country offices to explore and create additional global/international opportunities for ultra-high net worth prospects and donors.
  • Working with the Development Operations team, drive best practices for pipeline prospecting, management, reporting, and tracking for the major gifts team.

 Strategic Management & Operational Planning

  • Maintain a 4 year sight-line for the team major gift revenue growth.
  • Oversee the execution of relevant sections for the multi-year Joint Strategic Plan (JSP), manage the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) for the team, and ensure integration across the organization.
  • Provide updates and reports to senior leadership, including the Board on the status of fundraising projections, achievements and gaps.
  • Monitor variances and take corrective actions to meet annual revenue/expense targets.
  • Make strategic decisions using financial data and other market information.
  • Evaluate reasonable partnership risk-taking opportunities and develop creative solutions, stimulating new ways of thinking and solving problems, while maintaining strong donor and volunteer relationships.
  • Anticipate the long-term implications/risk of decisions and plan for contingencies, anticipating obstacles and roadblocks.
  • Ensure department strategies are synergistic and identify cross-functional opportunities with Corporate/Community, Annual and Monthly Giving, Marketing, Communications and International Policy and Programs teams as appropriate.
  • Work with PFP to ensure our strategies and approaches are well-aligned to meeting global objectives/protocols.

Team & Operational Management

  • Develop, coach and manage effective, motivated individuals to achieve annual and long-term revenue goals, while building strong donor relationships.
  • Encourage individuals to develop strengths and support opportunities to foster professional growth.
  • Working with People and Organizational Development and Operations, develop long-term strategies to ensure the team is properly resourced to achieve long-term revenue growth goals.
  • Develop on-boarding and succession plans to ensure program continuity and donor centric engagement/long-term loyalty.
  • Conduct annual goal setting and performance reviews as established by people processes; support employee engagement strategies, as required.
  • Ensure all documentation regarding expenses, legal agreements/contracts and employee documentation are up-to-date, accurate and compliant with UNICEF policies.
  • Ensure integrity with the mission and values in all fundraising activities.


  • Successful track record with revenue generating and business development, working with senior executives, Board members and volunteers, soliciting and closing major gifts at the six figure level and above.
  • A ‘go getter’ team player and a natural relationship builder both internally and externally.
  • Able to work in a fast paced environment, prioritize and multi-task.
  • Savvy influencer and negotiator able to resolve conflict; navigate through contentious issues and adept at identifying and implementing risk management strategies.
  • Highly intuitive and demonstrates strong decision making and judgment skills; strategic and resourceful.
  • Superior verbal and written communications skills, ability to convey big ideas with passion, strong public speaking skills; adapts communication style as appropriate.
  • Self-aware, committed to professional and personal growth for self and team members.
  • Organized, detail-oriented, with strong follow through and excellent time management skills.
  • Acts with integrity by promoting consistency among principles, values and behaviours.
  • Ability to travel nationally and internationally – a valid driver’s licence, passport, and fulfilling health and security protocols are required.
  • Comfortable with flexible business hours to accommodate time differences, evening/weekend events, donor support or organizational resource management.
  • Experience in the international development sector is considered an asset.
  • Excellent computer skills, including Microsoft Office and experience with relational databases, ideally Raiser’s Edge.
  • University degree or equivalent combination of education and experience is required. CFRE is an asset.


KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of UNICEF. For more information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Ellie Rusonik, Senior Consultant, Search + Talent at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

To apply, please send resume and letter of interest to the email address above by March 13, 2019.

To view the full Position Brief, please visit:  

 UNICEF Canada is an inclusive workplace and is committed to championing accessibility, diversity and equal opportunity. Requests for accommodation can be made at any stage of the recruitment process provided the applicant has met the requirements for the position.

Consistent with our Child Protection Policy, the successful candidate must receive clearance by a police background check, including the vulnerable sector screen.

Note: As our major gifts team grows, we are adding a Deputy Director, Development, located in Vancouver and a Development Manager, located in Montreal. We are open to also receiving inquiries from candidates interested in these roles.