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Assistant Vice-President - Wilfrid Laurier University

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Vice President, Advancement and External Relations, the Assistant Vice-President: Development is responsible for Laurier’s major and planned giving efforts. The incumbent will implement fundraising strategies that will build on existing success and position Laurier for future success. The Assistant Vice-President promotes strong, responsive and mutually beneficial relationships between Laurier and the communities in which it is situated and serves, and seeks to build meaningful alliances and strategic partnerships with individuals, businesses and organizations that share Laurier’s vision.

The Assistant Vice-President provides a high level of strategic philanthropic expertise to support key University initiatives in a multi-campus environment. The incumbent develops the overarching strategies necessary to enhance reputation and inspire support from a wide range of constituents. Building on this support, the incumbent will work with senior leaders across Laurier, including Deans, the Development Committee of the Board, and senior volunteers, to foster an ongoing culture of philanthropy.

The Assistant Vice-President leads a multi-campus integrated team comprised of senior development professionals. The incumbent will motivate and inspire the team and will create a culture of focused, targeted efforts. Through strategic planning and prioritization, and implementing the appropriate structures, systems and processes to meet University and stakeholder needs, the AVP will strengthen and enhance team capacity.

The AVP is the key driver of moving projects from the inception of ideas to the implementation phase, ensuring the development of tracking metrics for success and that key performance indicators are met.

Through collaborations as a member of the SMT (senior management team) for Advancement & External Relations, the incumbent will have a keen sense of priorities for the department and for the university and will be able to pivot and refocus their team in order to respond to new initiatives.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Planning:

Provide leadership oversight and participate in the strategy and implementation of Laurier’s University-wide fundraising goals. This includes overall annual fundraising results and campaign planning, strategy, and results.

In partnership with the Vice President and the Director, Advancement Services, oversee the overall prospect base and the flow of prospects through qualification, assignment, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. 

Fundraising and Execution:

Provide leadership, direction, coaching, and encouragement to a professional staff of fundraisers, to raise sights and support them in reaching financial goals and in providing an exceptional experience for donors, prospective donors, and fundraising volunteers and partners.

Serve as liaison with the Development Committee of the Board of Governors.

Manage a fundraising portfolio of 50 Major Prospects.

Relationship Management: 

Works collaboratively with academic and administrative leaders to support their fundraising goals and activities, as well as identifying synergies, and effectively engaging and capitalizing on resources across the University.

Develops positive and productive relationships with other units within Advancement in support of the department’s broader objectives.

Collaborate with academic and administrative colleagues, and with the Development and Advancement team, to identify and develop funding opportunities and priorities for Laurier.

Provide guidance, training, and support to academic and administrative colleagues and volunteers who serve as partners in our fundraising activities.

Develop and maintain strong relationships with a portfolio of prospective donors, with accountability for personal revenue and activity goals.

Collaborate with institutional and departmental communications staff to ensure consistent messaging and to optimize the use of communications vehicles to promote Laurier’s funding priorities and to celebrate our successes.

Contribute to the enhancement of the Development Office’s positive reputation by serving as an internal ambassador in the Laurier community, and represent Laurier enthusiastically and professionally in the external community.


Provide leadership, direction, coaching, and encouragement to a professional staff of fundraisers, to raise sights and support them in reaching financial goals and in providing an exceptional experience for donors, prospective donors, and fundraising volunteers and partners.

Develop and implement accountability measurements for major and planned giving activities and staff, putting in place rigorous systems, routines, procedures and behaviors to ensure success and growth in our major and planned giving activities.

Ensure compliance by the Major and Planned Gift team with all regulations, policy and ethical standards that pertain to fundraising.

Supervise donor relations, stewardship, and communications activities with prospects and donors assigned to the Major and Planned Gift team, ensuring a high level of professionalism and donor engagement.

Assume responsibility and accountability for all major and planned gift fundraising activities and staff.

In partnership with the Development team, determine optimal management and assignment.

Experience & Competencies

Established leader with 10+ years experience providing leadership in fundraising.

Proven fundraiser who can demonstrate experience with closing gifts over $1,000,000.

Demonstrated success developing relationships and executing strategies to grow an organization’s fundraising achievements.

Proven ability to foster relationships with internal and external stakeholders and create effective partnerships to advance the University’s mission and vision.

Ability to engage people, inside and outside of the University, working collaboratively, effectively, and successfully to advance Laurier’s philanthropic efforts.

Appreciation of diverse perspectives and ability to work with diverse groups including members of the media, senior administration, faculty, members of student government, staff and students.

Sophisticated problem solving and prioritizing abilities in a multi-task environment; creative and problem-solving approach to work. Able to deal with day to day crisis management while moving forward large complex, multi-stakeholder projects.

Exceptional verbal and written communications skills

Minimum Bachelor’s degree is preferred; Master’s degree an asset.

Organization Profile 

Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University is a leading Canadian university that excels at inspiring lives of leadership and purpose. Its holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom. Students gain both the knowledge and skills needed to succeed and the inspiration to make their mark.

From day one, students feel welcomed and find their place in the many faculties, clubs, teams, and associations Laurier has to offer. Students build supportive and collaborative relationships with faculty and staff, as well as lasting connections to the communities in which they live, learn and work. Life-changing international exchanges help students establish their place in the global community, and thousands of engaged alumni carry the Laurier legacy throughout the world.

Through its community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier has built a reputation as a world-class institution known for its academic excellence and global impact. In acknowledgement of its exemplary workplace policies and programs, and its commitment to sustainability and lifelong learning, Laurier was named one of the Waterloo Area’s Top Employers in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Laurier specializes in arts and social sciences, business and economics, music, science, social work, education, and theology. The university has 20,000 students, campuses in Waterloo and Brantford, locations in Kitchener and Toronto, and a research office in Yellowknife. Laurier was established as the Evangelical Lutheran Seminary of Canada in 1911 and remains the home of the federated Martin Luther University College (formerly Waterloo Lutheran Seminary). 

Laurier is committed to partnerships and collaborations aligned with our academic priorities. Laurier’s research community consists of more than 500 researchers in eight disciplinary faculties forming a highly interactive and interdisciplinary academic community. The university supports more than 20 research centres and institutes that stimulate innovation, attract research funding, and enhance the experience of faculty, students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars.

Laurier is also a leader in integrated and engaged learning, which connects academic programming and co-curricular activities. An example of this experiential approach is our highly regarded co-operative education program, which offers options in Arts, Business and Science, and is the largest business co-op program in Canada.

Laurier’s strategic themes of Thriving Community and Future Readiness are outlined in the Laurier Strategy: Laurier Strategy: 2019-2024 – Today. Tomorrow. Together

Wilfrid Laurier University: Additional Information

About Us:

Discover Laurier:

Laurier Fact Sheet:

Quick Facts about Laurier:

Strategic Roadmaps:

Laurier Strategy 2019-2024:

Action Plan for Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Indigeneity:

Strategic Mandate Agreement:

Strategic Academic Plan:

Strategic Research Plan:



University Board of Governors:

University Senate:

University Senior Leadership:

WLU Alumni Association – Board of Directors:

Wilfrid Laurier University Student Alumni Association:

Development and External Relations:

Giving to Laurier:


Application Process & Deadline

KCI Search + Talent has been retained to conduct this executive search on behalf of Wilfrid Laurier University. For further information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Tara George, Partner / Lead, KCI Search + Talent, by email at

Interested candidates are invited to send resume and letter of interest to the above email address no later than May 31, 2021. All inquiries will be kept in strict confidence.

The salary range for this position is approximately $158,000 to $196,000. A full suite of employee benefits and perks are also provided. 

To view the full executive brief please visit:

Diversity and creating a culture of inclusion is a key pillar of Wilfrid Laurier University’s Strategic Academic Plan and is one of Laurier’s core values. Laurier is committed to increasing the diversity of faculty and staff and welcomes applications from candidates who identify as Indigenous, racialized, having disabilities, and from persons of any sexual identities and gender identities. Indigenous candidates who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact the Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Candidates from other equity seeking groups who would like to learn more about equity and inclusive programing at Laurier are welcomed to contact Employment Equity & Accessibility at

We have strived to make our application process accessible however if you require any assistance applying for a position or would like this job posting in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources at 519-884-1970 ext.2007 or

Members of the above designated groups must self-identify to be considered for employment equity. Candidates may self-identify, in confidence, by filling out a Self-Identification Questionnaire, which will be provided by KCI to all applicants.

Application Deadline : 2021-05-31
Institution : Wilfrid Laurier University