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Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship

Company: Canadian Blood Services
Date Posted: May 7, 2018

The Opportunity

Canadian Blood Services (CBS) has created the role of Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship to contribute to the growth of our overall annual giving portfolio and to advance our mission by fostering and building strong donor relationships with individuals, corporations, and foundations. 

Reporting to the Director, Philanthropy, the Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will be a key member of the Philanthropy team, a group of dynamic professionals working to position Canadian Blood Services for future growth and success as a national health charity of choice for Canadians. We are committed to building cohesive fundraising, communications, and engagement strategies that secure investments and gifts to support Canadian Blood Services’ mission, vision, and lifesaving priority funding projects.

The Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will manage a personal portfolio of relationships and will be responsible for the project management of all components, initiatives, and programs that make up the overall annual giving program for Canadian Blood Services. The new incumbent will manage a team of four fundraising and stewardship professionals and will provide strategic and operational leadership for the refinement, development, and growth of four national fundraising programs (direct mail, legacy giving, online giving, and employee giving) within a new community engagement strategy for Canadian Blood Services.  

The Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will be a member of the Philanthropy senior team and will also work closely with other members of the CBS Public Affairs team, as well as with external volunteers to foster and steward relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders and supporters. This activity will enable continued realization of key priority projects at Canadian Blood Services to secure and advance its position as a vital health organization in Canada.


About Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is a national, not-for-profit charitable organization that manages the blood and blood products supply in every Canadian province and territory except Quebec. Since 1998, Canadian Blood Services has proudly provided the safe and reliable lifeline that lets Canadians share a part of themselves, motivated simply by a strong sense of compassion and community. Every day, Canadians freely donate blood, plasma, stem cells, tissues, and organs to save or enhance the lives of others.

With 4300 employees and an annual budget of over $1 billion, Canadian Blood Services operates 43 permanent collection sites, more than 19,000 donor clinics, and collects and processes approximately 1,000,000 units of blood annually.

The Canadian Blood Services’ OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network recruits healthy, committed volunteers between the ages of 17 and 35 who are willing to be a match for any patient in need. The Network also provides assistance nationally and internationally in searching for an unrelated blood stem cell/marrow donor, including coordinating all steps from the initial search request to the actual donation. A specific website has been created to assist all involved in locating the forms and reference documents needed throughout this process.  The Canadian Blood Services' Cord Blood Bank is part of the OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network that collects voluntarily donated cord blood units from mothers at four hospitals across Canada.

In our commitment to operating in an open, transparent, and collaborative manner, a Public Participation Task Force (PPTF) was established in 2000 to make recommendations on ensuring effective public participation. Since then, and prior to the formalization of the Task Force, the Canadian Blood Services Board of Directors has launched a number of public involvement initiatives including public consultations, special advisory committees and regional and national liaison committees.

Centre for Innovation – Conducting and Supporting Leading-Edge Research

Canadian Blood Services, through its Centre for Innovation, conducts and supports research in key priority areas that span the translational continuum from “bench to bed side.” With a focus on transfusion science and medicine and emerging related fields such as cellular therapies and organ and tissue transplantation, the Centre ensures the continued safety, quality and supply of fresh blood components, plasma products, and stem cells for Canadians.

Instrumental to the Centre for Innovation’s research efforts are discovery research laboratories and product and process development laboratories. Complementing the core Canadian Blood Services research laboratories, the Centre for Innovation plays a key role in facilitating a national and international network of blood system experts to address today’s issues and prepare us for tomorrow. Through a series of funding programs and research collaborations, the Centre for Innovation supports a vast network of Canadian and international investigators and partners.


Fundraising at Canadian Blood Services

Canadian Blood Services is grateful to our generous donors – individuals, foundations and corporations – who contributed close to $1,500,000 last year. These financial donations help patients by strengthening lifesaving programs and initiatives in four focus areas:

  • Blood
  • Stem Cells
  • Organs and Tissues
  • Research and Innovation

The annual giving portfolio has much potential for growth.  As a result, an exciting new target has been set for the new Strategic Philanthropy Lead and their team, that is, to grow total revenues from $1.5 million to $3 million incrementally over the next 5 years.  

Canadian Blood Services’ first major fundraising campaign was launched in 2011, For All Canadians, and raised $12.5 million to establish Canada’s national public cord blood bank. Since opening, the Canadian Blood Services’ Cord Blood Bank has collected over 18,000 cord blood units, of which 2,000 have been banked. In 2016, we celebrated the first shipments of cord blood units.

Our next campaign will advance our research and innovation agenda, focusing on the space, people and priority projects to ensure that Canadian Blood Services continues to be a global leader in transfusion and transplantation medicine and science. We aim to attract annual financial donations of $5 to $7 million to advance this innovative work that is firmly within our realm of expertise and responsibility. Thanks to our committed and enthusiastic donors, Canadian Blood Services will continue to be an important pan-Canadian healthcare partner for generations to come.


Additional Information


The Ideal Candidate

The Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will be an experienced fundraiser and leader, as well as a role model for our team with demonstrated experience in leading strategy and operations for successful annual giving programs. The ideal candidate will have deep knowledge of philanthropy and the strategic ability to further develop our fundraising programs, identify future growth opportunities, and our emerging potential with new and existing donor groups. The new incumbent will work to increase awareness of Canadian Blood Services as a registered charity that accepts financial donations through effectively articulating the need for all products, increasing brand recognition, and improving financial donor acquisition and retention rates.

The Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will expertly marshal resources and lead a team through change in the organization. The successful candidate will possess strong leadership abilities, encouraging and empowering others, while providing clear expectations and guidance. The new incumbent will assure the supervision and management of fundraising staff at the coordinator and manager level, by coaching, mentoring, evaluating, and performance management to ensure financial targets and stewardship metrics are achieved.  

The ideal candidate will be results-driven, organized, and experienced at developing and managing performance reporting processes and related metrics across annual revenue generating programs, as well as the stewardship program. The successful candidate will provide advice to the Director, Philanthropy on trends/areas requiring analysis/mitigation. Additionally, the new incumbent will serve as a centre of expertise and knowledge in annual giving, using a wide variety of fundraising methodologies, as well as keeping current with trends in philanthropy and CRA regulations as they pertain to ethical fundraising practices. 

An exceptional communicator and story teller, the Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship will be adept in leveraging capacity across the organization by building strong, highly-collaborative relationships, and fostering growth using a respectful and inclusive approach with the patience and perseverance necessary in a large, complex environment. The ideal candidate will be diplomatic and tactful while playing a lead role in raising community and mid-level gifts for Canadian Blood Services through the development and implementation of national programs. The successful candidate will understand the importance of stewardship, strategic engagement, and relationship-building to further enhance and deepen the relationships that the organization holds with philanthropic donors.  

Passionately excited by our mission and motivated by challenge, the new incumbent will welcome this unique and meaningful opportunity to grow Canadian Blood Services’ fundraising success. The successful candidate will combine their commitment to outstanding fundraising practice with a desire to inspire staff and stakeholders alike to achieve new levels of accomplishment in support for our vital and unique mission for all Canadians.


Key Responsibilities

Program Management

Create annual and long-term strategic fundraising plans based on reliable internal and external data analysis to increase philanthropic support to Canadian Blood Services through 4 national programs: Legacy, Cornerstone Monthly (direct mail), online giving, and employee giving.

  • Manage the strategic planning, execution, and evaluation of an integrated annual fundraising and development program to drive acquisition and incremental revenue growth.
  • Plan and execute strategies for segmentation, acquisition and retention of financial donors to the Legacy, Cornerstone (direct mail), online, and employee giving programs.
  • Analyze internal business needs, as well as the external environment including market, industry, political and economic trends to inform strategies for annual giving programs.
  • In collaboration with the Director, Philanthropy, develop targets for the growth of financial support from all annual programs.
  • Develop and implement new and innovative donor acquisition strategies for all annual programs.
  • In collaboration with Manager, Database and Direct Mail, manage all gifts to annual giving programs and associated reports through Raiser’s Edge database.
  • Create reports on established fundraising metrics to be used in reporting to Executive Management Team and key stakeholder groups.
  • Set budgets, performance targets and evaluation measures that will track the success of all annual giving initiatives and programs.
  • Lead the implementation and maintenance of recognition programs for strategic community/corporate partnerships and financial donors.
  • Oversee the execution of stewardship events.
  • Develop and manage the delivery of tactical plans and operational requirements for the stewardship program to support sponsorship/ financial partnership requirements.
  • Identify, track and /or escalate any issues related to fundraising and stewardship as appropriate
  • Track and monitor performance against fundraising metrics. 
  • Monitor activities during implementation of fundraising programs to identify successes, obstacles or opportunities for improvement and application to future implementation plans.

Revenue Generation

Develop relationships and strategies to ensure that Canadian Blood Services maximises all available opportunities for funding through annual giving programs.

  • Develop and implement strategies to introduce and maintain relationships with new community groups, associations and ethnic communities to garner financial support.
  • Identify financial donors who are prospects for Legacy Giving and develop personalized strategies to increase their support of the organization.
  • Use data analytics and the corporate fundraising strategy to further refine annual programs to engage and increase donor acquisition, participation and revenue.
  • Develop and oversee the implementation of an innovative online program, utilizing social media analytics to segment financial donors, and develop strategies to ensure the growth of the program.
  • Perform an analysis of the current Cornerstone Monthly Giving program to identify strategies for re-engagement of donors and employees as donors.
  • Develop and implement a renewed Cornerstone Monthly Giving program with associated recognition program to increase the number of monthly donors to the organization.
  • Manage and increase effectiveness and efficiency of events programs through the development and implementation of tools that support donor excellence.
  • Perform assessment of resources required and financial ROI analysis for new all annual fundraising initiatives identifying efficiencies and areas for growth.

Resource Management

Responsible for the overall management of the day-to-day operations of the Development and Stewardship department. With direct reports at the manager and coordinator level, direct, mentor, and supervise the Development unit and the national stewardship and recognition programs.

  • Responsible for detailed project planning and tracking of key milestones of the annual fundraising programs.
  • Identify opportunities to recognize efficiencies and leverage technology to position the organization as a leader in financial stewardship.
  • In collaboration with the Public Affairs division, responsible for the oversight of the fundraising communications specialist and implementation of tactics to promote fundraising and stewardship programs, ensuring that the messaging is in keeping with the overall Canadian Blood Services brand strategy.
  • Create regular reports of key performance indicators of the annual fundraising programs, including prospect tracking, revenue, prospect rating, donor retention, and expense management.
  • Develop and oversee the execution of a stewardship and recognition programs to ensure long-term donor engagement with Canadian Blood Services.
  • Oversee plans and logistics with support from the Coordinator, Fundraising Support and Coordinator, Research and Stewardship, for fundraising stewardship events including: annual corporate appreciation stewardship event, donor thank-you receptions, cultivation events, campaign celebration/touchdown events.
  • Complete a detailed monthly review of area office spending, revenue and key business indicators against budget and ensure accurate and timely reporting of revenue and expenses.
  • Manage financial budgets for annual fundraising programs.
  • Establish and maintain a comprehensive understanding of individual, corporate, community and foundation fundraising principles, and changing philanthropic climate within the identified region.
  • Remain current with trends in charitable giving and fundraising methodologies and tactics for direct mail, online solicitations, legacy giving and employee giving.
  • Monitor activities during implementation of annual fundraising plans to identify successes, obstacles or opportunities for improvement.
  • Escalate critical issues or strategic opportunities to the Director, Philanthropy, as required.  Provide appropriate background information and make recommendations for action.
  • Lead the development, implementation and maintenance of recognition programs for community and corporate partnerships.
  • Manage potential donations to ensure adherence to Canadian Blood Services Gift Solicitation Policy.           

The Strategic Philanthropy Lead, Development and Stewardship performs work in accordance with the provisions of the Canadian Blood Services’ Corporate Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, ensures that employees are aware of and comply with all the Corporate Health and Safety Policies and Procedures, and ensures ongoing monitoring and reporting of all occupational health and safety issues in the workplace.


Qualifications and Competencies

Education, Training and Experience

  • Significant fundraising experience, ideally within a complex charitable organization, with demonstrated success in the area of annual giving and stewardship programs as well as general knowledge and experience in the area of legacy giving.
  • A thorough knowledge of fundraising principles and processes and demonstrated experience in developing fundraising and stewardship strategies as well as implementing multi-faceted fundraising plans.
  • Demonstrated experience and ability to attract, retain, mentor, motivate, and lead a professional team of fundraisers to achieve common goals and objectives.
  • Effective senior volunteer management experience.
  • Experience working with donor data bases; knowledge of Raiser’s Edge software will be considered an asset.
  • Knowledge of latest trends, developments and practices in philanthropy, stewardship and donor relations management.
  • University degree in a relevant subject area is required.  CFRE designation is an asset.

Demonstrated Competencies, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Superior interpersonal skills to develop and maintain a broad range of relationships as well as engage and inspire stakeholders both internally and externally.
  • A high degree of personal integrity and tact.
  • A strong work ethic, combining energy, enthusiasm, initiative and solid organization abilities.
  • Solid understanding of fundraising principles and methodologies.
  • Skilled both strategically and tactically and able to articulate the CBS case for support.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are essential.  Fluency in French is an asset.
  • Competency in managing financial matters and excellent presentation skills.
  • Advanced analytical, problem-solving, and writing skills, skills specifically related to financial reports and donor stewardship.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Canada Revenue Agency Receipting Guidelines.
  • Proven ability to manage a diverse group of fundraising staff and high-level volunteers in a diplomatic and efficient manner to achieve goals.
  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access).
  • Demonstrated professionalism, judgment and discretion in dealing with confidential or sensitive matters.
  • The ability to build trust and develop relationships and to be comfortable with asking for financial support is essential.
  • Understanding of the need for privacy, protecting and maintaining confidential donor and volunteer information and data. 
    • Proven ability to work independently with the flexibility to take on a wide variety of assigned duties and projects, setting priorities, meeting deadlines and working under the pressure of time constraints.
    • Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to manage competing priorities.
    • Creativity, enthusiasm, flexibility and a strong commitment to work independently as well as part of a team.


Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Canadian Blood Services.  For more information about this opportunity, interested candidates are invited to contact Sylvie Battisti, Vice President, Search by email at

Candidates who wish to be considered for this position are kindly asked to submit a resume and a letter of interest to the above email address no later than June 4, 2018.


To view the full Position Brief, please visit:


Resume and letter of interest are requested to be submitted to the email address listed above.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.