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Director, Corporate & Foundation Partnerships

Company: Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)
Date Posted: December 21, 2016

Closing On: 2017-01-18
Location: Toronto, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time

Job Description

The Opportunity

This is an exciting time at the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR) as we seek an experienced and intellectually curious fundraising professional to join our expanding Advancement team in the newly created role of Director, Corporate & Foundation Partnerships.

Reporting to the Senior Director, Advancement, the Director will lead all corporate and foundation campaigns, manage a portfolio of prospects and hire, coach, and supervise an Advancement Officer.  The Director will also take an active and collaborative role with colleagues from across the Institute as part of the operational Directors Group.


At the core of CIFAR’s mission is a deeply rooted commitment to excellence in research at the highest international level.  This commitment is founded on the belief that addressing the complex problems and exciting scientific questions of today can be achieved only by forging new ways of thinking and opening up entirely new fields of research.  Since 1982, CIFAR has been an independent, virtual research institute based in Canada with internationally distributed networks, connecting the world’s best minds through interdisciplinary research programs to tackle difficult and important questions of global significance.  The work of our fellows and advisors has transformed our understanding of population health, the Earth’s evolution, early brain development, artificial intelligence, the effect of institutions on prosperity, and much more.  CIFAR research programs emphasize areas in which Canadian researchers are among the world leaders.

Our programs are global and driven by questions, not by disciplines.  CIFAR is broadening its reach and impact by building partnerships with like-minded organizations in Canada and around the world, both to launch new research programs and to engage knowledge user communities to ensure that research insights drive change and innovation in policy and practice.

Over the last three years, CIFAR has refocused efforts and engaged in new and exciting ways resulting in:

  • Implementation of a more open, competitive, and rigorous process for sourcing new research agendas called the CIFAR Global Call for Ideas
  • Expansion of our global reach through the establishment of research partnerships with many key organizations such as the Moore Foundation, Brain Canada, Max Planck Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, INRIA in France and Chinese Academy of Science
  • Launch of the CIFAR IdeasExchange platform and partnerships with stakeholders in government, business, community, health, and education to actively share the knowledge created

With an annual budget of $20 million, a third of which is supported by donors, CIFAR currently funds 14 different research programs and supports more than 400 researchers globally.  By supporting research at the very highest levels of excellence, CIFAR helps ensure that Canada remains the intellectual home for many of the world’s greatest researchers.

Key Activities & Responsibilities

In the role of Director, Corporate & Foundation Partnerships, the successful candidate will:

Strategy & Execution

  • Provide leadership to and oversee the corporate and foundation campaigns
  • Build and execute a growth strategy for corporate and foundation campaigns that supports CIFAR’s strategic plan and priorities
  • Develop strategic approaches for renewal and increase of existing corporate and foundation donors and partners
  • Develop and maintain relationships with a personal portfolio of new and existing corporations and foundations with capacity for giving up to $250K
  • Support the Senior Director and Vice President to develop relationships and customized approaches for foundation and corporate partners at the Principal Gifts level ($250K+)
  • Manage all corporate and foundation proposal development
  • Develop strategic approaches for stewardship of corporate and foundation partners, ensuring a high level of quality and accountability
  • Develop and maintain deep knowledge of a portfolio of CIFAR programs, for example CIFAR’s technology and quantum physics programs; act as the Advancement lead in aligning donor interests with these programs, advising other Advancement staff on strategic content

Advancement Operations

  • Participate as a member of the Directors Group, representing Advancement and contributing to planning and reporting efforts across the Institute
  • Participate as a member of cross-disciplinary project teams as required
  • Act as Advancement liaison to the knowledge outreach team

Advancement Team & Volunteers

  • Work with Senior Director and Vice President to source and orient a group of volunteers aligned with assigned research portfolio; maximize engagement of these volunteers with Advancement efforts
  • Supervise, coach, and develop the Advancement Officer, Corporate & Foundations
  • Contribute to the team effort around all Advancement campaigns and donor strategy
  • Support the Senior Director and Vice President on Board relations, working together to maximize board member engagement with Advancement efforts
  • Contribute to Board reports and speaking notes for Board members
  • Assist in the recruitment, training, and coaching of volunteers in Advancement efforts

Knowledge and Skills

  • A Bachelor’s degree in an academic field is required; a Masters of Business, Philanthropy or related field is an asset
  • CFRE designation or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Current knowledge of corporate partnership and foundation fundraising trends
  • Pan-Canadian/international knowledge of scientific research is an asset
  • French conversation and writing skills are an asset
  • Strategic use of CRM and pipeline management tools

Qualities of the Ideal Candidate

  • Mission Interest: Motivated and enthusiastic about the role of research in global issues; intellectually curious about  the pursuit of knowledge and innovation
  • Strategy and Creativity: Identify points of alignment and connection between donor goals and objectives and CIFAR’s strategies and programs; synthesize research findings to express CIFAR’s outcomes and aspirations in a way that is inspiring and motivating to potential donors
  • Relationship Management: Embody a warm, respectful, and patient approach to build relationships with donors, volunteers, and researchers; promote a collaborative team environment with other staff and participate as a team member to achieve common objectives; use intuition to recognize and respond to cues given by others; possess deep experience cultivating relationships with current and prospective donors
  • Leadership: Coach and mentor staff for excellent performance and help them to grow and build competence; build bridges, overcome challenges and model success to team members and colleagues; recognize and celebrate individual and team success
  • Maturity and Flexibility: Possess a high level of maturity, confidence, and self-awareness; handle competing demands with grace; demonstrate ability to work in a dynamic environment with a high tolerance for ambiguity
  • Integrity and Initiative: Use transparency and demonstrate trustworthiness to build mutually trusting relationships; display courteousness at all times and treat others with tact, respect, and diplomacy; act as a self-starter with a nimbleness and natural capacity to overcome barriers
  • Positivity: Display friendliness, cheerfulness, and actively create and maintain a positive team and work culture
  • Communications: Demonstrate the highest level of verbal and written communication skills with all stakeholders; tailor messages to target audiences; ensure information and decisions are disseminated to team in a clear and timely manner
  • Decision Making: Demonstrate critical thinking and sound judgement in making recommendations and decisions
  • Organization: Determine team and individual priorities/work flow; show flexibility to contribute to group effort as required; analyze and respond to campaign financial results and trends; display excellent project management, planning and coordination skills

For More Information

Candidates who are interested in exploring this unique and exciting career opportunity are invited to contact Sandra Taylor, Senior Consultant at KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) via email at

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.  Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by January 18, 2017 and indicate the position in the subject line.