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Senior Vice President, Philanthropy

Company: United Way Toronto & York Region
Date Posted: January 18, 2017

The Opportunity

United Way Toronto and York Region is seeking a Senior Vice President, Philanthropy to provide strategic leadership and oversight for all Philanthropy and Marketing functions as our organization commences on an exciting journey of transition and change.

This is a newly created position at United Way Toronto and York Region (UWTYR), reporting to the President & CEO.  A primary focus for the Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will be the development of long-term giving and engagement strategies which align with new thinking and directions for our approach to community investment and impact.  These strategies will result in changes to traditional workplace campaign models, and the exciting addition of new approaches to communication, fundraising, and donor engagement. 

As a member of the Senior Executive Team, the Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will work collaboratively across the organization, in particular with the Philanthropy and Community Impact teams to strengthen partnerships and donor engagement initiatives, and with Information Technology & Operations on the development and implementation of new digital tools.  The new incumbent will provide staff leadership to the Strategic Resource Development Committee of the Board who focus on the long-term sustainability of the resource development model, and with other senior volunteers engaged in major philanthropy efforts.  He/she will also oversee the Campaign Cabinet and Major Giving Cabinet, comprised of over 200 business, government, labour, academia, and community sector volunteers who drive our fundraising campaigns.

The Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will guide our individual and corporate giving, major individual gifts, targeted gifts, national corporate programs, and the endowment.  The Senior Vice President will also oversee the Marketing function which is led by the Vice President, Marketing whose portfolio includes primary responsibility for UWTYR’s brand development, direct marketing, content marketing, donor engagement and stewardship, events, and product development.

Our Philanthropy and Marketing teams consist of approximately 80 employees.  We are fortunate to have strong, committed, professional staff who are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from a new mentor.

About United Way Toronto & York Region

United Way Toronto and York Region (UWTYR) runs Canada’s largest annual fundraising campaign in support of a vital network of community services across the region.  As the largest non-governmental supporter of social services in the region, UWTYR is dedicated to creating the opportunities people need to improve their lives and build a better future.  Its work is fuelled by ground-breaking research and powerful partner­ships that enable UWTYR to identify gaps and responsibly mobilize volunteer and financial resources to deliver direct, positive, lasting impact – right here where we live, work, and raise our families.

UWTYR is one of the most recognized charities in the Greater Toronto Area.  Each year, 20,000 volunteers and 160,000 donors take part in a campaign that reaches into hundreds of workplaces to build a better city and a stronger region.  In 2015, UWTYR raised over $100 million for its programs— making it one of the most significant philanthropic campaigns in the country, and the largest United Way in the world.

In 2003, UWTYR began an evolution from the traditional federated fundraiser role that was recognized by most people, to become a more strategic and intentional driver of community change.  The organization continues to fund a network of agencies as it always has, but increasingly it is engaged in efforts not traditionally identified with United Way.  This includes delivering targeted strategies, like its Building Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy and a Youth Success Strategy targeting young people’s economic success.  It has also built a reputation for robust original research and in-depth analysis into issues that influence quality of life; and, working with governments and other partners, United Way has become a credible voice for systemic change.

United Way works closely with community partners to address immediate and systemic challenges in the community it serves.

Volunteer leadership is at the heart of all that we do:

  • A volunteer Board of Trustees governs all United Way decision-making. The Board oversees how donor money is distributed, shapes the strategic vision and plan, and monitors organizational performance.

  • The Campaign Cabinet and Major Giving Cabinet are the driving force behind the annual campaign. These leaders encourage colleagues, peers, and their organizations to participate in the campaign. The Campaign Cabinet's effort ultimately involves 20,000 volunteers, and reaches into workplaces large and small across the region.

  • The Community Impact Committee of the Board oversees implementation of the strategic plan, research and public policy, advocacy and community partnerships and initiatives, fund distribution and organizational development support.

  • More than 20,000 volunteers  

Moving forward, we are focusing our work in three priority areas that are essential for our region to thrive:  

  • Building strong neighbourhoods so that every resident in every neighbourhood has the opportunity to succeed.

  • Creating youth success so that every young person can achieve economic security through opportunities that support education, employment, and engagement.

  • Supporting a strong, responsive community services sector so that residents in every community have access to the services and supports they need to build a better life.

To maximize the focus and impact of UWTYR, we are currently re-evaluating how we work. Specifically, we are:

  • Building a new relationship with community agencies and partners to effect positive change region-wide, with a special focus on neighbourhoods where needs are greatest, as well as among young people facing multiple barriers.

  • Customizing partnerships with current and new partners to meet identified community needs.

  • Broadening individual and affinity group offerings and opportunities.

  • Developing a suite of engagement experiences, from digital to live, to connect individuals directly to the impact of their gifts.

  • Redefining our brand recognition and marketing strategies.

Our Values

Community: Working together with — and being guided by — our community is at the heart of everything United Way does. We believe that when people come together, we accomplish so much more than we ever could do alone.

Integrity and Accountability: At United Way, we strive to demonstrate integrity and accountability in everything we do.  We deeply value the trust that our community has placed in us — and we work hard to ensure that trust will always be well founded.

Diversity and Inclusiveness: United Way’s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness goes beyond reflecting the community we serve.  We embrace different abilities, perspectives and experiences, and are committed to the promotion of equity.  Our aspiration is to build a community that welcomes, celebrates, and values the contributions of all.

Excellence and Innovation: We are devoted to excellence and innovation.  At United Way, we strive to go beyond expectations and seek out new ways to achieve our shared goals.

Service: United Way is motivated by a commitment to service — to our donors, our neighbours and our region.  Our achievements are defined by the collective success of the communities we serve.  We believe our greatest strength is our ability to bring people together from all walks of life to build a better region.

Additional Information

Key Responsibilities

The Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will focus on the following key responsibilities:

Strategy development & planning

  • Provide leadership in the development of new and ongoing fundraising approaches, strategies and tactics in order to achieve the long-term revenue growth objectives of the organization.

  • Provide leadership and strategic direction to staff in Philanthropy and Marketing, including the development of corporate campaigns, individual giving, donor relationship management, and volunteer development programs.

  • Ensure the effective integration of annual corporate and individual fundraising programs with major and principle giving, aligned giving, targeted gifts and the endowment.

  • Provide leadership to UWTYR’s integration with regional, national and global fundraising strategies and program implementation.

  • Provide direction and support for the National Corporate Program development and management, in collaboration with United Way Canada/Centraide.

Donor & volunteer relationships

  • Participate in major corporate and individual donor relationship development to strengthen long-term relationships and drive increased donations.This includes personal cultivation and solicitation visits, participation in workplace and other donor events.

  • Provide oversight to the development of effective marketing communication strategies and channels related to all donor stakeholder groups.

  • Provide direction and support to the volunteer Campaign Cabinet and Campaign Chair of the Annual Campaign in their roles and responsibilities with the Annual Campaign.

  • Provide staff support for the Strategic Resource Development Committee of the Board.

Team leadership & management

  • Provide oversight for marketing and outreach activities.

  • Provide oversight to the senior staff team ensuring effective training, management, evaluation, and support for professional development and job satisfaction.

  • Lead the Philanthropy and Marketing teams, including coaching, mentoring, setting performance goals and ensuring capable management succession.

  • Develop and monitor annual program plans aligned with departmental plans to meet strategic organizational objectives.

  • Develop an annual budget and business plan to achieve the program objectives, assessing progress, and recommending/implementing appropriate changes.

  • Identify and manage risks through appropriate risk mitigation strategies.

The Ideal Candidate

The Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will be an exceptional builder of relationships at both the community level and with high-end donors.  With a genuine passion for community and a donor-centric conviction, the ideal candidate will value opportunities to interact with a multiplicity of stakeholders.  The new incumbent will be an accomplished fundraiser with a deep understanding of digital technology and proven success in variety of revenue channels, from direct marketing to major gifts. 

The successful candidate will be a skillful strategist with business focused instincts and acumen.  A creative and brave forward thinker, the Senior Vice President will be excited at the opportunity to help shape our future.  The successful candidate will be open to taking calculated risks, and will envision and implement different ways of approaching our donor interactions and communication.

Politically savvy and comfortable in a complex environment, the new incumbent will be a confident and consummate professional.  The ideal candidate will be grounded and calm, and will possess a high-level of emotional intelligence.  As a thought-partner to the President and the Senior Executive Team, the Senior Vice President will demonstrate an ability to translate strategy and ideas into plans and actions.

An inspirational and empowering leader, the Senior Vice President will possess a sophisticated leadership presence alongside finely tuned management skills.  Valuing the perspective of others, the successful candidate will understand how to bring people along within a changing environment. Accessible, flexible, and collaborative, the ideal candidate will be a coach, champion, and guide for our resource development leaders and their teams. 

The Senior Vice President, Philanthropy will embody a strong alignment to our values, embracing our commitment to community, integrity and accountability, diversity and inclusion, excellence and innovation, and a dedication to service.  Deeply passionate about Toronto and York Region and our mission, the successful candidate will represent our philanthropy as the enabler of our impact.


  • Significant progressive management experience in a senior role with responsibility for resource development; previous oversight of marketing would be considered an asset.

  • Deep knowledge of digital trends, donor relationship management, fundraising and philanthropic trends, and methods and principles for leading large-scale campaigns.

  • Sound knowledge of marketing and both targeted and large-scale engagement strategies related to donors.

  • Passion for our mission and a desire to work in a values-based organization.

  • Strong influencing skills, openness to new ideas, patience and persistence; able to build consensus in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.

  • Excellent relationship-building and interpersonal skills to work effectively with senior volunteers on governance committees and external partnerships.

  • Proven people manager with the ability to empower and mentor a team with a variety of portfolios.

  • Strategic, big picture thinker with a superior ability to develop pragmatic solutions and efficient processes.

  • High energy, enthusiastic, and a demonstrated ability to work effectively under pressure; ability and willingness to be hands-on and get the work done.

  • Highly organized and accurate with excellent attention to detail.

  • Comfortable working with a broad constituency – donors, business, labour and government leaders, social services agencies, foundations, youth, established and emerging diverse communities.

  • Results-driven, hard-working, and always focused on continuous improvement.

  • Comfortable with a high degree of organizational complexity and ambiguity, as well as intentional organizational change in a fast-paced environment.

  • Solid overall business acumen and analytical skills.

  • Reputation for high degree of integrity and trustworthiness.

Application Process

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of the United Way Toronto & York Region.  For more information about this leadership opportunity, interested candidates are invited to contact Tara George, Senior Vice President & Lead Search Consultant by email at

Resume and letter of interest are requested to be submitted to the email address listed above by February 17, 2017.  All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Further information about the United Way Toronto & York Region is available at, and to view the Executive Brief for this position, please visit