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Major Gifts Specialist

Company: World University Service of Canada
Date Posted: May 31, 2017

Position title: Major Gifts Specialist

Position location: Ottawa

Reports to: Manager, Communications and Fundraising

Contract term: 2 years (renewable)

Application deadline: June 25, 2017

WUSC (World University Service of Canada) is a Canadian international development non-profit organization. Present in over 25 countries, we improve education, employment, and empowerment opportunities for young people around the world. We work with a unique and powerful network of post-secondary institutions, corporate partners, and volunteers. Our vision is to create a world where all young people can grow up in safe, secure, and supportive environments; where they can learn, work, and play a vital role in their country’s development.

Our Major Gifts Specialist works closely with the Communications and Fundraising team and Programs teams to lead all aspects of WUSC's major giving programs. She/he has a wealth of experience successfully soliciting generous contributions from Canadian philanthropists, corporate and institutional donors, and foundations. She/he is knowledgeable of current trends and best practices in major giving, legacy giving, and event sponsorship. 

Our Major Gifts Specialist is also a key contact for the WUSC network, facilitating meaningful engagement opportunities for WUSC alumni. An established Canadian non-profit organization, WUSC has a history and alumni network that reaches back more than seven decades. Our alumni have volunteered on their university, college, or CEGEP campus to help refugee youth resettle in Canada and pursue higher education. They have gained their first overseas experience through our long-standing International Seminar. They have directly contributed to positive change in developing countries through our international volunteer cooperation opportunities. Our Major Gifts Specialist works closely with this vast and diverse network of alumni to foster increased engagement with WUSC. 

At the core of her/his work, our Major Gifts Specialist plays a catalytic role in mobilizing significant Canadian funds to help marginalized young women and men realize their full potential. 


Reporting to the Manager, Communications and Fundraising, the Major Gifts Specialist excels in the following roles and responsibilities:

Major Gifts and Legacy Giving

  • You love connecting with people. You can maintain and nurture close relationships with current mid-level and major donors.
  • You are quick to seize new opportunities. You are able to identify and cultivate new major donors through timely database mining, alumni engagement, philanthropy research, and networking. 
  • You are creative in identifying solutions and can successfully match donors' passions with priority programming needs, including through the development and implementation of WUSC's Planned Giving program.

Alumni Engagement

  • You are passionate about the role Canadians play in global development. You can leverage this passion to support the development and implementation of an organizational Alumni Engagement Plan, with a focus on major giving opportunities.

Corporate, Institutional, and Foundation Gifts

  • You work well in team settings and can collaborate across departments to support proposal development for various corporate, institutional, and foundation donors. 
  • You are an energetic and enthusiastic sales person who can oversee the solicitation, stewardship and management of corporate and institutional partners to secure event sponsorship for the annual WUSC and CECI International Forum.  

Related Fundraising Activities

  • You are organized and can develop customized donor plans, overseeing their implementation and ensuring proper tracking in Raiser's Edge.
  • You are an excellent communicator and can produce high-quality fundraising materials, cases for support, solicitation proposals, gift correspondence, and donor reports.
  • You are an active public speaker and can represent WUSC at presentations, workshops, meetings, networking opportunities and other external events, as needed. You can also develop speaking notes for key WUSC staff attending donor-related events. 
  • You are a strategic thinker and can contribute to organizational budgeting and strategic planning.
  • You have a breadth of experience in fundraising and can offer guidance and support to other activities, including WUSC's Annual Giving Program, peer-to-peer fundraising, gift processing and receipting, and fundraising analysis reports. 


You have:

  • A bachelor’s degree in a related field;
  • A minimum of five years of successful, direct experience in fundraising, including the solicitation of major gifts and planned giving;
  • Knowledge of major giving concepts, donor cultivation, stewardship and marketing;
  • Additional experience in sales and marketing;
  • Progressively responsible experience and training; and
  • A knack for asking people for money, you found your calling in fundraising.

You are: 

  • Motivated, creative, hardworking, wilfully optimistic, and a team player;
  • A strong communicator, written and verbal, and can adapt your style for diverse audiences;
  • Passionate about fundraising and good stewardship with a diverse range of donors and partners;
  • Able to work in French (an asset);
  • Experienced in a non-profit international development organization;
  • Committed to the mission and values of WUSC;
  • Able to participate in all aspects of the gift cycle;
  • Able to multi-task;
  • Able to work under pressure of deadlines and dollar goals;
  • Able to travel across the country;
  • Available for weekend and evening work; and 
  • Knowledgeable in Raiser’s Edge and data management.


Our staff members are deeply committed to WUSC's vision of creating a better world for youth. All staff members share in WUSC’s values: inclusivity, leadership, and integrity. Each day we come into work driven by WUSC's mission and we leave with a sense of accomplishment, seeing the direct impact of our efforts. 

Prospective candidates should look forward to joining a fairly young, very diverse, highly skilled, multilingual, and action-oriented team.  Our atmosphere is casual, friendly and always buzzing with excitement. 

WUSC staff are encouraged to collaborate with one another within and across departments, in Canada and internationally. We are encouraged to learn and grow as individuals and as teams. We are also encouraged to maintain a healthy work-life balance and an open culture of respect and appreciation. 

WUSC is centrally-located in Hintonburg, Ottawa. We offer competitive benefits, four weeks of annual leave (for full-time employees), safe and healthy working conditions and fair compensation.


WUSC is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all abilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.

Only candidates who are selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please. 
If you wish to apply for this position, please follow this link to register on WUSC’s candidate database.