Job Posting 75461

Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts
Queens University
Eastern Ontario
closes in 7 days (Sun, 26 Sep)
full time  •  63,131 - 76,980



Reporting to the Executive Director, Principal Gifts, the Donor Engagement Officer, Principal Gifts, helps to foster long-term relationships between the university and its principal donors and prospective principal donors in the $5 million + range. Principal donors are a key constituency whose engagement is vital to the advancement of Queen’s strategic priorities and transformational initiatives.

Working collaboratively with Advancement Marketing, Communications and Donor Relations (MCDR) and faculty-based Development staff, the Donor Engagement Officer is responsible for the development, implementation and coordination of strategic and targeted donor contacts, engagement and communications including special events designed to ensure that Queen’s principal donors are appropriately engaged through the fundraising cycle of identification, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship. Program responsibilities include planning, executing and evaluating engagement activities; partnering with MCDR to implement strategic communications and contact plans in support of best practice, moves management principles for multiple prospects and prospect groups; working with MCDR and faculty Development staff to co-ordinate a variety of communication materials including cases for support, proposals, impact reports, and personalized donor messages, etc. This requires the incumbent to serve as a project manager for a wide variety of print and electronic projects, and to interact with all members of the Queen’s community, including advancement colleagues, faculties, staff, senior administration, donors, and volunteers.



Principal Gift Donor Engagement

  • In collaboration with the Executive Director and the Senior Development Officer, Principal Gifts, creates and manages strategies for principal donor engagement and special events in support of the university’s principal gifts strategic plans. Identifies donor tactics, messaging and evaluation to ensure activities support objectives. Ensures plans and programs reflect the strategic objectives of the university. Fosters relationships wit
  • Advancement & faculty colleagues, departments, alumni, donors, students and volunteers, in order to accomplish programmatic goals.
    Works with Advancement Marketing, Communications & Donor Relations and Advancement Services to ensure principal donor and prospect engagement is strategic and effective at communicating the transformational opportunities and strategic priorities of the university and the ROPI (Return on Philanthropic Investment) of principal gifts. Considers the most strategic use of university leaders, including the Principal, Deans, and other senior administrators; and how best to leverage communications from volunteers, including the Chancellor, Board Chair, and Dean’s Council.
  • Works with Advancement and faculty-based Marketing & Communications to understand what content will have most strategic value for Principal Giving donors.
  • Participates in writing case statements, donor proposals, briefing notes and other personalized communications in support of key solicitation opportunities.
  • Promotes a culture of inclusion that embodies Advancement values, with a commitment to the university’s equity, diversity, accessibility, and inclusion initiatives designed to foster an inclusive, supportive, and welcoming environment for individuals with diverse backgrounds and identities.
  • Ensures adherence to communications standards for the Office of Advancement through proofreading, consistent use of language and the Queen’s Style Guide.

Principal Donor Stewardship and Special Events

  • Works in conjunction with Donor Relations and schools/departments to create, manage and track individualized stewardship plans for principal donors. With MCDR, co-ordinates the timely development of impact reports that demonstrate ROPI and demonstrate accountability to principal giving donors and support their continued engagement.
  • Provides input on the delivery of key engagement events for principal giving donors including event budgets, timelines and other aspects of the event project, working with MCDR to ensure events are delivered on time, within budget and with a high degree of guest satisfaction. Works effectively with internal and external event suppliers to reach optimum event solutions and services.
  • Tracks all stewardship materials, including print, website, social media, and e-marketing relating to individual principal giving donors, to ensure these donors are effectively stewarded as an integral part of the gift cycle.
    Is a key partner to the Donor Relations and Communications teams as it relates to the execution of strategies relating to Principal Giving Donors.
  • Works in collaboration with Donor Relations on lifetime giving milestones and donor walls, corresponding naming and recognition opportunities.
  • Liaises with Advancement and faculty-based Marketing and Communications to ensure consistent messaging.

Program Analysis & Administration

  • Assists with the development of fundraising goals and strategies which map upon the strategic direction and needs of the university. In consultation with team members, develops and supports logistics for implementing plans using technology. Initiates, distributes and updates status reports and provides timely messaging to clients and stakeholders.
  • Assists with pre/post visit planning and follow-up including updating all contact and solicitation activity on the Advance database.
  • Evaluates program performance and needs; makes recommendations to the Executive Director for changes designed to enhance reporting and analysis. Understands the integration of Principal Gifts initiatives across the university and identifies areas for further integration and improvement; designs and implements changes as they pertain to maximizing alumni engagement and investment.
  • Provides analytical support in quality reviews of team deliverables and informs management of any information that may identify challenges to project schedules, missed project deliverables, incomplete tasks or inaccurate results.
  • Serves as a strategic contact person for Development activities within the unit and maintains communication with other departments, throughout the community, and with all appropriate external bodies. Effectively manages inquiries and special requests for successful completion.
  • Performs other duties as required in support of the unit and/or department.


  • Four-year bachelor’s degree or equivalent required (preferably at the Honours level).
    Minimum three years of proven experience in a customer-focused, fundraising, volunteer management or a related environment, preferably in an educational setting.
  • Experience developing and executing effective donor engagement plans, and meeting objectives, preferably for major or principal donors.
  • Proven success in interacting with alumni and donors, preferably in an educational environment.
  • Proven “hands on” experience in project management and coordinating multiple projects/tasks, while meeting deadlines and maintaining accuracy.
  • Demonstrated understanding of project management principles, practices, techniques and tools.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively research, write and edit to deadlines.
  • Experience in co-ordinating special events that support relationship-building.
  • An understanding of accessibility issues and federal and provincial legislation pertaining to electronic communications regarding accessibility, privacy and electronic security and anti-spam.
  • Experience in program analysis and reporting.
  • Advanced knowledge of operating systems including Windows, Microsoft, database packages, and email creation in HTML format, e-communication systems, and Internet tools for data and statistical analysis. Ability to use and implement new technologies to the Office of Advancement’s advantage.
  • Consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.


  • Advocates/lives Advancement’s core values of Integrity, inclusivity, accountability, collaboration and service.
  • Demonstrates commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive work environment where there is mutual respect and collaboration across all teams.
  • Strong customer service orientation with a demonstrated passion for the university and its people.
    Superior communications and interpersonal skills to anticipate needs and present data findings/analysis and make business recommendations to staff at all levels of the organization.
  • Exceptional writing and proofreading skills. Knowledge of standard concepts, practices and procedures in the use of English grammar, punctuation and syntax. Ability to easily change writing styles and alter and repurpose text to fit the audience and voice of the intended communications.
  • Proven ability to quickly and effectively gather information by means of interviews, database research, etc.
  • Proactive, critical and creative thinker able to identify potential story ideas/photo opportunities that enhance the university and Office of
  • Advancement’s social, digital and print communications.
  • Excellence in researching and interpreting information from diverse sources, selecting appropriate methods of analysis, monitoring emerging trends and issues, and disseminating information.
  • Strict attention to detail and accuracy, with an appreciation for the implications of errors for the university and Office of Advancement with respect to reputation and relationship building.
  • Strong customer focus, with a proven ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships with others by working cooperatively or independently to accomplish shared goals and objectives.
  • Results oriented and works to achieve desired organizational goals by meeting or exceeding standards. Consistently delivers results, sets and achieves goals, consistently complies with quality and accessibility standards and meets deadlines, maintains focus on organizational goals.
  • High level of tact and discretion, maturity and good judgement, and the ability to deal with sensitive issues in a professional manner.
  • Proven time management and project management skills including an understanding of project management principles, practices, techniques and tools. Ability to prioritize among many competing demands and work effectively under pressure.
    Understanding of the major issues that impact the reputation of Queen’s and its learning environment.



  • Based on sound fundraising principles, donor attitudes and behaviours, works with the Executive Director to determine what information is valuable for furthering principal donor engagement with strategic objectives and transformational initiatives.
  • Determines most effective means to ensure effective and consistent donor engagement.
    Makes recommendations on engagement steps, moves and solicitation strategies for specified prospects, based on sound fundraising principals and in the best interest of the university.
  • Ensures optimal outcomes for both donors and the university, identifies optimal strategies to promote program goals while maximizing available resources.
  • Identifies necessary constituents for interviews and further consultation in working with MCDR to adequately prepare stories and other communications materials.
  • Determines which university stakeholders need to be consulted and engaged in strategy development. Recognizes when to call on other staff members in Advancement and the university to take advantage of their expertise.
  • Determines relevant information to facilitate evidence-based decision-making.
  • Determines appropriate report format and detail level, for different audiences.
  • Allocates time, prioritizes tasks and determines workflow to ensure needs of internal and external stakeholders are met. Assesses the nature of a request, adjusts priorities, and manages tasks in a fast-paced and demanding environment to achieve optimum efficiencies and productivity.
  • Anticipates, analyzes and solves problems and implements solutions, alone or cooperatively, on how best to respond to the needs of alumni, volunteers and donors, alone or cooperatively.

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