Job Posting 85232

Executive Director
McLean Foundation
Toronto Metro area
closes in 50 days (Mon, 15 Aug)
full time  •  A competitive compensation package will be offered.


Established in 1945 by J.S. McLean, who was then president of Canada Packers, the McLean Foundation (the Foundation) is a private charitable foundation which provides grants in the areas of social welfare, education, environmental conservation, and the arts.


The Foundation Directors endeavor to maintain a flexible policy, with particular emphasis on projects showing promise of general social benefit but which may initially lack broad public appeal.


Grants made by the Foundation are restricted to organizations which are recognized by Canada Revenue Agency as “charitable organizations” and which can provide a registration number. Grants are not made to individuals.





The McLean Foundation is seeking an inspiring, hands-on leader to continue the Foundation’s legacy, including developing a strategic plan and increasing the Foundation’s impact in a wide range of communities.


The preferred candidate will have a compelling mix of experiences, skills, personal characteristics, and motivation to lead, manage, and advance the Foundation’s initiatives, grant-making, evaluation, and civic engagement.


When required, the Executive Director (ED) may act as a spokesperson for the Foundation, sharing its mission, and expanding its impact. The ED will have excellent diplomatic and communications skills and will have an innate understanding of service leadership in support of the Board. The ED will be responsible for implementing programs and measuring results to enable the achievement of the Foundation's overall mission, while supporting the Board.




  • Achieve McLean Foundation’s objectives, fulfill its mission and maximize sustainability, while achieving its short-and long-range goals.
  • Develop a strategic plan informed by the directors of the Foundation and other external experts.
  • Present new approaches and fresh ideas for the Board to consider.
  • Develop an approach for assessing the performance and impact of the Foundation’s granting program.
  • Report regularly to the Board Chair on the Foundation’s activities and progress and keep the Board informed on a regular basis.
  • Educate charitable applicants on submissions and reporting expectations and ensure applicants are informed about and adhere to goals and objectives of the approved funds.
  • Review and implement systems, processes, and policies to streamline and improve the operations of the Foundation.
  • Be a positive and professional advocate of the Foundation at events to enhance its image and increase awareness of its activities. Build networks that advance the Foundation’s mission.
  • Anticipate and stay current on trends and issues in philanthropy, including regulatory and legislative changes as they relate to and inform the Foundation’s mission.
  • Identify strategies to keep informed of changes among the grantee community and the external environment which may impact future planning.
  • Update the Foundation’s external communications; enhance website content.
  • Introduce an annual report to be circulated to family members and directors.

Grant Management

  • Develop systems to improve grant tracking, assessment, and analysis.
  • Review submitted proposals, prepare for the Board, note potential issues.
  • Report grant activity summaries and analysis to Board on a regular basis.
  • Represent the Foundation in external meetings (at times with other directors) with leadership of organizations interested in applying to the Foundation, advise of eligibility, communicate priorities.
  • Oversee timely payment and recording of approved grants.
  • Site visits as appropriate.

Board Governance

  • Plan Board meetings with Chair, oversee preparation of all necessary support material.
  • As requested by Board, prepare occasional reports and research topics for discussion.
  • Inform board of NPO or community issues, of changes in philanthropy including new legislation.
  • Implement Board instructions and decisions.
  • Develop an annual Board work plan to guide the development of meeting agendas and materials, to cover off the items the Board should be addressing in each quarter of the year, and inform the work of committees.
  • Ensure communication of necessary Board-related issues with members of the Board.

Staff Oversight

  • Together with the Chair, responsible for hiring of Grants Officer, for ongoing evaluation and implementation of annual salaries.
  • Delegate appropriately to Grants Officer while maintaining accountability.
  • Provide ongoing training and mentoring for staff.



  • A minimum of five years of senior leadership in the philanthropic sector, with an understanding of the culture and dynamics of a private family foundation.
  • Experience leading an organization through a period of transition would be an asset.
  • The ability to lead with influence, humility and inspiration to achieve the Foundation’s goals.
  • Experience reporting to and working with a Board.
  • A passion for wanting to make a difference.
  • Ability to translate ideas into action with effective planning and measurable results.
  • Sound financial acumen; ability to plan for the financial needs of the Foundation.
  • Proven and successful experience in relationship development and external relations.
  • Can effectively communicate with grant recipients, whether with large established charities or smaller, community-based organizations.
  • A confident public speaker with outstanding communications skills, verbal and written.
  • Relevant undergraduate/graduate degree or experiential equivalent.



  • Dynamic, thoughtful, creative, adaptive, and diplomatic.
  • A strategic and long-term thinker.
  • Confident and calm demeanour with a sense of humour.
  • Results-oriented with the ability to present new ideas.
  • Flexible with an ability to adapt, pivot and improvise as circumstances change.
  • An excellent listener who seeks to include all stakeholders.
  • Engenders trust, with a commitment to consultation and consensus-building.
  • A capable manager with high professional standards as well as personal integrity.
  • A commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.




A competitive compensation package will be offered.





Please apply by email with your cover letter and resume by no later than August 15th, 2022. Send to: McL


The McLean Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. We welcome qualified candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

We thank applicants for their interest, however, only those advancing in the process will be contacted by Searchlight Partners.

Please Note: is not affiliated with and in no way endorses or vets the organization that posted this job. Any links posted within the job will take you to their external site where the same disclaimer applies.

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