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Associate Director of Development, School of Engineering

Company: University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
Date Posted: November 19, 2015

The Opportunity

UBC Okanagan is seeking an experienced major gifts professional for the role of Associate Director of Development, School of Engineering.  Reporting jointly to the Director of Development and Alumni Engagement and the Associate Dean of Engineering, the new Associate Director will generate a high level of strategic interaction with prospects focused on leveraging business partnerships and major gift fundraising for this young and dynamic School.

The Associate Director will work extensively with UBC faculty in the School and other staff responsible for developing university partnerships, including the senior administration and the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal, UBC, Okanagan campus.

About The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

The University of British Columbia, established in 1908, educates a student population of 54,000 on major campuses in two cities and holds an international reputation for excellence in advanced research and learning.  The UBC Vancouver campus contains world class attractions, is surrounded by 763 hectares of forested parkland and is just steps away from the ocean.

Our second major campus, UBC Okanagan, is located in the dynamic city of Kelowna.  Having just celebrated its 10th anniversary, UBC Okanagan is the most exciting young campus in Canada.  This campus provides an intimate learning community for more than 6,500 undergraduate and 450 graduate students, including over 890 international students. 

UBC Okanagan is a fully degree-granting institution with an important research mandate and significant community connections across the interior of BC.  With $18.5 million in annual research funding and more than 650 research projects underway, the Okanagan campus is earning a reputation as an important, respected centre of learning and research, enhancing knowledge creation and innovation in our region and internationally.    

To learn more about UBC Okanagan please visit

Development at UBC Okanagan

Publicly launched in September 2011, the ambitious start an evolution campaign aimed to raise $100 million and double the number of UBC alumni engaged in the life of the university.  The campaign results were recently announced, and UBC Okanagan surpassed its goal, having raised $100,096,345.  In the last year, 1,600 alumni volunteered, attended special events, or gave back to the university in other various ways, 20 percent above what was targeted in 2011.

Funds raised during start an evolution will go towards student-centered initiatives, improvements to facilities, and research activities.  This extraordinary philanthropic investment in a new UBC campus in the Okanagan demonstrates the value our donors place on the transformative learning and research impact UBC can deliver. 

Ideal Candidate

The Associate Director will be an experienced fundraiser with a demonstrated record of success in major gifts.  Having managed all stages of a donor pipeline, from identification to solicitation and stewardship, the successful candidate’s track record of success will include setting and executing major gifts strategies at the $25,000 and more range.  The new incumbent will excel at building and maintaining relationships with alumni and other key constituents, and the greater Kelowna community.

A proven self-starter, the Associate Director will be highly accountable and driven to set and achieve targets.  Having excelled in a moves-management development climate, the ideal candidate will enjoy the independence and drive to keep their focus on activity and action.

Ideally possessing a working knowledge of university development, the new incumbent will navigate respectfully through the academic structures.  A quick learner, the successful candidate will be able to grasp engineering concepts and principles, and have the strategic know-how of when to engage faculty in donor conversations.

A dedicated coach and motivator, the Associate Director will channel the compelling School initiatives and needs into appealing donor-supported projects.  Supporting and directing peers and faculty alike, the ideal candidate will be an effective listener, synthesizing complex information and articulating funding opportunities to potential donors in a persuasive and convincing manner.   

Mature and open-minded in demeanor and work style, the ideal candidate will be a calculated risk taker and creative thinker, always having the School’s best interests in mind.  With a donor-driven philosophy, the Associate Director will collaborate fully with Development Office peers to ensure growth and success with UBC Okanagan-wide opportunities. 

Key Areas of Responsibility

The new Associate Director will develop and manage a portfolio of major gift prospects, meeting potential prospects on a one-on-one basis, and will develop and implement comprehensive and complex plans for donor support.

The position ensures appropriate partnership recognition, acknowledgment, and stewardship programs are in place and oversees the generation of donor solicitation materials and correspondence.

More specifically the work performed includes:

  • Working in partnership with senior management and faculty to facilitate maximum private and public sector support for the School of Engineering (ideally more than $2 million per annum).
  • Developing and implementing a comprehensive plan for identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding a major gift portfolio of between 80 to 120 prospects and donors.
  • Developing and implementing strategies for attracting funding for research and major gift solicitations and coordinating faculty for major gift solicitations in concert with the Associate Dean and a team of networked volunteers.
  • Making face-to-face visits for the purposes of discovery, cultivation and solicitation with prospects capable of giving $25,000 and above.
  • Developing and implementing strategies for closing major gift solicitations, with an expectation of at least 15-20 solicitations per year at the major gift level.
  • Identifying market opportunities for industry to partner with the university in a collaborative environment.
  • Developing proposals and working with clients and donors to generate gifts for priority projects in the School of Engineering.
  • Ensuring that appropriate recognition, acknowledgement and stewardship is provided to partners that support the School of Engineering.
  • Generating processes and materials for presentation to clients and donors.


  • Significant related major gifts fundraising experience, including strategy development, alumni relations/advancement experience or the equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • A thorough knowledge of the university environment and academic structure is preferred.
  • Strong interpersonal and negotiation skills required in liaising with major donors, corporate executives and senior university administration; proven ability to work with the University's senior-most donors to advance the University's mission.
  • Able to work independently or in a team environment while exercising good judgement at all times.
  • Well-developed analytical and problem solving skills, along with strategic thinking and skills in conflict resolution.
  • Strong conceptual abilities combined with high attention to detail.
  • Able to work simultaneously on a variety of complex projects with imposed deadlines is expected.
  • Able to formulate strategic plans.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Tact, diplomacy, discretion and sound judgment required.
  • Able to collaborate, influence and engage the work of others, in order to execute a variety of complex projects with imposed deadlines.
  • Knowledge of a moves management culture and related fundraising database systems.   
  • Experience working with a decentralized fundraising system is an asset.
  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline is an asset, as is a technical industrial background in a relevant discipline.

About Kelowna

The jewel of BC’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, Kelowna combines all the amenities of an urban centre and the comforts and conveniences of small town life combined with unrivalled opportunities provided by an astonishing natural setting.  A highly desired holiday destination for decades, Kelowna is now more strongly known as a year-round living destination with exceptional infrastructure, education, and travel options.  In the 2011 Canada Pulse survey, 90% of residents reported, “My city is a great place to live.” 

With a population of more than 123,000, Kelowna is the largest city in BC’s Okanagan Valley.  Nestled on Okanagan Lake, Kelowna is known for its hot summers and temperate winters.  The area receives over 2,000 hours of sunshine each year with the average summer temperature being a balmy 30 degrees Celsius.  Several championship golf courses surround the area and water activities are abundant, including proximity to thirty beaches.  The Okanagan is renowned for its award-winning internationally-acclaimed wineries, 125 of which are in or around Kelowna.  Throughout winter, skiing opportunities abound in the region’s three mountain ranges and four ski resorts, with average seasonal temperatures ranging from near freezing to -10 degrees Celsius. 

Kelowna is just a 45 minute flight from both Vancouver and Calgary, and approximately four and seven hours’ drive, respectively.  Kelowna’s airport boasts 66 daily non-stop flights to eight of the largest North American gateway airports and is itself located 150 km from the US border.  The region is a popular tourist destination, served by a variety of accommodation options from hotels and motels to Bed and Breakfasts to cabins and camping.

Residents and visitors appreciate numerous cultural and historical attractions, and unique shopping opportunities, all within a 10-minute drive from the downtown core.  Kelowna has an abundance of public and private schools for families with children, and post-secondary opportunities include UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna campus of Okanagan College.

For More Information

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf the UBC Okanagan.  For more information about this leadership opportunity, please contact Christoph Clodius, Vice President, Search Practice by phone at 778-331-8865 or by email at

Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by January 4, 2016

All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence. 

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community.  We especially welcome applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, persons of minority sexual orientations and gender identities, and others with the skills and knowledge to productively engage with diverse communities.  All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.