Chief Development Officer

Date Posted: Jan 10, 2017
Application Deadline: Feb 15, 2017
Start Date: Apr 17, 2017

Salary: Commensurate with experience
Province: Ontario
Region: Metro Toronto Area
City: Toronto
Organization's Field/Discipline:
Term: Full-time
Career Level:

Organization Description

Gardiner Museum
The Gardiner Museum is a vital cultural institution and an innovator within Toronto’s cultural landscape. The Gardiner celebrates the creativity of clay and the beauty that ceramics bring into our lives in so many ways. Clay is real, remarkable, and relevant in today’s society.

The Museum has collections of international importance, including but not limited to objects from the Ancient Americas, eighteenth-century European porcelain, and contemporary ceramics, particularly the work of great Canadian artists.

The Gardiner is an institution rooted in its community, which helps artists take risks and inspires diverse audiences through clay.

Job Description

Paramount for the Future of the Museum
The Gardiner Museum is about to embark on a two-year “leap” forward that, building on its considerable momentum, will position it as one of the world’s foremost specialty museums. Underpinning this dynamic growth is an increase in revenue, including through an expansion of its development area - a reorganization that begins with the hiring of a Chief Development Officer.

Part of the Executive Team
Reporting to the Executive Director & CEO, the Chief Development Officer (CDO) directs all of the Gardiner Museum’s advancement including securing sponsorships and philanthropic donations for exhibitions, special events, capital projects, government grants and other Gardiner initiatives. As well, the CDO takes the lead with stewardship activities relating to all the Gardiner’s key stakeholders including donors, patrons and members (known as “friends”) and the cultivation of prospective donors, patrons, and sponsors over an extended period of time, beginning with their identification and ultimately direction to particular development opportunities. This includes the Museum’s growing Young Patrons Circle. The CDO forms and executive group reporting to the Executive Director comprising the Chief Curator and Chief Operating Officer. The Development area of the Gardiner Museum is responsible for raising over $1 million a year - including membership - of an approximately $3.5 million total museum revenue (the balance from approximately $1 million year from the Museum’s endowment and from earned revenue including admissions and commercial activities.)  Additionally, there a special and capital projects annually that may have campaign goals of up to $1 million.  The expectation is that our new CDO will be able to increase our baseline fundraising by at least 10% in the next two years.

New Position
The Gardiner Museum is establishing a CDO position by transforming an existing position, Senior Manager Development and Programs, into a role solely-focused on fundraising. The Museum while successful with development believes that by doing this, the growth potential for fundraising at the museum can be realized, a potential that is likely greater than that for admissions revenue or earned income through the shop or rentals. As part of this growth, expanding the Gardiner’s membership base, attracting younger patrons, and being able to communicate the Gardiner’s new, dynamic brand to corporate sponsors will be essential.  The CDO will have a proven track record of attracting and securing major gifts and sponsorships. 

The CDO has two direct reports:

A Membership & Volunteer Manager implements all activities related to the acquiring and retention of “friends” at all levels, including Individual to Patron Circle Gardiner memberships. This includes member engagement events, reciprocal benefits, and member communications. This coordinator also acts as the liaison to a particular group of members, the volunteers who, among other activities work at the front desk, in the shop, in the library, and act as gallery guides.

A Special Event Manager manages all fundraising events including the annual major fundraiser, the 12 Trees gala and related exhibition, the Young Patrons Circle annual event SMASH, and all Patron Circle events including exhibition openings and connoisseur group excursions.

Both managers work closely with the Program Manager who reports to the Senior Manager Education & Programs, in the curatorial department, and who produces lectures and other events for the general public, as well as Gardiner Friends.


Ideal Candidate
The successful candidate for the CDO position will have at least seven years of experience with fundraising, ideally in a cultural institution, and believes she or he has an important future in this sector. Excellent organizational skills are required, as are the interpersonal communication skills that all high-achieving development professionals exhibit. It’s expected that there is expertise with all the traditional aspects of fundraising including prospecting, writing proposals and delivering presentations, events planning, relationship management, and longer-term stewardship. While the Museum isn’t linked to any level of government directly, 14 – 18% of annual funding comes from the City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council and federal project grants, often from the Department of Canadian Heritage. Maintaining good relations with all public sources of funding is required, as is the ability to administer the complexities of the various application processes. As well, being able to work with volunteers, who represent an important donor base for the Museum, is assumed.

Very important for this position given the growth that is being targeted is an entrepreneurial ability, an understanding of appropriate innovation in the cultural sector in terms of attracting and stewarding donors and corporate sponsors. The successful candidate must work creatively with the strategic plan of the Museum to achieve development objectives – the benefit of being in a small but relatively well-funded Museum, one that isn’t a government agency is that latitude for innovation. The ability to conceptualize an initiative, connect it with a funder, and see it realized can happen quickly and with few people involved.

The Gardiner Museum’s strategic plan identified the qualities of vital and audacious as key attributes, and the CDO must embody these in their approach to development activities. As well, given the relatively small size of the Gardiner Museum’s staff group, approximately 25 people, the ability to work cooperatively is essential.

The CDO is an ambassador for the Museum, and represents the Museum in many contexts, not only with potential donors and sponsors. The ability to connect, use the Museum network of contacts, and to interact and present well, are important attributes.

Additional Info:

For further information and a full job description including duties and required skills, please refer to our website

How to Apply:

Application and Recruitment Process

Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5 pm
Interviews: week of March 6, 2017
Start Date: on or before April 17, 2017
Salary: Commensurate with experience 
Term: Full-Time

To apply candidates should submit a letter of interest and CV in a single PDF document by Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 5 pm to Please reference “Chief Development Officer” in subject line. No phone calls or visits please.  

The Gardiner Museum is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Contact Info:

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