Job Name
Organization Name
Post Start Date
Post End Date

Associate Director, Major Gifts & Sponsorship - Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)

Vancouver, BC

Job Description


Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is seeking a new Associate Director, Major Gifts & Sponsorship to lead our major gift, principal gift, and sponsorship activities, strategies, and team.  As SAIT develops its new strategic plan and moves to a comprehensive fundraising campaign, this is an exciting time to join this dynamic institution making great contributions to students’ lives and the Alberta economy.   

The Associate Director’s responsibilities include leading fundraising efforts for SAIT focusing on securing contributions to SAIT priorities, and the development and implementation of supporting strategies to maintain and expand successful principal, major, legacy and sponsorship revenue generating programs.  The Associate Director will both manage their own dedicated prospect pipeline, as well as overall program supervision.

The Associate Director will have a high profile internally and externally, and will have significant key relationships with the President, the Vice President, Deans and faculty, External Relations partners, other executive management, senior industry leaders, key volunteers, and donors.  Reporting to the Director of Alumni and Development, Brian Bowman, the Associate Director will participate in creating goals and objectives for the department and play a formative role in SAIT’s next fundraising campaign. 

The Associate Director will be responsible for managing a dynamic team of fundraising professionals, consisting of seven front line major gift fundraisers. They will be part of a closely knit and collaborative group with advancement services and alumni and stakeholder relations. 

Now is an exciting time to join this one-of-a-kind institution. SAIT offers action-based learning, solution-focused research and enterprising collaborations with partners from around the world. It is a global leader in applied education, an Alberta Top Employer and a destination workplace empowering people to make a difference in the lives of students.


Southern Alberta Institute of Technology is Alberta’s third largest postsecondary institution with roots that stretch back to 1916.  It began as a trade school with 11 students in a small prairie city, and today SAIT alumni, their skills and hard work, form the backbone of Calgary and Alberta’s economy. More than 240,000 SAIT graduates shape strong and vibrant communities across the province, throughout Canada and around the world.

SAIT is a leader in applied education, specializing in business, technology and trades. For more than 100 years, SAIT has been recognized globally for excellence in its unique approach to training. One of the most recent examples is the inclusion of SAIT’s School of Hospitality and Tourism on a list of the world’s top 50 schools of hospitality management—the only Canadian institute to be recognized.

SAIT’s industry connections run deep. Annually, SAIT Corporate and International Training Solutions delivers a portfolio of 55+ training products and services to 200+ organizations around the world. Additionally, SAIT's Applied Research and Innovation Services department is a gateway to applied research for the industry. Unique service offerings, labs, equipment and expertise enable SAIT to collaborate with organizations to solve problems and transform concepts into working prototypes.

SAIT adds tremendous value to Alberta’s economy, and has tremendous connections and a strong reputation with its industry partners.  Now SAIT is at an inflection point as it sets the stage for the future.    As the Alberta economy shifts, SAIT’s information and technology programs show the strength in its diversity and opportunities for the future.  A strategic planning process is currently underway to chart the path for this next stage.


SAIT Schools:

SAIT Alumni:

SAIT Donors:

Working at SAIT

SAIT has been recognized annually as one of Alberta's Top Employers Alberta's Top Employers - an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada's Top 100 Employers. The designation recognizes Alberta employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Over the past years, SAIT has also received accolades such as Alberta's best workplace for volunteerism (Venture Magazine); one of the Top 50 Research Colleges in Canada since 2013, among others.


SAIT’s Alumni and Development department is a first-class team of fundraisers, communicators, event planners and relationship builders. As part of SAIT's External Relations division, the team produces the award-winning LINK magazine and raised over $12 million dollars in support of SAIT students and priority projects in 2018. In 2011, the team was awarded AFP International’s highest honor, “The Campbell and Company Award for Excellence in Fundraising – Large Institution”, for their work on the Promising Futures Campaign. The Alumni & Development Team was also awarded the “Sun Life Team Award” by SAIT in 2012 for their work on the campaign and the Outstanding Team award in 2017 for their work on the SAIT Centennial.

Alumni and Development led and executed SAIT’s recent centennial initiative—the biggest celebration in SAIT’s history. Continually seek to raise the bar, improve practices and showcase creativity, the Alumni & Development team is committed to delivering an innovative, informative and pride-producing stakeholder relations program, with a keen focus on SAIT’s 240,000+ alumni.

Alumni and Development has recently established a new three-year strategic map with an ultimate goal to engage with alumni, non-alumni, corporations, foundations and associations to generate $20M annually in support of SAIT institutional priorities.

SAIT is currently undertaking a strategic planning process and future fundraising priorities will help achieve the new plan.  Coming out of the very successful $440M Promising FuturesTM Campaign, the groundwork is in place for future growth and success.

Our three current priority projects are:

1.         SAITSA (SAIT’s Student Association)

SAIT’s top priority is student success. Our goal is to be a world leader in applied education which is why we invest resources on equipment, infrastructure and attracting world-class instructors. However, the post-secondary education experience transcends the classroom. Enhancing the quality of student life is vital to ensuring SAIT has the ability to recruit top-quality students, to advance health and wellness, and to meet their needs to socialize and build leadership skills.

SAITSA HQ will be a new 49,000 square-foot, SAIT-owned facility adjoining Campus Centre. The facility will have a mix of traditional meeting, study and social spaces with a blend of non-traditional collaborative ideation and creation spaces and even casual club space where the social relationships of academic life can be supported. Business incubators will provide the means to storefront new business ideas that mesh with the programmatic offerings of the campus providing the business/corporate world opportunities into the campus and students opportunities to create innovative businesses that can segue into the corporate world. The building will strive to incorporate innovative sustainable design features as a visual demonstration of the student body’s capacity for implementing positive change. It is envisioned to be a space “where students are inspired to learn, lead, and be exceptional.”


SAIT understands that young people can feel overwhelmed when choosing a career, so it seeks to give more young people the practical information they need to pursue a satisfying real-world career that suits their talents and ignites their enthusiasm. SAIT engages with youth to provide the best possible applied education, arm them with the skill sets and resiliency they need to succeed, and strives to instill values such as team work, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Funding supports removing the barriers blocking many young people from accessing resources, support and programs that will help them prepare for the future world of work.  SAIT’s youth engagement initiatives include $10 million for a Career Exploration Centre, creating a virtual SAITCity, bridging the education gap with a structured Gap Year; $5 million for SAIT Camps; and $5 million for Dual-Credit and Exploratory Programs.


SAIT is the only Canadian institute named among the Top 50 Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools in the world by CEOWORLD Magazine. Instructors in our School of Hospitality & Tourism (H&T) are a who’s-who consortium of some of the finest chefs in the world, and our alumni include the likes of Connie DeSousa (Charcut, Top Chef Canada) and Paul Rogalski (Bistro Rouge, Cook it Raw). Graduates of the School of Hospitality and Tourism preside over hotels and kitchens from Banff to Beijing. We aspire to be among the top ten hospitality and tourism schools in the world.

To accomplish this, we plan to leverage and enhance our growing reputation by consolidating, upgrading and expanding our facilities and programs in the John Ware Building on SAIT’s Main Campus. Investing in SAIT’s School of H&T is vital to the diversification of Alberta’s economy and meeting the challenges of the tourism industry to attract skilled workers to Calgary and the Bow Valley Corridor. It will also bring more attention and prestige to SAIT and Calgary by attracting more world-class instructors and international students who aspire to benefit from the best hospitality, culinary and tourism school in Canada.


The Associate Director’s responsibilities include:

  • Lead the development and implementation of fund development programs to deliver on the strategic institutional priorities for SAIT.
  • Ensure appropriate resources are in place to achieve fundraising/sponsorship targets, including the recruitment and hiring of all Major Gift staff and fundraising volunteers.
  • Mentor and train staff; and support them in achieving team and individual performance objectives aligned with departmental and divisional priorities supporting the Strategic Plan.
  • Develop, introduce and manage regular performance quality assessment process to build a constant improvement culture.
  • Analyze the results of the departmental key performance indicators, recommend strategies for improvement and manage individual and team performance to meet desired objectives.
  • Manage a portfolio of donor relationships resulting in at least $1M in new revenue annually.
  • Develop and manage a budget in support of agreed objectives.

The Associate Director also has accountability for the following:

Business Unit Leadership (85% of time)

  • Manage personnel, including recruitment, coaching and mentoring, career planning and performance assessment.
  • Ensure efficient use of resources and attainment of department targets.
  • Supply Director with unit performance results through monthly reports.
  • Establish major gift and sponsorship business unit priorities and targets to support department and institution priorities.
  • Analyze results of the departmental Key Performance Indicators and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Monitor activity and performance measures for individual staff.
  • Provide guidance and assessments of workflow/processes within the department and identify opportunities to improve efficiencies.
  • Identify requirements for changes in staffing needs, adjust existing staff allocations and secure additional resources as appropriate.
  • Ensure best practices are applied to major gift activities, including adherence to AFP code of Ethics and the Donor Bill of Rights.
  • Working collaboratively with the rest of the A&D team to position SAIT as a global leader in applied education.

Fundraising and Sponsorship (15%)

Actively engage in the philanthropic process, managing a personal portfolio of up to 50 prospects and donors to secure $1M in new major gift investment annually for SAIT through application of donor-centered fundraising practices, including:

  • Building and maintaining relationships with SAIT’s current and prospective donors.
  • Participating in prospect identification and evaluation of prospects.
  • Directing the preparation of research needed to support cultivation and solicitation activities for key accounts within portfolio.
  • Preparing and delivering proposals (case for support), presentations, and other communication materials for prospects and donors.
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive institutional sponsorship strategy in collaboration with the Director of Corporate Engagement, including development of sponsorship sales tools, inventory and processes to maximize revenue.
  • Working collaboratively with the stewardship team to ensure the implementation of appropriate donor recognition and stewardship strategies for accounts within portfolio.
  • Attend SAIT and public events as appropriate.

Job Requirements

To be successful in this role, the ideal candidate will possess the following traits and characteristics:

  • Credible and deep experience in major gift fundraising, ideally from a large and complex organization, such as post-secondary, health, or national. 
  • The ability to build a campaign infrastructure and the experience to successfully execute a major campaign.
  • Politically aware and savvy; understands the key networks and ways to navigate in a complex, layered organization.
  • Ambitious, goal-oriented, and driven to achieve.
  • Metrics-oriented and accountability to keep focused on the most important measures.
  • Tenacity, resilience, and persistence balanced with thoughtfulness and discipline.
  • Unquestioned ethics and strongly value-based.   
  • Exceptional team leadership abilities. Can build and support a strong team, both in skills growth in others and a culture of success.  Broad strengths in coaching, mentorship, and guidance.  Leads by example.
  • Understands that success comes from team engagement; recognizes and celebrates all contributors and connects staff to mission.
  • Great communications skills; approachable, clear, transparent, and responsive.  
  • Understands lead time and works productively with other topic experts.
  • Credible, confident, and professional.
  • Empathy and curiosity; always keen to learn, to grow, and to share learnings.
  • Mission-driven; passion for SAIT and what it does.


  • Significant experience in a large fund development operation, preferably in a post-secondary setting, that includes demonstrated success in developing and executing fundraising campaigns and securing sponsorship.
  • Proven leadership experience, and strong interpersonal and relationship building skills. 
  • Knowledge of trends and best practices in philanthropy and sponsorship.
  • Ability to exercise initiative relating to the identification and prioritization of key projects for resource allocation.
  • Ability to exercise judgment to ensure fulfillment of obligations to donors.
  • Extensive knowledge of fundraising best practices, including major and planned giving.
  • Previous experience or training in legacy giving would be an asset.
  • Management and leadership training and expertise.
  • Strong interpersonal communication skills including writing for fund development.
  • Member in good standing with AFP and/or CASE; CFRE designation preferred.
  • Post-Secondary Degree, preferably in fund development, non-profit management or a related field. A combination of education and experience will be considered. 
  • Driver’s License and ability to travel to donor meetings and events.
  • Must complete and pass a police security clearance before employment is confirmed.

How To Apply

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been engaged to lead the search for this role.  For more information, please contact Christoph Clodius via email at

To formally apply, please send a resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by March 27, 2019.  All enquiries will be kept in strict confidence.

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

SAIT is committed to equity and diversity within its community and invites applications from all qualified applicants.

Enjoy a stimulating work environment, a beautiful campus overlooking downtown Calgary and a great benefits package including: comprehensive health and dental coverage, a defined benefit pension plan, professional development programs, generous paid time off, free access to our Wellness Centre, transit subsidies and more. Employee Benefits and Perks