Executive Director, Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations - Kingston, Ontario | Queen's University | FreshGigs.ca | 05/11/18
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Executive Director, Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations Full-Time

Location: Kingston, Ontario
Company Name: Queen's University ()
Category: Communications, Marketing
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Executive Director,

Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations

Are you interested in an employment opportunity that engages alumni worldwide to foster a lifelong association with Queen’s University?

Reporting to the Vice-Principal (Advancement), the Executive Director, Advancement Communications, Marketing, Events and Donor Relations, is a member of the Advancement Leadership Team (ALT), and is the senior strategist responsible for the overall vision, strategy and leadership of university advancement communications, marketing, events and donor relations programs.

The Executive Director works in a highly consultative environment, with University Relations, Advancement staff and campus partners, to build and strengthen relationships that cultivate engagement and investment in the institution, among diverse stakeholders including alumni, donors, and friends, both nationally and internationally, ensuring university messaging is paramount in all Advancement activities. Additionally, this position provides coaching and leadership to a team of seventeen in support of the department’s objectives.

For detailed information on this employment opportunity, including working at Queen’s University and living in the Kingston area, explore our executive brief!

As the Executive Director you will:

Strategic Planning & Program Management

  • In consultation with key stakeholders, develops, directs, and implements integrated advancement communications, marketing, events and donor relations strategies centered on the engagement of alumni, donors, friends, and potential donors for Queen’s University.
  • Strengthens relationships with alumni, donors, and friends through clear and consistent messaging on all communication channels and through personalized stewardship programming in conjunction with University Relations, Advancement staff, and campus partners. Directs timing and frequency of messaging to alumni and donors.
  • Provides expert advice to the Vice-Principal (Advancement), ALT, other Advancement staff, and senior administrators, on strategic advancement communications and marketing, innovative and sophisticated events, and donor relations programs.

  • Oversees the Advancement Communications and Marketing, Advancement Events, and Donor Relations units.

  • Takes initiative and ensures the Office of Advancement stays abreast of new and emerging advancement communications, marketing, events and donor relations practices, as well as marketing trends in both traditional and non-traditional platforms.

  • Measures the effectiveness and efficiency of programs, initiatives and expenditures, and takes corrective action where and when needed. Uses data analytics to inform strategy and measure performance to ensure objectives are delivered according to plan.

  • Conducts comprehensive market research in support of new program developments using both primary and secondary methods such as focus groups, surveys and environmental scans; analyzes data and prepares reports required to formulate, execute, evaluate and benchmark strategic and priority driven implementation plans; reports findings to ALT and other senior stakeholders; and implements changes in strategy as required.

  • Works closely and collaboratively with University Relations to ensure Advancement strategies and programs are designed to enhance the university’s brand, image and reputation in areas identified as strategically important to the university and its future.

  • Ensures strategic communications and donor relations initiatives are timely, error-free, and of high-quality, in accordance with the university’s brand and visual identity standards.


  • Provides budget and staffing leadership for the Department.

  • Oversees the department’s budget and participates in budget submission activities including analyzing data, forecasting resources, and developing and preparing annual budget documents.

  • Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching.

  • Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection.

  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing and evaluating performance and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.

  • Assesses staff training and development needs, and ensures that employees receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance.

  • Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including making decisions regarding disciplinary and discharge matters.

  • Provides strategic leadership to secure and manage relationships with suppliers, ad agencies and contract writers.

  • Oversees internal communication tools for the Office of Advancement including the Advancement intranet, the Office of Advancement webpage, the Queen’s Alumni email account, Alumni e-Newsletter, Queen’s alumni social media platforms, and face-to-face strategies such as departmental staff meetings.

  • Writes, edits and oversees other communications for the Office of Advancement including key messages, speeches, Q’s and A’s, stories and web content.

  • Oversees speechwriting for the Principal, Chancellor and other senior leaders and volunteers participating at Advancement events. In consultation with ALT, develops and implements integrated annual and strategic plans and metrics/evaluation framework in support of Advancement’s strategic direction.

  • Represents the Office of Advancement on university-wide committees and working groups where a communications presence is required, ensuring understanding and adoption of university Advancement policies and procedures.

  • Undertakes other duties as assigned in support of the unit and/or department.

The Executive Director also calls for:

  • University degree in communications, marketing, public relations, or a related field.
  • Minimum 10 years of progressive experience and a demonstrated track record of success in a senior leadership role within a large, complex, multi-stakeholder organization, focused on strategic communications and marketing, and leading teams.
  • Experience working in a fundraising environment, particularly in the post-secondary education field preferred.

  • Clear understanding of and strict adherence to ethical fundraising standards and supporting legislation.

  • Comprehensive knowledge of accessibility issues, and federal and provincial legislation pertaining to electronic communications regarding accessibility, privacy, electronic security, and anti-spam.

  • Demonstrated success using diverse communications platforms including print, web, social media, video and other forms of digital communications, and writing and editing to deadlines (including stories, key messages, Q’s and A’s, speeches and communications plans).

  • Proven management and leadership experience, with a demonstrated ability to promote inclusion in the workplace and effectively organize, motivate, and direct professional staff and colleagues to achieve objectives; and works effectively with senior leadership.

  • Demonstrated successful experience in strategy development, project planning and implementation.

  • Experience with strategic budget and financial management, including budget forecasting.

  • Working towards or accredited member of the International Association of Business Communicators or Canadian Public Relations Society considered an asset.

  • Knowledge of a university environment and higher education (academic, research, governance, operations, administration, media) and the relationship with our donors.

  • Consideration will be given to equivalent combination of education and experience.

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