Senior Director, Strategic Philanthropy

Perimeter Institute is one of the world’s leading centers in theoretical physics and is in the midst of institutional growth. The position of Senior Director, Strategic Philanthropy, focused on the GTA, is a unique opportunity to join an experienced, dedicated and creative philanthropic team and play a critical role in the growth of Perimeter during an exciting period for fundamental physics. The activities generated and supported by this position will enable our institution to recruit the best scientific minds, expand our graduate programs and our education outreach. Our ten-year $100M campaign will be successfully completed by 2025 through an extraordinary focus on building relationships with current and potential donors, leadership volunteers and key stakeholders.

Reporting to the Executive Director, Advancement/Sr. Director, Public Engagement, the Senior Director, Strategic Philanthropy will have an intense focus on frontline Principal Gift fundraising. Responsible for building long-term relationships with a portfolio of major donor prospects in the GTA, the Senior Director will also manage the overall pipeline development of the major gifts team.

Playing a central role within a culturally strong, entrepreneurial organization of global significance, the Senior Director values and respects science and appreciates the impact of science on humanity. Collaborative and adaptable with a deep commitment to learning, the Senior Director will have the ability to create a strong personal narrative on Perimeter Institute to support authentic conversations with donors.

With a discerning eye for prospects in the GTA, the ideal candidate will bring an ability to identify relationship building opportunities. The successful candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit with well-honed major gift fundraising skills and experience. The Senior Director will be polished but also tenacious and undaunted by the exciting opportunities to build Perimeter’s presence and profile in the GTA.

This position could be Toronto-based with regular trips to Perimeter Institute in Waterloo or could be Waterloo-based.

Advancement at Perimeter Institute

Perimeter is supported through a public-private partnership – which unites federal and provincial government, individuals, corporations, and foundations in a shared venture to enable scientific breakthroughs, nurture scientific talent, and share scientific discovery with the broader public. The impact of philanthropy at Perimeter is valued and appreciated by the internal and external community alike.

Key Areas of Responsibilities

  • Passionately communicating the global mission of Perimeter’s work and its distinct institutional culture.
  • Personally managing a portfolio of major gift prospects of $100,000+ in the GTA, including individual, corporate and foundation donors.
  • Providing peer support, guidance and coaching to support achievement of team metrics and goals and to promote best practices across all major gift portfolios.
  • Assisting with customized campaign strategies for major gift prospects.
  • Ensuring appropriate donor recognition, stewardship plans and strategies are identified, negotiated and implemented effectively and consistently in collaboration with the Associate Director of Stewardship and Events.
  • Collaborating with the major gifts team on the prospect and donor pipeline to ensure the most effective prospect clearance and relationship management.
  • Supporting the Executive Director, Advancement/Sr. Director, Public Engagement to strategically engage with major donors and with the recruitment and involvement of Perimeter leadership volunteers for the Leadership Council and Emmy Noether Council.

Qualifications and Competencies

  • Proven personal track record of success in cultivating, successfully soliciting and closing six-to seven-figure major gift donations.
  • Involvement with campaign fundraising at a senior level, and recruiting and engaging senior-level volunteers for major gift fundraising success.
  • Strategically agile, with knowledge of and significant experience in fundraising program development, implementing best practices, and in executing and assessing successful strategies and plans.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills for a high touch donor community.
  • Passion for the educational and/or scientific sectors.
  • Curious about science and its impact on the world.
  • Ability to work remotely while participating collaboratively in a team environment.
  • University degree in a related field is preferred.
  • Exceptional negotiation and mediation skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Personal reputation for integrity and the highest ethical standards.
  • Ability to work remotely with flexibility to engage in regular regional travel.

For more Information

To view the full Executive Brief, please visit:

KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this search on behalf of Perimeter Institute. For more information about this unique opportunity, interested individuals are invited to contact Tara George, Partner / Lead, Search + Talent or Samantha David, Senior Search Consultant via email at

Please send resume and letter of interest to the email address listed above by March 17, 2020All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Perimeter Institute is committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons/persons of colour, women, Indigenous/Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ2 persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. Perimeter Institute provides support throughout the application process for applicants with disabilities. We work with you to understand the impact of your disability to appropriately accommodate you during the application/interview process. Please contact for assistance.