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Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign

Company: STARS Foundation
Date Posted: November 21, 2017


When STARS took to the air for the first time over 30 years ago, our founder, Dr. Powell, checked the mail every morning to see if enough donations had been received to keep our doors open one more day. Motivated to dramatically change emergency care for communities across a vast landscape, he threw his passion into creating a helicopter air ambulance service – built and supported by the community.

Today, STARS provides world-class services across the Prairie Provinces and continues to be fueled by grassroots community support. For many, STARS is their lifeline.

We want you to be part of the crew that makes this all possible.

STARS Foundation is seeking an experienced fundraiser to be our new Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign to provide oversight on all fundraising activities pertaining to an upcoming capital campaign and STARS’ ongoing annual major gift program.

As STARS looks to continue saving lives across the Prairie Provinces for the next 30 years, we are in the planning stages of a landmark, transformational capital campaign.

With a proposed target of $50+ million, it will be the largest campaign undertaken in our organization’s history. Its legacy will impact the lives of people in our communities for generations to come. The new Vice President will therefore lead the strategic and tactical implementation of this campaign to ensure its execution and success. The Vice President will also take the lead role in ensuring our ongoing major gifts program, currently raising about $14 million annually, is maintained to help fund ongoing operational needs.

This new role will report to the Executive Vice President and be a key member of the STARS senior leadership team. Crucially, the Vice President will serve as the lead staff person supporting the annual major gifts and campaign fundraising efforts of the CEO, Campaign Cabinet, and Board of Directors.

The Vice President will lead a growing team of 14 across three provinces in Western Canada, and additional staff resources will be added to this team as the portfolio grows and campaign needs are established.

This position represents a tremendous opportunity to be part of the transformation of the STARS Foundation to support the lifesaving mission of STARS.

This role will be based in our Calgary base office, and will involve some travel across the Prairie Provinces to attend donor, volunteer and team meetings.



The new Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign will be an accomplished major gifts strategist and fundraiser, adept at leading a team to success in an evolving organization. The new incumbent will have significant and proven major gift fundraising experience, including successfully managing a personal pipeline of large and diverse donor accounts. The successful candidate will also possess campaign experience, ideally in an early-stage capital campaign setting.

The new Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign will lead by example and inspire others to successfully manage and secure significant support. With unquestioned credibility, the successful candidate will be equally comfortable in planning strategy as in its execution.

As a critical thinker and thought partner to the EVP and CEO, the new Vice President will engage in open dialogue and debate, using tact and diplomacy to challenge orthodoxy and tradition. As an innovator and agent of positive change, the new Vice President will thrive in an organization undergoing change. Pragmatic and adaptable, the successful candidate will be persistent and results-oriented.

A committed champion of fundraising best practices, the new Vice President will work to promote them within the Foundation to enable major gifts and campaign success. The successful candidate will possess the background and knowledge to enable rigorous and data-driven processes for identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of campaign and major gift donors.

A true hands-on working leader and coach, the Vice President will possess strong leadership abilities, encouraging and empowering others while providing clear expectations and guidance. The successful candidate will bring out the best in their staff by recognizing their strengths and supporting their strategic focus. The new incumbent will be principled and tough when needed, while always being a team player.

Smart, professional, and inspiring, the successful candidate will work in partnership with STARS’ entire fundraising team to drive continued growth. The Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign will support and enable a full team effort toward attaining organizational goals.

Passionate and mission-driven, the new Vice President will take STARS’ life-saving work to heart, and share this passion with our constituents in an authentic and engaging way. With excellent relationship-building skills, the ideal candidate will combine sincerity, focus, and perseverance to maintain long-term donor connections and achieve our ambitious goals.



Working with our Campaign volunteers, Board members, and the STARS team, the Vice President, Major Gifts and Campaign will be responsible for development and execution of a comprehensive capital campaign, as well as annual major gift fundraising efforts across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Specifically, the Vice President’s duties will include:

Campaign Management

  • Lead the strategic and tactical implementation of the campaign plan to ensure that the campaign is well planned, well executed, and on target.
  • Working with our Campaign Cabinet, volunteer Board members and the STARS team, lead the identification, research, cultivation, solicitation, recognition and stewardship of campaign prospects and donors.
  • Support all Campaign volunteers in their activities, including identification, cultivation; recruit and train volunteers as needed.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of key donor accounts.
  • Oversee campaign management including budget and maintenance of timeline.
  • Ensure that appropriate campaign reports are designed, prepared, and provided as needed.
  • Report on campaign progress to the EVP, CEO and Board on a regular basis.
  • Ensure all activity goals are established; monitor and review on an ongoing basis.
  • Manage activities around significant campaign milestones and special events, including campaign launch and milestone celebrations.
Major Gifts Fundraising
  • Deliver our ongoing major gift program; develop overall strategies and tactics for a diverse, donor-driven program meeting STARS’ ongoing operational needs.
  • Establish ongoing stewardship and donor communications materials that demonstrate impact and accountability.
  • Collaborate with the EVP and CEO, and key volunteers as needed to advance their key accounts.
  • Develop and manage ongoing activity and budget measurements.
  • As an organizational leader and topic expert, act as a collaborative resource, advisor and mentor to build fundraising capacity and to help instill best fundraising practices across STARS.
  • Maintain a personal portfolio of corporate and individual major gift donors and personally conduct cultivation visits, solicitation calls and stewardship activities.
Staff Leadership
  • Lead a large major gifts fundraising team (14+ staff) across three provinces.
  • Identify skill gaps in STARS’ fundraising team and provide professional development plans to be campaign ready.
  • Supervise, support and evaluate the major gifts and campaign teams including all related duties such as performance reviews, hiring, supervision and discipline.
  • Facilitate and enhance team efforts on a professional level, and share specialized knowledge, resources, experience, concepts and skills.



  • Substantial fund development experience, including demonstrated success in major gifts revenue attainment, ideally including gifts of $1 million and up.
  • Specific experience in capital campaigns is a key requirement for this role; previous successful campaign planning and management experience and demonstrated ability to set and exceed ambitious fundraising goals.
  • Experience in inspiring, developing and working with senior volunteers.
  • Significant experience and success in training, coaching and mentoring fund development staff for capital campaigns; success managing other major gift fundraisers in attaining their goals.
  • Strong communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to excel in a complex, evolving organization.
  • Outstanding relationship building skills; experience working with a wide array of internal and external stakeholders.
  • Innovation and critical thinking skills.
  • A sense of purpose and passion for the lifesaving work at STARS.
  • Knowledge of the western Canadian philanthropic landscape is ideal.
  • Comprehension of donor management systems (eg: Raiser’s Edge).
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of related education and business experiences.
  • Ability to travel across Western Canada; willingness to work flexible hours.
  • Valid driver’s license and assess to a vehicle is required.
  • CFRE considered an asset.



KCI (Ketchum Canada Inc.) has been retained to conduct this important leadership search on behalf of STARS. For more information about this unique and exciting opportunity, please contact Christoph Clodius, Vice President, Search Practice, at or via telephone at 778-331-8865.

Candidates are asked to submit a resume and covering letter to the above email address. All inquiries and applications will be held in strict confidence.

Please note that expressions of interest are requested no later than December 8, 2017.

Additional Resources and Information


For full description of this job opportunity, please click here.