skip to Main Content
Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts

Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts

Website Shaw Festival Theatre, Canada

As one of the world’s leading theatre companies and Niagara’s 20 largest employers, The Shaw is dedicated to an ongoing process of increasing diversity and inclusion in our audiences, our programs, and in all of our hiring for staff, artists, and in the recruiting of board members. The Shaw is committed to a future when our theatres joyously draw on and include all peoples, fully reflective of the world around us. As such, the Shaw Festival is an equal opportunity employer committed to a barrier-free recruitment and selection process. We encourage and invite applications from applicants who identify as Indigenous, Black or as persons of colour (IBPOC), the LGBTQ2+ communities and those identifying as gender female. In accordance with Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), and in keeping with our wish to ensure a fully inclusive environment, please advise Human Resources if you require an accommodation throughout the recruitment process. We will be happy to assist.

We acknowledge and honour the land upon which we gather as the historic and traditional territory of First Nations peoples. In particular we recognize and thank the Neutral Nation, the Mississauga and the Haudenosaunee for their stewardship of these lands over millennia.


Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts
Full-time permanent
Salary Range:  $75,000 – $90,000

As we emerge from the pandemic and The Shaw moves towards its 60th Anniversary season, it is abundantly clear to us that we face a choice: we can survive through these challenging times, or we can seek to thrive and seize opportunities, now more than ever. To that, we have crafted an ambitious vision for our future. Inspired by the genius of Bernard Shaw, we use theatre to provoke curiosity, creativity and connection. True to this purpose, we will make the excellence of our art the focus of a new movement for real human encounters.

If you are an experienced fundraiser who enjoys building relationships with donors who are passionate about the arts, then this is the right opportunity for you!  Under the leadership of Tim Carroll, Artistic Director and Tim Jennings, Executive Director, this is an exciting time of growth and transformation at The Shaw.  We are looking for an experienced front-line fundraiser to join our team to help us reach our goals.


The Senior Development Officer, Major Gifts is responsible for working with staff and volunteers to secure gifts at the $25,000+ level for the Shaw Festival’s annual operations funds, special project, capital project and endowment.  Applying an integrated development approach, this position builds relationships with donors to match their philanthropic interests with the ongoing needs of the organization.


This position reports to the Director of Advancement.

Working Relationships:

This position works with the following staff: Executive Director; Artistic Director; Director of Advancement, and senior members of the Development staff team including the Senior Development Officer Legacy & Individual Giving, Coordinator Major & Special Gifts, Governors Council Manager, Senior Associate Events, Associate Director of Development, and Associate Corporate Partnerships & Communications.

This position requires flexible work hours, working weekends especially during the height of the season (May to September), and travel in southern Ontario and north-eastern United States.

Key Responsibilities

With a focus on identifying, cultivating and soliciting individuals at the $25,000 and above level, this position will:

Qualify a group of caseload donors (approximately 120); may be a combination of corporate, individual and foundation donors.
Create individual goals for each person on his or her caseload based on the donor’s history of giving and the organization’s knowledge of that donor’s potential.
Create a plan for each donor that will serve as a foundational communication and engagement plan for each person on the caseload. Will faithfully and on a timely basis execute that plan so individuals on the caseload are retained and upgraded.
Work with colleagues to secure appropriate project information, including budgets, and create offers, proposals and asks that will be used with persons on the caseload to secure gifts.
Track activities through formal call reports and update donor information in the donor database, Tessitura
Create monthly reports as required by management that accurately reflect caseload activity and performance.
Participate in department budget and goal setting strategic sessions
Attend and participate at donor cultivation and stewardship events as required
Perform other major donor activities as may be required
Accountability — performance will be measured by

Ability to qualify caseload donors that represent the highest giving potential for the organization.
Ability to create reasonable financial goals for each donor, which is based on the donor’s giving and the potential.
Ability to create a personal contact and ask plan that takes into account the individual donor’s interest, motivations, giving patterns and ask preferences, for each donor on his or her caseload, in a timely and cost-effective manner, and retains and upgrades donors.
Ability to secure project and organization information and create and write effective offers, proposals and asks. Ability to secure information that can be sent back to donors to report on how their money was used.
Ability to create timely reports that reflect caseload and MGO performance.
Ability to manage people, process, deadlines and budget while adhering to the policies and procedures of the organization and ability to get along with peers, subordinates and management and maintain a positive and constructive attitude while solving problems.
Ability to protect the mission, goals and values of the organization.


There is flexibility for this position to be a home office-based position, but will require regular travel to the theatre as needed for donor visits, donor events and performances.  Periodic travel to the US north-eastern states will also be part of the role.


Minimum 5 years in progressively senior fundraising positions with a focus on securing major gifts.
Successful track record in securing gifts at the $25,000 level and above.
Passionate about the performing arts, and theatre in particular.
Sound judgement and decision making capabilities.
Exceptional verbal and written presentation skills.
Demonstrated expertise in integrated moves management.
Ability to inspire others to achieve outstanding results.
University Degree in a related discipline, CFRE certification an asset.
Please submit your cover letter and resume prior to December 15, 2021 at 5:00 pm to:

Shaw Festival Theatre
Attention: Director Human Resources

Please note: All new hires must provide proof of Full Vaccination status prior to their first day of work.

We thank all applicants in advance for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Tagged as: ,

To apply for this job email your details to

Back To Top