Director of Development, First United


First United is not your typical ‘church.’ Our worshipping congregation closed its doors in 2007, but not without ensuring that it had institutional support for ongoing outreach activities from the wider community and the United Church of Canada. Over the last decade, we have grown into an invaluable community asset. From a 60 bed low-barrier trans-friendly shelter and meal services for the community Monday to Friday, foot washing programs, movie and beauty nights, to spiritual care and exploration through our “spirit focus” and “spirit circle” programming that allows community members to engage in thoughtful discussion of spirituality in a safe and non-judgmental space – First United redefines what it means to be in service to the community as informed by Christianity but without preaching Christianity. We are also social justice minded – we address the systemic barriers that keep people living at the margins. We have two full time dedicated shelter resource workers who keep shelter residents connected to health and recovery supports and who assist with finding transitional, supportive or long term housing, and a team of 5 advocates who have been providing drop in legal and administrative advocacy services for low-income residents in our community since 1973. We also provide tax preparation and filing services to over 6,000 individuals a year on a year-round basis. These are just some of the things that make our organization special, living up to our reputation that “hope lives here.” We hope you’ll join us in keeping that hope alive.

The Opportunity

Reporting to the Executive Director (ED), the Director of Resource Development serves as a key leadership team member and an active participant in making strategic decisions affecting First United. In partnership with the ED, this position is responsible for all fundraising, development, and marketing communications activities. The successful candidate will help forge new relationships to build First United’s visibility, impact, and financial resources. The Director of Resource Development also will design and implement a comprehensive plan for developing key external alliances by cultivating individual and philanthropic support. In addition, the Director will work collaboratively with senior leadership to develop and implement communication strategies to broaden the impact of First United’s programs and oversee organizational messaging and constituent services.

The Director of Development will have primary responsibility for establishing and implementing the infrastructure needed to grow a $4M CDN budget through the solicitation of major gifts, provincial and regional grants, special events, and corporate and foundation support.

She or he will expand and diversify First United’s donor base/pipeline and work closely with other team members to secure funding for new initiatives. In addition, the Director will work closely with the board of directors and support board members as they take on a more active fundraising role.

It is expected that the amount raised by First United will increase in future years as the Director of Resource Development systematically and effectively strengthens the organization’s overall fundraising capacity. First United will also engage in a future capital campaign as it completes assessment of its current facilities and vision for future ministries.


  • Support and partner with the ED and board members on all major fundraising initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Finance to develop and implement First United’s financial strategy.
  • Actively work with the ED and senior staff to develop and implement a comprehensive development strategy to include corporate, foundation, government grants/contracts, etc.
  • Have primary responsibility for development and execution of all proposals; write and archive all proposals with a long-term relationship-management approach.
  • Oversee research funding sources and trends, with foresight, to help position First United ahead of major funding changes or trends.
  • Monitor all donor information; provide and present statistical analysis to board and senior leaders.
  • Develop and implement a stewardship program aimed at cultivating deeper ties with donors.
  • Monitor and report regularly on the progress of the development program.
  • Identify, develop, and mentor the development team.
  • Develop and refine the Society’s “core” messages to ensure organizational consistency
  • Identify significant media and public policy issues that can be leveraged to support the Society’s work, and create and implement plans to exploit them.
  • Accountable for the look, feel and content of the organization’s website.


  • 10-plus years of professional experience in a non-profit organization; demonstrated success in a development function (managing and forging relationships with multiple donor sources).
  • Tangible experience of having expanded and cultivated existing donor relationships over time.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and oral; ability to influence and engage a wide range of donors and build long-term relationships.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.
  • Ability to work both independently without close oversight, but also a team player who will productively engage with others at varying levels of seniority within and outside First United.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s preferred.
  • High energy and passion for First United’s mission is essential.
  • Ability to construct, articulate, and implement annual strategic development plan.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail
  • Customer focus.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • A professional and resourceful style; the ability to work independently and as a team player, to take initiative, and to manage multiple tasks and projects at a time.
  • A strong track record of positioning an organization to achieve tangible outcomes in a competitive communications environment.
  • Ability to coach and support senior leaders as spokespersons.
  • Experience working for an organization with multi-faceted relationships in institutionalized church or other religion an asset.
  • Strong understanding of and relationships within the United Church of Canada strongly preferred.

For more information, to receive the full position prospectus, or to apply in confidence please contact:

Gérard Consulting – Fundraising Talent Management
Phil Gérard, President

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those candidates invited for an interview will be contacted.

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