Today’s Career Opportunities




Director of Development and Communications, Jewish Family Service Agency

About Jewish Family Service Agency

For over 80 years, Jewish Family Service Agency (JFSA) has been providing opportunities to enhance the quality of life for individuals and families. We are a social service organization that offers a continuum of services for individuals and families at all ages and stages of life in the Jewish and wider community. Our 5 departments are Family and Adult Resources, Seniors Support Services, Counselling and Wellness, Employment Services and Settlement Services.


Reporting to the Chief Executive Officer, and working collaboratively with the senior management team, the Director of Development and Communications is responsible for implementing the annual Fundraising and Communications plan and building relationships with current and prospective donors. Responsibilities also include supervising and managing four staff persons – the Development Officer, Development Manager, Development Database Administrator and the Marketing and Communications Manager.

The incumbent will be responsible for:

  • Securing, strengthening and growing broad financial support in all areas of giving.
  • Event and project management for two direct mail campaigns, a major annual fundraising luncheon and stewardship events.
  • Working as the lead contact for volunteer committees.
  • Manager of the Major Gifts program. Activities include management of a major donor pipeline, working with program staff on compiling reports, writing and sending donor correspondence, meeting with the CEO to develop strategies for donor meetings and following up with major donors.
  • Reviewing grant applications compiled by the Development Manager and support with planning strategies for grant applications; writing and submitting grant applications and preparing presentations where applicable.
  • Overseeing on-going office activities including the management of the database and all records, files, and gift processing.
  • Overseeing the pledge reminder and acknowledgement programs; review of letters generated by Database Administrator and Development Officer.
  • Overseeing communications related to fundraising including newsletter articles; Annual Report; Direct Mail communications.
  • Attending monthly Board meetings and creation of Development Reports.
  • Liaison between Department Directors (Finance, Program Directors) to address department needs and to identify opportunities/projects for funding.
  • Attending and supporting community events as a representative and ambassador of JFSA.
  • Budget planning for Development Department.


  • Minimum of 5 years Development experience is required; fundraising in the Jewish Community preferred.
  • Experience in solicitation, special event planning, grant writing, and volunteer management.
  • Experience in management and mentorship of fundraising staff.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills tailored to both internal and external audiences.
  • Ability to work as a leader and as part of a team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and collaborative working style.
  • Proven effective ability to work with a variety of stakeholders.
  • Well-developed presentation skills.
  • Computer proficiency.
  • Knowledge of the Jewish community is an asset.

For more information, or to apply in confidence by July 7, 2017,
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.

My New Year’s Resolution (Hopefully Not Just a Post-Conference High)

By Vanessa Abaya 

When I worked as a waitress in my younger days, we had an expression: “Being in the weeds.” This essentially meant that we had lost control of our section, were overwhelmed and needed help to manage the activity. Today (in my less younger days), I am a professional fundraiser and we also use this same expression. Having recently found myself deep “in the weeds”, I thought it was time for some perspective. My solution was to attend the AFP International Conference, recently held in San Francisco.

During my five days at the conference (I also attended a two-day pre-conference), I met dedicated and passionate fundraisers. We opened up about our challenges and frustrations. We laughed at the same jokes, recognizing these familiar situations, despite our distance and diversity. We spoke about our proudest days, which usually involved helping someone in need or making the world just a little bit better.

I was inspired by the incredible speakers. Their sharp insights and deep knowledge challenged me to think critically about my role as a leader, a strategist, and a practitioner. Although disruption seemed to be a common theme, meaningful and authentic relationships with our donors were always at the heart of their sessions.

At one session, the facilitator encouraged me to create an action plan – after all as fundraisers, we’re people of action. First, I committed to making room for study. There is an immense body of work that informs our fundraising practice and this is often available at little or no cost. I’ve scheduled 1-2 hours every two weeks for study – a modest, but achievable schedule.

Second, I promised to engage in conversations with my colleagues about the lessons I learned in San Francisco. I’m fortunate enough to work for an organization that values innovation and excellence. Since returning, I’m already working with colleagues to incorporate some of these new ideas into our organizational plans.

Lastly, I promised to honour what is best about our profession. I haven’t yet worked out the details to this one, but I thought this article was a step towards accomplishing this goal.

I considered my first day back in the office as a new beginning – a sort of “New Year.” According to commonly cited statistics, only 8% of people actually keep their New Year’s resolution. In fact, 80% of people fail by the second week of February. So, the odds are against me. The good news is that if I continue to take small steps and build on my initial plans, my odds of success increase.

We are members of an extraordinary profession. When we succeed, some of the most vulnerable people in our community benefit. Our passion and commitment to our respective causes are truly admirable. And we bridge the divide between those who need a helping hand and those who want to give that aid.

The weeds are out there and we can easily be overwhelmed by them. Consider cutting through the weeds and attend a professional development conference or seminar. You don’t have to go to an international conference. We have incredible professional associations in our backyard. I encourage you to get out there, connect and be inspired.

Happy New Year!

Vanessa Abaya has worked as a fundraising professional for a variety of organizations over the past 20 years, including the University of Toronto, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, ROM Governors, AIDS Committee of Toronto, and the Vancouver Playhouse. After building a solid track record as a major gift fundraiser in Toronto, she returned to Vancouver be closer to her family. She currently serves as Senior Director of Philanthropy at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, overseeing the major gift, leadership giving and planned giving programs. She is an active volunteer with AFP, most recently serving on the Board of the Vancouver Chapter.  She obtained her CFRE designation in 2008.


Today’s Career Opportunities




Development Coordinator, Edmonton, The Mustard Seed

The Mustard Seed is a Christian humanitarian organization whose vision is to build community, grow hope and support change. Intentionally following Jesus Christ and partnering with the community, The Mustard Seed combats the root causes of poverty in Alberta and works to create positive, lasting change in the lives of those we serve. The Mustard Seed provides basic services – food, clothing and housing, and support services – education and employment, to those living in poverty within Alberta.


Reporting to the Fund Development Manager (Edmonton), the Development Coordinator is responsible for supporting The Mustard Seed’s fundraising program by initiating and sustaining donor stewardship activities and assisting in the cultivation of relationships with individual and corporate donors. This position will work in collaboration with Development/Development Services, Communications, Community Engagement and Volunteer Services teams to create meaningful engagement opportunities, maintain accurate donor records and provide a range of development reports and funding proposals. The successful candidate will be a high achiever who is passionate about the organization’s cause and thrives in a dynamic team-focused environment.


  • Actively steward a portfolio of annual contributors (individual, corporate, church, foundation and association donors) through gift acknowledgement, including thank you letters, impact reports, personal calls, visits and facility tours in order to create ongoing partnerships and donor engagement
  • Assist the Fund Development Manager to cultivate major donors through cultivation events and the ‘Give First’ initiative in order to engage corporate donors on both grassroots and boardroom levels
  • Collaborate with Development peers in Edmonton, Calgary and Red Deer to develop and facilitate an annual stewardship plan with provincial scope, but specific to the needs and interests of Edmonton donors
  • Represent The Mustard Seed to the corporate sector and identify sponsorship and donation opportunities
  • Assist the Fund Development Manager and Prospect Research Coordinator CGY with major donor research and moves management initiatives
  • Work in concert with Volunteer Services to grow a team of development volunteers and interns who enhance and support stewardship and cultivation activities
  • Train and become proficient in Salesforce database to maintain up-to-date major gift prospect and donor tracking, and become the ‘SuperUser’ for the EDM team
  • Become knowledgeable in The Seed’s revenue and expense coding in order to be a ‘go to’ person for the EDM team
  • Assist the Fund Development Manager with day-to-day tasks such as scheduling, appointment setting, as well as monthly and quarterly projections and progress reports
  • Oversee weekly deposits in coordination with Administrative Assistant
  • Support the development team in the facilitation of fundraising, cultivation and stewardship events
  • Other duties as assigned


  • Post-secondary education or relevant experience in not-for-profit management or business (management, sales/marketing and administration)
  • Minimum of 2 to 5 years of related work experience, with preference to experience within a fundraising, customer service or sales role
  • Personal passion for serving those in poverty, and a strong ability to communicate that passion to others
  • A skill for building relationships with internal and external stakeholders
  • Superior interpersonal skills, presentation and public speaking skills, good listening and negotiation skills
  • Energetic self-starter who can work independently and within a dynamic and collaborative team environment
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and adhere to strict deadlines
  • Superior written and oral communications skills
  • Proven proficiency in MS Office (MS Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint) and experience with online search tools
  • Proficiency with Salesforce or other fundraising database software
  • Sound judgment and decision-making capabilities


  • Full-time, 40 hours per week. Flexibility required for some evening and weekend work.
  • Office environment, with frequent external meetings throughout the city.
  • A valid Class 5 driver’s license and access to a vehicle required
  • Driver’s Abstract and Employment Security Check is required
  • As The Mustard Seed is a Christian ministry, we require our employees to be in agreement and to sign our statement of faith
  • The Mustard Seed embraces the concept of employment equity, which includes fair representation, anti-discrimination and reasonable accommodation
  • Must have legal authorization to work in Canada on a full-time basis for anyone other than current employer

Start date: Immediate

This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

Please forward cover letter and resume to indicating the position title in the subject line.

The Mustard Seed offers a competitive compensation package including 100% employer paid extended health and dental benefits for staff and dependents, matching RRSP after one year of service, and flex days.

Privacy Policy: The Mustard Seed follows the principles of privacy therefore the privacy policy will be adhered to. We thank all candidates for their interest, however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. The Mustard Seed reserves the right to amend job advertisements. No phone calls please.

Please mention that you saw this career opportunity on Phil’s Careers Blog.

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