This Week’s Jobs

Photo by Kristina Litvjak on Unsplash

Happy Monday!

This is the last week to apply for a number of exciting opportunities with the Alzheimer Society of British Columbia. The application deadline is this Wednesday!

We are looking for a mid-level giving Development Officer. This is a perfect position for someone who would like to have a portfolio of donors in the three to five-figure range.

If ‘behind the scenes’ is where you feel more comfortable the  Development Officer, Donor Relations position might be the perfect job for you:

Finally, here is a rare part-time Gift Planning opportunity.  This is perfect for an experienced professional who would like to have a little bit more work-life balance.

Also, we are still accepting applications for a home-based position as Director, Charitable Giving, Prairies, Trinity Western University.

If you wish to apply please send your cover letter and résumé to

Or schedule a time to speak further about any of these opportunities.

Have a great week!



Upcoming Events

Happy Friday!

What a week for professional development! CAGP Vancouver had its AGM and Mingler this week and then, of course, the Western Canada Fundraising Conference. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to either event this week due to an insane amount of searches that are going on at the moment but I look forward to attending the AFP Vancouver AGM and participate in the Mentorship Roundtable. Big shocker: I will be speaking about career opportunities and advancement in the nonprofit sector. 

I hope to see you all there on July 14, 2018, in Vancouver.

And here are some more events that came across my desk…

Have a great weekend!



Fund Development Manager, YWCA

This position in Fund Development is responsible for raising Major Gift revenue for YWCA programs and services by securing gifts primarily from new individual donors to support our new Major Gifts campaign. The new campaign is an engaging opportunity for a passionate fundraiser to make a real impact on the campaign’s success.

The position will work closely with a team of 14 individuals to ensure that the financial goals of the Fund Development Department are met and will represent the YWCA in public and one-on-one situations. We each work independently and are fully responsible for our own areas but we work collaboratively as a dynamic team to ensure the best quality for our donors and therefore the women and children the YWCA serves.

Help us make a difference

Voted as one of the best companies to work for in BC, YWCA Metro Vancouver is a diverse non-profit that supports women’s equality through a range of integrated services. Skilled at meeting employee and client needs, YWCA Metro Vancouver treats employees with respect and is committed to offering initiatives, compensation and benefits that retain employees and help them achieve work/life balance. These include flexible work hours and some opportunity to work remotely.

Status: Permanent Full Time (35 hours/week)

Location: YWCA Program Centre, 535 Hornby Street, Vancouver


  • Identify, research, and build relationships with individual prospects which will result in face-to-face meetings and the solicitation of major gifts
  • Identify planned giving prospects from major gift donors and make the planned giving solicitation where appropriate
  • Steward and report to current donors in order to renew and upgrade their donations in the future
  • Write compelling funding proposals as well as other departmental communication materials including letters of intent and reports
  • Conduct research for fund development purposes to update information about social issues addressed by YWCA programs
  • Complete solicitations on a timely basis to ensure revenue targets are met
  • Provide excellent donor service and appropriate recognition for donations
  • Participate in and support donor events

Required Skills

  • Knowledge of individual prospects with a proven track record in closing Major Gift asks
  • Experience soliciting gifts of $25,000 or more is an asset
  • Strong relationship building, strategy development and fundraising skills with 5 years related experience
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to write a variety of documents, such as proposals, reports and correspondence
  • Experience with prospect research as well as researching social issues
  • Strong organizational and critical thinking skills
  • Strategic, proactive work style
  • Ability to work collaboratively with a team
  • Strong Microsoft Word skills
  • Experience with Raiser’s Edge would be an advantage
  • Post-secondary education

We’ve been striving to change lives for over 120 years. The YWCA has 45 programs and services in 58 locations throughout Metro Vancouver. Interested in joining us? Candidates are invited to send resumes by June 20, 2018 at 9:00 am to:

YWCA Vancouver is an equal opportunity employer. We thank all who apply, but only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. For more information about this and other YWCA Metro Vancouver career opportunities, please visit

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

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.


See, That’s Why Working From Home Doesn’t Work!


By Phil Gerard

Great! Just when we thought our employers are starting to buy into telecommuting a viral video has to destroy everything!! Right?!

When I saw this video on the weekend I could not help but feel sincere sympathy with Dr. Kelly. This is what everybody working from home fears the most. Interruptions in a very serious moment when you need all of your concentration.

Working from home, to this day, enjoys a questionable reputation. Some managers shy away from it because they cannot control if their people actually work or give in to domestic distractions. But we have come a long way in the last decade, especially with technology making it increasingly easier to work remotely. You can practically be anywhere as long as you have your laptop, smart phone and a wi-fi signal.

Working from home has great advantages. You can start your workday without losing time  to and being stressed from a commute and there are less office-type of distractions such as gossiping, office politics, water cooler conversations, and Monday morning quarterbacking. And of course you save money (gas, toll fees just to name two) and your employer saves office space just to name one.

One of the (perceived) disadvantages is the lack of separation between home and work. Some people, like me love this mix, I work seven days a week but it does not feel like it to me due to the flexibility I have with my time. Others do not like this blur of work and personal life. You are always close to your office. While one can get distracted by the things going on around you or get tempted to do chores (“Should I empty the dishwasher quickly?”) one can also get tempted to go down to the home office at midnight and answer emails.

The other challenge is to maintain an air of professionalism. I have had a home office for many years and, yes, I had my shares of nightmares, especially when my kids were younger.

For me working from home is a blessing and it makes me more productive. But I find it is important to have some ground rules:

  • Have office-hours. This is the time when you are available and accessible for doing business as you would be in a normal office setting.
  • Have a dedicated space. While it is fun to answer after office-hour emails from the couch or write your blog on the weekend at the kitchen table, a space (during office-hours) where you can focus without interruption is key.
  • Have a system that prevents interruptions. A lockable door, a sign on the door when you are on the phone or on a video call, and (if applicable) an arrangement with your partner who is watching the kids or pets to make sure they do not enter.
  • Be organized and disciplined. Keep noises and interruptions down. Sure, there are some things that you cannot control but many that you can. When you have phone, conference or video calls make sure you have the volume of electronic devices turned down or off. Let others in the house know when you are on calls, especially conference calls (by the way I am the first one to admit that I still forget sometimes, I just had a video call interrupted by a call from the office landline yesterday).
  • Dress appropriately during your office hours. Some people might like working in their pyjamas but for me it is important to start my day in the home-office like I do in the office (but maybe not in a suit).
  • Get out! For those working in a home-office environment all the time, and not just a day or two a week, can feel isolated. Find a way to stay connected with your co-workers and/or network. Make as many all-staff meetings you can, attend networking, and other events.

Sure, working from home has its disadvantageous and challenges, but I hope that employers and the general public do not use the viral video as an example to discourage telecommuting. Yes, there are distractions at home, but there are distractions at the office too, they are just different. And hey, life happens, we are human and even when interruptions happen that does not make us less competent.



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