Executive Brief

Director of Development
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières

September 2023

Director of Development

As an engine of MSF Canada and the MSF movement at large, the Fundraising Department (FRD) plays a critical role in securing the success of their social mission. Raising over $98 million in 2022 in private funding – through mass marketing, major gifts, foundations & corporations, and planned giving donor segments – the FRD is at the heart of their humanitarian emergency medical operations. Since the launch of the MSF Canada’s Strategic Plan 2020-2024 the FRD has realized impressive revenue results while managing rapid departmental growth and change. During this time the FR team has navigated and pivoted its strategy and ways of working to adapt to COVID-19 during the height of the pandemic, and committed to challenging the way MSF fundraises by integrating Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) & Anti Oppression Anti Racism (AOAR) principles in everything they do. 

The Director of Development will report directly to the Executive Director and is a key member of the MSF Canada Senior Management Team (MT).  They will be instrumental in driving the strategic vision for the FR team. The Director will deliver on the strategic goals for FRD, through the strategic multi-year and annual planning of required resources and investments.  Using innovation, thought leadership and creativity, the Director will build on the years of investments already made, and embrace what the future of giving in Canada looks like. They will anticipate challenges and changes to support the continued evolution of a high performing department in a rapidly changing world. They will be responsible for providing strategic and empathic leadership and developing transformative long-term partnerships to help shape the future of the FRD.

The Director of Development will be a proven leader who is deeply motivated by the goal of MSF to save lives and alleviate suffering through medical action and bearing witness – the central pillars of their social mission.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and Strategic Alignment
  • As a key member of the Senior MT, participate in the creation and realization MSF Canada’s Strategic Plans, capitalizing on opportunities, mitigating risks, and jointly stewarding resources and activities toward strategic priorities.
  • Achieve organizational objectives by collaborating with fellow Directors to formulate and effectuate organizational policies and make decisions with an organization-wide impact as a member of the MSF Canada Senior MT.
  • In collaboration with key stakeholders, bring strategic vision and innovative ideas to lead the development of fundraising strategies that include annual and multiyear fundraising goals and objectives to cultivate new donors and broaden the awareness of MSF throughout Canada
  • Work closely with the Director of Finance on revenue and expense forecasting; regularly update multi-year revenue projections and coordinate strategies and implementation with other key stakeholders to contribute to the predictability and sustainability of funding of MSF globally.
  • Work directly with the Associate Directors of Philanthropy and Mass Marketing on the creation and implementation of the department’s Annual Plan and budgeting in line with Strategic Plan goals.
  • Partner with the Director of Communications to advance shared organizational goals, digital approaches, and use data analytics to inform planning, investment and learning; together, oversee brand communication, and ensure that MSF Canada’s messages to supporters accurately describe the crises to which MSF responds, MSF’s program activities, and its humanitarian challenges.
  • Develop internal and external market information and research capabilities for fundraising teams; integrate research into annual and multi-year plans; assure current understanding of philanthropic trends; continuously explore and adapt proven and new approaches; and successfully position MSF Canada as a leader in the humanitarian sector.
  • Function in a highly visible, externally facing role as the chief fundraiser for MSF Canada, working directly with top major gift prospects and donors and personally making face-to-face donor solicitations.
Oversee the Fundraising Department
  • Leads the recruitment and oversees the development of senior fundraising staff to achieve their goals, establishing trust, respect, recognition, and mutual accountability in a high-performance and collaborative team.
  • Oversee a department of 44 employees (4 direct reports: Associate Directors of Philanthropy and Mass Marketing, Senior Data Strategy Manager and Fundraising Assistant) to effectively plan work (and oversee workflows), manage workloads and achieve their goals
  • Establish trust, respect, recognition and mutual accountability in a high performance, collaborative environment.
  • Ensure responsible use of departmental resources based on business intelligence and data-driven approaches, assure the achievement of satisfactory cost-per-dollar-raised in relation to pre-set standards and to general and specific trends within the sector and the economy.
  • Guide and mentor fundraising leaders and inspire them to achieve new benchmarks of success; contribute to attracting, recruiting, and retaining new fundraising leaders and teams.
  • Lead by example with Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) and anti-racism anti-oppression principles inspiring the internal work culture and the way we portray MSF to our supporters; champion a more diverse and interdependent fundraising department; build a fundraising EDI strategy and KPIs for diversifying our donor audiences that aligns with the organizational strategy and creating a sense of belonging for our diverse audiences.
International & External Representation
  • Represent the Fundraising Department to the Board of Directors, stimulating impactful and strategic dialogue around annual planning and reporting cycles.
  • Build and maintain effective working relationships with the MSF Canada Board of Directors; enlist and motivate Board members to actively participate in fundraising activities as well as advocate for the organization and its programs.
  • Actively participate in the International MSF platform of Fundraising Directors, contributing to the development of fundraising policies, priorities, and activities aligned with the needs and growth of the international movement.
  • Keep abreast of industry trends, maintain external professional networks, monitoring developments in the fundraising sector including legislative changes.
  • Represent MSF at fundraising and public awareness events, stimulating increased donor engagement by advocating on behalf of MSF beneficiaries and educating Canadians about humanitarian needs and the impact of donor contributions, and finding creative ways to acknowledge and accommodate their interests.

Competencies, Knowledge & Experience

MSF Transversal Core Competencies

Knowledge and Experience

Education, Certifications, and Languages

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