University of Waterloo

Donor Relations Officer

Requisition ID 2023-11264
Dean of Engineering Office, Advancement Unit
Employment Type
Time Type
Hiring Range
$70,099 - $87,623
Job Category
Job Location : Location


Term: 14 months


Develops and executes a range of stewardship, donor relations and donor communications activities to engage and acknowledge the Faculty of Engineering’s donors in order to foster the positive donor relationships that are critical to philanthropic support of the faculty.  Manages corporate sponsor accounts and programs for the Faculty. This position will work with Engineering’s development staff to oversee gift and sponsorship acceptance and acknowledgement, donor recognition, communications and stewardship and to initiate, implement and evaluate donor and sponsor relations programs for the faculty.  Responsible for the design, implementation and coordination of a comprehensive donor relations and stewardship system that appropriately and consistently promotes interaction and recognition of donors and sponsors at all levels.


Program Management

  • Oversees the development, management, and implementation of a revitalized, innovative, and first class donor relations program to complement the objectives of the overall fundraising goals of the Faculty of Engineering including first-time donors, annual, principal, major and leadership giving donors, students and alumni
  • Suggests creative donor recognition options (e.g., events, naming opportunities, award nominations, gifts) that are appropriate for the type/level of the donor gift, budget, timeline, and specific donor history and preferences
  • Maintains accurate, up-to-date Raiser’s Edge records of donors’ stewardship activity
  • Manages a system to prepare, send and track acknowledgements from the Dean, Director, Chairs, Associate Director and development staff for selected gifts
  • Manages a system to prioritize, prepare, send and track stewardship reports for gifts as well as any special stewardship requests, including researching and producing all content for the reports
  • Manages a system to prioritize, prepare and track any major gift proposals as well as any special proposal requests
  • Responsible for the development and implementation of donor recognition plans, which may include special acknowledgements, press releases, plaques, recognition gifts, event announcements, and/or signage, as well as any special donor recognition requests
  • Budgets for, incurs, and reports on all stewardship-related expenses
  • Proactively seeks donor engagement opportunities


  • Participates in planning meetings with the donor’s primary solicitors to determine the appropriate activity types and timing for each donor
  • Meets regularly with the Director of Advancement, Associate Director of Development & Alumni Affairs, development staff, the Student Awards and Financial Aid Office representatives, and Graduate Studies Office representatives to enhance current stewardship programs and design new programs intended to accomplish a collaborative approach that invites input and participation, a commitment to stewardship planning which incorporates meaningful donor engagement and integrated stewardship planning and programming with the central advancement donor relations and stewardship team
  • Develops and sustains excellent working relationships at all levels of the faculty and university to generate interest and participation in stewardship initiatives
  • Works collaboratively with senior writing staff to prepare and provide clear, concise and complete verbal and written information for stewardship communications tools at a level appropriate to the audience (e.g. students, donor, external awards review committee, etc.)
  • Works collaboratively with development, alumni and student relations staff to develop, implement and track a strategic affinity plan that engenders a culture of philanthropy across the Faculty of Engineering through engaging student, alumni and donor group events, aligned with marquee milestones each year (Summer Semester, Thanksgiving, Commencement)
  • Works collaboratively with development staff to develop and implement strategies to attract additional contributions from existing donors
  • Acts as a contact for development officers and donors to address questions about donor funds


  • Ensures that all gifts and pledges are acknowledged appropriately and effectively and in a timely manner
  • Writes custom acknowledgement letters and other responses to direct mail and individual gifts
  • Composes donor and prospective donor correspondence for the Dean and development staff
  • Creates and arranges delivery of custom stewardship reports and other communications (e.g., endowment reports, thank you notes from scholarship recipients, relationship documents, chair reports, 1957 Society certificates) that demonstrate the impact of the donor’s gifts
  • Arranges the ordering and installation of various donor recognition items (e.g., plaques, donor walls, trees, gardens)
  • Collaborates with appropriate development staff on the design and execution of selected stewardship events including in person stewardship reports and dedication ceremonies
  • Makes guest recommendations for event invitation lists based on donors’ interests and relationships
  • Organizes large-scale, high-profile recognition events (e.g., gift announcements, ground breakings, grand openings, donor receptions, special performances) on campus, in the community, and occasionally abroad.  This may involve, but is not limited to creation of the event agenda, engagement of speakers, booking of venue, contracting of audio-visual services, distribution of invitations, tracking of participants, purchase of gifts, arrangements of photography and publicity, budgeting and reconciliation, etc.
  • Organizes special campus visits, tours, speaking engagements, luncheons with student award recipients, etc. for donors and prospective donors
  • Arranges invitations to special events (e.g., institutional anniversary celebrations, retirement parties, president’s ideas exchanges, distinguished lectures, etc.)
  • Provides on-site oversight on event days to direct activities and problem solve as needed
  • Coordinates scholarship recipient communications with scholarship donors, including thank you letters to be written by students
  • Working with the development staff, drafts gift agreements as needed, circulate through appropriate channels and track signatures
  • Ensures gifts are being spent in a timely and appropriate manner (e.g., awards are disbursed, endowment funds are being utilized)


  • Manage all faculty-wide sponsors and stakeholders of the Waterloo Engineering Capstone Design Program, including collaborating with development staff to solicit and develop new sponsorships for the program and map out corporate activations
  • Develop and execute on both short and long term sponsorship strategic plans for the Capstone Design Program
  • Greet and steward sponsors at Capstone Design Program Symposiums and related activations
  • Provide summary report to all faculty-wide sponsors of their return on investment
  • Proactively develop and maintain trustworthy, productive, problem-solving working relationships with sponsor contacts, Faculty Capstone Coordinators and program staff, across each Engineering Department, maintaining and dispersing information to groups as required
  • Responsible for the management of approved sponsorship activation budget(s) in accordance with the goals outlined for faculty-wide Capstone Design Program sponsor(s)


  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 5+ years of experience working in a stewardship, donor relations or marketing role with a proven track record of planning and delivering high-quality personalized stewardship events and activities.  Previous work in an academic setting is an asset
  • Competencies will include: excellent problem-solving capabilities and analytical skills, process and detail oriented with ability to think creatively and strategically, good understanding of event planning and stewardship best practices, organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to handle multiple priorities and deadlines, exceptional interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills with proven ability to interact appropriately with various individuals, including senior university administrators, donors, sponsors, alumni, vendors, and volunteers.  Proven experience developing communications and marketing materials using Adobe Creative Suite (e.g., InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premier Pro) Ability to work independently and collaboratively. Experience with front-line fundraising an asset

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.


The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.


All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.


The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.


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