University of Waterloo

  • Engagement Officer

    Requisition ID
    Job Category
    5255 - Advancement-Principal Gifts
    Job Status
    Temporary Appointment (Contract)
    Hiring Range
    $54,589 - $68,236
  • Overview

    Term: 1 Year


    The Engagement Officer’s responsibility is to develop, recommend and, where appropriate, execute a range of high-impact engagement and cultivation strategies, plans and activities, including events, to assist in the qualification and cultivation of major and principal level prospects. The focus of activity will be with current donors but also long-lapsed donors, non-donors and non-alumni in order to grow the university’s donor pipeline with prospects that are critical to the university’s philanthropic success. A secondary focus will be cultivation strategies for corporations and foundations. They will work in direct support of the Associate Vice-President (AVP) Advancement Strategy and Director, Advancement Strategy to mobilize creative and customized cultivation strategies for the University’s top donors and prospects. The incumbent will collaborate with stakeholders throughout the university, especially in faculty Advancement teams, in an effort to support their Major and Principal level donor cultivation strategies. They will also work collaboratively with all members of the Advancement Strategy team, especially the Stewardship Officer, to identify and execute on opportunities for donor and prospect engagement with an emphasis on expanding the university’s major and principal giving donor pipeline.


    Cultivation and Engagement Strategy

    • Collaborate with AVP, Advancement Strategy; Director, Advancement Strategy; the Advancement Strategy team; and faculty Advancement colleagues to create highly customized engagement plans to qualify and cultivate Major and Principal Gift prospects
    • Identify new and creative cultivation strategies and activities to be carried out by front-line fundraisers meeting and engaging with major and principal level donors who are in qualification and cultivation stages of the donor engagement pipeline
    • Participate in planning meetings with the prospects’ primary solicitors or relationship managers (i.e., Advancement Strategy team, faculty solicitors, Office of the Vice-President) to determine the appropriate cultivation activities and timing for each prospect
    • Manage the list of actions arising in prospect strategy documents, tracking progress and sending reminders for team members to complete essential tasks
    • Work in tandem with the Associate Director, Strategic Research to identify prospects who are in need of specialized cultivation strategies
    • Recommend creative donor cultivation options that are appropriate for the type/level of the prospect, budget, timeline, and known history and preferences of the prospect; work closely with the primary solicitor to secure consensus on these customized plans
    • Remain knowledgeable of “best practice” models from the philanthropic industry, always seeking new ideas and methods for engagement of prospects and donors

    Donor and Prospect Events and Experiences

    • Work in close collaboration with various Advancement Strategy and faculty team members on donor events and customized prospect experiences, including but not limited to large scale events, roundtable discussions, small dinners/gatherings, campus visits, individualized gifts or communications
    • Assist the Advancement Strategy Stewardship Officer to execute tailored events for donors, recognizing that donors are in a cycle of engagement from cultivation to solicitation to stewardship
    • Make strategic guest recommendations for event invitation lists
    • Remain current on knowledge of campus activities, campus and community news, impactful stories, and research as means for further engagement and cultivation of donors
    • Understand the fundraising priorities of the university and how these could link to prospective donors
    • Strategically participate in pipeline meetings, when invited, to report on and discuss future cultivation plans with Major and Principal Gift prospects

    Administration and Reporting

    • Project manage cultivation and engagement initiatives; track timelines, responsibilities, and colleagues’ follow-through on key elements of the strategy to ensure success
    • Track the performance of these activities (qualitative and quantitative), assessing their impact and reporting back to the Director, Advancement Strategy on a continual basis
    • Develop and share templates or procedure documents for specific strategies thus promoting repeatability and scaling of activities
    • Other duties as assigned

    Collaboration and Communication

    • Act as the liaison between the Advancement Strategy and Alumni Relations teams, identifying areas of collaboration, especially as relates to uncovering and cultivating new Major and Principal level prospects
    • Encourage close collaboration and sharing of knowledge and expertise between colleagues in Central Office (OA), the Faculties/Colleges and other UWaterloo business units
    • Collaborate regularly with the Associate Director, Prospect Research on projects and other initiatives, especially those related to prospect identification and pipeline development
    • Liaise regularly with Faculty Advancement Teams, Development and Alumni Relations Team, Office of Research, Co-operative Education, and other key units in donor cultivation strategy as needed
    • Always remain confident, yet collaborative and open-minded with cross campus colleagues


    • Bachelor’s degree required, or equivalent combination of education and experience
    • 3 years of progressive experience in a fundraising or a donor-centric role and track record of developing and implementing donor-centric projects or programs
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and strong organizational capabilities
    • Ability to set priorities and manage multiple tasks of high value to the institution
    • Strong collaboration skills
    • Ease in interacting with a diverse client base both internal and external to the University
    • A working knowledge of the university environment is a definite asset
    • Demonstrated competency in critical and strategic thinking
    • Excellent reporting and data analysis skills
    • Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office


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