Philanthropy Director

The Walrus Foundation is a charitable non-profit with an educational mandate to support writers, artists, ideas, and forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. It achieves this by publishing Canada’s most honoured magazine, The Walrus; producing a curated speakers’ series, the Walrus Talks; offering original content on its award-winning website,; and producing other innovative digital projects such as Walrus Ebooks, Walrus TV, and the Walrus Podcast. The Walrus Foundation also runs a donor-supported editorial fellowship program.

The Walrus Foundation is seeking a development leader who is an experienced fundraiser and a creative, strategic thinker. Reporting to the Executive Director and assisted by a Coordinator, the Philanthropy Director will lead a multi-faceted annual fundraising campaign in support of the Foundation’s various educational activities. The Philanthropy Director will be responsible for raising approximately $1.5 million annually through renewals, new individuals gifts, our Campaign for Optimistic Canadians, corporate donations, government grants, and an annual gala.


The ideal candidate is passionate about the national conversation and The Walrus’s core areas of focus: arts and culture, the environment, politics and world affairs, fiction and poetry, health and science, law and justice. He or she will possess intellectual curiosity, as well as an eagerness to learn about the Walrus “planet” and benefit from the experience and knowledge of colleagues.

The ideal candidate is a highly self-motivated, analytical leader who will execute thoughtful development strategies across multiple platforms, including direct mail, email, and social media, in addition to heading major fundraising efforts.

The Philanthropy Director will play a vital role in securing, maintaining, and fostering relationships within the Walrus Foundation’s growing community of donors. Employing exemplary operational skills, he or she will lead the advancement of fundraising initiatives for individual gifts, government and foundation grants, corporate donations, and an annual “signature” fundraising gala.

A strong communicator, the ideal candidate will inspire major donors and build trust and respect among other senior leaders, staff, and volunteers. The Philanthropy Director will also work closely with the Board of Directors on strategic planning, matters of governance and recruitment, and other priorities.

  • Ensure that best practices and standards are adhered to in all areas of development activity
  • Create and manage the annual development plan with clear strategies for how to achieve ambitious annual targets
  • Participate in the annual budgeting process; monitor all of the division’s revenue and expenses
  • Manage ongoing prospect research, identification, and review in an effort to deepen and diversify prospect pool
  • Oversee cultivation and solicitation activities, including proposal development, donor engagement, visits, follow-up, etc.
  • Develop communications tools to support fundraising efforts
  • Ensure all donations are acknowledged appropriately through a comprehensive donor recognition program that includes letters, an annual donor report, specific campaigns, and attestations to gift impact
  • Identify and oversee government-grant submissions
  • Lead targeted direct-mail and digital-philanthropy initiatives
  • Manage the back-end structure, including data-entry processes and confidentiality of donor records
  • Provide encouragement and coaching for Development team members to ensure success, retention, and continued growth
  • CFRE designation will be considered an asset
  • Sound knowledge of fundraising principles and process
  • A proven track record of meeting or exceeding fundraising goals
  • Demonstrated success in the areas of annual giving, donor relations, major gifts, and government and foundation grants
  • Experience in the effective management and support of senior volunteers and board members for major gift fundraising
  • A highly creative and innovative approach to fundraising and problem solving
  • Good understanding of data-management systems
  • Knowledge of social media and digital marketing will be considered an asset
  • Superior collaborative and interpersonal skills; the ability to motivate others
  • Strong relationship-building skills and the ability to get along well with a wide range of people
  • Strong work ethic, superior organizational skills, agility, resourcefulness, and flexibility
  • Adeptness at planning, prioritizing, multi-tasking, organizing, and stewarding projects and plans while remaining highly energetic and focused
  • A knowledge of the country and its leaders in business, the arts, and government
  • Ability to articulate the Walrus Foundation’s mission, mandate, track record, excellence, priorities, and goals with enthusiasm, energy, and creativity; the ability to impel others to take action
  • Emotional maturity, a strong boardroom presence, personal dynamism, excellent interpersonal skills, vision, and business acumen
  • Capacity to excel in an environment of change and ambiguity
  • Proficiency working in a Microsoft Office environment and with database-management tools (ideally Salesforce)

A competitive compensation package including an annual base salary and benefits will be provided.

Qualified and interested candidates are encouraged to send a cover letter and CV to [email protected] before March 20, 2015. Please express your interest promptly, as candidate submissions will be evaluated on an ongoing basis.


The Walrus Editorial Fellowship Program—a pilot project funded by the Chawkers Foundation and other like-minded donors, and administered by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation—trains young professionals in editorial work, to the rigorous standards of Canada’s celebrated magazine of long-form journalism, ideas, and culture. Editorial Fellows research story ideas with editors; and fact-check and proof the content of The Walrus in print and mobile editions. Additional “desk assignments” include reviewing unsolicited submissions; monitoring and compiling web comments, tweets, and letters to the editor; gathering biographical information for the Contributors page; and assisting the online and tablet editors with digital and expanded content.

Editorial Fellows also have access to training seminars led by editors and staff of the Walrus Foundation, in topics ranging from copy editing and magazine theory to circulation and non-profit development. The full-time fellowships pay $400 per week per fellow, for six months.

The Walrus Foundation is now accepting applications for Editorial Fellowships, to begin on Monday, April 13.

We will begin reviewing applications on March 2, but will accept materials until available positions are filled. To apply, please submit a single PDF that includes a statement of purpose, a resumé, and two letters of reference to Graeme Bayliss, copy editor of The Walrus, [email protected]. Qualified applicants will receive a set of tasks related to their prospective duties, along with a deadline. Selected applicants will then interview at the Walrus Foundation’s offices in Toronto. The process is competitive.

We are eternally grateful to our founding donor, the Chawkers Foundation, for funding the inaugural Walrus Editorial Fellows, and for its support of education, training, and all things Walrus. Meet the current Editorial Fellows below.

Mary Newman, Chawkers Fellow


Photograph by Harley Rustad

Mary graduated from Manchester University with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion. Prior to moving to Canada from London, England, she worked for BBC Radio 4 in news and current affairs, mentored refugees, and played bass guitar in a metal band. She is particularly interested in fine art, film, and food.

Alex Tesar, Krembil Fellow
Photograph of Alex Tesar

A prolific writer of blank pages, Alex Tesar has not lived anywhere for more than a year since he graduated from the University of King’s College in 2012, where he wrote an award-winning thesis on the creative capacities of artificial intelligence. He has worked at Lapham’s Quarterly and as an English teacher in South Korea, in addition to a number of less-savoury occupations. He is passionate about scuba diving, oceanic conservation, and robots.

Michael Fraiman, Pitblado Fellow


Photograph of Michael Fraiman

Michael has eaten charred scorpion in Beijing, chased a bus from Laos to Vietnam, and climbed a frozen Icelandic mountain literally named “You-Can’t-Climb-It Mountain”—all stories that appear in his upcoming book, A Long Way Back: Stories of Travelling Home. He is an editor at Torontoist and Metro News, was a former traffic boy at CBC Radio One, and has been published in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and Action Asia Magazine.


The following individuals may be considered eligible for an internship in the disciplines of art, digital, marketing, events, development at the Walrus Foundation:

  1. A secondary school student who performs work under a work experience program authorized by the school board that operates the school in which the student is enrolled;
  2. An individual who performs work under a program approved by a college of applied arts and technology or a university.

More information and timelines to come.