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Jobs, fellowships, and internships at the Walrus Foundation

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Director of Philanthropy


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 Director of Philanthropy will lead a multi-faceted annual fundraising campaign in support of the Foundation’s various educational activities. The Director of Philanthropy will be responsible for raising approximately $1.5 million annually through renewals, new individuals gifts, our Campaign for Optimistic Canadians, corporate donations, government grants, assisting a fundraising board of directors, 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 Director of Philanthropy 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 Director of Philanthropy 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
  • Ensure – with the Executive Director – the Foundation complies with its CRA educational mandate
  • 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
  • Great attention to detail regarding donors, donations, deadlines, everything
  • 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 individuals should send their resume and cover letter to [email protected] by December 16, 2015.


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 commence May 9, 2016.

The deadline for applications is 11:59 p.m. on March 13, 2016. To apply, please submit a single PDF that includes a statement of purpose, a resumé, and two letters of reference to Graeme Bayliss, Managing 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.

Erica Lenti, Chawkers Fellow
Photograph of Erica Lenti

A lover of the printed word, Erica Lenti is the fanatical woman you will find sniffing newly shipped magazines at the back of your local bookstore. Her writing career began with a few failed submissions to elementary-school poetry contests, though she has now written for Hazlitt, Toronto Life, TVO, and Maisonneuve. She graduated from Ryerson University’s School of Journalism in 2015, where she served as editor for the award-winning Ryerson Review of Journalism. She is most passionate about LGBTQ issues, mental health, the constructs of gender, and hedgehogs.

Nathaniel Basen, Chawkers Fellow
Photograph of Nathaniel Basen

Nathaniel Basen—a magazine writer—is very bad at beginnings and endings. Raised in downtown Toronto, he spent summers exploring eastern Canada by canoe. He moved to Halifax at eighteen, where he earned a bachelor of journalism with combined honours in history at the University of King’s College. He simultaneously worked in university athletics and edited Dalhousie’s undergraduate history journal. Moving back to his hometown in 2015, Nathaniel worked with This magazine followed by Spacing. His writing searches for areas where his passions intersect, namely: sport, wilderness, cities, economics, and politics.

Rhiannon Russell, Pitblado Fellow
Photograph of Rhiannon Russell

Rhiannon Russell has reported from the middle of the Bay of Fundy, a naturist park north of Toronto (while naked), and a courthouse in Whitehorse. She grew up in a suburb of Hamilton, and studied journalism at Ryerson University. She’s interned at the Telegraph-Journal in Saint John and Maisonneuve in Montreal, and recently returned to Ontario after working at a newspaper in the Yukon. Rhiannon is interested in culture, social justice issues, and crime.


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.

The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit (No. 861851624-RR0001) with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms: publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year, in print, tablet, and smart phone editions; curating the Walrus Talks, leadership dinners, speakers’ series, and other events across the country; posting original, high-quality content at; and through such digital projects as Walrus Ebooks. The foundation also partners with Blue Ant Media to produce documentaries and other programming at; and trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development.

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