Director, Development & External Relations

Are you a passionate communications/fund development professional looking to apply your creative energy and talents to meaningful work that serves people in your community?  

Dogs with Wings Assistance Dog Society (DWW) is a mighty non-profit agency that transforms the lives of individuals and social service agencies by providing highly trained Assistance Dogs to clients.  We are currently seeking a dynamic individual to plan and lead all communications, fund development activities, and engage key stakeholders in driving our philanthropic endeavors forward.  Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director, Development & External Relations will be part of the senior leadership team and will be responsible for these functional areas:  philanthropy/fund development, communications, and volunteer services. 

Key Areas of Responsibility:   

  • Provide leadership, motivation, mentorship, and support to a team of communications, fundraising and prospect management professionals, ensuring that annual objectives are being achieved, if not exceeded. 
  • Play an integral role in future campaign planning and execution, including pipeline development, building cases for support, and conducting external and internal feasibility studies.  
  • Develop deep and long-lasting partnerships with various stakeholders – ie. Media, industry and individual donors, in support of DWW’s strategic direction  
  • Manage a portfolio of key accounts, delivering compelling fundraising proposals and presentations on a regular basis  
  • Ensure the coordination of major gift fundraising across DWW, including collaboration with leadership teams to identify compelling fundraising priorities and initiatives.  
  • Lead the development, monitoring, and on-going management of the prospect pipeline. Ensure the accurate and ethical reporting of fundraising achievement, including regular review and management of fundraising activities in the CRM.  
  • Lead the development team in building comprehensive cultivation and solicitation strategies in support of major gift fundraising, including regular account review and forecasting. Evaluate current performance metrics as well as regular review and establishment of additional key metrics  
  • Create opportunities for interaction among DWW staff and potential donors, thereby enhancing the potential for giving, by representing DWW at various functions. Manage and deliver administrative activities, including budgetary management, staff planning and recruitment.   
  • Leverage communications activities to heighten the profile of DWW, manage relationships strategically to raise awareness and garner monetary support for DWW  
  • Leverage Volunteer Services to engage in philanthropic activities and generate goodwill in the community  

Skills and Abilities: 

  • Deep understanding and demonstrated success of integrated communications and fundraising achievement and portfolio management 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, with the proven ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with a wide range of individuals, including the ability to recruit, motivate, and lead a team of professionals  
  • Ability to make decisions and recommendations on fundraising priority development, investment proposals and strategy development is critical  
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills, with demonstrated success in proposal development and in conducting face to face meetings for major solicitations  
  • Demonstrated experience in the full spectrum of development including, fundraising policies, solicitations, stewardship, donor recognition, and administration  
  • Ability to remain composed and focused under pressure, and to be viewed as a source of confidence in high-stress situations  
  • Pursues everything with passion, dedication, and the need to succeed and persists in the face of challenges and setbacks  
  • Empathetic, business-savvy and a results-driven, with a keen ability to spot future trends and utilize data to develop strong, compelling strategies  
  • Strong time management, project management, financial planning, and budgetary skills 
  • Required to adopt and apply the Association of Fundraising Professional code of ethics in daily practices  


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Business, Communications, Public Relations, or a related field 
  • Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation attained or in progress  
  • Extensive experience in major gift ($20,000+) and leadership ($1,000,000+) level fundraising in a complex organization 
  • A minimum of 5 years progressively responsible senior-level leadership experience, with the ability to motivate a team and drive results. A combination of experience in private, public and non-profit organizations is considered an asset 

This is a permanent full-time term position (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) with some irregular hours from time to time (evenings and weekends) around events and other activities.  This position includes health/dental benefits, flex time, and an annual vacation allotment. Additionally, this position offers five added days off. 

Application Process:  

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to by the closing date of Friday, March 8, 2024 (midnight), or until a suitable candidate has been found.  Please include your base salary expectation in your cover letter.  Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.  

DWW strives to provide access and accommodations throughout the application and selection process.  We invite applications from all qualified candidates and welcome self-declarations of status in the interest of equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

Apply Here