For over 100 years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been giving young Canadians the confidence to achieve more by developing and implementing a wide range of mentoring services. Many young people find themselves in vulnerable situations and facing adversities such as mental health struggles, family violence, identity issues or challenging living conditions, which put these youth at risk of not reaching their full potential. With the guidance and support of professionally trained volunteer mentors, these risks can be minimized or avoided all together. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada (BBBSC) is the National Office for 108 member agencies serving over 1,300 communities across Canada. Our role is that of catalyst, facilitator, and guardian of the brand. We provide support, services, training, and leadership to our member agencies, which deliver quality mentoring programs to over 40,000 children annually by mobilizing 21,300 volunteers.

Position Description:

The National Director, Community Engagement is a pivotal member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Office Team, and the nationwide network. Primarily responsible for all communication functions, this person will set the tone for inspirational messaging behind all Big Brothers Big Sisters marketing and communications, including traditional and social media content. This person will support the Big Brothers Big Sisters National Office Team to cultivate and engage key influencers and audiences with well-constructed communications.

This newly-created position is responsible for planning, developing, implementing and measuring a comprehensive marketing and communications program including stakeholder communications, media relations, issues management, digital communications, social media strategy, and thought leadership all in support of enhancing organizational awareness, acquiring new donors, and building a positive brand image.

Reporting to the Vice President, Communications and Partnership Development, this is a contract position, located in Toronto and is available immediately. The Director oversees one direct report and will be involved in managing relationships with vendors or freelancers as required.


Strategy and Planning

  • Develop, manage and execute a multi-platform, strategic marketing and communications plan that advances Big Brothers Big Sisters strategic directives and includes an annual Big Brothers Big Sister Month National Marketing Campaign, a comprehensive digital strategy, online fundraising strategy and analysis, as well as individual donor solicitation and stewardship strategies.
  • Responsible for online and direct mail campaigns as well as print, email, and social media marketing, an annual editorial calendar, and corresponding budgets.
  • Develop benchmarks, metrics, and tracking mechanisms for evaluation and reporting on all strategies; analyze, review and report on effectiveness of campaigns to maximize results and make recommendations for future campaigns.
  • Monitor emerging issues that may have significant implications for risk or negative publicity for Big Brothers Big Sisters and proactively advises senior leadership and other key stakeholders, as appropriate.
  • Direct the management of communications with the media and develops key messages for use by the Board of Directors and Leadership Teams; maintain effective proactive and reactive media relations to raise the positive profile of the organization.
  • Cultivate and steward relationships with bloggers, influencers, partners and ambassadors as appropriate to increase digital reach and influence.
  • Work cross-functionally to create content for a diverse set of audiences: local Big Brother Big Sister agencies, all categories of donors, the Government of Canada and its various departments, media, youth, mentors, community partners, and event participants.
  • Work with CRM system to improve data integrity and create reports to help us more efficiently target and market to our various audiences.

Digital Marketing and Communications

  • Stay on top of best practices and emerging trends to provide strategic advice and counsel related to the organization’s digital platforms.
  • Use in-depth knowledge and understanding of Social Media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.) and how users engage with each to deliver best-in-class experiences.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the organization’s English/French website and make recommendations for improvement/development.
  • Oversee email marketing plans including the effective coordination, creation, and distribution of enewsletters and branded emails.
  • Champion growth of the digital footprint and reach of the organization.
  • Work with relevant cross-functional team members to capitalize on campaign automation, predictive modelling, and targeting opportunities as internal CRM tools and capabilities evolve.

Fund Development and Donor Stewardship

  • Create and monitor individual fundraising strategies, and develop processes to ensure consistent tracking and evaluation of materials and ROI of communications pieces.
  • Manage and steward individual donors, securing further gifts and/or elevating them to major gifts when appropriate.
  • Support the planning and execution of integrated fundraising campaigns and create related materials.
  • Work with full team to implement a wide range of acquisition, reporting, and stewardship materials.

Analytics and Knowledge Mobilization

  • Ensure rigorous campaign post mortems are conducted and that key learnings and actionable insights are shared.
  • Generate data-based insights to strengthen the integrated marketing and communications strategy and inform future initiatives.
  • Transform actionable donor and market insights into lifecycle marketing campaigns designed to acquire, retain, and develop supporters.
  • Ensures stakeholder information is inputted into appropriate CRM and/or tracking systems.
  • Develop targets to track and analyze the effectiveness of public relations and advertising campaigns, email and social media marketing, as well as content of website and all other communications tools.
  • Report on key performance indicators (KPIs) related to marketing and communications plans to senior management and internal stakeholders.

Team and Project Management

  • Responsible for fostering an ethical, positive, results-oriented culture founded on open communication and collaboration.
  • Provide expertise and leadership in the area of community engagement, and lead interactions with the Big Brothers Big Sisters network.
  • Develop strong working relationships with BBBS team members, and coach and develop their communications and marketing skills, and an audience-focused mentality.
  • Work with the National Communications and Marketing Committee to support all national communication and marketing activities.
  • Work closely with National Director, Philanthropy and National Director, Stewardship to plan and executive donor-focused initiatives.
  • Official staff liaison with any communication related external suppliers and consultants and main staff lead for all communication content.

About You

You are someone who takes initiative while demonstrating excellent judgment and a keen awareness of how your work connects with other areas of the organization and the community. You are flexible, comfortable in an evolving role with few precedents, adept in navigating a complex, multi-stakeholder environment, and can admirably balance a high volume of work with high-quality output. Bilingualism (English and French) is a definite asset.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • University degree and/or other relevant credentials related to marketing and communications or a related subject area.
  • 4-6 years of relevant working experience, with demonstrative results.
  • Proven background in developing and executing integrated, strategic communications and marketing plans that build positive brand awareness, raise funds, and achieve organization goals.
  • Experience working in a fundraising or charitable environment, and overseeing staff and external designers/supports.
  • Experience with content management systems, social platforms, Google Analytics and other analytics tools, SEO, A/B testing, and other content optimization techniques.
  • Experience developing and maintaining a Brand voice that resonates with target demographics and remains consistent across platforms.
  • A record of success building and executing marketing strategies focused on donor acquisition (segmentation, targeting, and positioning).
  • Strong analytical skills, understanding of data analytics and CRM systems.
  • Strong project management and organizational skills.

Competencies and Skills:

  • Gifted story teller who can appeal to a diverse audience.
  • Editorial mind that can understand what audiences need and enjoy.
  • Genuine passion for the cause, marketing, and digital media.
  • Strong understanding of the connection between marketing, communications, and fundraising.
  • Collaborator who identifies opportunities for the organization and brings new ideas and concepts forward for discussion.
  • Proactive, solution‐ and service-oriented approach.
  • Positive and results-oriented, with the interpersonal skills and integrity that inspire trust.
  • Organized, systematic; has the ability to manage multiple projects, deadlines and shifting priorities with minimal supervision.
  • Strategic thinker with an eye for detail; ability to evaluate and synthesize disparate pieces of information into a clear strategy, and take a project from ideation to completion.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Team player with a positive “can do” attitude.

Some travel may be required.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada is committed to principles of anti-oppression and employment equity. We encourage members of indigenous, ethno-racial, LGBTQ+, Francophone, immigrant, refugee, differently abled and other equity seeking groups to apply and self-identify. Language abilities, especially bilingualism (English and French) are considered a definite asset.


Application Process

Interested and qualified applicants may apply by submitting your resume and an accompanying cover letter, including salary expectations, by no later than May 23, 2018, to Linda Bott, National Director, Finance and Administrative Services.

Please ensure your application email has the subject heading of ‘[insert your name] – National Director, Community Engagement ’.

If accommodation if required during the hiring process, please inform the hiring committee once selected for an interview.

Start date dependent on funding.

We thank all applicants but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.