Career Transition:

If your employer has provided you with Career Transition Support through Optimum Talent, click here to get started.

Get Support With:
  • Career planning + assessment
  • Resume development + optimization
  • Creating your professional online profile
  • Networking training + events
  • Interview preparation

Current Opportunities

Executive Director – The Sarah McLachlan Foundation


The Sarah McLachlan Foundation has existed for almost 20 years in support of the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. The mission is to not only fund the Sarah McLachlan School of Music, but to also broaden the Foundation’s scope and strategically support other arts programs across Canada.

The Sarah McLachlan School of Music is a registered charity providing after-school music programming at no cost to over 1,000 students annually. The School teaches not only music, but also a broad range of life skills. Students grow musically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually. They develop self-esteem, resilience, the ability to act responsibly and independently, and learn the importance of being active, engaged community members. For more information, please refer to



Job Title:Executive Director
Reports to:Board of Directors
Location:Vancouver, British Columbia



Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director (ED) will be responsible for shaping the Sarah McLachlan Foundation’s vision and strategy while exemplifying its values and implementing its mission.

The Executive Director will lead and oversee all fundraising efforts, including the development and execution of strategic and operational plans. The objective is to establish a healthy, sustainable, and effective charitable Foundation. In addition, the Executive Director will explore new opportunities to extend the reach of the Foundation nationally and will pursue the Foundation’s continuous growth and development so that the Board’s objectives are translated into actionable plans with measurable impact. We are looking for a trusted leader with an entrepreneurial spirit who will broaden the Foundation’s scope as well as expand the Foundation to a national level.


Key Accountabilities

  • Lead the development and implementation of a strategy that will shape the future of the Foundation and establish a Foundation plan with annual objectives based on goals and budget considerations.
  • Design and implement the fundraising strategy, and represent the Foundation through engagement with donors and supporters, both public and private. This includes but is not limited to developing innovative fundraising strategies, digital campaigns, microdonation opportunities, and large-scale fundraising initiatives.
  • Implement effective donor stewardship for all donors. Stewardship includes managing donor’s gift intentions and expectations within the parameters of the Foundation to create a long-term, trusted, and mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Represent the Sarah McLachlan Foundation by effectively communicating its mission, vision, and program priorities.
  • Maintain an ongoing dialogue with the Board on successes and failures measured against key strategic priorities, recalibrating as needed to achieve stated goals.
  • Be the face of the Sarah McLachlan Foundation. A trusted and respected leader representing the Foundation in local, regional, and national philanthropic circles of influence; public and private events; the community at large; and other relevant engagements.
  • Cultivate, build, and maintain strong and authentic relationships with a wide range of partners, communities, and business leaders to understand and articulate evolving needs.
  • Seek out and develop key strategic partnerships. Leverage these partnerships to maximize the Foundation’s fundraising efforts.
  • Work in close partnership with the Sarah McLachlan School of Music’s leadership team to understand the impact and needs of the School.
  • Supervise the preparation of any regulatory reports, website content, grants, and other communications materials and outreach activities.
  • Establish policies and procedures, organizational structure, systems and other infrastructure that reflect best practices and provide the appropriate base to support the growth and effective management of the Foundation.
  • Oversee the preparation of budgets for the Board of Directors, as well as oversee the annual financial audit, tax filings, and maintenance of records.
  • Work with the Board of Directors to establish and maintain best practices in non-profit governance.
  • Arrange and attend board meetings, including preparing the agenda, overseeing materials development, implementing board directives, communicating with the Board between meetings, and overseeing the preparation of board meeting minutes.



Success in the first year will be determined by the candidate’s ability to:

  • Fully understand the Foundation, its mandate, and the scope of the Executive Director role;
  • Fully understand the School of Music, including its mission, impact, strategy and its relation to the Foundation;
  • Establish relationships with existing major donors and establish a robust stewardship program;
  • Develop a comprehensive fund-development strategy utilizing previously untapped channels;
  • Develop a marketing strategy to raise the Foundation’s profile;
  • Gain enough traction in the ecosystem to raise $1M+ for the Foundation by the 12 month mark; and
  • Have a strong plan for the 20 by 20 Campaign (i.e. at least $20M raised for the next 20 years).



The successful candidate will possess the following:


  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree. A Master’s degree or higher is preferred.
  • Blackbaud Certification is preferred (Certification for completing the Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge NXT Fundamentals Exam should be provided).



  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience.
  • Entrepreneurial mindset with a successful track record in charitable sector leadership.
  • Demonstrated experience in working with high-profile individuals and major donors.
  • Strong and proven fundraising experience in the non-profit sector (proven track record with specifics should be provided).
  • Strong background in team management and an ability to work with artistic individuals partnered with a willingness to adapt to and embrace varied communication styles, interests, and personalities.
  • Track record of seeking out and leveraging strategic partnerships.
  • Understands and experienced in non-profit governance.
  • Tech savvy, including experience with Razor’s Edge or other donor related software.


Competencies and Attributes

  • Strong alignment with the Founder’s vision and passion for the Foundation with a boldness for creative new ideas and areas for growth.
  • Demonstrated passion for youth, music, and the nurturing of youth and mental health.
  • Strategic thinker with a creative and innovative mindset who excels at storytelling and building strong strategic narratives.
  • Articulate and effective communicator with strengths in public speaking, presentations, and written communications.
  • Ability to manage multiple competing priorities while delivering outcomes on-time and on-budget.
  • Integrity, authenticity, and honesty.
  • Deep commitment to the vision and values of the School and its Founder.
  • Professional presence who is comfortable interacting within major donor circles and strategic partnerships.
  • Intrinsically motivated to achieve excellence.
  • High confidence in navigating ambiguous and dynamic situations, sometimes with competing priorities.
  • Respectful and compassionate.
  • Values equity, diversity, and inclusivity.
  • Ability to lead and build teams with a culture of openness, trust, loyalty, and purpose while balancing the ability to work independently.
  • Coachable and collaborative.
  • Hungry and excited to dig in, with a willingness to work hard and develop plans while showing tangible results.
  • Ability to travel within Canada, USA, and abroad as needed (must have a valid passport).



An excellent compensation package awaits the successful candidate.



The Sarah McLachlan Foundation. is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion and recognizes that a diverse team benefits and enriches our work and is essential to operational excellence. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals and encourage women, members of racialized communities, Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity to confidentially self-identify at time of application. In accordance with provincial legislation, accommodation will be provided by Optimum Talent and The Sarah McLachlan Foundation throughout the recruitment, selection and/or assessment process, upon request, to applicants with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:

Please send your resume in Word or PDF format to: Copy and Paste the following job title and code and place it in the subject line of your email so we can identify the job and confirm receipt of your application:
ARLL-565670 Executive Director – The Sarah McLachlan Foundation - BC - Vancouver and Area (OTIAPPLY)

Please note that only those candidates meeting the selection criteria, established by our client, will be contacted further. Although we may not contact you directly for this particular role, all applications will be reviewed as we would like to consider you for future opportunities that may be appropriate. We encourage you to continue to visit our website at as our opportunities are updated on a regular basis.