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Vice-President, Development

Ocean Wise Conservation Association
$200,000.00 - $260,000.00
Closing date
Mar 22, 2024

Accelerating Impactful Ocean Action

Ocean Wise an ocean conservation group with global ambitions, uniting passionate collaborators, both big and small, who seek practical solutions with tangible impact.

Through deep knowledge and innovation, Ocean Wise creates impact in the water that protects and restores the ocean. Ocean Wise is working to scale game-changing solutions that fight climate change and rewild the ocean through seaforestation; feed people by scaling demand for sustainably sourced seafood; clean the seas by working to reduce plastics headed to the water; save whales from being hit by ships and grow a pipeline of ocean leaders through global education programs. With a focus on meaningful action, Ocean Wise is an exciting organization to work for. With deep experience in the field of ocean conservation, strong partnerships and support from everyday citizens, Ocean Wise is taking a critical moment to create lasting change for the ocean.

Ocean Wise is at an important moment of growth and is building a first-class fundraising operation to support expansion across Canada, into the United States and around the world. With an ambition of raising $45 million annually by 2030, Ocean Wise is seeking a Vice President of Development with a strong understanding of the landscape of philanthropic giving for the environment; a track record of identifying, stewarding and closing significant philanthropic gifts; a network of prospects in Canada and/or the US; and a passion for managing a dynamic team across annual giving, major gifts, HNWI and foundations. The right candidate will have an entrepreneurial spirit.

Ocean Wise’s core values - Knowledge, Integrity, Extreme Collaboration, Impact, & Optimism - represent our highest priorities. These values are at the heart of how we do our work and serve as cultural cornerstones exemplified by all members of our team. Inspire Transformation for a Sustainable Future - Lead the Way in Ocean Conservation!


As the Vice President, Development, reporting directly to the President and CEO, you will spearhead the development and execution of Ocean Wise's fundraising strategy with a geographic focus on Canada, USA, and Europe.

WHAT'S THE CHALLENGE? With unwavering support from the Board, CEO, and the Executive Leadership Team, your mission is to develop and lead an ambitious growth strategy. We are aiming for a substantial shift in how Ocean Wise raises funds, propelling our annual income from $16M CAD 2023 to $50M CAD by 2030.

Ocean Wise is a remote-first organization with beautiful headquarters in downtown Vancouver. This position will be based in Canada or the continental U.S., depending on the right candidate. This full-time position comes with excellent benefits including employer paid health, dental, vision, short/long term disability and life insurance for employees. In addition to a generous paid time off policy and paid holidays, Ocean Wise also offers a generous matching opportunity for RRSPs.



  • Craft an annual budget and long-term strategic plan, communicating goals and metrics organization-wide.
  • Build and maintain a robust development infrastructure, overseeing donor databases, relationships, events, and campaigns.
  • Develop and implement a systematic framework aligned with the fundraising strategy, focusing on increasing support across individual and major giving channels.
  • Enhance donor engagement, ensuring supporters understand the impact of their contributions and fostering long-term commitments.
  • Implement innovative initiatives to garner public interest and support.
  • Strategize partnerships with corporations and foundations, aligning with our mission.
  • Manage capital campaigns, project-specific fundraising initiatives, and donor recognition programs.


As a people leader, you will:


  • Provide leadership, coaching, and mentoring to the development team, fostering individual and team growth.
  • Recruit, coach and inspire a team of committed fundraisers through one-on-one supervision, coaching and overall team performance management.
  • Collaborate with members of the Senior Leadership Team to achieve organizational objectives.

As a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT), you will:

  • Collaborate on the development of a strategic plan, articulating fundraising strategies and objectives.
  • Foster an environment of creativity, innovation, and continuous improvement.
  • Maintain a visible presence throughout the organization and community.
  • Present recommended courses of action to the CEO, ELT, and/or Board for consideration.
  • Ensure adherence to operating policies and practices, aligning with the organization's commitment to integrity.

Contribute to the overall organization by:

  • Collaborating with Business Development and Grants to optimize funds.
  • Upholding environmental impact protocols.
  • Fostering a high-performing, ambitious culture.
  • Supporting organizational safety standards.



 Education and Experience:

  • Minimum 15 years leading and building fundraising capacity.
  • Minimum 5 years of executive leadership experience.
  • Degree in Business, Business Management, Commerce, Financial Management, Marketing, or Public Relations; MBA is an asset.
  • Strategic and results-oriented fundraising professional.
  • Experience in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.
  • Passion for global ocean conservation is an asset.

Technical Competencies:

  • Excellent leadership and management skills.
  • Strong project management and time management skills.




This position is a full-time, benefits-eligible position. Ocean Wise offers a competitive salary based on experience and provides an excellent range of benefits, including:


  • Extended health and dental coverage
  • vision coverage
  • RRSP matching
  • group term and supplemental life insurance
  • short-term disability
  • long-term disability
  • Position also eligible for paid vacation days, paid sick days, and paid personal days


Working Conditions

  • Remote-first with the possibility to work at headquarters in downtown Vancouver, if desired.
  • Flexibility to come to the Vancouver office or travel for meetings with prospects/donors across North America with regular frequency.
  • Flexibility to work occasional weekends, evenings in order to attend Ocean Wise events; proactively represent Ocean Wise in places where potential donor connections can be made; and attend conferences.



Inclusion and Diversity: Ocean Wise is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.  We are a company where diverse backgrounds, experiences and viewpoints are valued.  Ocean Wise does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, disability, veteran status, age, ethnic or national origin. 



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