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Hot Docs is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing and celebrating the art of documentary and to creating production opportunities for documentary filmmakers.

Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, North America's largest documentary festival, conference and market, will present its 31st annual edition from April 25 to May 5, 2024.

Year-round, Hot Docs supports the Canadian and international industry with professional development programs and a multi-million-dollar production fund portfolio, and fosters education through documentaries with its popular free program Docs For Schools.

Hot Docs also owns and programs the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, a century-old landmark located in Toronto's Annex neighbourhood and the world's first and largest documentary cinema.

OPPORTUNITY TYPE: Full-time Permanent

REPORTS TO: Hot Docs President


START DATE: Immediately


Are you ready to dive into the vibrant world of documentary film and cultural programming? Hot Docs is calling on a strategic leader to steer our development portfolio to new heights as the Head of Development. As the Head of Development, you will participate with the executive team, including: President, Executive Director, Managing Director, and Board/volunteer leaders, in guiding the strategic direction of the organization's development portfolio. You will also lead a team of three directors, and their direct reports, in the areas of sponsorship, public and private foundations, and individual giving and major gifts.

As part of your key duties and responsibilities, you will actively manage a portfolio of supporters, partners and donors and adopt strategies and tactics to support the stewardship journey at every level of giving from Annual Giving to Corporate Partnerships to Major Gifts.

Furthermore, you will provide effective mentorship, training, encouragement, support, and leadership to staff, volunteers, and leaders in order to ensure collective attainment of annual and long-term financial goals.

Through professionalism, integrity, and accountability, you will maintain and enhance the credibility of the organization and all associated properties as well as keep current on issues affecting the philanthropic and voluntary sector and propose strategies to proactively address these issues and opportunities.


Strategic Leadership

  • Develop strategic and operational development plans and associated budgets in partnership with the executive team; monitor relevant revenue and expense budgets;
  • Foster exceptional project management to lead and manage the affairs of the Development program, including budgeting, project direction, supervision and evaluation of team members;
  • Build, mentor, and retain a high-quality, motivated and satisfied team of three directors who exhibit strong alignment to mission, and who consistently produce results;
  • Coach and model behaviour to support the leadership journey of all team members;
  • Realign development operations as needed to facilitate and reinforce the effectiveness of strategic plans. This includes realigning key processes, team structure, management practices, communications, and the deployment of staff and volunteers;
  • Actively participate in management and leadership meetings;
  • Work with all teams and provide strategic information and guidance to assist in developing goals, plans, and procedures;
  • Participate in community and industry initiatives to promote the organization and philanthropy;
  • Engage relevant consultants and vendors to ensure their effective management;
  • Be solution-oriented and able to overcome obstacles to foster collaboration both internally and externally;
  • Successfully balance competing priorities, complex situations and tight deadlines;
  • Remain knowledgeable of best practices in the fundraising field, general management of development programs, privacy, the Income Tax Act, Canada Revenue Agency rulings and guidelines.
Program Management
  • Actively manage the revenue portfolio of properties and activities of varying sizes for a variety of stakeholders;
  • Plan and develop short- and long-term engagement strategies, that are both strategic and tactical in nature, to proactively build a robust portfolio of diversified new opportunities in order to support the organization in accomplishing organizational goals;
  • Further define and calibrate brand identity and positioning to allow for successful and meaningful revenue partnerships;
  • Develop campaigns to drive philanthropic activities and marketing materials/sales packages for corporate strategic alliances;
  • Develop strategies and approaches to diversify the base of partner support to reflect the communities the organization serves and represents;
  • Work collaboratively with the executive team to ensure that event programs are in place for all donors at all levels to provide a consistent, meaningful and appropriate donor journey.
Community & Collective Engagement
  • Have a personal passion for the mission, vision, and strategic direction of Hot Docs;
  • Show strong commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and anti-oppression with the progressive mindset of a champion for a workplace culture that promotes a bias-free work environment and a fully welcoming institution for all staff, visitors, donors, board members and community partners;
  • Work with other charitable organizations, leaders, senior staff, and/or board members on collaborative projects that further the mission of Hot Docs and Hot Docs Cinema;
  • Be a goal-oriented individual with demonstrated success in budget management, program and event execution, and revenue growth;
  • Successfully negotiate and work within the organization as a whole to ensure that donor expectations are aligned with organizational strategy and needs;
  • Act as a community ambassador to corporations, organizations, business groups, and boards, as needed.


  • 10+ years of combined education and experience working in not-for-profit arts organizations;
  • 5+ years of demonstrated experience in a leadership position, showcasing a track record of delivering strong financial results at both individual and divisional levels;
  • Strong proficiency in complex budget management and financial reporting;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with multifaceted budgets and achieve successful financial outcomes;
  • Solid strategic thinking and execution skills, with a proven ability to incorporate principles and practices of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) into managerial approaches;
  • Passion for and knowledge of the arts and entertainment industry, specifically in filmmaking;
  • Working knowledge of the documentary film landscape is preferred;
  • Experience in growing and leading teams, ideally within a multi-team environment;
  • Strong communication skills, with the ability to manage both up and down, listen to and engage employees, and clearly communicate organizational goals;
  • Entrepreneurial mindset with the ability to think creatively and critically;
  • Change management expertise, enabling success in a fast-paced environment with incomplete information, leveraging common sense and effective questioning;
  • Strong problem-solving abilities demonstrated through logical approaches based on research and sound analysis;
  • Proven ability to drive projects to execution by developing deliverables timelines and effectively managing stakeholders;
  • Strong proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.


Please forward a cover letter and resume to:

Hot Docs
Subject Line: Hiring Committee – Head of Development
Email: [email protected]

No phone calls please.

Hot Docs is a forum to share stories and perspectives on the people, issues and events that shape our world, and we encourage respectful discussion and debate to foster greater understanding and empathy.

An integral component of this is Hot Docs’ commitment to fostering an organizational culture that brings together people with different races, identities, abilities, experiences and skills. Hot Docs is committed to reflecting the diverse communities we serve in the stories we present and also in our workforce. We encourage applications from diverse communities and welcome applicants who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Hot Docs encourages applications from qualified candidates and will accommodate applicants’ needs throughout all stages of the recruitment and selection process. Please advise the hiring manager to ensure your accessibility needs are accommodated throughout this process. Information received relating to the accommodation will be addressed confidentially.

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