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Director of Partnerships

About Open North

Founded in 2011, Open North is Canada’s leading not-for-profit organization specialized in open data and open government, community engagement, and open smart cities. Our mission is to drive research, capacity-building and network collaboration across and within sectors to advance the responsible and effective use of data & technology in order to achieve our vision of data and technology that empower transparent, accountable and inclusive communities. With a multidisciplinary team of 15 staff (+ expert advisors) and an annual budget of $1.5M+, we work with the most innovative and connected communities in Canada and internationally. Through our Advisory Service and Applied Research Lab we support municipal staff and local stakeholders develop and implement data governance models, lead collaborative data sharing initiatives, develop their community’s strategic plans and operational roadmaps, and offer online learning courses on a range of specialized topics (eg. data management, open procurement, digital inclusion, and ethical AI). As an established international leader, our research and practitioners networks extend across the country and globally.

The Opportunity

Open North is looking for a Director of Partnerships.

Working in close coordination with the Executive Director and in collaboration with the Executive Leadership team, the successful candidate will support and grow Open North’s organization-wide partnerships. The role requires the Director of Partnerships to be external facing to help nurture, identify and develop a network of partners and stakeholders who can, or presently, work with Open North. This role will also have a specific mandate for internal leadership in a way that ensures horizontal collaboration across all functions within Open North.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Work with the Executive Director in coordination with Senior Staff to participate in the ongoing development of a business strategy with Senior Leadership team

  • Develop and write proposals in alignment with established business strategy, as well as organizational vision and mission

  • Ensure the feasibility of proposals in collaboration with department managers and their staff, as needed, in accordance with organizational business targets

  • Lead proposal budget development

  • Negotiate funding proposals with representatives from a variety of organisational partners in all sectors, including government agencies, the private and not-for-profit

  • Assess local, regional, national, and international business opportunities and develop strategies to attract philanthropic investment

  • Track market trends and conduct market research according to Open North business goals, areas of expertise, and research interests

  • Seek funding opportunities that leverage and/or scale according to Open North’s business strategy

  • Respond to external enquiries from different sectors and organizations

  • Oversee process flow and contact management using Open North's customer relationship management tool

  • Monitor and report on the achievement of Open North’s business development targets

  • Lead business development planning meetings with Open North strategic partners

  • Communicate with the Board of Director on occasion, as required

You will report to the Executive Director. Other responsibilities may be assigned to you by the Executive Director.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • 5-7 years of experience in a role responsible for Business Partnerships or Business Development and a demonstrable successful proposal writing track record

  • Excellent proposal and/or grant writing skills

  • Demonstrable success applying for large grants and proposals ranging from $50K to $2M.

  • Knowledge of municipal data, technology, open approaches (eg. open data, open source and open procurement) is considered a strong asset

  • Perfectly bilingual in French & English (mandatory requirement for the position)

  • Ability to communicate effectively to various audiences including presentations to funders, partners, and public activities (both verbally and in writing).

  • A clear communicator with a high level of emotional intelligence with a talent for building authentic relationships with a broad ecosystem of stakeholders

  • Work both independently and as a strong team player with an aptitude for working in a collaborative environment

  • Ability to work in a sometimes fast paced environment, juggling multiple proposals with a range of complex considerations, needs and competing timelines

The most competitive candidates will also demonstrate the following skills:

  • A track record of building relationships and partnerships across sectors and with diverse stakeholder groups

  • Experience in the not-for-profit sector

  • Ability to think critically on issues of technology, civic problems and data, and apply thinking to program delivery

  • Graduate degree in a relevant field (eg. political science, public administration, business).

Working conditions:

  • Currently the whole team is working remotely, with access to an office space in The Mile-End for the occasional meeting or break from your routine

  • A great team of smart and dedicated people!

Salary considerations

  • The pay scale for this position is: $80,000 - $85,000

  • Group health insurance (medical and dental, after 3 months)

  • Telecom allowance of $70 monthly (after 3 months)

  • Employee Engagement and Fulfillment Benefit (after 3 months)

  • Option to participate in Group RRSP Plan (after 3 months)

  • 8% available vacation time

  • 2 weeks paid vacation during holiday closure (December 2021 - January 2022)

Send your resume and cover letter to

We are looking to fill this role immediately.

Open North is committed to achieving equitable participation in the workforce. We recruit, employ, compensate and promote regardless of race, religion, colour, national origin, sex, disability, age and all the other fascinating characteristics that make us different.

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