Current Opportunities

Director, Engagement and Strategic Initiatives
(1-year contract)

Are you looking for a new opportunity to play a leadership role in shaping a more equitable Toronto?

Social Planning Toronto (SPT) is looking for a full-time Director, Engagement and Strategic Initiatives. This is a one-year contract, with a high possibility of extension.

We are an independent social planning organization. SPT challenges inequality in our city — through knowledge generation, debate, civic engagement, advocacy, and collaboration — to spark social and policy change.

The Director, Engagement and Strategic Initiatives is a newly created position that will provide creative, strategic, and dynamic leadership to Social Planning Toronto as a senior member of the leadership team. For the first year, major responsibilities include working with key stakeholders across the city to shape a shared vision, set priorities, and enable collaborative action towards a just and equitable recovery for Toronto. The incumbent will provide oversight of SPT's program activities, namely our community and sector mobilization and capacity building agenda as well as a number of strategic initiatives, in collaboration with Community Planning staff, the Executive Director, and other staff. The position reports to the Executive Director and supervises a small team of Community Planners and may also supervise the work of other staff from time to time. The successful incumbent will work with the leadership team to further develop and shape the position for future years.

The Director, Engagement and Strategic Initiatives works with the SPT team and partners to spark social, policy, and other system-level changes, and to engage in and enable advocacy and community mobilization to address issues of inequality across the City of Toronto. The ideal candidate has a passion for social and economic justice, is committed to truth and reconciliation, and has demonstrated experience working in community engagement, nonprofit sector leadership, and policy/systems change at the municipal level from an intersectional anti-racist, feminist lens.

Responsibilities include:

Program Leadership

  • Provides strategic leadership and management oversight to key SPT programs and initiatives with respect to community and sector engagement, mobilization and capacity building
  • Supports community planning staff to develop and implement coherent, strategically integrated work plans; assists in the implementation of work plans as appropriate
  • Ensures that all community mobilization/engagement work is strategically focused on the overall priorities of the organization, including its research and policy agenda
  • Develops and oversees the implementation of an evaluation framework and plan

Just & Equitable Recovery

  • With partners, designs and implements a plan to engage stakeholders across the city to collaboratively set a concrete vision, priorities and enable collective action towards a just and equitable recovery
  • Works with sector and organizational leaders to enable frontline service agencies to strategically and more easily engage in the civic, policy and systems change arenas
  • Works with SPT staff and other stakeholders to organize action-oriented groups/coalitions, implement activities and engaging events, and build research and communications products to further the goals of engaging partners and communities in equitable recovery

Funding and Accountability

  • Identifies sources of funding and takes leadership in the development of both core and project funding proposals and associated reporting requirements
  • Supports the Executive Director in ensuring the Board is apprised and strategically engaged in program developments

People Management

  • Recruits, onboards, supervises, and manages performance of program staff
  • Provides mentoring, coaching and support to program staff
  • Identifies opportunities and facilitates staff participation in appropriate professional development activities; initiates opportunities for the sharing of knowledge, skills, and expertise among and beyond SPT staff

Relationship Management, Networks and Coalitions

  • Plays a leadership role in identifying and developing alliances with institutional partners and issue- or community-based networks and coalitions across the city
  • Assists in the development and implementation of community mobilization strategies (e.g. around the City of Toronto’s Budget)
  • Identifies and liaises with potential and existing partners, including with marginalized, equity-deserving groups
  • Works with the ED and other staff to ensure strong and respectful relationships with Indigenous organizations across the city

Policy Analysis and Advocacy

  • Advises the Executive Director on the development of the policy analysis agenda, (in collaboration with the policy and research team) and assists in the formulation of key advocacy positions
  • Identifies and strengthens partnerships and solidarity with Indigenous, racialized and other equity-deserving groups and catalyzes opportunities for greater leadership and shared power amongst partners in policy and civic arenas
  • Assumes special projects as assigned by the Executive Director


  • Works with the ED, Communications Coordinator, and other staff to ensure that SPT’s work is communicated effectively to members, community partners, stakeholders, the public, and communities across the city
  • Acts as spokesperson for SPT at public events and in the media as designated by the Executive Director.

Organizational Policies and Practices

  • Assists in development of SPT policies, procedures and systems
  • Ensures the consistent application of SPT policies and procedures
  • Performs other duties as assigned by the Executive Director

Qualifications / Skills

  • A minimum 7–10 years related work experience in the nonprofit sector, with at least 3 years experience at the manager/director level
  • Master’s Degree in the social sciences or the humanities (e.g., gender/equity studies, community development, social work, political science, public policy, or related field) or equivalent professional experience
  • Demonstrated experienced in project management, program planning, and evaluation
  • Background in community organizing, advocacy, and mobilization
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to make a compelling case for change and influence decision-makers
  • Experience working with diverse communities and stakeholders, and a strong understanding of Toronto’s diverse communities — geographic, ethno-cultural, and communities of interest
  • Demonstrated experience integrating an intersectional anti-racist, gender equity lens into day-to-day work
  • Experience in managing staff, preferably within a unionized environment
  • Experience in working with multiple projects, responding to emerging issues, and meeting deadlines in a fast-paced environment with competing demands
  • Experience writing grant applications and funding reports

Why join SPT?

  • Be the first person in this new role and use your creativity and strategic thinking skills to help shape it for future years
  • Get paid to do systems change work and help set the direction and priorities for an organization whose mandate centres around addressing inequality in Toronto
  • Work with smart, passionate, engaged people who care about social and economic justice and work from a community-centred approach
  • Work at an organization with six decades of experience collaborating with partners and communities to advance equity

Salary range: $85,000 to $95,000 plus benefits

In addition to salary, SPT has an excellent employee benefits package that includes sick leave, vision and dental care, hospitalization, a drug plan, long-term disability, group life insurance, and a pension plan. In addition to recognizing 11 official statutory holidays, SPT offers 15 vacation days in the first year of employment as well as paid time off between December 24 and January 1 each year.

Working Conditions

This is a full-time, one-year contract position (with a high possibility of extension) working 35 hours/week with occasional evening and weekend work. This position is based in Toronto, Ontario. Our team is currently working remotely, but we plan to return to some in-person work in 2022.

To apply

Interested candidates are asked to submit a resume and cover letter outlining how they meet the above criteria to:

Maria Serrano
Director of Operations
[email protected]

Applications are being accepted on a continuing basis until the right candidate is found.

SPT is committed to reflecting the full diversity of Toronto and to nurturing a respectful and inclusive work environment for all. We encourage qualified applicants representing the full diversity of Toronto to apply. Candidates invited for an interview are encouraged to inform us in confidence of their accommodation needs.

We thank everyone for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

SPT has a mandatory vaccine policy that is available for review upon request.

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