Social Planning Toronto Taps crawfordconnect to Find New Leader

September 27, 2018 – Executive search firm crawfordconnect has been retained by Social Planning Toronto (SPT) to lead its search for a new executive director. Senior consultant Cynthia Armour is spearheading the assignment.

The successful candidate will be expected to provide strategic, creative and dynamic leadership to the agency, said the search firm. The individual will be responsible for organizational stewardship and capacity-building to advance social justice and civic engagement in the city of Toronto by working with staff, community partners and the board of directors to promote SPT’s social research and community planning work.

The new leader must have a strong understanding of the importance of the governance role and the relationship between the executive director and the board of directors, said crawfordconnect. Candidates should have a proven track record in an advocacy role and ability to influence local government/ government relations. They must also be exceptional networkers and connectors who have the experience and ability to establish and build relationships with key stakeholders.

Inspirational Leader

In addition, candidates should be capable of inspiring staff to optimize their level of performance and productivity in a team-oriented environment, said crawfordconnect. A minimum of seven to nine years of experience in progressively senior management positions is preferred.


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It is also important for the incoming leader to have a commitment to improving equity, social justice and quality of life in Toronto. Candidates should have a track record of engaging diverse voices and working with diverse groups as well as the ability to work in a complex setting and with many groups in community, said the recruitment firm.

SPT is a non-profit, charitable community organization that works to improve equity, social justice and quality of life in Toronto through community capacity building, community education and advocacy, policy research and analysis, and social reporting.  Formally known as the Community Social Planning Council of Toronto, SPT has devoted more than 60 years to providing critical social research and reporting, community capacity-building and engagement as well as evidence-based advocacy for Toronto and its communities.

Finding Non-Profit Leaders

The non-profit sector has gained economic strength in recent years, making it the third largest employer in the country. Nearly two million not-for-profits employ 10.7 million people and produce $1.9 trillion in revenue. In the past decade, employment in the sector grew by 17 percent. With demand for non-profit talent at an all-time high, search firms have plenty of work looking for candidates.


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Recruiter crawfordconnect places talent exclusively in the non-profit sector. The firm’s mission is to strengthen Canadian charities and non-profits by connecting them with highly qualified professionals seeking to make a difference. The firm’s clients include a number of well-known non-profit brands, including: Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Aid Foundation, World Wildlife Foundation, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, York Central Hospital Foundation, Canadian Association for Community Living Foundation, SickKids Foundation and the Heart & Stroke Foundation, among many others. The search firm is led by president Deborah Legrove, who has 30 years of experience involving healthcare, social services and higher education in Canada and the U.S.

Ms. Armour has worked in the charitable sector for the last 30 years. Partnering directly with boards of directors and CEOs of Canada’s non-profits, she provides facilitation, training and coaching. In addition, she has helped development professionals strengthen their fundraising knowledge and built leadership teams that foster growth and embrace change.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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