Senior Director of Development - Northeastern States | Development Officer III/S

Job description

Job no: 709143
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 15
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Asc Vice Pres For University Development 10069230
Sub Area: APSA- Pro Supervisory
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, Financial/Accounting, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Professional Supervisory- APSA, Full Time (90-100%), Non-Union
Working/Functional Title

Senior Director of Development - Northeastern States

Position Summary

Michigan State University is seeking a dynamic, results-driven individual to assist the senior executive director in guiding MSU’s individual giving program which is comprised of four inter-related teams: regional major gifts, gift planning, special constituencies, and talent development. As an integral member of University Advancement’s senior leadership team, the senior director will be charged with growing the individual giving program both in terms of dollars raised and donors secured; amplifying efforts to successfully build networks of key alumni and other prospects as volunteers; serving as a mentor and consultant to all fundraising staff; and ensuring purpose and intentionality in all that is planned by the unit to ensure that maximum dollars are raised. This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned professional with proven leadership skills, as evidenced by outstanding personnel and programmatic management experience, an ability to think and act strategically, and a track record in building and enhancing internal and external relationships with strategic partners.

The senior director of development provides leadership for the development of individual gift prospects from a central, University Advancement perspective. This requires close collaboration with college/unit colleagues, regional and gift planning team members, and the executive management team of University Advancement. It is envisioned that the senior director will also collaborate closely with the executive director of principal gifts on principally rated prospects across the Northeastern region and the prospect development team on identification and portfolio/moves management.

The senior director of development will be a seasoned, independent-working, motivated fundraiser to plan, implement, and evaluate comprehensive major gift fundraising activities for individuals in the northeastern states. He/she provides leadership to several other regional directors/associate directors of development, and together as a team, they manage the regional fundraising efforts for the northeastern states. As the senior director of development for northeastern states, he/she focuses efforts on donors and prospects whose philanthropic capacity is $100,000 or more, managing a portfolio of approximately 80-100 identified major gift prospects for discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. The senior director averages 10 to 12 significant personal meetings per month which result in substantive progress toward major gifts or the qualification of new prospects. The successful candidate will deliver two or more major gift solicitations per month, with emphasis on major and principal gift activity and prospects. The senior director will work from an office at Michigan State University and travel to the region regularly, or out of a home office located within the region. Already a very experienced fundraiser, communicator, and collaborator who understands the unique nature of the region, he/she becomes knowledgeable about MSU colleges, units, and programs, representing them to prospects and donors in the northeastern states and cultivating and soliciting them on behalf of Michigan State University. Whether working independently, with their fundraising colleagues, or as part of a team, he/she juggles day-to-day fundraising responsibilities with the multiple demands of working with donors/prospects, hosting events and arranging individual appointments for University leadership, building networks of volunteers, and documenting prospect activity in the database.


Prospect Management and Fundraising

  • To research and develop plans and strategies for cultivation and solicitation of major and principal gifts, with a focus on gifts and pledges of $100,000 or more across your region(s) of responsibility. Maintain and actively work a portfolio of 80-100 major and principal gift prospects, with a focus on prospects within your individual region of responsibility.
  • Ensure that all regional staff with major gift fundraising responsibilities develop and maintain a balanced prospect portfolio of 100-120 prospects and that they communicate and coordinate appropriately with their colleagues on prospect and regional strategy.
  • Assist in the coordination of activities with constituency-based development officers, regional major gift officers and gift planning advisors to maximize strategic activity along the donor continuum and amplify the magnitude of philanthropic gifts.
  • To maintain records and resource materials which will assist in the identification of major and principal gift prospects interested in supporting constituency unit/university programs and activities.
  • To assist constituency-based development officers, faculty, and administrators in moving major and principal gift prospects along the donor continuum as they make their philanthropic decisions with Michigan State University. The regional staff is often called upon to work with the president, provost, vice presidents, and other university leadership when traveling to the region.
  • To develop proposals and gift agreements and assist University Advancement staff, faculty, and administration in the presentation of proposals and gift agreements to prospects and donors.
  • To establish direct or indirect contact with those major and principal gift prospects having the greatest potential for support of university programs and activities to assure a level of shared understanding of desired philanthropic impact.
  • Plan and host campus visits for prospects and donors with faculty and university leadership as part of a strategic cultivation, solicitation or stewardship plan when required.
  • Schedule and arrange for visits by senior university leadership with major and principal gift prospects in the region to move along strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Travel to work with prospects, colleagues, university leadership, and key volunteers as appropriate.
  • Prepare reports on the activities/operations of the region and its accomplishments, maintain the constituent tracking system for prospects in the database, especially those within your personal portfolio as well as that of your team.
  • Develop promotional materials, letters, and other supportive correspondence material required for discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and prospects.
  • Assist donors with their questions regarding tax laws, policies and procedures and resolve problems and maintain a positive image of the university.
  • Utilize donor information systems and related databases and reporting tools. Utilize personal computer, mobile devices, and other tools to access information both in and out of the office. Has a working knowledge of Microsoft 365 and MS Office suite for purposes of self-sufficiency.
  • Development and Implementation of a University Advancement Strategy in the Region

    • Plan and produce strategic engagement opportunities in the region for major and principal gift prospects ranging from targeted dinners with individuals and couples, to small campaign-related salon events, to partnering with the MSU Alumni Office and University Advancement alumni donor relations team on larger engagement events, when appropriate.
  • Represent the university at fundraising meetings and other appropriate occasions, speak to professional organizations and other groups as program needs dictate, and host development-related functions.
  • Organize, train, and utilize volunteers to assist in accomplishing specific program goals and objectives.
  • Personnel Management and Talent Development

    • Oversee hiring and personnel decisions for the regional major gift staff within your team and mentor and coach them to be successful in their roles. Establish performance goals and objectives, conduct annual evaluations, regular portfolio reviews and provide ongoing feedback. Expedite the professional development and training of the staff to maintain a high level of productivity, collaboration with their colleagues and job satisfaction.


  • Perform analyses of fundraising activities and prepare reports for the senior executive director of individual giving, University Advancement colleagues and leadership, university officials, volunteers, and other related groups and stakeholders.
  • Serve as fundraising consultant and advisor to university leadership, as necessary.
  • Duties associated with this position involve working on a display terminal at least 10% of the time.

  • Direction received from the senior executive director of individual giving.

  • Michigan State University alumni/friends/parents/corporations/businesses/employees - to cultivate and solicit as potential donors, address their concerns, and to engage them as potential volunteers.
  • Regional major and gift planning colleagues, and constituency-based development colleagues - to coordinate cultivation and solicitation strategies for major and principal gift prospects to maximize the philanthropic gift potential.
  • Michigan State University executive management/leadership - to consult and coordinate work within University structure to aid in the discovery of potential donors and gain support of special projects.
  • University Advancement vice president and associate vice presidents - to advise on the progress of specific campaign/regional goals, strategies, and potential prospect pipeline.
  • Michigan State University campaign leadership - to seek their advice on the cultivation and solicitation of major and principal gift donors and engage them in the campaign process.
  • Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
    • Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business.
    • Five to eight years of experience of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in professional and higher education fundraising, public relations, marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations;
    • Or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
    Desired Qualifications
  • A Bachelor’s degree in any rigorous academic field, preferably communications, marketing, public relations, business, or related field.
  • An advanced degree and/or professional fundraising certification is preferred.
  • Seven to ten years of progressively more responsible or expansive experience in professional major gift fundraising working with individual donor gifts of six/seven figures or more, or related experience.
  • Experience in higher education, health care or similarly complex, decentralized environments strongly preferred.
  • Substantial experience in hiring, coaching, supervising, and developing professional staff in a collaborative, but demanding environment is essential.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are a must, including strong public speaking and writing skills.
  • Collaborative team-oriented style.
  • Experience with “moves management” or related strategic relationship development.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • Travel is required. Possession of a valid vehicle operator’s license is required.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

    All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

    Required Application Materials

    Resume and Cover Letter

    Work Hours

    Work hours are 8AM to 5PM with some nights and weekends

    Bidding and Eligibility Ends on 6/8/2021 at 11:55 PM

    Advertised: Jun 2, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time
    Applications close: Jul 1, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time




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    Job No:
    Posted: 6/3/2021
    Application Due: 7/1/2021
    Work Type: Full Time