Director of Development
Michigan State University
United States

Senior Director of Development / Development Officer III

Job no: 655835

Work type: Support Staff

Pay Grade: 15

Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement

Department: Asc Vice Pres For University Development 10069230

Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience

Location: East Lansing

Categories: Operations Services, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Union, Full Time (90-100%), Administrative Professionals- AP, Education/Training, Engineers/Architects

Working/Functional Title

Senior Director of Development

Position Summary

Title:                            Development Officer III                  

Level:                          S15

Working Title:              Senior Director of Development

                                    College of Education


Ranked #1 in the world for education, the College of Education at Michigan State University has established a reputation for excellence and visionary thinking in its efforts to improve teaching and learning across our nation and world, particularly within the contexts of urban and global education. The faculty remains committed to addressing the educational and physical needs of all learners across the life span, and to working closely with educators, leaders and policymakers in the field.  The college is proud to claim 58,000 living alumni spread across the globe.  

History of Excellence: Graduate study in the areas of both elementary and secondary education at Michigan State University have been ranked No. 1 in the nation for 26 consecutive years, according to the U.S. News & World Report ranking of education graduate programs.  The College of Education also ranks 24th overall in the magazine’s 2021 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools” and 13th among public universities and has a total of eight graduate study areas at MSU are in the top 10.

As MSU begins efforts to strategically positions itself to enter its third billion-dollar plus campaign, the Senior Director will play a pivotal leadership role in planning and spearheading the campaign effort – focused on endowment and expendable support – for the College.  This includes conducting a needs assessment of programs, developing the case for support, refining funding priorities, recruiting and mobilizing volunteers, preparing and reviewing proposals, identifying prospects, and actively soliciting contributions with a focus on gifts of $100,000 and more. 



  • Plans and implements methods of prospect identification, solicitation and cultivation in order to achieve successful solicitations for funds and matches donor interests with the needs of the College.  The Senior Director will manage a portfolio of 120 major gift prospects, strive to conduct 8-10 significant personal visits per month which will include discovery visits to qualify new prospects, and deliver 2-4 proposals per month.
  • Plans and implements the major, planned and principal gifts program for the College as well as funding from other sources, including corporations and foundations.  The Senior Director will focus on 6- and 7-figure gift fundraising with in- and out-of-state travel required.
  • Prepares annual operating plan that outlines goals, objectives and strategies for the overall advancement program as well as for self and each member of the advancement team.
  • Provides assistance to donors regarding tax laws, policies and procedures and resolves problems in order to maintain a positive image of the University.

Personnel Management

  • Hires, supervises, directs, motivates, and evaluates professional and support staff in order to assure high performance and consistency with quantity and quality of work performed. 
  • Set clear direction and priorities for professionals and administrative support personnel.  Promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals.
  • Lead by example; foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards cross functional collaboration and team-based efforts.  Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success. 
  • Actively mentor and train staff, providing frequent opportunities for professional learning and growth; emphasize retention as a means of increasing capacity and expertise of the team.  Fully leverage human and financial resources and promote greater efficiency.
  • Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that meets the needs and expectations of a successful and diverse alumni community.
  • Recruits, trains, motivates and evaluates volunteers in order to accomplish college goals and objectives.

Programmatic Management

  • Audits internal operations in order to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established policy.
  • Plans, hosts and communicates at meetings of the public and University personnel in order to provide information on the College and/or University.
  • Assists in budget preparation in order to ensure consistency with departmental goals.
  • Collaborates with external relations staff, including development, alumni, public relations and communications, in order to ensure coordination of information to alumni and friends of the College.
  • Coordinates the composing, editing and publishing of college development literature in order to provide staff and volunteers with campaign progress reports and appropriate stewardship.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Required:  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 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.  Travel is required.

Desired Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree; Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business preferred.
  • Eight years of successful fundraising experience (preferably in higher education) including several years at a director or manager level.   Experience in related fields such as public relations or marketing may be taken into consideration.
  • Demonstrated organizational, interpersonal and written/oral communications.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating major gifts through planned giving instruments.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • Travel involving automobile.

Required Application Materials

Resume and Cover Letter.

Work Hours

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

Bidding eligibility ends on 6/23/2020 at 11:55 PM

Advertised: Jun 17, 2020 Eastern Daylight Time

Applications close: Jul 16, 2020 Eastern Daylight Time

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