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A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Senior Director of Development is the chief development officer for the School of Kinesiology. This individual maintains executive responsibility for the planning, implementation, and management of all components of the development and alumni relations program. Directs annual giving, major and planned gifts, stewardship, and alumni relations and communications.  Responsible for personal solicitation of major and planned gifts, as well as planning and directing the solicitation of prospects by the Dean of the School and other senior faculty and administrators. Conceives and implements strategies for the School’s prospects as well as identifies and pursues prospects for the School’s campaign priorities.

The School of Kinesiology ( has more than 6,000 alumni and is one of 19 degree-granting academic units on the University of Michigan campus, with 35 faculty/clinical teaching faculty, 16 lecturers, 970 undergraduate students, and 90 graduate students, $9 million in research expenditures, and a total operation budget of approximately $25 million. It is in a period of active growth in world-class research, innovative teaching, graduate and undergraduate enrollment, faculty, and facilities. The School's overarching objective is to be the international leader in education and research in physical activity, health and wellness, and sport management.


Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

Development and Fundraising Strategy

·        Lead all aspects of development and external relations for the School. This includes, but is not limited to, developing and implementing comprehensive strategic plans for annual and campaign fundraising; stewardship activities, including donor and scholarship events and reunions; alumni relations, participation, and giving; and corporate and foundation relations and engagement.

·        Manage all annual, major, and planned gift development, as well as prospect research for the School.

·        Lead all efforts to coordinate on behalf of the School with the Office of University Development, the Business Engagement Center, and the Alumni Association, appropriately leveraging their resources and expertise.

·        Work collaboratively with the Dean to develop and implement a comprehensive development and alumni relations program for the School of Kinesiology.

·        Assist faculty who lead sustainable research centers in their efforts to secure philanthropic support.

·        In partnership with Kinesiology and University leadership, lead the School of Kinesiology’s Victors for Kinesiology $27.5M campaign.

·        Establish, with the Dean, an operating plan with annual goals, objectives, and strategies for fundraising and alumni relations programs in support of the School of Kinesiology priorities:

o   Provide professional fundraising guidance to the Dean and other academic and administrative leaders in defining fundraising and alumni relations priorities

o   Prepare and support the Dean in all development and alumni activities

o   Establish an accountability system with clearly defined fundraising goals, objectives, and measures for the development team

o   Regularly evaluate programs and assess progress towards goals

o   Report on results to the Dean

·        Proactively and cooperatively identify and manage a portfolio of individual major gift prospects and donors, with an emphasis on gifts of $100K or more.

·        Identify, assess, analyze, and conceive appropriate strategies for approaching prospects and making the vitally important selection of the appropriate donor’s interest match with the program and curricular needs within the School.

·        Assist the Dean in identifying fundraising priorities and plan and direct the cultivation and solicitation of School prospects by the Dean, President, Provost, and Vice President for Development.

·        Advise individual faculty, divisions, and centers regarding securing funds for special projects and on-going support.

·        Provide guidance for maintaining electronic prospect files and information, utilizing
DART and ROI, generating thank you letters, initiating and maintaining communication (written and verbal) with School of Kinesiology prospects and donors.

·        Coordinate with the Office of University Development on prospect management and related record-keeping and communications, as well as analytics and campaign planning.

·        Initiate reports, conduct studies, analyze data, and perform other tasks related to development at the direction of the Dean and senior administrators.


External Relations

·        Increase the level of giving, engagement, and participation to the School of Kinesiology:

o   Enhance and expand the base of major and planned gift prospects

o   Enhance the annual giving program, increasing both participation and level of contributions

o   Enhance relationships with corporate donors and develop new linkages with industry partners

o   Ensure the donor recognition/stewardship program is consistent with university recommended practices that increase revenue and engagement with Kinesiology

·        Create new initiatives for increased involvement of alumni and other volunteers to enhance their advocacy and philanthropic support for Kinesiology priorities.

·        Manage the School’s Dean’s Campaign Council.

·        Understand and capitalize on the unique strengths of each of the four programs in the School of Kinesiology and how they interrelate to other U-M programs.

·        Work with the Dean, Director of Marketing & Communications, Executive Director of Finance and Planning, faculty, and other senior administration of the School to articulate funding priorities to communicate the School’s funding objectives to both internal and external constituencies. Work strategically with the senior staff, faculty, program chairs and Associate Deans of the School, and serve with them in an overall advisory capacity to the Dean.

·        Maintain successful partnership with the Sport Management Advisory Board (SMAB), an external Advisory Board supporting the development and nurturing of connections with leaders in the sport industry, and which contributes to our vision of achieving excellence in undergraduate sport business education.

·        Represent School of Kinesiology leadership at public functions and special events as appropriate.

·        Maintain a solid understanding of how to utilize and implement media channels and emerging technologies to raise funds for the School of Kinesiology. 


Leadership and Management

·        Provide executive staff support to the Dean related to fundraising activities, including strategic planning for Dean’s fundraising travel, providing briefing materials for meetings and visits, and drafting correspondence. Partner with the Dean in coordinating travel to maximize use of his/her time.

·        Manage a professional staff, currently 2.5 FTEs: Associate Director of Major Gifts, Assistant Director of Major Gifts, and a shared Administrative Assistant. Provide leadership, set and evaluate individual goals, develop and sustain appropriate training and mentoring, and assign and monitor coverage of primary area of focus.

·        Perform general administrative duties to Kinesiology and U-M Development requirements. Prepare an annual development and external relations budget in consultation with the development team, strategic plans, Dean and Director of Finance and Planning at the School.

·        Be an active member of the University Development Community with representation at Development Program Managers, Campaign Implementation Group and other committees representing the School of Kinesiology. 

Other duties as assigned 

Required Qualifications*

·        A bachelor's degree is required; master's degree preferred

·        A minimum of 8 years of significant achievement in a broad-based development role in a complex matrix organization, ideally with experience in higher education; comprehensive campaign planning and experience at a multi-faceted institution is a plus

·        A record of significant achievement in major and principal gift fundraising

·        Proven success in solicitation and gift closure at the six and seven figure level is expected

·        Proven success in building productive, long-term relationships with senior university administrators, faculty, staff, institutional boards, volunteers, and donors

·        Proven success in working closely with senior leaders and providing the support necessary to ensure their success in development activities

·        Campaign planning and execution experience

·        Demonstrated ability to formulate strategic plans, implement programs, organize, and follow-through

·        Strong ability to work collaboratively and cooperatively with development officers in other schools, colleges, and units as well as with the Office of University Development, and a strong ability to work in, and an appreciation for, a very interdisciplinary and diverse School and University

·        Supervisory experience and proven track record of managing a high-performing team

·        Strong organizational and managerial leadership skills

·        Highly developed writing and public speaking ability

·        Ability to balance the needs of the School of Kinesiology and those of the University

·        A collaborative, team-oriented style allied with the ability to be strong and decisive

·        Demonstrated ability to recruit, organize, direct, and motivate staff

·        A high level of initiative, energy, and creativity

·        Sound judgment; ability to use discretion and maintain a high level of confidentiality

·        A passion for higher education

·        Results-oriented

·       Must be available for U.S. and global travel as needed


Background Screening

The University of Michigan conducts background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background checks. Background checks will be performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of ten calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.