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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.  We consider applications without a cover letter to be incomplete.

Job Summary

Chief development officer who is responsible for planning, implementing and coordinating all fundraising activities for Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum (Matthaei/Nichols).  Matthaei/Nichols, a department of the University of Michigan, includes four properties with over 700 acres of trails, formal gardens and natural areas, a conservatory and several greenhouses, teaching facilities, two visitor centers, specialized gardens, educational, arts and cultural programs, research endeavors and conservation efforts. In partnership with the Director and Associate Director of Matthaei/Nichols, the Director of Development is responsible for planning and implementing short-, medium- and long-range fundraising goals to meet both current and future needs. Strong priority in helping to establish strategic goals for growth of $3.3M endowment and other gift categories.

Reports to:   Director, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum and Assistant Vice President for Development, Office of University Development

Supervises directly:    Membership and Development Associate, Work-study student


Fund Raising - 70%

Partner with Director and Associate Director in establishing strategic goals for increasing endowment and other gift categories.  Research opportunities for new support from the community. 

Identify, cultivate and solicit a portfolio of major gift and planned giving prospects and donors, with an emphasis on gifts of $25,000 and more.

Partner with Director and Associate Director to establish strategic goals for the membership program and to strengthen the relationship between membership, volunteer and development programs. This includes but is not limited to:

Providing a vision for the purpose and strategy of the Matthaei/Nichols membership program

Partner with Development and Marketing Associate to develop outreach strategies that support the fundraising and membership goals.

Identify, assess, analyze and conceive appropriate strategies for approaching prospects and making the vitally important selection of the appropriate donor interest match with program needs within Matthaei/Nichols.  Specifically, this includes short- and long-term planning of solicitations and the analysis of prospects with respect to size of ask, areas of interest, timing of solicitations and identification of compelling needs within the organization. 

Identify new opportunities in the community for external funding and broaden existing relationships with individuals, foundations and corporations with an emphasis on nurturing strong relationships between Matthaei/Nichols and the community.

Lead and manage University campaign activities at Matthaei/Nichols including committee and volunteer management, preparation of development materials, prospect management and major gift solicitation, including supporting the Director in major gift solicitation.

Plan, direct and support the solicitation of Matthaei/Nichols prospects by the Director and other University leaders as appropriate.

Develop case statements and supporting communications for fundraising priorities.

Leadership/Supervising - 15%

Provide executive staff support to the Director as related to fundraising activities including: strategic planning for Director’s fundraising activities, providing briefing materials for meetings and visits, and drafting correspondence.

Manage a development team that is responsible for annual giving, membership, tribute and memorial giving, gift processing/acknowledgement/reporting, and on and off-campus events.  This includes but is not limited to supervising the Membership and Development Associate, providing leadership, establishing and maintaining appropriate communication, setting and evaluating individual goals, developing and sustaining appropriate training, mentoring, and assigning and monitoring coverage of primary areas of focus.

Volunteer /Membership/Stewardship Management – 15%

Manage development and stewardship of appropriate volunteer committees, including campaign leadership.  This includes volunteer identification, recruitment, and training.

Manage fundraising and stewardship activities for Matthaei/Nichols, including donor events and cultivation, membership events, acknowledgments, impact reporting, and volunteer meetings. 

Maintain connections with the Office of University Development, attending meetings of Chief Development Officers and Development Council and other meetings, workshops, training and gatherings.

Attend regular staff meetings and assist with the development and implementation of Matthaei/Nichols programs.

Initiate reports, conduct studies, and perform other tasks related to development at the direction of the Associate Director and Director.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent combination of education and experience.

Three to five years progressively responsible fundraising experience or relevant transferable skills and experience.

Demonstrated leadership ability to develop strategic plans, motivate others, and initiate, organize, and implement programs.

Excellent communication and presentation skills.

An understanding of and commitment to the mission of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum.

Ability and willingness to travel, as well as to work outside the normal workday.

Desired Qualifications*

Candidate will be organized with good planning and follow-through, self-motivated, creative, and flexible, and have a history of personal integrity and strong interpersonal skills.

Proven success in gift closure at the five-and six-figure level.

Experience in volunteer recruitment and management.

Additional Information

We believe that diversity strengthens our ability to accomplish our mission.

For more information about Matthaei-Nichols, please visit

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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