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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

Market Title:  Major Gifts Officer Lead (102421) 
Working Title:  Director of Major Gifts, West and Mid-Michigan

Major Gifts
Office of University Development

Reports to:    Executive Director, Michigan & Central States Region

Supervises directly:    Shared Administrative Support of Senior Development Assistant

Position summary:    The Director of Major Gifts’ primary responsibility is the identification, cultivation and solicitation of individual prospects that live in a defined territory (the state of Michigan with the exception of Greater Detroit metro area), and are capable of giving in excess of $100,000.  Frequent travel is required.


•    Advance individual relationships that result in philanthropic contributions:
-    Identify, qualify, and manage a portfolio of approximately 200 prospects with capacity to make gifts of $100,000 and more.
-    Conduct at least 180 strategic moves with prospects and donors per year, and participate in a minimum of 25 solicitations per year.  
-    Gather data, assess prospects, and develop strategies designed to realize the current and life-time giving potential of individual prospects.
-    Ensure consistent and appropriate contact, facilitate or make solicitations, and ensure effective stewardship.
-    Develop and maintain an astute awareness of social, business, and philanthropic cultures within Michigan, and serve as an expert liaison for the campus community.  
-    Have a comprehensive understanding of the priorities of the University and make a persuasive verbal and written case for supporting key programs and projects, effectively matching the interests of prospects to specific University needs.
-    Develop materials used by Deans, Directors, Vice Presidents, the Provost and the President for meetings, visits or individual contacts.

•    Responsible for providing fund raising support to Schools, Colleges and Units, meet regularly with colleagues across campus to coordinate and execute strategies, and use experience and knowledge to resolve conflicts and build consensus.  S/he will develop and maintain relationships with faculty and administrators.

•    Responsible for providing a leadership role in recruiting and managing the Major Gifts Committees within the region, including overseeing all communications, designing meeting content, preparing materials, coordinating activity with campus colleagues, and directing volunteer assignments.  

•    Partake in OUD’s goals and tactics by attending retreats, staff meetings, serving on special task forces, and understanding the University’s broader development vision.  

•    Work closely with Planned Giving colleagues to close planned gifts to the University with an understanding of the principals and techniques associated with planned giving and financial and estate planning.

•    Gather, record and properly store information about prospects and donors utilizing DAC, the University’s donor and alumni tracking database.

•    Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Required Qualifications*

•    A baccalaureate degree is required.

•    5-7 years of significant major gift fundraising experience and/or relevant experience in sales and marketing, or other related fields, in a confidential environment to a sophisticated audience will be considered.

•    Proven experience in working with six and seven-figure gifts or sales and marketing accounts, including the ability to evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the cultivation/solicitation cycle.  

•    Excellent communication skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills.

•    Ability to work collaboratively with colleagues in a team environment.

•    Exercise discretion and an ability to interact with high-level donors and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality.

•    Comfortable with personal computers and software programs for retrieving, organizing and researching appropriate donor/prospect information, as well as data gathering and manipulation.

•    An ability and willingness to quickly learn the University history, mission, demographics, faculty, current programs, departments, etc., as well as the University culture to be able to persuasively articulate how Michigan distinguishes itself from peer institutions.

•    Strong interpersonal skills are required, both written and oral, as well as a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional settings.

Desired Qualifications*

•    Advanced degree is desirable.

•    Close familiarity with and commitment to higher education are preferred.

•    Familiarity with specified geographic territory is preferred. 

•    Prior planned giving experience is preferred.

Additional Information


For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Mission Statement


The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

Application Deadline


Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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