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Job Summary

The Alumni Association of the University of Michigan is looking for a Director of Major Gifts. In addition to the responsibilities and qualifications listed below and most importantly, candidates must share and hold to the highest regard, the same values that are uniquely inherent to AAUM:


Believe in our mission

Be trustworthy and loyal to AAUM and each other

Be passionate about what we’re doing and be proud to be a part of it

Be an employee who goes above and beyond the call of duty



Be open and willing to listen to others and help in whatever way possible

You’re dedicated to selflessly following the Platinum Rule: treat others the way they want to be treated

Be willing to put the needs of alumni and staff colleagues ahead of your own, if that is what is best for AAUM



You’re a creative problem solver

You’re never satisfied with the status quo

You find a way to say yes

You embrace new ideas and approaches

You’re collaborative, flexible and adaptive


The Director of Major Gifts’ primary responsibility is the identification, cultivation and solicitation of individual prospects that live in a defined territory and direct supervision of 3 gift officers.

Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities:

  • In partnership with the Executive Director, develop strategy for the gift team in order to identify, cultivate and solicit donors.
  • Advance individual relationships that result in philanthropic contributions:
    • Identify, qualify, and manage a portfolio of approximately 100 prospects with capacity to make gifts of $100,000 and more.
    • Conduct at least 150 strategic moves with prospects and donors per year, and participate in a minimum of 20 solicitations per year.
    • 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 AAUM. Make a persuasive verbal and written case for supporting key programs and projects, effectively matching the interests of prospects to specific Association needs.
  • Partake in AAUM’s goals and tactics by attending retreats, staff meetings, serving on special task forces, and understanding AAUM’s broader development vision.
  • Gather, record and properly store information about prospects and donors utilizing DART and Salesforce.
  • Provide organizational leadership by demonstrating AAUM core values: All In, Serving Heart and Solution Seeker and leading other staff members to demonstrate those values.
  • Effectively manage and supervise the major gifts team, including communicating parameters, providing opportunities for personal and professional growth through regular performance reviews, guidance, and encouraging training while presenting new techniques, and recruiting/hiring staff as needed.
  • Monitor budgets to align major gifts team resources and programs with organizational goals.

General Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide staff leadership and support for AAUM activities and events as necessary.
  • Provide appropriate support to the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and its committees.
  • Complete special projects as assigned or required.
  • Participate in Alumni Association and University of Michigan committees as required.
  • Participate in and/or lead appropriate team and staff meetings.
  • Remain knowledgeable about current trends and proficient with new technologies/resources.
  • Share knowledge through internal communications.
  • Represent the Alumni Association at University and Alumni functions as needed.
  • Support the Alumni Association strategic vision.

Supervision Received:

Direct supervision is received from the Executive Director of Development.

Supervision Exercised:

Supervision is exercised over 3 Gift Officers.

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 other gift officers and helping track their metrics
  • 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.
  • History of closing six and seven-figure gifts or sales and marketing accounts, including the ability to evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the cultivation/solicitation cycle.
  • 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*

  • Previous supervisor experience of gift officers.
  • Familiarity with AAUM or the University of Michigan.
  • Prior foundation or planned giving experience is a plus.

Additional Information

This position will require frequent travel, evening and weekend work. 

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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