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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. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity.

Job Summary

Market Title: Major Gifts Officer Senior (102422)

Working Title:  Director of Major Gifts, Midwest Region

National 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’s primary responsibility is the identification, cultivation and solicitation of individual prospects that live in a defined territory (primary focus is on Ohio, Indiana, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky and West Virginia), and are capable of giving in excess of $100,000.  The Director assists in overall budgeting, planning and program management.  Frequent travel is required.

This position may be underfilled at a lower classification depending on the qualifications of the selected candidate.


(35%) Develop and execute long range and short-range strategies and plans to continually identify, cultivate and solicit prospects capable of making gifts of $100,000 more in the region 

  • Prepare an annual plan in consultation with School / unit–based colleagues with an emphasis on adding value to their efforts in the regions
  • Maintain oversight on the quality and quantity of major gift activity in the region and take action to increase both as appropriate.
  • Through collegial consultation and cooperation work diligently to ensure that the best prospects in the region are being actively managed. 
  • Coordinate and facilitate activity in the region that will directly result in prospect identification, engagement and successful solicitations, including advising executive officers, deans and development colleagues on the culture, expectations and needs of the University’s constituents in that region.

(35%) Lead the major and planned gift solicitation process in the region by focusing on prospects under personal management and by supporting and facilitating solicitations directed by other staff. 

  • Personally develop, manage a portfolio of major gift prospects giving emphasis to those prospects who require a university-wide, “honest-broker” (multiple degrees, demonstrated interest in multiple schools or programs). 
  • Aggressively identify, and formally qualify, new major and planned give prospects, ensuring that prospects are cultivated and solicited in an appropriate and deliberate manner. 
  • Responsible for providing fundraising 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.
  • 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 DART, the University’s donor and alumni tracking database.

 (20%) Responsible for providing a leadership role in recruiting and managing the Major Gifts Committees within the region.

  • Recruit and sustain a strong volunteer network and committee structure in the region to multiply your efforts in prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation as well as to provide expanded opportunities for key prospects to engage with Michigan’s academic leaders and one another.
  • Oversee all communications, designing meeting content, preparing materials, coordinating activity with campus colleagues, and directing volunteer assignments. 

(10%) Serve as an active team member in the development and implementation of the region’s short-term and long-term planning objectives.  Also partake in the larger Major Gift department’s goals and tactics by attending retreats, staff meetings, serving on special task forces, and understanding the University’s broader development vision. Perform other duties as 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 communications 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.

Underfill Statement

This position may be underfilled at a lower classification depending on the qualifications of the selected candidate.

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.