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Job Summary

Market Title:                  Annual Giving Programs Lead Manager (103304)

Working Title:               Director of Annual Giving


Annual Giving

Office of University Development

Reports to:                    Executive Director, Annual Giving

Supervises directly:     Two (2) Associate Directors, Annual Giving
                                       One (1) Associate Director, Michigan Telefund

Supervises indirectly:  Team of Annual Giving and Telefund professionals (7 FTE + student callers)

Position Summary:     
As a leader in the Office of University Development (OUD), the Director of Annual Giving helps steer the vision and mission of annual giving and pipeline efforts at the University of Michigan. The Director supervises the day-to-day efforts of Annual Giving (uAG) and Telefund and leads the teams in developing, enhancing, and maintaining a service model and annual plan for U-M’s schools, colleges, units, and regional campuses. The Director will regularly analyze performance of annual giving programs and personnel using a variety of resources and the examination of best practices to provide expert analysis and consultation.

In collaboration with the Executive Director, the Director works with the annual giving and Telefund teams to plan, create, schedule, and evaluate productive, high-quality, cost-effective annual fund solicitation packages for schools, colleges, units, and regional campuses utilizing all media. This position also works with unit development officers, directors, department heads, and development services personnel to plan and efficiently implement annual giving programs. The Director serves as lead liaison for key internal OUD teams as it relates to collaboration with Annual Giving efforts.  

This position works in an environment dedicated to advancing the mission of OUD and of the university, with emphasis on building positive and meaningful relationships with co-workers and constituents.


35% - Departmental Leadership, Mission, and Strategic Plan

  • Directs and guides the day-to-day Annual Giving program, generating a broad base of alumni support in donors and dollars.
  • Provides guidance and support for the Michigan Telefund enterprise, including its personnel recruitment and retention, financial viability as a self-funded unit, and performance delivery.
  • Partners with Executive Director on planning, strategy development, forecasting, resourcing and budgeting, management, and creative development and execution for University-wide annual giving and Telefund efforts.
  • Actively promotes donor-centric approaches to annual giving that take a holistic view of university communications and solicitations.  Seeks opportunities for collaboration and cooperation with units and departments, while achieving strong results for campus partners.
  • Guides the Annual Giving and Telefund staff to develop innovative direct marketing strategies and solicitation schedules using mail, phone, e-mail, web/social, and other programs & media as appropriate.
  • Collaborates with Director of Digital Marketing and Fundraising and Director of Student Engagement to ensure cohesive and comprehensive annual solicitation of alumni and friends including recent graduates.
  • Manages Annual Giving and Telefund team members, providing leadership and mentorship, setting and evaluating individual and team goals, developing and sustaining appropriate training, and assigning and monitoring coverage of primary areas of focus.
  • Oversees Annual Giving stewardship in collaboration with OUD Stewardship team and school/college/unit stewardship efforts, considering and applying methods for donor acknowledgement and education.
  • Responds to and routes donor inquiries and concerns as appropriate. 
  • Advises on appropriate parameters for annual giving and Telefund program success in both dollars and donor participation. 
  • Collaborates with OUD partners to create, enhance, and carry out strategic initiatives to improve level of service, office efficiency, program results, and unit coordination. 
  • Provides annual giving expertise, including reports and analysis on comprehensive annual giving program effectiveness, to Executive Director, staff and community.
  • Represents and actively participates with Office of University Development Director’s Team on behalf of Annual Giving and Telefund.
  • Actively works with Development Services Team to represent the data, reporting, and gift processing needs of the Annual Giving office, Telefund, and U-M’s schools, colleges, units, and regional campuses.
  • Serves on University Office of Development task forces and planning committees as needed to represent Annual Giving needs.
  • Responsible for departmental administration of operating budget, policies and procedures.

20% - Unit Consulting, Partnership, and Education

  • Evaluates and enhances model for partnering with schools, colleges, and units.
  • Maintains close and strong communication with schools, colleges, and units as well as constituencies within the Office of University Development in order to ensure services provided by Annual Giving and Telefund support university and unit priorities and goals.
  • Provides annual giving expertise, including regular, value-added analysis and program review.  Monitors and evaluates program results, market research, and other data to identify new strategic opportunities.
  • Provides expert consultation to units in reviewing performance and planning future efforts as needed in collaboration with assigned unit Annual Giving liaison.
  • Collaborates with partner units to develop annual and multi-year strategic communication and solicitation plans and measurable performance targets.  
  • Explores opportunities for engaging, cultivating, and soliciting new audiences through special initiatives.
  • Oversees implementation of quarterly Annual Giving Officer Meetings, special topic workshops, and other educational opportunities for unit partners.

10% - Reporting, Data Analysis and Data Integrity

Leads efforts in ongoing annual giving reporting and analysis. This includes:

  • Evaluation of annual acquisition, retention, and upgrade strategy effectiveness, using internal annual trend analysis and benchmarking reports. 
  • Reviewing and sharing comprehensive U-Wide annual giving reports as needed, including review by channel effectiveness.
  • Setting, tracking progress, and reporting on goals for annual giving performance metrics. 
  • Building collaborative relationships with Office of University Development partners (Development Services/Prospect Management & Analytics) to align business objectives and strategies with the creation of new, consistent reporting policies and tools.
  • Actively work with Development Services Team to advocate for the data, reporting, and gift processing needs of the Annual Giving office, Telefund, and U-M’s schools, colleges, units, and regional campuses.
  • Partner with Data Management Team to provide annual giving perspective on DART data updates, code change requests.
  • Partner with Integrated Data Services to design, create specifications, and provide quality control review of results for the University Annual Giving reporting package, Annual Giving Tableau dashboards and ad hoc reports in the Annual Giving Business Objects folder.
  • Provide annual giving perspective on DART processes as needed.

10% - Production Process

  • Partners with Marketing team to plan, create, schedule, and evaluate productive, high-quality, cost-effective annual fund solicitation projects (phone, mail, internet and other emerging channels) for units and university-wide initiatives.
  • Conducts quality control checks on annual giving appeals to help ensure units and U-M are well-represented in all appeals.
  • Provides needed input and information to Marketing and Communications teams for completion of creative components for Annual Giving appeals.  In conjunction with all members of the annual giving team, ensures that solicitation messages are created and reviewed for effectiveness. 
  • Works closely with Marketing and Communications teams to monitor production process and ensure deadlines are met and project goals achieved. 

10% - Industry Knowledge

Proactively maintains knowledge of current trends in the annual giving field. This includes:

  • Participating in peer networking opportunities.
  • Participating in Annual Giving Director’s Consortium (AGDC) and Big 10/12 peer benchmarking efforts. 
  • Participating in professional education opportunities.
  • Monitoring of annual giving trade publications and websites.

10% - Innovation and Special Projects

  • Considers, explores, and implements new or innovative annual giving and Telefund practices and special projects to ensure continual growth and advancement of university annual giving programs. 
  • Works with Development Services staff to use data and trending to “discover” new opportunities and strategies to go to market.  This includes data mining, preparing case tests and collaboration with Development Services on data planning, extraction, measurement and reporting.

5% - Additional Duties

  • Assists with training and orientation of new staff members. 
  • Completes other projects and duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, business, or related field.
  • At least five to seven years of experience in fundraising, marketing, telemarketing, or equivalent roles.
  • Knowledge of the principles and techniques of successful annual fundraising, particularly market strategy and analysis, marketing communications, data management and reporting, and annual giving solicitation in various forms (direct mail, email, digital/web, phone and in-person).
  • Strong leadership qualities, including the ability both to delegate and to execute, thereby leading by word and by example.
  • Strong organizational skills, including a commitment to and track record in both strategic and operational planning. 
  • Significant and increasingly responsible experience managing a successful department, ideally in higher education. 
  • A history of staff recruitment, training, and mentoring.
  • The ability to work collegially and collaboratively in a team setting.
  • Experience providing customer service in a high-pressure environment.
  • Excellent communication and analytical skills.  
  • Careful attention to detail.  
  • Ability to set priorities, and flexibility to meet changing priorities.
  • Working knowledge of personal computers, word processing, spreadsheets, and database software. 

Desired Qualifications*

  • Advanced degree in marketing, communications, business, or related field.
  • Experience managing, or working in, a call center.  
  • Proven success in a complex and highly decentralized organization.  Experience working in higher education preferred.
  • Familiarity with University processes and procedures.
  • Working knowledge of University computer systems, databases and BI software including DART and Business Objects.

Additional Information

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

Mission Statement

Office of University Development Vision
Philanthropy drives and enables great achievements at the University of Michigan.

Office of University Development Mission
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. 

Annual Giving Department Vision and Mission
The VISION of Annual Giving is to provide exceptional service and annual giving expertise to units across all three campuses and the health system and ensure that the university’s annual giving programs are executed creatively, efficiently, and in accordance with best practices. 

Our MISSION is to maintain and build broad-based support for the University of Michigan by maximizing efficiency, coordination, and collaboration between the Office of University Development (OUD), regional campuses, and schools, colleges, and units (s/c/u) to ensure that annual giving programs at U-M are executed comprehensively, consistently, and in accordance with university standards.

Through its holistic view of university-wide initiatives and individual unit projects, the Annual Giving team works to advance the University of Michigan’s development goals by:

  • Promoting donor-centric approaches, well-timed solicitation schedules, and data-driven program strategy and analysis to increase revenue generation and donor engagement.
  • Utilizing and encouraging annual giving best practices across solicitation platforms and channels through benchmarking and awareness of fundraising trends.
  • Empowering schools/colleges/units to communicate and engage with alumni throughout the lifecycle of their relationship with U-M.
  • Promoting creativity, problem-solving skills, and innovation within the U-M annual giving community.
  • Providing support and expertise to schools/colleges/units throughout planning and implementation of annual giving programs, from prospect engagement to solicitation and stewardship.
  • Sharing philanthropic messaging (from initiating touch points to communicating impact and encouraging ongoing support) with U-M alumni and friends every year.
  • Developing donor loyalty and building a foundation for future major donors.
  • Partnering with other teams in OUD to enhance the donor experience and internal customer service while promoting the importance and value of annual giving efforts.

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.