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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, include your salary requirements, and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

Job Summary

The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a diverse learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today's dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.

Ross is consistently ranked among the world's leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the BBA, MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Management, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.

The Senior Director of Major Gifts reports to and works closely with the Chief Development Officer in setting the strategic direction for the major and planned giving fundraising efforts for Michigan Ross. The Senior Director of Major Gifts is responsible for the overall management of the major gifts program, which is charged with managing relationships and securing support from donors who are capable of making gifts of $100,000 and above. This position will provide leadership, guidance, and moves management strategy to the Major Gifts team as well as manage his/her own portfolio of prospects. This position requires frequent domestic travel.  


Major Gifts Strategy and Management

  • Develop and implement a strategic plan for major gift fundraising across the country. Plan systematic, appropriate, and effective solicitation strategies for major and planned gift prospects. 
  • Assist in the planning and implementation of future fundraising campaigns through a variety of strategic and tactical efforts.
  • Partner with the Sr. Director of Stewardship & Development Operations and the Sr. Director of Alumni Engagement & Development to maintain an environment in which stewardship activities, alumni engagement activities and major and planned giving activities naturally complement one another in accordance with donor lifecycle modeling and moves management. 
  • Manage the budget for the major gifts team.
  • Develop the appropriate level of internal communication, reporting, and tracking of results
  • Initiate reports, conduct studies, and perform other tasks related to development at the direction of the Chief Development Officer; in particular, coordinate special fundraising projects.
  • Attend a variety of Michigan Ross or University meetings in the Chief Development Officer’s stead or in partnership with the CDO.
  • Perform additional activities related to the Development effort as requested.

Staff Management

  • Provide leadership and guidance to the team of major gifts officers to ensure their continued and increased success in supporting the business school’s funding and programmatic priorities.
  • Set goals for the major gift officers and evaluate progress in the following areas: major gifts fundraising; prospect cultivation; program progress; major gifts directed stewardship activities and planning; annual performance.

Relationship Management

  • Provide leadership in developing partnerships and maintaining strong lines of communication with colleagues within Ross Development, across Ross, the Office of University Development, and other schools and units across the University to ensure effective collaboration and synergy in achieving the school’s key fundraising goals and objectives. 
  • The Senior Director of Major Gifts will work closely with the Chief Development Officer when developing major gift fundraising strategy to achieve goals.
  • Work cooperatively with the Ross Development management team to ensure the department as a whole operates in a smooth and coordinated manner. Foster a collaborative environment by soliciting feedback from Ross Development management colleagues and keeping them well informed of strategies to maximize major gift fundraising.

Major Gifts Solicitation

  • Manage a personal portfolio of 50-75 prospects with a focus on gifts of $100,000 and above.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 5-7 years of successful fundraising experience; or an equivalent combination of experience and education
  • A minimum of 5 years of team management experience and demonstrated strength in managerial administration or relevant experience
  • Strategic planning, organizational, administrative and budgetary experience
  • Ability to establish and maintain good working relationships and effective channels of communication at multiple levels inside and outside the organization with a proven ability to successfully interact with a diverse group of people
  • Contributes to a positive work community by approaching work with diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind; treats others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listens, values feedback, and learns from the perspectives of others.
  • Ability to understand the needs and interests of major donors in order to develop relationships between them and the University
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills with an engaging and genuine personal style and a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional settings, including the ability to work diplomatically with partners and represent Ross and the University of Michigan
  • Demonstrated ability in problem identification and resolution with excellent analytical and critical thinking skills is essential
  • A general level of comfort when dealing with high net worth individuals, and an ability to maintain discretion, and high level of confidentiality, when dealing with significant benefactors
  • Proficiency in MS Office applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and database applications for retrieving, organizing and researching appropriate donor/prospect information, as well as data gathering and manipulation
  • An ability and willingness to quickly learn Michigan Ross and the University’s history, mission, demographics, faculty, current programs, departments, etc., as well as the University culture to be able to persuasively articulate how Michigan and Ross are distinguished from peer institutions

Desired Qualifications*

  • Graduate degree
  • Proven success in gift closure at the six- and seven-figure level
  • Previous experience navigating a complex environment with the ability to maintain discretion and a high level of confidentiality when dealing with personnel matters is strongly preferred
  • Knowledge of the University of Michigan organization, policies and procedures.

Additional Information

Skills testing is not required.

Physical Demands/Work Environment 

  • Requires the ability to travel to various locations to conduct work and deliver materials
  • The person in this position routinely communicates with potential donors
  • The person in this position routinely presents information at events
  • The person in this position occasionally moves through the facilities to attend meetings/events and access files or information
  • Domestic travel will be required; international travel may be required
  • Will require work during early mornings, nights, and/or weekends

    Michigan Ross values a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We are committed to the development of diverse and culturally intelligent staff who thrive and contribute to a positive and inclusive environment.

    The statements included in this description are intended to reflect the general nature and level of work assigned to this classification and should not be interpreted as all-inclusive.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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