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How to Apply


To be considered for this position, you must submit a resume and a cover letter specifying your interest in and specific qualifications that uniquely qualify you for this position.  These materials need to be uploaded as one document with the cover letter as the first page.


Who We Are

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) is the world’s largest academically based social science and survey organization and is dedicated to social science in the public interest.   We are comprised of five substantive centers and one administrative center.  Approximately 300 researchers from over 20 disciplines across the University are affiliated with ISR. We employ over 1,500 people in Ann Arbor and around the country. Our structure is highly decentralized. Sources of revenue for 2020 were over 132 million, with over 92 million coming from federal sources. Private sources, especially foundations, accounted for approximately 22 million. For more information about ISR and its Centers, projects and history, click here: 

We seek a development professional  with an understanding and passion about the mission and research of the Institute.


Reporting to the director of the Institute, you will be an essential member of the director’s team, setting the strategic direction for all fundraising and donor engagement. You will enable ISR to expand private support essential to fulfill our mission. 

As the director, you will manage the ISR Development team and will be responsible for designing and implementing strategies to expand ISR’s prospect pool, identify and pursue prospects for ISR’s campaign priorities, solicit major gifts, steward major gift benefactors and senior ISR faculty retirees, and plan the solicitation of prospects by the director. In addition, this position will assist faculty in developing funding from foundations and corporations. To ensure that ISR fulfills our strong commitment to developing, strengthening, and diversifying our research faculty, students, and staff, you will identify gifts and other sources of funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)  priorities and initiatives. 

The primary focus will be on identifying and building the base of major gift prospects capable of gifts of $100,000 or more.   You will also be responsible for annual giving, donor-related cultivation events, stewardship and creating and staffing focused volunteer experiences for prospects and donors to increase the donor pipeline.  Building collaborative relationships both internally and externally to ISR will be key to your success.  

For a detailed list of responsibilities and requirements for this role, please click here.  

Skills You Have

  • Bachelor’s degree

  • Five or more years of progressively responsible fundraising or equivalent experience in a related field.

  • A track record of successful major gift fundraising at 6 figure level

  • Experience developing strategic plans and implementing programs, organizing, initiating, and motivating

  • Ability/credibility to represent and communicate about the Institute with donors

  • Project management: organized, results driven and multi-tasking

  • Ability to collaborate across unit boundaries and build consensus.

  • Able to travel and attend meetings outside normal business hours

  • Competency in effective organizational navigation of highly decentralized organization

  • Experience building productive, long-term relationships with senior university administrators, faculty, staff, volunteers, and donors.

Additional Information

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, the University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and any eligible family members, and plan for a secure future. Learn more about U-M benefits here.

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to ground our research in varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning. 


U-M EEO/AA Statement

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