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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and must be attached as the first page of your resume.  The letter should address your specific interest in and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position.

In addition please supply a writing sample of no more than two (2) pages in length related to the responsibilities of this position. The writing sample must also be attached to your resume when you submit your application.   

Applicants who do not meet these requirements will not be considered.

Job Summary

The Rackham community of scholars, researchers, students, and staff is engaged in the creation of new knowledge, new discoveries, and the formation of our future leaders.  The School is an international leader in the development of best practices for graduate education. Further, Rackham is strongly committed to diversity and inclusion as a means of achieving and sustaining excellence.

The Annual Giving Officer reports to the Director of Development and Alumni Relations and is responsible for directing and expanding Rackham’s $500,000 annual giving program, direct mail, telefund solicitations, digital fundraising, and student and recent alumni philanthropy. A central function of this position will be developing donor loyalty and building a foundation for future lead annual and major gift donors. The ideal candidate will be someone who enjoys creating, planning and executing annual giving and engagement plans to support Rackham’s mission.

The Annual Giving Officer will contribute to Rackham’s positive and inclusive work community by building trusting partnerships across the graduate school, continually learning, and working with a sense of ownership for outcomes and is able to prioritize tasks within a fast-paced, team-oriented environment and work independently. The ideal candidate approaches the role with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in mind; treating others with respect, dignity, and in a manner where individuals feel they belong; listens, values feedback, and learns from the perspectives of others.

Because we are committed to diversity, we aspire to develop and nurture the individual and collective skills to recognize, celebrate, and deploy difference as a path to engagement, innovation, and the generation of new ideas and knowledge,


Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Annual Giving and Donor Acquisition Activities

  • Develop strategic solicitation plans focused on acquiring, retaining and upgrading annual donors resulting in increased gifts to Rackham’s unrestricted annual fund from alumni, non-alumni and students to achieve annual targeted goals
  • Develop and test new initiatives and innovative concepts for graduate education fundraising
  • Work with the Office of University Development (OUD) to maximize all available central annual giving services 
  • Oversee strategy and execution of a comprehensive multi-channel annual giving program
  • Create, plan and execute donor-centric annual appeal collateral with Rackham Communications team for all media channels while leveraging services of the Office of University Development’s Annual Giving team for direct mail, email, and phone solicitations
  • Routinely analyze current practices to identify opportunities to optimize efforts and take corrective actions based on trend analysis, peer benchmarking and best practices used across U-M. This requires being innovative in building tactical plans to increase production and participation
  • Responsible for donor/customer service required via phone, email and in person regarding how to make a gift, giving history, engagement opportunities, etc.

Digital Fundraising

  • Develop and implement plans to drive donor and prospect engagement via social media, social communities, digital, mobile, crowdfunding programs, and developing channels
  • Responsible for maintaining and updating Rackham’s online fundraising pages as needed
  • Manages the execution of Rackham’s participation in U-M's annual day of giving, Giving Blue day
  • Develop standardized digital fundraising procedures and ensure those standards are followed so that online and digital facing constituents receive a tailored and structured set of online and digital giving opportunities
  • Set performance benchmarks and targets across all digital fundraising channels
  • Collaborate with Rackham’s Communications team to increase following and engagement on the school’s social media channels

Student and Recent Alumni Engagement and Philanthropy

  • Establish a plan to build a culture of philanthropy among students and recent alumni
  • Develop and maintain student and recent alumni philanthropy programs, to include:
    • Recruitment of volunteers as philanthropy ambassadors and peer solicitors 
    • Motivate and train student and recent alumni volunteers 
    • Direct the work of student and recent alumni volunteers
    • Track progress of the program and provide annual reports
  • Increase participation and donor acquisition among students and recent alumni through targeted programming, communication and engagement opportunities
  • Coordinate with Rackham student organizations to promote campus wide giving and gratitude activities 

Other Duties as Assigned

  • Undertake special projects as assigned by the Dean or the Director of Development and Alumni Relations
  • Participate as a member of  Development or Rackham teams, committees and working groups as needed
  • Represent Rackham Annual Giving program with peers internal and external to the organization
  • May supervise temporary/work study employees and interns

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree with 2 to 4 years of relevant experience
  • Experience in fundraising, public relations, communications, e-commerce, or a related field
  • Strong knowledge of current and developing online fundraising strategies, social media, mobile and new technologies.
  • Understanding of best practices across multiple platforms and the knowledge base to develop best practices for emerging media types.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with a high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional settings 
  • Project management experience, including development and managing processes, and excellent problem solving skills required
  • Demonstrated superior interpersonal and teamwork skills, with the ability to keep deadlines and work in an intensive, fast-paced, diverse environment
  • Must be able to work evenings and weekends with prior notice as required
  • Appreciation for and understanding of graduate education and the important role it plays in advancing innovation, scholarship and research at Michigan

If your experience looks a little different from what we’ve identified and you think you can excel in the role, please submit an application and tell us more about yourself.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Previous experience with face to face solicitations.
  • Previous experience with fundraising in higher education
  • Prior experience using DART (Donor and Alumni Relationship Tool) or other constituent relationship management system used for fundraising efforts
  • Demonstrated ability working with diverse constituents
  • Knowledge of university policies and procedures

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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