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Senior Director of Development | Development Officer III/S

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Back to search results Apply now Job no: 687306
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 15
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Asc Vice Pres For University Development 10069230
Sub Area: APSA- Pro Supervisory
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Full Time (90-100%), Professional Supervisory- APSA, Administrative/Business/Professional, Athletics/Recreation, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Union

Working/Functional Title

Senior Director of Development

Position Summary

Competing within the prestigious Big Ten Conference, Michigan State University Intercollegiate Athletics is a self-sustaining unit and private support plays a crucial role to keep that fiscal responsibility. With private support from Spartans across the country we are able to offer a championship level opportunity in the classroom, in competition and in the community. The chosen candidate for Senior Director of Development for MSU Intercollegiate Athletics will be an exceptional fundraiser, an accomplished motivator and mentor, an effective manager of people, a visionary leader who has a proven track record in successfully implementing comprehensive development programs and a leader who can be a strategic partner with the Athletic Director.  This is an exciting opportunity for a seasoned fundraiser/manager who thrives on fundraising, leading a team driven to succeed and wishes to serve in a leadership role for one of the preeminent development programs at Michigan State University.


Serving as the chief development officer and a member of the Athletic Department’s executive leadership team, the Senior Director maintains a personal portfolio of major and principal gift prospects and employs an aggressive strategic moves management program to ensure movement along the development donor continuum pipeline. Leading by example, the Senior Director will oversee a team of eight professional staff including eight frontline fundraisers and will work closely with the Athletic Director, Intercollegiate Athletics leadership and volunteer leadership to ensure that the unit reaches its full philanthropic potential.

As MSU strategically positions itself to prepare for its next campaign, the Senior Director will assume a leadership role in planning and assessing the feasibility for the next Intercollegiate Athletic goal and priorities in conjunction with leadership.  This includes recruiting and training volunteers, conducting a needs assessment of programs, preparing case statements, identifying, and cultivating prospects, developing and reviewing proposals and actively soliciting contributions. While funding from all sources of support is stressed, focused attention will be on the more than 10,000 prospects with known or suspected principal and major gift capacity.


In collaboration with colleagues from University Advancement, the Senior Director shall:


  • Plan and implement methods of prospect identification, solicitation and cultivation in order to achieve successful solicitations for funds, and match donor's interest with the needs of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • Plan and implement the major gifts and planned gifts program for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics as well as funding from other sources, including corporations and foundations.
  • Provide assistance to donors regarding University policies and procedures and resolves problems in order to maintain a positive image of the University.

Personnel Management

  • Set clear direction and priorities for professionals and administrative support personnel. Promote and exemplify excellence through well-defined and measurable goals.
  • Lead by example; foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards cross functional collaboration and team-based efforts with other colleagues on campus.  Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success.
  • Actively mentor and train staff, providing frequent opportunities for professional learning and growth. Emphasize retention as a means of increasing capacity and expertise of the team.  Fully leverage human and financial resources and promote greater efficiency.
  • Supervise, direct, motivate and evaluate support staff in order to assure consistent quantity and quality of work performed.
  • Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture that meets the needs and expectations of a successful and diverse alumni community.
  • Recruits, trains, motivates and evaluates volunteers in order to accomplish department goals and objectives.

Programmatic Management

  • Audit internal operations in order to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established policy.
  • Plan and implement seating programs to enhance revenue for MSU athletics.
  • Plan, host and communicate at meetings of the public and University personnel in order to provide information on the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and/or University.
  • Assist in budget preparation in order to ensure consistency with departmental goals.
  • Assist in setting both long- and short-term goals in order to determine resources required.
  • Coordinates with external relations staff, including alumni, public relations and communication, in order to ensure coordination of information to alumni and friends of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • Prepare and interpret statistical data results for Department of Intercollegiate Athletics Administrators.
  • Coordinate the composing, editing and publishing of Department of Intercollegiate Athletics literature in order to provide staff and volunteers with campaign progress reports.


  • Michigan State University Alumni/Individuals/Major Corporations/ Businesses/Employees and Corporate Leadership - in order to solicit as potential donors, handle their donor requests and to cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.
  • Michigan State University Vice President of University Advancement, Associate Vice President of University Advancement and Executive Director of Constituency Programs- in order to advise on the progress of specific Department of Intercollegiate Athletics campaigns.
  • Coaches - in order to educate and train them on Development direction, to seek their advice on needs, and to answer funding questions and advise them on funding strategy.
  • Staff - in order to train and oversee their work and to establish priorities.
  • Department Heads/Michigan State University Executive Management - in order to consult and coordinate work within University structure to aid in the identification of potential donors and gain support of special projects.
  • Michigan State University campaign leadership - in order to seek their advice on the cultivation and solicitation of major donors and to assist them in soliciting donors.
  • Michigan State University Trustees - in order to seek advice and obtain assistance for solicitation.
  • Peers/Professional Organizations - in order to obtain advice and council on options being considered for programs.
  • Government Agencies/Foundations - in order to assess current funding priorities and particular donor procedures.


Direction is received from the Executive Director of Constituency Programs and from the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.


Supervision over the Associate and Assistant Directors of Development and support staff for the Spartan Fund.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business; five to eight years of related and progressively more responsive or expansive work experience in professional and higher education fundraising, public relations, marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Travel required.

Desired Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Eight years in professional fund raising, five years of progressively responsible professional experience in higher education development, public relations or a related field. Experience in athletic fundraising preferred.
  • Demonstrated successful track record of athletic fundraising in a complex university setting.
  • Experience managing volunteers in a campaign setting.
  • Demonstrated organization, interpersonal and written/oral communications.
  • Demonstrated success in managing a large team.
  • Demonstrated success in working in a large, complex organization.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating major gifts through planned giving instruments.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Cover Letter and Resume

Work Hours

Work hours are 8 AM to 5 PM with some nights and weekends.

Bidding and Eligibility Ends on 1/12/2021 at 11:55 PM


Advertised: Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Eastern Standard Time

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