Assistant Vice President of Engagement for University Advancement
Michigan State University seeks an experienced and entrepreneurial leader for its Engagement team, integrating its marketing/communications, events, donor relations, stewardship, endowment, and web services functions with a futuristic eye toward building a best-in-class experience for MSU’s donors. The successful individual will be an innovative and action-oriented implementer of Advancement programs designed to demonstrate to donors the impact of their gifts and strengthen their connection to MSU. The Assistant Vice President will be a seasoned and talented manager of people, programs and resources.
The Assistant Vice President for Engagement at Michigan State University reports to the Vice President of University Advancement. While the VP will provide strong overall leadership for all aspects of MSU’s advancement program, the AVP will be a leader and partner, internally and externally, helping to elevate MSU’s donor experience through a strategic, collaborative and metrics-driven approach to all areas of responsibility.
The AVP will serve as the chief donor relations officer for UA, providing visionary leadership to and strategic oversight of programs, policies, processes and the people who manage them. A primary responsibility of the AVP will be to establish relationships and work collaboratively across central UA and the constituency development teams to ensure a unified and consistent donor experience.
The AVP’s major areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Provide strategic design and direction in creating, implementing and enhancing MSU’s donor experience that encompasses donor engagement, recognition, gift and endowment stewardship and accountability, philanthropic communications, the online presence, and the creation of events, programs, and relationship-building activities.
- Provide overall strategic direction, including annual and long-term planning, for the Engagement team.
- Supervise the Engagement team, including direct supervision of the directors; oversee hiring and personnel decisions, establish performance goals and objectives, and expedite the professional development and training of all Engagement team members.
- Oversee the development and implementation of an integrated Engagement Plan that deploys strategies, tactics and activities to optimize and unify the donor experience.
- Assess through quantitative and qualitative analysis the metrics associated with donor experience to further enhance and revise programs and activities related to those larger strategies.
- Regularly establish, update, communicate and train UA staff on policies, procedures, processes and best practices designed to support the optimal donor experience.
- Foster diversity and inclusion at all levels of the organization, including professional staff, the volunteer corps and constituencies served, and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to incorporating diversity and inclusion in programs, events and communications, designing a welcoming experience for both current and future donors.
- Serve as a fully participating member of the Senior Advancement Leadership Team (SALT); report regularly on progress toward strategic goals, providing such reports to all UA staff as appropriate.
- Partner and serve as primary liaison with University Communications to optimize strategies for philanthropic audiences, while maintaining alignment with overall marketing and branding efforts.
- Advise key university officers on opportunities for their involvement with specific fundraising and engagement events and initiatives.
- Prepare and actively manage the annual budget for Engagement.
- Provide service and leadership to appropriate regional and national professional organizations, on behalf of MSU.
- Perform other such duties as may be delegated by the Vice President of University Advancement.
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, age, disability or protected veteran status.
- A Bachelor’s degree in any rigorous academic field and a minimum of 10 years of progressively responsible experience as a development leader and manager in a complex, decentralized, comprehensive university environment is required. An advanced degree and professional certification are preferred.
- Experience managing a large team with a focus on utilizing metrics, systems, and relationship building skills to maximize strategic engagement with donors.
- A deep understanding of and commitment to an integrated advancement program; and experience in a complex major research university environment. Keen understanding of the natural tension that exists when working with a multitude of colleges, departments, and programs with varying priorities is essential.
- Experience working to sustain strong relationships with staff, donors, faculty, volunteers and academic leadership is imperative.
- A strong ability to develop sincere, productive relationships and to build trust both with internal colleagues and external constituencies is a must.
- Clear and effective written and oral communication and presentation skills, including individual and large groups. Keen sense of requirements necessary to foster a positive team culture and environment.
- Strategic and analytical thinking, strong capability of project management and problem-solving skills, sound judgment, and a willingness to resolve issues and problems in a timely manner.
- Flexible and adaptable style; a leader who can positively impact both strategic and tactical fundraising initiatives.
- Strong organizational, analytical, and time management skills with exceptional attention to detail.
- Experience leveraging donor data from a CRM system to drive engagement strategy.
- Demonstrated creativity in developing stewardship, events and/or communications concepts.
Ability to assess risk combined with a willingness to take calculated risks
A tolerance for the inevitable ambiguity that typifies a large university
Proven ability to drive performance and execute for results; strategic and agile thinker to develop opportunities and strategies for organizational success toward objectives
Ability to lead and direct staff in a manner that instills confidence and empowers staff to achieve through challenges and tough decisions and situations; helping them to achieve full potential and attain high individual and team performance and goals
High integrity, judgement and courage of convictions
Maintain self-awareness, understanding impact of self on others
Strong evidence of ability to supervise a variety of positions
A healthy sense of humor
Ability to function in an environment of complexity, uncertainty and change management.
Required Application Materials
Resume and cover letter
The university is requiring all MSU students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with limited exceptions. Learn more at: https://msu.edu/together-we-will/
If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Vivianne Robinson, email@example.com
All candidates must submit an application and resume through the Michigan State University Human Resources web-based system, the URL for this website is Advancement.msu.edu. Please indicate the position number 803609 when submitting your application.
Screening of applicants will continue until the position is filled.
MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.
MSU is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.
Review of Applications Begins On
Remote Work Statement
MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.
The work of University Advancement is simple: To move Michigan State University's excellence forward by enriching its future. By securing support through talent, service, gifts and advocacy, UA will reach its objective of building deep, long-term relationships with alumni and partners—which ultimately builds toward a better tomorrow for MSU. Our talent is an essential element in all that we do, including how we work together to forge relationships and secure support for MSU.
Michigan State University has been advancing the common good with uncommon will for more than 160 years. One of the top research universities in the world, MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community through more than 200 programs of study in 17 degree-granting colleges.