Job Details

Michigan State University
  • Position Number: 4120453
  • Location: East Lansing, MI
  • Position Type: Development and Fund Raising

Associate Director of Development, CAL / Development Officer II

Classification Description
Title: Development Officer II
Level: AP14
Working Title: Associate Director of Development College of Arts and Letters

As a core college with a focus on a broad liberal arts education, the College of Arts and Letters educates actors, artists, designers, filmmakers, linguists, philosophers, poets, teachers, translators, writers and much more while exposing students to the major cultural issues facing a global society. The College employs engaged, talented and forward-thinking faculty and scholars to educate our students and bring public focus to the arts and humanities. Arts and humanities education in the College of Arts and Letters fosters creativity, critical thinking and communication skills, the ability to see issues from multiple perspectives, and a solid sense of social responsibility in our graduates.

The College of Arts & Letters is #1 in study abroad with over 88 programs in 40 countries on 6 continents; #1 in study away with over 20 programs in 12 cities; has a nationally ranked linguistic department, and a top-ranked philosophy department. With over 5,000 students, 24 majors, and an undergraduate placement rate of 95%, the College of Arts & Letters is proud to be a national leader in academics, research and community outreach.

Basic Function:
The College is seeking a major gift officer to increase philanthropic support to enrich undergraduate and graduate education, recruit and retain world-class faculty and enhance research and creative activity in the College.

Assists the Senior Director of Development for the College of Arts & Letters with planning and implementing a comprehensive fundraising program. The Associate Director of Development will manage a portfolio of major gift prospects to fully develop potential gift (cash and deferred) income to support the mission of the college.

The Associate Director of Development is expected to be an accomplished, responsive, and collaborative member of the College's Advancement & Engagement Team and with University Advancement.

The Associate Director of Development will manage a portfolio of 100 - 125 major donor prospects, focusing efforts on prospects whose philanthropic capacity is $50,000 or more to maximize the fundraising potential within the College and on behalf of Michigan State University. The Associate Director will average 15 face to face strategic visits per month which will result in greater engagement and movement toward a major gift solicitation at a rate of 2 to 4 solicitations per month, with all solicitation efforts cleared and coordinated with the college and the Office of University Development at Michigan State University. The Associate Director will dedicate a significant amount of time traveling, with emphasis initially focused on prospects in the Midwest, Florida and other areas as appropriate.

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties of the Associate Director of Development are as follows but are not limited to:

  • Identify and maintain an active pool of 100-125 prospects under strategic management. Specifically, identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 100 - 125 major donor prospects.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with College of Arts and Letters Advancement, University Advancement, and administrators and faculty of the College of Arts and Letters to create and carry out fundraising strategies and solicitation of gifts of $50,000 and more, averaging 2 to 4 major gift solicitations a month.
  • Work to build strong, engaged relationships with major gift prospects to determine and merge prospect passions/interests/needs with the College funding priorities.
  • Achieve the College fundraising goals through active and consistent prospect/donor outreach that includes 120 significant contacts annually. Utilize phone calls, email, mail, social media, and other strategies to identify, connect with and engage alumni to solicit financial support for the College. Attends college events as needed.
  • Collaborates with major gift officers from University Advancement and other units to maximize philanthropic support and strategize on transformative giving opportunities.
  • Serve as a consultant to donors on the tax advantage of various types of gifts

External Communication & Donor Stewardship
  • Support the development of briefings, proposals, and talking points for fundraising priorities.
  • Assist in developing and implementing an annual major donor communication and stewardship plan for the College that includes donor updates, engagement events, and gift stories.
  • Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.

Program Management
  • Prepare annual personal fundraising goals and analyze/report goal accomplishment. Assist in planning and implementing special-purpose campaigns, as necessary.
  • Serve as a fundraising consultant and advisor to department/division heads and faculty as needed; strategize on strategies that grow philanthropic support for their respective areas.
  • Assist with coordinating and participating in alumni and donor engagement, prospecting, recognition, and stewardship events, as appropriate.
  • Utilize alumni and donor database to coordinate with other development colleagues, record contact activities, update donor information, record strategic moves management steps, and gift documentation as appropriate.

The position reports directly to the Senior Director of Advancement for the College of Arts and Letters.

Communications/Interpersonal Relationships
Interacts with:
  • Michigan State University alumni/individuals/Corporations/Businesses/Employees and corporate leadership - in order to solicit as potential donors, manage donor requests, and to cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.

  • Faculty and Department Chairs, Program Directors and other Arts and Letters leaders - in order to assist in the understanding and implementation of fundraising procedures, to seek their advice on funding needs, to answer development questions, to advise them on development strategy and to solicit them as potential donors.

  • Peers - in order to obtain advice and counsel on options being considered for programs and in order to coordinate the cultivation and solicitation of donor prospects.

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public relations, volunteer administration, professional and higher education fund raising, marketing or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • A Bachelor's degree in liberal arts or other related field.
  • Five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive experience in professional fundraising, public relations, marketing or related field; working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving; or an equivalent combination of education and experience; possession of a valid vehicle operator's license.
  • Excellent writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Experience in public speaking.
  • Collaborative team-oriented style.
  • Experience with "Moves Management" or related strategic relationship development.
  • Ability to "close" gifts or business deals with demonstrative experiences closing gifts of $50,000 or more.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • Travel involving automobile, airline and rail.

This position is located in East Lansing, Michigan. Because it is expected that the successful application will be an active member of the College advancement team, this role requires attendance at events and meetings outside of traditional business hours and thus the Associate Director of Development is expected to reside in a location reasonably accessible to the campus.

We will continue evaluation of applications until the position is filled.

How to Apply

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Patricia Karam, Director of Recruitment at

All candidates must submit an application resume and cover letter through the Michigan State University Human Resources web-based system, the URL for this website is Please indicate the position number 855146 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 a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. The University actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans, and persons with disabilities.

To apply, visit

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