Grand Valley State University has a COVID-19 Vaccine requirement that requires all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated. New hires will be expected to adhere to the policy unless they are eligible for allowable exemptions or postponement. We will require proper documentation upon hire. Up-to-date information can be found on our Lakers Together website.

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If you are unable or limited in your ability to access our career website as a result of a physical or mental impairment, please contact Human Resources at (616) 331-2215 or to request a reasonable accommodation. You may also access this resource to request accommodations prior to or during the interview process. Your privacy is important to us, therefore, we will only share information regarding accommodations on a need to know basis.

Senior Director of Philanthropy - University Development

Apply now Job no: 494160
Position type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Grand Rapids
Categories: University Development

Job Summary:

The position is responsible for helping the university to reach its fundraising goals through leadership of the corporate, foundation, and individual major and leadership giving programs of the university. This position will be empowered to develop the overarching plan for engagement of corporate, foundation, and individual donors capable of making gifts of $15,000 or more. The Sr. Director will lead their team in developing constituency-based and prospect-by-prospect strategies effectively moving prospective supporters through the donor life cycle. This position will collaborate on data analysis and reporting to create data-driven approaches and track results. Reporting to the Associate Vice President for University Development, the Sr. Director will also work closely with Vice President for University Development and other senior leaders within the unit to identify opportunities, prioritize work flow, and drive results. This position will liaise with campus and community leaders. The Sr. Director will carry a small portfolio, but the primary focus of this position is to ensure the effective outreach to prospective supporters within their team’s portfolios.

Primary Duties:

  • In collaboration with the division’s senior leadership team, design, execute, analyze, and improve all facets of the University’s philanthropy program to include corporate, foundation, major, and leadership giving (gifts of $15,000+).
  • Drive the development of an annual plan for the philanthropy team inclusive of goals, strategies, tactics, and key performance indicators. Ensure this plan supports the university’s larger campaign and annual fundraising goals.
  • Execute against the annual plan by providing leadership to the philanthropy team guiding them in determining constituency-based and prospect-by-prospect strategies to effectively move prospects through the donor lifecycle from discovery to stewardship.
  • Lead the development of goals, benchmarks, and activity metrics for each member of the philanthropy team. Work closely with the development services team to identify philanthropy team data protocols, reporting needs, and efficient tracking of progress against metrics, benchmarks, and goals.
  • Direct, coordinate, and evaluate employees. Carry out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with all policies and applicable laws. Aids in the interviewing, hiring, and training of the philanthropy team.
  • Collaborate with other teams throughout the development division, and ensure that the philanthropy team does the same, to provide the best possible donor experience. Aid in the development of protocols that will guide the collaborative activities of gift officers within the annual, university relations, and philanthropy teams. Provide counsel and advice to the principal gift team.
  • Build relationships with faculty and other university leaders in support of fundraising priorities and opportunities.
  • As appropriate, personally develop and manage a small portfolio of major and principal gift prospects.
  • Represent the university at fundraising meetings and other appropriate occasions, speak to professional organizations and other groups as program needs dictate, and host development-related functions.
  • Monitor budgets to ensure expenses are appropriate and within existing parameters.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Required:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • A minimum of five years of fundraising experience OR equivalent experience in a sales management role.
  • Computer proficiency with a working knowledge of CRM databases.
  • Able to plan strategically, set priorities, and efficiently manage resources.
  • Deep understanding of the principles that drive fundraising/sales success including prospect discovery, donor lifecycle/buyer’s journey, storytelling, and pipeline segmentation and analysis.
  • Experience in writing proposals and demonstrated ability to effectively build relationships and alliances with internal and external audiences.
  • Demonstrated ability to lead a team to success while working effectively with senior management teams; highly developed motivational skills and deep knowledge of employee feedback and conflict resolution techniques.
  • Proven track record of securing philanthropic support/driving prospect conversion for nonprofit organizations OR comparable results within a B2B or inside sales setting.
  • Excellent spoken, written, and interpersonal communications skills with attention to detail. Able to work collaboratively with all levels of staff, donors, and prospective donors.
  • Outstanding organizational skills and ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Ability to demonstrate a high level of integrity and trust, and must be a visionary, self-starter with a sense of urgency and a clear set of expectations.
  • Must be highly motivated and committed to the goals of higher education.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Preferred:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Seven-to-ten years of corporate, foundation, or individual major gift fundraising experience OR equivalent experience within a sales management role.
  • Demonstrated commitment to implementing best practices and policies in order to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Experience working within Higher Education in a fundraising, enrollment, or marketing role.
  • A proven track record of success in developing, executing, and measuring major gift programs.

Working Conditions: Normal office environment. Some travel may be required.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Department/Division: University Development

Campus: Grand Rapids

How to Apply: Please include a cover letter and resume. The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, please call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Application Deadline: Consideration of applications will begin immediately and the posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University.

Grand Valley State University has a COVID-19 Vaccine requirement that requires all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated. New hires will be expected to adhere to the policy unless they are eligible for allowable exemptions or postponement. We will require proper documentation upon hire. Up-to-date information can be found on our Lakers Together website.

Grand Valley State University does not discriminate against students, faculty or staff in any of its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities. Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests, have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, which are prohibited if they discriminate or harass on the basis of age, color, disability, familial status, height, marital status, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, veteran or active duty military status or weight. In addition, Grand Valley is required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to ensure that none of its education programs and activities discriminate on the basis of sex/gender. Sex includes sex stereotypes, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, and pregnancy or parenting status. The Office for Title IX and Institutional Equity serves as a resource for the GVSU community and assists individuals who may have been impacted by discrimination or harassment in connecting with resources, imposes measures that protect or support access to programs and activities, and oversees the university’s grievance process for allegations of discrimination and harassment. Inquiries regarding the application of Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator, 4015 Zumberge Hall,, (616) 331-9530.

The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Must have the physical stamina to work long hours and/or more than 5 days per week. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The information contained in this job description is for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended by the ADA Amendment Act (2008), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and other applicable federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. GVSU will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request.

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