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Associate Director of Endowed & Gift Planning - University Development

Apply now Job no: 494554
Position type: EAP - Executive, Administrative, Professional
Location: Grand Rapids
Categories: University Development


This position will have the opportunity to make an impact on Grand Valley by owning the gift planning and endowment area. The individual will set the direction for these areas and execute the strategic plan that will benefit students, faculty/staff, and our broader community for years to come.


  1. Manage and provide guidance on gift planning and endowment policies, the strategy behind it and assist colleagues with details on these areas.
  2. Oversee operations for the Gillett Society, the University’s deferred gift donor recognition group, by informing and stewarding existing Gillett Society members and working to increase the number of members.
  3. Develop and implement a gift planning communications plan that will increase deferred giving to the University and a plan to increase the number of endowments and amount of overall endowment giving to the University.
  4. Successfully meet yearly goals by evaluating, planning, and implementing strategic fundraising initiatives to support university, academic, and special project priorities, including scholarships.
  5. Develop new donor relationships through prospecting, research, and cultivation inclusive of discovery calls and visits that lead to solicitations and closed gifts.
  6. Collaborate with division and University leaders including on constituent and prospect-level strategy; work with these same leaders to coordinate and execute donor meetings.
  7. Utilize highly detailed reporting and documentation, work with planned giving and financial professionals to ensure University compliance with the latest best practices in these areas as they relate to fundraising while collaborating with internal University offices.
  8. Attend and participate in appropriate internal and external events to further develop relationships with our constituencies and the university.
  9. Provide detailed documentation of endowment reports, gift planning procedures and policies.
  10. Ensure compliance to University gift acceptance policies and procedures.
  11. Input contact reports and other information in customer relationship management system to ensure the integrity of donor records and to record historical information.
  12. Be available for occasional travel and working some evenings and weekends.
  13. Perform other duties and responsibilities as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree or 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.
  • Four to seven years or of fundraising experience or equivalent experience in a sales or financial planning role.
  • High attention to detail and compliance reporting.
  • Proven track record of securing philanthropic support for nonprofit organizations or comparable results within a sales or financial planner setting.
  • Ability to build relationships with leaders in order to attain “trusted advisor” status.
  • Excellent spoken, written, and interpersonal communications skills with attention to detail.
  • Ability to lead project teams and keep highly detailed projects on track.
  • Ability to prioritize projects, meet deadlines, provide documentation, and work well under pressure.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet fundraising or sales targets.
  • Familiarity with the principles and techniques that drive successful donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship, or related business experience.
  • Outstanding organizational skills and ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Candidates must be committed to GVSU’s vision of inclusion and equity.


  • Higher education experience.
  • Working knowledge of storytelling techniques and strong public speaking skills.
  • Basic understanding of gift planning vehicles or willingness to learn.
  • Experience working in a complex and political environment in academic, corporate, or private foundation settings.
  • 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.
  • Legal background.


Normal office environment. Some travel may be required.

Salary: $65-$75,000, commensurate with experience  

Department/Division: University Development

Campus: Grand Rapids Pew Campus

How To Apply: Apply online at and select "Apply now".  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: Application review begins Friday, June 2. The posting may be closed at any time at the discretion of the University. 

The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution, consistent with its obligations as a federal contractor. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the University. Members of the University community, including students, employees, faculty, staff, administrators, Board members, consultants, vendors, others engaged to do business with the University, candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, as defined by this policy. In accordance with applicable federal and state law and this policy, acts of discrimination or harassment by members of the campus community 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, sex/gender (including gender identity and expression), sexual orientation, veteran or active duty military status or weight. This includes inappropriate limitation of, access to, or participation in educational, employment, athletic, social, cultural, or other university programs and activities. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. Limitations are lawful if they are: directly related to a legitimate university purpose, required by law, or lawfully required by a grant or contract between the university and the state or federal government. For the purposes of this policy, sex-/gender-based harassment includes sexual misconduct, sexual assault, interpersonal or relationship violence, and stalking. 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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