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Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts / Development Officer III/S

Michigan State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Apr 21, 2023

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Position Type
Administrative, Other Administrative
Employment Type
Full Time


Title: Development Officer III/S
Level: APSA 15
Working Title: Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts


Michigan State University seeks a Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts to lead the fundraising programs for multiple innovative and forward-thinking cultural organizations (Broad Art Museum, MSU Museum, Beal Gardens) as well as Arts MSU, a strategy thatmoves creativity to the center of university life by integrating the arts into our educational experiences, our research activities, our outreach, and our campus culture. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, have demonstrated experience as a collaborator, strong management skills and a track record of personal fundraising success. This is an exceptional opportunity for a seasoned advancement professional to grow philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations.

Reporting to both the Executive Director of Constituency Programs and the Associate Provost for University Collections and Arts Initiatives, the Senior Director of Advancement will have responsibility for increasing the philanthropic potential for cultural arts at MSU. The Senior Director will actively partner with the Associate Provost, the Executive Directors of cultural units at MSU, including but not limited to the Broad Art Museum and the MSU Museum. The successful candidate will also work collaboratively with key teams within each unit including marketing, education and community outreach, to ensure a holistic approach to building a robust culture of philanthropy. They will work collaboratively with key leaders to articulate funding priorities and to communicate these to diverse constituencies. In addition, they will work collaboratively with colleagues across MSU to identify giving opportunities that benefit cultural arts and other areas that align with the donor's interests.

Managing a team of professional and administrative staff, the Senior Director will personally participate in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of principal/major gifts, and will also be an active and visible member of the network that includes Michigan State's key donors located regionally and nationally. They will also provide strategic philanthropic direction for these units.

The Broad Art Museum connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry.With a focus on the art of our time—in dialogue with the historical—the museum encourages engagement with timely issues of local relevance and global significance. Through a program that features local, national, and international artists, a permanent collection of over 10,000 works, and dynamic public programming, the Broad Art Museum advances the values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity that are paramount to Michigan State University.

The MSU Museum is an innovative and experimental Collaboratory that exists to catalyze creativity. Here, people can openly explore, express, and experiment with ideas across disciplines and interests, and indulge their natural curiosity about the world. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is the state's first Smithsonian Affiliate. The MSU Museum is a registered scientific institution with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and a member ofthe International Coalition of Sites Of Conscience.

Arts MSU - We believe that the arts are essential at MSU. A 21st-century university must provide integrated approaches to learning, research, and innovation. A strong arts strategy will enhance the MSU experience for those who live and work in our community. It will attract students, faculty, and staff and help create a stronger bond with the community, alumni, and donors. Thinking across and among disciplines will help foster new knowledge and approaches to teaching and learning. The arts strategy provides a framework for making the arts present at MSU.


Fundraising & Programmatic Management:

• Develop and manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, with emphasis on 6- and especially 7-figure gifts.
• Plan and implement comprehensive strategies for prospects through the donor cycle of identification, solicitation and cultivation, and stewardship, coordinating activities with development colleagues across campus and the geographic regions, where appropriate.
• Provide assistance to donors regarding tax laws, policies and procedures and resolves problems to maintain a positive image of the University.
• Define and pursue a comprehensive, effective program for engagement and stewardship of past, current and future donors; oversee principal/major gift and annual giving functions for the Cultural Arts Units; emphasize cultivation strategies that recognize the importance of personal interest and motivation in philanthropy to maximize donor potential; create and promote opportunities for increased volunteerism in coordination with University Advancement procedures.
• Audit internal operations to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established development policies.
• Plan, host and communicate at internal and external meetings to provide information on cultural arts at MSU or the University more broadly.
• Develop and monitor budget and expenses to ensure stewardship of university resources and alignment with departmental goals.
• Assist in setting both long- and short-term goals to determine resources required.
• Participate with appropriate teams at the Units to strategically link to community and outreach activities that have the potential to align and synergize with the philanthropic community and the work of the development team with donor populations.
• Collaborate and coordinate with marketing and communication teams the units and University Advancement and MSU marketing and communication.

Personnel Management:

Set clear direction and priorities for staff of three professionals and administrative support personnel. Promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals; inspire and motivate staff through the free flow of information placing staff members' work within the context of cultural arts strategic priorities as well as within the mission of Michigan State, consistent with University Advancement policies and procedures.

• Lead by example; foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards cross-functional collaboration and team-based efforts. 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.
• Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture.
• Recruit, train, motivate and evaluate volunteers to accomplish program goals and objectives.


Interacts with:
• Michigan State University alumni, individuals, corporations, foundations, and community members to solicit as potential donors, handle their donor requests and to cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.
• Faculty – with a focus on building a culture of philanthropy that includes working collaboratively to develop fundraising priorities and engaging them in the fundraising process.
• Staff – to train and oversee their work and to establish priorities.
• Department Heads/Michigan State University Executive Management - 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 Vice President of University Advancement – to advise on the progress of specific cultural arts campaigns.
• Michigan State University Fundraising Colleagues – to seek their advice and partnership in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major prospects and donors.
• Peers/Professional Organizations – to obtain advice and council on options being considered for programs.
• Manage – Provide strategic direction for the recruitment and management of volunteer boards.


Direction is received from the Executive Director of Constituency Programs and from the Associate Provost for University Collections and Arts Initiatives.


Supervision over the Associate and Assistant Directors of Development for cultural arts and office support staff.

• 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
• Five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in higher education fundraising and/or the arts
• Demonstrated experience in marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations
• Or an equivalent combination of education and experience

• Undergraduate degree, advanced degree is preferred
• Seven to ten years in professional fundraising, preferably five or more in higher education development or the arts
• Meaningful experience in or knowledge of all key development areas (major giving, annual fund, planned giving, and corporate and foundation relations)
• Proven ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership gifts at the six- and seven-figure level
• A proven and sustained track record of success leading a development operation
• An approach to management that brings out the best in staff and yields pride, ownership and a sense of team effort
• Superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences
• Exceptional experience in working in a collaborative and complex organization that assures donor coordination
• Ability to prepare clear and effective written and oral presentations
• Demonstrated ability to plan and successfully execute a significant comprehensive campaign
• Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving; the ability to travel regionally and nationally


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 850227 when submitting your application.

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.

Screening of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

MSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.


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