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Foundation President and CEO/Vice President, University Advancement

Montana State University Alumni Foundation
Montana, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jun 6, 2023

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Bryant Group is proud to partner with the Montana State University Alumni Foundation to recruit the next Foundation President and CEO/Vice President, University Advancement

The Opportunity

The Montana State University Alumni Foundation seeks a collaborative, strategic and visionary leader to serve as the next President & CEO. Reporting to the MSU Alumni Foundation's Board of Governors, the President & CEO oversees the management of the MSU Alumni Foundation's $232 million endowment and is responsible for 60+ employees of the Alumni Foundation, engaging 16,000 constituents annually, and the development efforts that secure approximately $40 million annually for Montana State University.

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of building strong relationships with campus leadership and fostering a collaborative environment in a university-affiliated foundation and/or alumni association. The new hire must have at least seven years of experience in a senior management role. Experience in both fundraising and alumni engagement is preferred.

Established as an independent 501(c)(3) private nonprofit corporation in 1946, the Montana State University Alumni Foundation is the institutionally related foundation of Montana State University. As a private, nonprofit entity, the Alumni Foundation's mission is to cultivate lifelong relationships and secure private support to advance Montana State University. The Alumni Foundation successfully utilizes a consolidated model that combines the traditional fundraising foundation and the alumni association.

Founded in 1893 as a Land Grant University, Montana State University enjoys worldwide respect and is the state's largest university, enrolling a 2022 student population of 16,688 students. With more than $200 million in research expenditures annually, the university conducts more research than all other public and private entities in Montana combined. It is one of only 146 higher education institutions to receive an R1 designation for very high research activity by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The university offers over 250 undergraduate and 115 graduate degrees including through Gallatin College MSU, which offers more than 20 one- and two-year workforce degrees and certificates to meet the interests of students and the workforce needs of southwest Montana. Through MSU Extension, the university reaches the people and communities of all 56 of Montana's counties with programs and information.

Essential Job Functions (included but not limited to)

Strategic Leadership

  • Develop and disseminate deep knowledge of the university, its strategic plan, academic, research and outreach programs and its student body.
  • Grow a successful, collaborative working partnership with the university's president and leadership team, ensuring alignment between the Alumni Foundation and university on fundraising strategy, priorities and other issues.
  • Understand the organizational vision and mission and create a strategic framework for the long-term success of the Alumni Foundation's support of the university.
  • Monitor and nimbly adapt to the changing needs of the university and external factors affecting the success of the university.

    Executive Management
  • Achieve financial success by meeting annual fundraising and budget goals, ensuring the Alumni Foundation's financial stability and ability to provide long-term support to the university.
  • Assure the security and accuracy of financial and constituent information.
  • Manage Alumni Foundation operations by developing and monitoring priorities and key objectives consistent with the strategic direction of the university and the Alumni Foundation.
  • Provide growth and development opportunities for the Alumni Foundation leadership team and staff.
  • Understand and manage the business needs of the Alumni Foundation, including staffing, systems and processes.

    Communication and Relationship Building
  • Provide direction for building relationships with university stakeholders, including nonprofit affiliates of the university, donors, alumni, friends of the university and state decision makers through various media, programs and events to grow participation.
  • Build relationships and coordinate fundraising with nonprofit MSU affiliates such as the Museum of the Rockies, Montana PBS and the MSU Bobcat Club.
  • Support and participate in comprehensive engagement efforts with donors, alumni, parents and friends of the university.
  • Support 12 Alumni Charter Chapters in Montana and across the U. S. and the Alumni Advocate Network that works to keep communities and state decision makers informed about issues important to the university.

    Development and Fundraising
  • Direct fundraising through annual, major and planned giving and capital campaigns.
  • Potentially, manage a personal portfolio of major and principal gift prospects in support of the university's highest fundraising priorities.

    Board of Governors
  • Support robust governance and compliance programs.
  • Assure complete and accurate external and internal reporting.
  • Provide an ample pipeline of qualified board candidates for service to the Alumni Foundation and university.
  • Assist the board chair in managing the activities of the board, including developing meeting agendas, clarifying governance issues, planning and executing board meetings and board-related communications.
  • Report on strategic and business results
    The successful candidate will sustain and enhance the culture of performance-based management and accountability, career development, integrity, respect and appropriate recognition and will maintain the highest ethical standards when dealing with staff, donors, alumni and the community.

  • Baccalaureate degree with an advanced degree preferred.
  • Seven or more years of progressive success in a senior management role, preferably in a public university-affiliated foundation and/or alumni association. Experience in both fundraising and alumni engagement is preferred.
  • Proven track record of ethical and strategic leadership, collaborative planning and problem-solving and positive program and personnel management.
  • Business acumen, including experience managing and implementing multi-department budgets; understanding of proper nonprofit financial management.
  • Senior management experience in the planning and execution of a comprehensive fundraising campaign.
  • Executive experience with developing and implementing business strategy.
  • Ability to inspire others through strong verbal, written and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to form strong relationships evidenced by effective collaboration with the university's stakeholders, including university leadership, staff, donors, alumni, the community, corporate and Alumni Foundation representatives and other university-related nonprofits.
  • Deep understanding of investment practices and endowment management.
  • Ability to affect and maintain a professional, proactive, positive, highly collaborative and performance-centric work environment.
  • Interest in becoming familiar with Montana's communities, culture, economy, history and politics.
  • A willingness to attend Alumni Foundation events, including but not limited to large-scale engagement events, homecoming, awards, chapters, target regions and/or smaller donor-centric opportunities.
  • A willingness to relocate/reside in Bozeman, Montana.
  • A willingness to attend university meetings and events, including receptions and athletic events.
  • A willingness to travel in-state, regionally and nationally as required to fulfill job responsibilities.

    For more information, visit:

    Application Procedure

    Montana State University Alumni Foundation has retained Bryant Group to assist in this recruitment process. To be considered for this opportunity, please submit your letter of interest and qualifications for the position as outlined in this announcement in confidence to Bryant Group by emailing A criminal history background check will be required for finalists under consideration for this position.

    Priority will be given to candidate materials received by June 15, 2023. The MSU Alumni Foundation is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer that believes that diversity, equity and inclusion allow us to better serve our students and communities and are critical to supporting the mission of Montana State University as a land grant institution.


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