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Development Officer II

Michigan State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Sep 23, 2023

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Position Type
Fundraising, Fundraising Administration
Employment Type
Full Time


Title: Development Officer II
Level: AP14
Working Title: Director of Regional Development – Greater Chicago


Michigan State University Advancement seeks a seasoned, independent-working, motivated fundraiser to plan, implement, and evaluate comprehensive major gift fundraising activities for individuals in Illinois, with the primary focus on the greater Chicago metro. As a Regional Director of Development, this individual focuses efforts on donors and prospects whose philanthropic capacity is $100,000 and more, managing a portfolio of approximately 100-120 identified major gift prospects for discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship. The director averages 180 significant personal contacts (meetings, calls, or correspondence) annually, which result in important progress toward major gifts or the qualification and rating of new prospects and two or more major gift solicitations per month that garner capital, endowed, annual, and deferred support. The Director may work from a home office, preferably in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs, or reside in Michigan and travel to the region frequently. Already a very experienced fundraiser, communicator, and collaborator who understands the unique nature of the region, the director becomes knowledgeable about MSU colleges and constituency units, representing them to the area alumni, friends, and parents and soliciting them on behalf of colleagues on campus and/or the university. Whether working independently, with their fundraising colleagues, or as part of a regional team, the director juggles day-to-day fundraising with the multiple demands of working with donors/prospects, hosting events/gatherings, and arranging individual appointments for University leadership, building networks of volunteers who take active roles in the capital campaign, and documents activity on University Advancement's database. The Regional Director of Chicago will be part of the Office of Individual Giving team at MSU, which includes Regional Major Gifts, International Advancement, Special Constituency Programs, and Talent Development (the Development Associates and University Advancement student intern programs) – a highly collaborative team of approximately 30 individuals. Extensive collaboration and communication are expected with constituency-based colleagues working within the colleges, units and our alumni relations partners in the MSU Alumni Office.

As MSU strategically embarks on its third billion-dollar-plus campaign, the Regional Director of Development will assume a leadership role in planning and spearheading a regional campaign effort in Chicago/Illinois in cooperation with our University Advancement major market strategy. This includes recruiting and training volunteers, qualifying and cultivating prospects, developing and reviewing proposals, and actively soliciting philanthropic support for MSU. For more information on this position, please visit our career opportunities website at


Prospect Management and Fundraising

  • To research and develop plans and strategies for the solicitation of major gifts, with a focus on gifts and pledges of $100,000 or more.
  • To assist in the coordination of activities with constituency-based development officers, regional major gift officers, and gift planning advisors to maximize the efficiency of the solicitation process and magnitude of gifts.
  • To maintain records and resource materials that will assist in the identification of major gift prospects interested in support of particular university programs and activities.
  • To assist constituency-based development officers, faculty, and administrators in the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gift prospects likely to support specific university programs and activities. When traveling to the region, the Central Development staff is often called upon to work with the President, Provost, Vice Presidents, and other university leadership .
  • To develop proposals and gift agreements and assist University Advancement staff, faculty, and administration in the presentation of proposals and gift agreements to major gift prospects.
  • To establish direct or indirect contact with those major gift prospects having the greatest potential for support of university programs and activities to assure a level of mutual understanding conducive to support.
  • Plan and host campus visits for major gift prospects with faculty and university leadership as part of a strategic cultivation plan when required.
  • Schedule and arrange for visits by senior university leadership with major gift prospects in the region to move along strategies for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Prepare reports on the activities/operations of the region and its accomplishments and maintain the prospect tracking system for major gift prospects, especially those within the Regional Director's portfolio.
  • Develop promotional materials, letters, and other supportive material required for discovery, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship.
  • Counsel donors regarding tax laws, policies, and procedures and resolves problems to maintain a positive image of the university.

Development and Implementation of a University Advancement Strategy in the Region

  • Plan and produce strategic engagement opportunities in the region for major gift prospects ranging from targeted dinners with individuals and couples to small campaign-related dinners to partnering with the MSU Alumni Office and University Advancement alumni donor relations team on larger alumni engagement events, when appropriate.
  • 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.
  • To organize, train, and utilize volunteers to assist in accomplishing specific program goals and objectives.
  • Collaborate with and utilize constituency-based development officers to build overall success in the region.
  • Develop annual planning and goals that will lead to success in the region beyond the Regional Director's portfolio.


  • Perform analyses of fundraising activities and prepare reports for the Senior Executive Director of Individual Giving, University Advancement, university officials, volunteers, and other related groups and stakeholders.
  • Serve as a fundraising consultant and advisor to university leadership as necessary.
  • Duties associated with this position involve working on a display terminal at least 10% of the time.


  • Direction received from the Senior Executive Director of Individual Giving.


  • Michigan State University alumni/friends/corporations/businesses/employees and corporate leadership - to solicit potential donors, handle their donor requests, and cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.
  • Regional major and gift planning colleagues and constituency-based development colleagues - to coordinate cultivation and solicitation strategies for major gift prospects in an effort to maximize the campaign gift potential.
  • Michigan State University executive leadership - to consult and coordinate work within the university structure to aid in the discovery of potential donors and gain support for special projects.
  • Michigan State University Vice President of University Advancement and Associate Vice President of University Development - to advise on the progress of specific campaign/regional goals.
  • Michigan State University campaign leadership - to seek their advice on the cultivation and solicitation of major donors and to assist them in soliciting donors.

The job requires: 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 fundraising, marketing or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

  • An advanced degree and/or professional fundraising certification is preferred.
  • Five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive experience in professional fundraising, public relations, marketing, or related field; 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 transactions with demonstrable experience with gifts of $100,000 or more.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • Travel is required. Possession of a valid vehicle operator's license.

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 891770 when submitting your application.

To apply, visit

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.


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