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Director of Foundation Relations Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment

Michigan State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Mar 23, 2024

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

Director of Foundation Relations – Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment

Title: Development Officer II/APA 14
Working Title: Director of Foundation Relations – Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment


University Advancement, together with the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, AgBioResearch, and MSU Extension, is seeking a confident and energetic leader to help plan and co-lead the organization and operation of a comprehensive foundation development program for CANR, AgBioReseach, MSUE, and the broader MSU community. This position will be a key partner working closely with CANR leaders and faculty to increase the department's development outcomes, primarily focused in the foundation space. Identification, cultivation, and solicitation of foundation and nonprofit entities will comprise the managed portfolio. The Director of Foundation Relations – Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment will be a key member of the CANR and Foundation Relations development teams, and one who can assist in growing our philanthropic efforts that support the service and research-oriented vision and mission of CANR, AgBioResearch, MSU Extension and the broader MSU community. This position will primary focus on foundation prospects with a capacity to make grants of $100,000 and more. This position is a dual report to the CANR Senior Director of Development and the Senior Director of Foundation Relations.


Fundraising (75%)
  • Plans and implements methods of prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation in order to match foundation interests with the strengths of CANR and MSU.
  • In collaboration with the CANR Sr. Director of Development and the Sr. Director of Foundation Relations, this position will be responsible for the foundation development program for the College, AgBioResearch, MSU Extension, and broader MSU community. The Director will focus on 6- and 7-figure gift fundraising with in-and out-of-state travel required.
  • Regularly meet with faculty to support their foundation funding needs and to source potential foundation partners.
  • Communicate CANR faculty research/programs in a clear and concise way to foundation staff with the goal of building relationships and securing funding.
  • Prepare annual operating plan that outlines measureable goals, objectives, and strategies to ensure fundraising success.

Foundation Development Programmatic Management (25%):
  • Manage a robust portfolio and prioritize projects and research most appropriate to pitch to foundation partners.
  • Audits internal operations in order to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established policy.
  • Plans, hosts, and communicates at meetings and trainings of the public and University personnel in order to provide information on the College and/or University.

  • Foundations - in order to solicit as potential donors, handle direct communication with foundations to solicit mainly programmatic and research support.
  • MSU Faculty - in order to educate, train and partner with them in the Development process, to seek their advice on needs, to answer funding questions, and collaborate on prospect/proposal strategy.
  • Department Heads/Michigan State University Executive Management - in order 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 and Associate Vice Presidents of University Advancement - in order to advise on the progress of specific College campaigns.
  • Peers/Professional Organizations - in order to obtain advice and council on options being considered for programs.


Supervision for this position is a dual report between the CANR Sr. Director of Development and Sr. Director of Foundation Relations.


Required: 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 volunteer administration, professional and higher education fundraising, public relations, marketing, or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. Travel is required.

  • A Bachelor's degree: Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, and/or Business preferred.
  • Five years' experience in professional fundraising, public relations, marketing, or a related field or three years of progressively responsible professional experience in higher education development, public relations development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements, and analysis of operations or a related field. Previous experience working in agriculture, environmental sciences, or academic environment a plus.
  • Demonstrated organizational, interpersonal, and written/oral communications.
  • Demonstrated experience in facilitating major gifts through planned giving instruments.
  • Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving.
  • Travel involving automobile.

If you review this job description and, have done many of the responsibilities or have transferable skills, we want to hear from you and, welcome your application! We are seeking successful, ambitious fundraisers who want to become part of our team and, help us help us in our ambitious campaign!

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 indicate the position number 925539 when submitting your application.

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.

To apply, visit


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