Director of Annual Giving

Posted on 09/16/2019

Grand Valley State University

Grand Rapids, MI


As a member of the University Development Leadership Team, the Director of Annual Giving will lead and oversee a comprehensive annual giving program. Growth in this program is integral to increasing and diversifying philanthropic giving to the University. The Director will help determine strategies to identify, cultivate, solicit, and acknowledge annual giving donors and prospects including alumni, parents, students, current and past employees, and community leaders. A component of the Director’s work will be cultivation and stewardship of a select portfolio of annual giving prospects. The Director will also oversee the scope of outreach and communications via a variety of vehicles for the Annual Giving program. The position will report directly to the Associate Vice President for Development Services and manage five direct reports.

Required Qualifications and Education:

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • Minimum three years of supervisory experience with professional staff.
  • Minimum five years’ experience in fundraising.
  • A strong record of success in the personal solicitation of gifts.
  • Proven leadership and delegation skills.
  • Proven success with contemporary fundraising strategies.
  • A proven ability to realize increased growth in annual giving programs.
  • A proven ability to research, cultivate, solicit, and steward annual gifts and bring creativity and effective strategies to the annual giving program.
  • Ability to be persuasive and articulately communicate the mission of GVSU to internal and external audiences.
  • Strong written and verbal skills.
  • Record of success in conceptualizing, marketing, and achieving development goals and strategies.
  • Creative and self-motivated with a capacity for hard work within an intensely goal-oriented and complex environment.
  • Ability to work effectively with volunteers including providing strong support, inspiring action, and making the experience fulfilling.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with various constituencies including alumni, fellow employees, administration, prospects, and donors.
  • Knowledge of the utilization of integrated information systems in support of fund-raising activities.
  • Ability to contribute to a work environment in which collaboration, respect, and honesty are valued.
  • A sense of integrity and strong work ethic.
  • Willingness and ability to travel on a state level and regionally on a limited basis.

Preferred Qualifications and Education:

  • Master’s degree.
  • Five years experience managing donor prospects in a higher education or hospital setting.
  • Experience implementing strategic and collaborative planning efforts with Alumni Relations and Annual Giving functions.
  • Demonstrated success executing plans and activities involving contemporary fundraising strategies.

Responsibilities – Essential Functions:

  • Develop and implement a long and short range comprehensive annual giving program and goals involving alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, retirees, and friends of the University.
  • Identify and maintain a portfolio of prospects capable of leadership level annual gifts. Devise cultivation, solicitation, and closure strategies, including creating and managing high level annual giving societies.
  • Contribute to the identification of strategic initiatives within the University Development Office, and work collaboratively with the team to increase support for the mission of GVSU and foster a culture of philanthropy with all constituencies.
  • Meet with annual giving constituents to cultivate and steward their annual gifts, travel as necessary.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Alumni Relations to further build relationships with alumni and foster the practice of annual giving.
  • Provide leadership and oversight of Annual Giving staff, delegating responsibilities as appropriate.
  • Work with Annual Giving staff to develop strategies and execute plans for appeal and stewardship communications for all annual giving constituents.
  • Help develop strategies to position the University with annual giving donors in an ever-changing economic environment.
  • Understand the programs GVSU offers, in order to effectively communicate the case for support to appropriate constituencies to increase and diversify philanthropic giving.
  • Manage budget and expenses for the annual giving program.
  • Perform other duties and responsibilities as required.

Salary: Commensurate with experience

Department/Division: University Development

Campus: Pew Campus

Application Deadline: October 7, 2019

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 have questions or need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is guided by values for inclusiveness and community which are integral to our mission to educate students to shape their lives, their professions, and their societies, and to enrich the community through excellent teaching, active scholarship, and public service. The University is an affirmative action, equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. Members of the University community, including candidates for employment or admissions, and visitors or guests have the right to be free from acts of harassment and discrimination, including sexual misconduct, which 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. The University will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities. 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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