Associate Director of Donor Relations

Posted on 06/21/2021

University of Michigan-Ross School of Business

Ann Arbor, MI


The Associate Director of Donor Relations is responsible for developing, managing, and leading a best-of-class Donor Relations and Stewardship program for the Ross School. The Associate Director reports to the Senior Director of Stewardship & Development Operations and works closely with the Senior Director with respect to strategic planning. Through leadership of the team, the Associate Director is responsible for the overall strategic direction, success, and implementation of all donor relations activities. Donor Relations programming will support the overarching development goals and ensure that both new and existing donors who are strategically important for the future success of the school are appropriately acknowledged, recognized, and informed about the impact of their giving. As Associate Director, s/he will promote a consistent cycle of stewardship and recognition through researching and communicating the impact of all levels of donations (including endowed and expendable scholarships, professorships, programmatic support, facilities support, Dean’s discretionary, and Annual Fund).

The Associate Director is an integral part of the giving continuum and through his/her efforts will help keep an increasing amount of donors engaged with the school and encourage future philanthropic contributions. The Associate Director should be proactive, strategic, detail-oriented, and consistent with a strong commitment to quality, timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness.

The Associate Director supervises the Donor Relations team. The Associate Director supervises the Donor Relations team.


  • Develop annual relations plan and annual reporting schedules for stewardship reports covering endowed and expendable funds.
  • Create high-quality, compelling and customized written communications for endowed and expendable funds, including financial status of funds and use/recipient information.
  • Conduct research and interview faculty, staff and students to compose appropriate content for stewardship reports.
  • Create donor-centric event materials, including programs and other collateral materials.
  • Be a primary contact for donors who inquire about endowment and gift usage details and for colleagues requesting information on current or historical gifts and usage parameters.
  • Provide oversight and implementation of the annual Scholars and Donors Celebration event.
  • Oversee and maintain accurate physical donor recognition throughout the Ross School facilities, and create and implement special events to celebrate named spaces.
  • Provide oversight for standard, routine stewardship correspondence including acknowledgement letters, gift agreements, plaques, and signage
  • Ensure compliance to budget and all applicable financial and development policies, procedures, and requirements
  • Monitor the scholarship awarding program in cooperation with the Ross Financial Aid Office and Finance unit to ensure appropriate use of scholarship funds

Required Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Marketing, Public Relations or Communications or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • 5+ years of related experience in higher education, event planning, donor relations, development, alumni relations or a comparable field with progressively increased responsibility
  • Advanced project management experience
  • Advanced leadership experience and ability to create positive working environments
  • Experience publishing software to create published reports

Additional Information: 

In addition to a career filled with purpose and opportunity, The University of Michigan offers a comprehensive benefits package to help you stay well, protect yourself and your family and plan for a secure future. Benefits include:

  • Generous time off
  • A retirement plan that provides two-for-one matching contributions with immediate vesting
  • Many choices for comprehensive health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Long-term disability coverage
  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare and dependent care expenses

The statements included in this description are intended to reflect the general nature and level of work assigned to this classification and should not be interpreted as all-inclusive.

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

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