Associate Director of Development, Major Gifts, College of Education

Michigan State University in Michigan

Date Posted February 13, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

The College of Education at Michigan State University has established a reputation for excellence and visionary thinking in its efforts to improve teaching and learning across our nation and world, particularly within the contexts of urban and global education. The faculty remains committed to addressing the educational and physical needs of all learners across the life span, and to working closely with educators, leaders and policymakers in the field. The college is proud to claim 64,000 living alumni spread across the globe.  


According to U.S. News & World Report for 2013, the college has seven programs ranked in the top five in the country, more than any other institution save one. This includes the number one spot for our programs in elementary and in secondary education -- for the 18th year in a row, the same number of years U.S. News has been ranking these programs. We also rank number two in Rehabilitation Counseling, Curriculum/Instruction, and Higher Education Administration; and number five in Educational Psychology and Administration/Supervision.


As MSU strategically positions itself to enter its second billion-dollar plus campaign, the Associate Director will play a key role in assisting with planning and development strategy towards a $70 million+ campaign effort – focused on endowment and expendable support -- for the College. This includes assisting with conducting a needs assessment of programs, developing the case for support, refining funding priorities, recruiting and mobilizing volunteers, preparing and reviewing proposals, identifying prospects, and actively soliciting contributions with a focus on gifts of $100,000 and more.


The Associate Director of Development will manage a portfolio of individual major gift prospects to fully develop potential gift (cash and deferred) income to support students, programs and faculty in the College of Education.


  • Responsible for soliciting gifts of $100,000 and higher from alumnae and non-alumnae friends, averaging 2 to 4 major gift solicitations a month.


  • Manage a portfolio of 150 – 200 major donor prospects. Specifically, identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of major donor prospects.


  • Engage 15 -20 major prospects per month through personal visits which result in strategic “moves’ toward closure of major gifts.  


  • Work collaboratively with and in support of volunteers, other development staff, and college representatives to cultivate and solicit donors for college-wide priorities.


  • Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations.


Required: A Bachelor’s degree is required. An advanced degree in education, business, communications, public relations, or some other related field is desirable. Five years of experience in major gift fundraising which includes a proven track record of securing corporate, foundation and major gift support, or experience in another strongly related field in the corporate or non-profit sector is necessary. Strong verbal and written communications and interpersonal skills are required. Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a complex higher education institution and understanding and experience in budget development is highly desirable as is a collaborative team-oriented style. Knowledge of fund raising and tax law affecting charitable giving is necessary. Must have a valid driver’s license. Requires extensive in and out of state travel.


If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Melissa Phillips, Senior Director of Development, College of Education at

An electronic version of this posting is available at– follow the “Career Opportunities” link. 

All candidates must submit an application and resume through the Michigan State University Human Resources web-based system (MAP).  The URL for this website is  Please indicate the position number 8954 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 cultural diversity.  The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities.


How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at