University of Michigan – Director of Development Graham Sustainability Institute and University Sustainability Objectives

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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience that directly relate to this position. In your cover letter, please indicate how you discovered this opportunity.

For additional information about this position and to apply, please visit:

For other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Job Summary

Overview: The Graham Institute catalyzes and facilitates sustainability-focused collaborations involving faculty, students, and external stakeholders. We link knowledge to real-world impact by supporting collaborative teams spanning multiple topics, disciplines, and sectors. And we believe diversity, equity, and inclusion are key to empowerment and the advancement of sustainability.

Reports to: Formal reporting to the Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute Formal reporting to the Senior Director of Development, Strategic Initiatives in the Office of University Development (OUD).

Position summary: The Director of Development plays a critical role in advancing the funding priorities of the Graham Sustainability Institute and for working broadly and collaboratively with other campus partners to support and enable university-wide sustainability objectives.

The Director of Development’s primary responsibilities are twofold:

Identify, cultivate, and solicit prospects capable of giving $100,000 (or more)
Identify and develop strategies for effectively engaging relevant professional foundations. Frequent travel is required.

* This is a full time, three (3) year term limited position with possibility to extend or transition to open-ended. The position qualifies for U-M benefits.

Mission Statement

The Office of University Development maximizes private support for the University of Michigan through high-quality collaboration with the development programs of schools, colleges, and units. We also provide fundraising leadership through the stimulation and facilitation of healthy, productive and life-long relationships with our colleagues, alumni, friends, foundations and corporations.

The U-M development community is committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and thriving workforce, and demonstrating respect and inclusivity for all.


Prospect Management and Solicitation: (50%)

  • Advance individual relationships that result in philanthropic contributions:
  • Identify, qualify, and manage a portfolio of approximately 100 prospective donors with the capacity to make gifts of $100,000 and more.
  • Complete at least 100 personal visits and substantive interactions with prospects and donors each year, and participate in a minimum of 10-15 major gift solicitations per year.
  • Gather data, assess prospects, and develop strategies designed to realize the current and life-time giving potential of individual prospects.
  • Ensure consistent and appropriate contact, facilitate or make solicitations, and ensure effective stewardship.
  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of the priorities of the Institute and make a persuasive verbal and written case for supporting key programs and projects, effectively matching the interests of prospects to specific Institute needs.
  • Organize in-person visits between prospects and key principals (e.g., Graham Director, Provost and President) for purposes of cultivating relationships and making solicitations.
  • Develop materials used by key principals for meetings, visits or individual contacts.
  • Meet regularly with colleagues across campus to coordinate activities and execute strategies that build awareness and consensus around fundraising for sustainability initiatives.

Grantseeking from Professional Foundations: (30%)

  • Advance relationships with professional charitable foundations that result in grants that support Institute work:
  • In close coordination with the Foundation Relations team in OUD, develop and evolve long-term strategies for effectively engaging foundations with respect to the work of the Institute. This includes categorizing relevant foundations by priority area and developing strategies for effectively engaging them in Institute work.
  • Support the development of proposals consistent with foundations’ priorities.
  • In coordination with OUD, manage foundation officer relationships and reporting responsibilities for grants received.

Other Responsibilities: (20%)

  • Serve as a key member of OUD’s university-wide sustainability planning team to ensure effective coordination of sustainability development efforts across the institution.
  • Through collegial consultation and cooperation, demonstrate and be a model of collaboration in the U-M development community, while representing the Graham Sustainability Institute’s interests and priorities.
  • Attend and participate in U-M Chief Development Officer (CDO) meetings.
  • Coordinate with the Business Engagement Center on relationships with corporations and corporate foundations.
  • Work closely with OUD colleagues to help close planned gifts with an understanding of the principals and techniques associated with planned giving and financial and estate planning.
  • Gather, record and properly store information about prospects and donors utilizing DART, the University’s donor and alumni tracking database.
  • Help manage Graham External Advisory Board relationships, and assist the Graham Director and Managing Director in planning meetings and other related board activities.
  • Perform other duties as required or assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Five or more years of relationship-based fundraising experience and/or relevant experience working with and securing five and six figure gifts, including a demonstrated track record with the ability to evaluate, qualify, and move prospects through the cultivation/solicitation cycle.
  • Must be able to travel frequently both in state and throughout the country. This includes evenings and some weekends. A valid driver license is required.
  • Sound knowledge of laws, practices and philosophy of charitable giving.
  • Self-starter with high energy and positive attitude and a track-record of working collaboratively to achieve shared goals.
  • Exceptional listener with strong interpersonal skills, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Experience with U-M development community, policies and procedures is highly desirable.
  • Significant familiarity with and/or professional experience working in sustainability or other environmentally-related causes.
  • Experience working with professional charitable foundations.

Additional Information

For additional information about this position and to review other current openings in Development, please visit our website at:

Application Deadline
Although the Posting End Date may indicate otherwise, this job may be filled and closed anytime after a posting duration of seven calendar days.

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.