University of Michigan – Major Gifts Officer

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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.

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Job Summary

The Rackham Graduate School is the joint academic home of more than 8500 University of Michigan students pursuing doctoral, master’s, and certificate credentials. Horace H. and Mary A. Rackham endowed the graduate school more than 80 years ago as a focal point for academic inquiry, community, and intellectual exchange.

The Rackham Graduate School partners with University of Michigan graduate faculty and programs to advance excellence in graduate education, to cultivate a vibrant and diverse student community, and to impact the public good through the scholarship and discoveries of its students and degree recipients.

The Graduate School’s vision is that all partners – faculty, students, alumni, and staff – will embrace their membership in the Rackham community and collaborate to promote excellence, diversity, innovation, and a student-centered academic experience in graduate education. Major goals of the graduate school include reimagining the academic experience of graduate students, strengthening the diversity of the Rackham community, enhancing partnerships within the graduate community, and strengthening the organizational culture and climate of Rackham.

The Rackham Development team seeks a Major Gifts Officer who will manage, identify, cultivate and solicit individual donor prospects for the school. S/he will develop and manage a portfolio of prospects and donors by securing major and planned gifts of $100,000 or more on behalf of Rackham. S/he will report to the Director of Development and Alumni Relations and work closely with the Rackham Dean, Associate and Assistant Deans, as well as Program Directors, faculty and university-wide development colleagues to achieve positive outcomes.

Please Note: Position requires frequent travel (50%) and regular participation in evening and weekend activities


Job responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Represent the Rackham Graduate School in assigned territories, including frequent (50%) overnight travel to meet with Rackham constituents.

Emphasis on management of existing donors, discovery visits and portfolio building is expected. Build a portfolio of 150 donors and prospects

Conduct 125-150 face to face visits with prospects and donors per year, and participate in 15-20 solicitations per year.

Identify, and formally qualify new major and planned gift prospects by developing and executing long-range and short-range strategies and plans to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospects, producing a continuous stream of donors capable of making gifts of $100,000 or more to the graduate school.

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.

Maintain accurate and current records, document activity, and share with the Director of Development and Alumni Relations and other staff and development colleagues as necessary for transparency.

Develop and maintain strong relationships with academic and other unit colleagues on campus, by demonstrating leadership in the development community. Collaborate with campus colleagues and team members to advance development results. Partner and coordinate with Office of University Development regional gift and planned gift teams, as well as development officers across campus, on gift solicitation strategies for individual prospects

Direct and implement special projects and events to advance graduate education at Michigan.

Assist with volunteer structures in recruiting and sustaining strong volunteer network to assist in prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation, as well as to provide expanded opportunities for key prospects to engage with the graduate school and the university as a whole.

Participate in Rackham events as appropriate this includes but is not limited to campus-wide activities, on and off-campus donor activities, other school events, etc. Participate in professional development activities and training to increase expertise around Rackham, graduate education and fundraising. Represent the team on DEI committees at Rackham and consistently work to advance DEI on the UM campus.

Required Qualifications*

Bachelor’s degree and three to five (3-5) years of professional experience in direct fundraising and/or relevant experience in alumni outreach, sales, marketing or other related fields.

Excellent oral and written communication skills and organizational skills with an entrepreneurial mindset. Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively with donors, faculty, staff, and graduate students is required.

Demonstrated excellent problem solving, conflict resolution, and customer service skills.

Demonstrated sound knowledge of laws, practices and philosophy of charitable and planned giving.

Demonstrated track record of financial development and/or sales productivity in a complex work environment.

Demonstrated proficiency with Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Google (Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides).

Attention to detail and excellent proofreading skills.

Ability to maintain confidentiality.

Experience working independently as well as effectively in teams. Must have the ability to work comfortably with individuals at all levels (faculty, staff, students, donors, alumni, etc.). Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work cooperatively with Rackham offices, campus colleagues and external constituents is required.

Ability to travel to locations both on and off campus to attend meetings/events and access files or information is required. Position requires frequent overnight travel (50%) and regular participation in early morning, evening and weekend activities.

Must reliably manage multiple responsibilities and manage time effectively.

Must have excellent judgment with a professional demeanor and presentation. A high level of sophistication and maturity in social and professional setting is essential.

Ability to maintain a collegial relationship with units on and off campus.

Understanding and value of diversity and the importance of inclusion as demonstrated through a commitment to apply and incorporate the differences, complexities, and opportunities that diversity brings to an organization.

Desired Qualifications*

Master’s degree and three to five (3-5) years of higher education fundraising experience.

Demonstrated track record of seven-figure financial development and/or sales productivity in a complex work environment.

Experience managing a portfolio of prospects and soliciting gifts of $100,000.

Experience with travel to markets and securing donor appointments.

Working knowledge of the university organizational policies, rules, regulations, procurement and purchasing is desired.

Passion for the University of Michigan and graduate education.

Demonstrated ability to work within a campus culture that includes a diverse array of personalities, and cohesively manage conflicting expectations.

Experience with DART, MPathways, BusinessObjects, and Concur.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days. This job may be removed from posting boards and filled any time after the minimum posting period has ended.

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

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