Associate Director of Development – Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Cultural Arts / Development Officer II

Job no: 883954
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 14
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Constituency Program Dir 3 40001225
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: $75,000-$85,000
Location: East Lansing
Categories: PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Administrative Professionals- AP, Full Time (90-100%), Union, Remote-Friendly

Working/Functional Title

Associate Director of Development, Cultural Arts

Position Summary

Michigan State University seeks an Associate Director of Development, Cultural Arts to fundraise for Arts MSU, a campus-wide strategy that moves creativity to the center of university life by integrating the arts into our educational experiences, our research activities, our outreach, and our campus culture. The Associate Director of Development will manage a portfolio of foundations, corporations, and individual major gift prospects, focusing on awards, sponsorships, and gifts of $50,000+ to the arts. They will develop compelling fundraising materials that include proposals, reports, appeals, and sponsor packs, that support the efforts of Arts MSU. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, have demonstrated experience as a collaborator, and have a track record of personal fundraising success. 

Reporting to the Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts, the Associate Director will actively work with core units in the arts strategy. With an early focus on the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden, MSU Museum, and Broad Art Museum, the Associate Director will also grow collaborative funding opportunities with colleges, units, and colleagues across MSU that benefit the arts and other areas that align with the donor’s interests.


Arts MSU  – We believe that the arts are essential at MSU. A 21st-century university must provide integrated learning, research, and innovation approaches. A strong arts strategy will enhance the MSU experience for those who live and work in our community. It will attract students, faculty, and staff and help create a stronger bond with the community, alumni, and donors. Thinking across and among disciplines will help foster new knowledge and approaches to teaching and learning. The arts strategy provides a framework for making the arts present at MSU.

Established in 1873, the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden is the oldest continuously operated university botanical garden in the United States and illuminates the interconnectedness between people, plants, and places. This living laboratory encourages learning and exploration of the natural world. With a collection of over 2,000 plants from around the globe situated in the heart of MSU’s campus along the Red Cedar River, this lovely natural landscape is perfect for collaborative programming to advance research, teaching, well-being, and public engagement.

The Broad Art Museum connects people with art through experiences that inspire curiosity and inquiry. With a focus on the art of our time—in dialogue with the historical—the museum encourages engagement with timely issues of local relevance and global significance. Through a program that features local, national, and international artists, a permanent collection of over 10,000 works, and dynamic public programming, the Broad Art Museum advances the values of quality, inclusion, and connectivity that are paramount to Michigan State University.

The MSU Museum is an innovative and experimental collaboratory that exists to catalyze creativity. Here, people can openly explore, express, and experiment with ideas across disciplines and interests and indulge their natural curiosity about the world. The American Alliance of Museums accredits it and is the state’s first Smithsonian Affiliate. The MSU Museum is a registered scientific institution with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.


  • Identify and maintain an active pool of 100 – 120 foundation, corporate, and individual donor prospects.
  • Collaborate and coordinate with University Advancement, administrators, faculty, and key teams within each core unit, including marketing, education, and community outreach, to create and carry out fundraising strategies and solicitation of donations and awards of $50,000 and more from these prospects, averaging 2 to 4 solicitations or proposals a month.
  • Develop printed materials that support these fundraising efforts, including proposals, reports, and sponsor packs.
  • Work to build strong, engaged relationships with prospects to determine and merge prospect passions/interests/needs with Arts MSU funding priorities.
  • Achieve fundraising goals through an active and consistent prospect/donor outreach, including 120 significant contacts annually. Attends events to connect with donors and prospects.
  • Work collaboratively with and support volunteers, other development staff, and other MSU representatives to cultivate and solicit donors for college-wide priorities. 
  • Serve as a consultant to donors on the tax advantage of various types of gifts.


  • Works with the appropriate marketing colleagues to maintain current giving information on the websites.
  • Assist in developing and implementing an annual major donor communication and stewardship plan for Arts MSU, including donor updates, impact reports, events, and gift stories.
  • Monitor all prospect contacts to ensure positive and purposeful prospect and donor relations. 


  • Prepare annual personal fundraising goals and analyze/report goal accomplishment. Assist in planning and implementing special-purpose campaigns, as necessary.
  • Assist with coordinating and participating in donor engagement, prospecting, recognition, and stewardship events, as appropriate.
  • Utilize alumni and donor databases to coordinate with other development colleagues, record contact activities, update donor information, record strategic moves management steps, and gift documentation as appropriate.
  • Closely coordinate with Corporate Relations and Foundation Relations teams to align arts efforts with university-wide initiatives.

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills

Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and/or Business; three to five years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in public relations, volunteer administration, professional and higher education fundraising, marketing or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Desired Qualifications

  • A bachelor’s degree is required.  An advanced degree in the arts, sciences, museum studies, liberal arts, business, communications, public relations, marketing, or some other related field is desirable.
  • Five years of meaningful experience in or knowledge of all key development areas (particularly corporate and foundation relations), with a history of securing awards and gifts of $50,000 or more.
  • Strong verbal and written communications (including proposal and report writing), along with advanced interpersonal skills are required. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a complex higher education institution, and understanding and experience in development are highly desirable, as is a collaborative team-oriented style. 
  • Understanding of and appreciation of science and arts and culture.
  • Knowledge of fundraising and tax law affecting charitable giving is necessary. 
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • In-state travel and some out-of-state travel required. 

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, age, disability or protected veteran status.

Required Application Materials

Resume and cover letter

Special Instructions

If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Patricia Karam, Director of Recruitment at

All candidates must submit an application, resume and cover letter through the Michigan State University Human Resources web-based system, the URL for this website is  Please indicate the position number 883954 when submitting your application.

Screening of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

Work Hours

Mostly 8-5 with the exception of donor/alumni centric engagements


Remote Work Statement

MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.

Bidding eligibility ends on 8/1/23 at 11:55 PM

Advertised: Jul 26, 2023 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Aug 24, 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Categories: Job Postings