Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts/Development Officer – MSU Broad Art Museum, East Lansing, MI

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Job no: 850227
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 15
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Constituency Program Dir 3 40001225
Sub Area: APSA- Pro Supervisory
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: Administrative/Business/Professional, Financial/Accounting, PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Professional Supervisory- APSA, Full Time (90-100%), Union, Remote-Friendly

Position Summary

Michigan State University seeks a Senior Director of Advancement, Cultural Arts to lead the fundraising programs for multiple innovative and forward-thinking cultural organizations (Broad Art Museum, MSU Museum, Beal Gardens) as well as Arts MSU, a 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 successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, have demonstrated experience as a collaborator, strong management skills and a track record of personal fundraising success.  This is an exceptional opportunity for a seasoned advancement professional to grow philanthropic support from individuals, corporations and foundations.

Reporting to both the Executive Director of Constituency Programs and the Associate Provost for University Collections and Arts Initiatives, the Senior Director of Advancement will have responsibility for increasing the philanthropic potential for cultural arts at MSU.  The Senior Director will actively partner with the Associate Provost, the Executive Directors of cultural units at MSU, including but not limited to the Broad Art Museum and the MSU Museum.  The successful candidate will also work collaboratively with key teams within each unit including marketing, education and community outreach, to ensure a holistic approach to building a robust culture of philanthropy.  They will work collaboratively with key leaders to articulate funding priorities and to communicate these to diverse constituencies.  In addition, they will work collaboratively with colleagues across MSU to identify giving opportunities that benefit cultural arts and other areas that align with the donor’s interests.

Managing a team of professional and administrative staff, the Senior Director will personally participate in the identification, cultivation and solicitation of principal/major gifts, and will also be an active and visible member of the network that includes Michigan State’s key donors located regionally and nationally.  They will also provide strategic philanthropic direction for these units.

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. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums 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.

Arts MSU  – We believe that the arts are essential at MSU. A 21st-century university must provide integrated approaches to learning, research, and innovation.  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.


Fundraising & Programmatic Management:

Develop and manage a portfolio of major and principal gift prospects, with emphasis on 6- and especially 7-figure gifts.

Plan and implement comprehensive strategies for prospects through the donor cycle of identification, solicitation and cultivation, and stewardship, coordinating activities with development colleagues across campus and the geographic regions, where appropriate. 

Provide assistance to donors regarding tax laws, policies and procedures and resolves problems to maintain a positive image of the University.

Define and pursue a comprehensive, effective program for engagement and stewardship of past, current and future donors; oversee principal/major gift and annual giving functions for the Cultural Arts Units; emphasize cultivation strategies that recognize the importance of personal interest and motivation in philanthropy to maximize donor potential; create and promote opportunities for increased volunteerism in coordination with University Advancement procedures.

Audit internal operations to develop standardized procedures and to ensure conformity with established development policies. 

Plan, host and communicate at internal and external meetings to provide information on cultural arts at MSU or the University more broadly.

Develop and monitor budget and expenses to ensure stewardship of university resources and alignment with departmental goals.

Assist in setting both long- and short-term goals to determine resources required.

Participate with appropriate teams at the Units to strategically link to community and outreach activities that have the potential to align and synergize with the philanthropic community and the work of the development team with donor populations.

Collaborate and coordinate with marketing and communication teams the units and University Advancement and MSU marketing and communication.

Personnel Management:

Set clear direction and priorities for staff of three professionals and administrative support personnel.  Promote excellence through well-defined and measurable goals; inspire and motivate staff through the free flow of information placing staff members’ work within the context of cultural arts strategic priorities as well as within the mission of Michigan State, consistent with University Advancement policies and procedures.

Lead by example; foster a work environment that recognizes and rewards cross-functional collaboration and team-based efforts.  Celebrate current achievements and set clear expectations for future success. 

Actively mentor and train staff, providing frequent opportunities for professional learning and growth; emphasize retention as a means of increasing capacity and expertise of the team.  Fully leverage human and financial resources and promote greater efficiency.

Provide the structure and guidance necessary to promote a high-performance culture.

Recruit, train, motivate and evaluate volunteers to accomplish program goals and objectives.


Interacts with:

Michigan State University alumni, individuals, corporations, foundations, and community members to solicit as potential donors, handle their donor requests and to cultivate and train them as potential volunteers.

Faculty – with a focus on building a culture of philanthropy that includes working collaboratively to develop fundraising priorities and engaging them in the fundraising process.

Staff – to train and oversee their work and to establish priorities.

Department Heads/Michigan State University Executive Management – to consult and coordinate work within University structure to aid in the identification of potential donors and gain support of special projects.

Michigan State University Vice President of University Advancement – to advise on the progress of specific cultural arts campaigns.

Michigan State University Fundraising Colleagues – to seek their advice and partnership in the cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of major prospects and donors. 

Peers/Professional Organizations – to obtain advice and council on options being considered for programs.

Manage – Provide strategic direction for the recruitment and management of volunteer boards.

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

Five to eight years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in higher education fundraising and/or the arts

Demonstrated experience in marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations

Or an equivalent combination of education and experience 

Desired Qualifications

Undergraduate degree, advanced degree is preferred

Seven to ten years in professional fundraising, preferably five or more in higher education development or the arts

Meaningful experience in or knowledge of all key development areas (major giving, annual fund, planned giving, and corporate and foundation relations)

Proven ability to cultivate, solicit, and steward leadership gifts at the six- and seven-figure level

A proven and sustained track record of success leading a development operation

An approach to management that brings out the best in staff and yields pride, ownership and a sense of team effort

Superior communication skills and the ability to connect with a variety of audiences

Exceptional experience in working in a collaborative and complex organization that assures donor coordination

Ability to prepare clear and effective written and oral presentations

Demonstrated ability to plan and successfully execute a significant comprehensive campaign

Working knowledge of tax laws affecting charitable giving; the ability to travel regionally and nationally

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 Pat Karam, Director of Recruitment, University Advancement,

Work Hours

Normally 8-5, with exception of events and 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 3/21/23 at 11:55 PM

Advertised: Mar 15, 2023 Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close: Apr 13, 2023 Eastern Daylight Time

Categories: Job Postings