Senior Director of Development of Cultural Arts – Michigan State University

Position Summary

Michigan State University seeks a Senior Director of Development, Cultural Arts to lead the fundraising programs for three innovative and forward-thinking cultural organizations: the Broad Art Museum, the MSU Museum and the Science Gallery Detroit.  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 Development 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 the Broad Art Museum, MSU Museum and Science Gallery Detroit.  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 closely with the Associate Provost, Executive Director for Constituency Programs and Executive Directors of the MSU Museum, Broad Museum and Science Gallery Detroit 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.

Opened in 2012, the 46,000-square-foot museum was designed by the late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid and named in honor of Eli and Edythe Broad, longtime supporters of the university and advocates for the arts who provided the lead gift of $28 million.

The MSU Museum is one of the earliest established museums in the nation and has continued to preserve collections and serve learners since its opening on the campus in 1857. It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and was the first museum in the state to receive Smithsonian affiliate status. The MSU Museum is a registered scientific institution with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and a partner with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs in select statewide programs.

The MSU Museum is a public steward for nearly a million objects and specimens in Anthropology, Natural Science, Folk Arts, and History from around the world. The collections provide the foundation for research, education, and outreach both locally and internationally. The Museum cultivates and maintains interdisciplinary linkages across campus, particularly in college-based programs in the sciences, arts and humanities, and international studies.

The Science Gallery is the world’s first global network of universities focused on bringing together science and art, creating a unique, multidisciplinary experience in the community.  Concentrating on an audience of 15- to 25-year-olds, the Science Gallery encourages visitors to participate in its exhibits.  It has no permanent collection, and instead uses an open call approach to emerging artists, scientists, and others to build its event programs, and a visitor’s experience is led by trained student mediators.  Science Gallery Detroit first joined the International Network in 2017, and its first program opened in January 2018.  It is currently a pop-up gallery that has traveled across Michigan.  Its partnership with MSU helps bring students and scholars together, to collaborate in ways that can spark creativity and inspire the public. 

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, public relations, 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 or with an arts organization or cultural arts related non-profit
  • 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
  • Demonstration experience in marketing, development of budgets, preparation and presentation of case statements and analysis of operations or an equivalent combination of education and experience
  • A demonstrated commitment to MSU’s core institutional values, including strengthening a climate of respect, caring, diversity, equity, and inclusion

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/cover letter  position number 693858

Work Hours


Bidding and Eligibility Ends on 3/2/2021 at 11:55 PM

Applications close: Mar 26, 2021 Eastern Daylight Time

Categories: Job Postings