Human Resources

Director of Advancement

Apply now Job No: 20094
Department: Office of Advancement
Work Type: Staff Full-time
Location: Main Campus (Houghton, MI)
Full Time / Part Time: Full Time
Categories: Advancement

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer that provides equal opportunity for all, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.  

If you require any auxiliary aids, services, or other accommodations to apply for employment, or for an interview, at Michigan Technological University, please notify the Human Resources office at 906-487-2280 or

Job Description Summary

The Director of Advancement is responsible for cultivating and soliciting alumni and friends of Michigan Tech to secure philanthropic support in the form of major outright and planned gifts of $25,000 or more. The Director's primary responsibility will be to work closely with alumni in the College of Sciences and Arts (CSA) and will also work in coordination and collaboration with advancement colleagues to support all areas of Michigan Tech. The Director will manage a portfolio of assigned and qualified major gift donors and serve as a critical member of a front line fundraising team operating in a shared-ownership, outcome-driven environment that fosters coordination, strategy, and donor engagement from a University perspective. The Director will report to central Advancement and work closely with the Dean of CSA. 

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

● Cultivate, manage, and engage alumni and friends in conversations regarding Michigan Tech and the CSA fundraising initiatives and priorities.
● Utilizing researched data, contact and meet potential donors to determine their affinity to
the university and their likelihood to provide philanthropic support to the university.
● Utilize a “return on investment” strategy in managing a donor portfolio with a focus on
growth in fundraising while strategically planning travel to maximize resources.
● Correspond and follow up with donors, alumni and friends regarding giving opportunities
at Michigan Tech.
● In collaboration with the AVP for Advancement and Gift Planning, advancement
colleagues and academic and University partners create individual cultivation and
solicitation strategies for major and planned giving donor prospects.
● Create and execute a personalized and meaningful series of communications and
personal interactions for individual donors based on their stage in philanthropic giving
and their interests and passions.
● Work collaboratively with academic and university partners to secure appropriate project
information to create meaningful gift proposals
● Update and keep current donor strategy and moves management reports to accurately
reflect caseload activity and performance.
● Partner with Donor Relations to implement stewardship strategies for select donors.
● Work in partnership with Principal Gifts, other advancement directors and advancement
● Meet or exceed strategically established personal performance metrics in consultation
with the AVP for Advancement and Gift Planning
● Manage processes, deadlines and travel budget while adhering to the policies and
procedures of Advancement and Alumni Engagement and the University.
● Protect and promote the mission, goals, and values of Michigan Tech.
● Collaborate with peers, subordinates and management to contribute to individual and team goals.
● Solve problems creatively with a positive and constructive attitude.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

● Bachelor’s degree in business, public administration,
communications, marketing, engineering or a related

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

● Three years of successful experience in major gifts fundraising or experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities can be acquired such as university admissions, banking, management, or sales.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

● Experience working in higher education, alumni relations, and knowledge of planned giving.

Required Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities (minimum requirements)

• Possess a valid driver’s license
• Willingness for frequent travel that may range between 25% and 75% of the position on any given month.

•Demonstrated ability to develop new business relationships via phone, email, or other technology. 
• Demonstrated exceptional interpersonal, oral, written skills with a strong customer/alumni service orientation.
• Demonstrated ability to plan, organize, coordinate, prioritize and direct multiple projects and activities with varied deadlines while multi-tasking in a fast paced travel environment.
• Demonstrated ability to be a strategic and innovative thinker and effective in moving
projects/assignments along.
• A self-starter with strong organizational abilities, integrity and confidence.
• Team player with the ability to work in a cooperative/dynamic environment (e.g. with
administrators, staff, faculty, and students) and external community (e.g. with business leaders,
donors and volunteers) environment.
• Ability to analyze and interpret data and make strategic business decisions.
• Demonstrated high standard of professional ethics, honesty and the ability to work with the confidential nature of donor information and university matters.
• Must be highly proficient with the Microsoft software suite, including Word, Excel and Power
•Demonstrated time management and organizational skills with the ability to manage and
meet multiple deadlines.
•Demonstrated ability to work in a professional, positive, fun and highly collaborative performance-centric work environment.
•Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse constituencies including donors, volunteers, students, faculty, and staff.
•Demonstrate a proactive commitment to professional development through reading, webinars and seminars (as available) to stay current with the latest fundraising/philanthropy trends to engage constituents.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Experience working in higher education.
• Knowledge of fundraising in a university advancement environment.
• Understanding of donor stewardship and alumni engagement.
• Knowledge of major and planned giving.
• Experience with Michigan Tech community.

Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.

Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance and peripheral vision; depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 3 required trainings; additional training may be required by the department.

Required University Training:

  • Employee Safety Overview

  • Anti-Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Training

  • Annual Data Security Training 

Background Check:

Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed.

Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) % (1=100%)


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months

Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable. No less than $70,000

Title of Position Supervisor

Assistant VP Adv & Gift Planning

Posting Type

Internal & External Posting

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

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