Human Resources

Principal Giving Associate

Apply now Job No: 24183
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

*This is an internal to Michigan Tech University search only*

Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Advancement (AVP), the position requires experience, sensitivity, and diplomacy; understanding of the high-level relationship-building and strategies involved in securing complex gifts; and talent in guiding projects. The PGA manages and triages workflow to allow the AVP to spend optimal time interacting with prospects and working with senior administration and academic leaders to advance goals at the Principal Gift Level. With a broad, sophisticated understanding of the university’s strengths and in-depth knowledge of institutional priorities, the PGA contributes to delivering principal gifts, fundraising and engagement strategies and goals.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities (other duties may be assigned)

1. Assist in the management of prospect portfolios (prospect strategies) of the Principal Giving and the University President’s portfolio, advancing university-wide fundraising priorities as well as new and emerging initiatives.
2. Collaborate with Advancement colleagues, faculty, and university staff to develop and implement highly personalized engagement, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship strategies. Plan and facilitate the involvement of university leaders as appropriate.
3. Accountable for key action items, follow-up, and project management in the delivery of prospect strategies within a rapidly evolving environment with competing priorities, opportunities, challenges, and deadlines.
4. Coordinate and create comprehensive, cohesive briefing materials to prepare university representatives, including the president, provost, deans, faculty, and senior advancement staff, for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of principal gift prospects.
5. Work with the AVP and the Office of Gift Planning in preparing well-researched, well-written, and compelling proposals for philanthropic support. These proposals are often complex and highly individualized, and—with input from university leaders and faculty—help attract transformational gifts to advance Michigan Tech’s mission.
6. Draft routine thank you letters and follow-up donor correspondence on behalf of the AVP.
7. As needed, write highly-customized, detailed correspondence on behalf of the president, the AVP and other Advancement staff.
8. Manage the AVPs calendar and travel schedule and make hotel, flight, rental car and other travel arrangements as necessary.
9. Design and coordinate impactful donor visit schedules for the AVP using the AVP’s donor portfolio.
10. Work to deliver innovative, creative, and individually-tailored stewardship activities for Principal Gift donors.
11. Work with the AVP and the Office of Gift Planning to write and execute gift agreements.
12. Create and submit nominations to recognize principal gift prospects for the Michigan Tech Fund, the President’s Advancement Council, college and unit advisory boards, and other volunteer leadership groups, as well as awards and honors.
13. Coordinate multifaceted Principal Giving portfolio (and other donors and prospects at the $1million and above level) campus visits.
14. In the AVP’s absence, represent the Office of Principal Giving in interactions with prospects, academic leaders, faculty, and external partners.
15. Track and document the AVP’s prospect activities, including contact reports, correspondence, and stewardship touches.
16. Coordinate with the Provosts Office for the management of donor sponsored endowed positions.
17. Oversee annual donor reporting for individuals and organizations who have established restricted or endowed funds.
18. Review student Thank you letters prior to sending to Principal Giving Portfolio scholarship donors.
19. On a monthly Basis, make sure gifts received of the Principal Giving Portfolio, are properly entered for the purpose of advancement metrics.
20. Commit to learning about continuous improvement strategies and applying them to everyday work. Actively engage in University continuous improvement initiatives.
21. Apply safety-related knowledge, skills, and practices to everyday work.

Required Education, Certifications, Licensures (minimum requirements)

• Bachelor's degree or an equivalent combination of education and experience from which comparable knowledge and abilities have been acquired.

Required Experience (minimum requirements)

• Minimum of 5 years of experience in a non-profit environment.

Desirable Education and/or Experience

• Grant writing in a non-profit environment.

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

• Proven ability to manage multiple projects, set priorities and meet deadlines in a changing environment.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills are essential, including writing.
• Must possess tact, diplomacy and discretion in confidential matters.
• Effective time management, planning and organizational skills are essential.
• Must possess excellent computer skills including database management.
• Willingness to work occasional evenings and weekends to support programming as required.

Desirable Knowledge, Skills, and/or Abilities

• Experience working in higher education, private foundations, and knowledge of principal giving.
• Demonstrated success in, or potential future contributions to, working with persons from diverse backgrounds, creating a sense of belonging, and fostering a fair, objective, welcoming place to work for persons with a wide variety of personal characteristics and viewpoints.

Language, Mathematics and/or Reasoning Skills


Work Environment and/or Physical Demands

The noise level in the work environment is usually low to moderate.

Required Training and Other Conditions of Employment

Every employee at Michigan Technological University will receive the following 4 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 

  • Annual Title IX 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.

Other Conditions of Employment:

Please note that successful applicants are responsible for ensuring their eligibility to work in the United States (i.e. a citizen or national of the United States, a lawful permanent resident, a foreign national authorized to work in the United States without the need of an employer sponsorship) on or before the effective date of your appointment, and maintain eligibility without sponsorship throughout your appointment.

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

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


FLSA Status


Appointment Term

12 months



Pay Rate/Salary

Negotiable Based on Experience

Title of Position Supervisor

Assistant Vice President for Principal Giving

Posting Type


Dependent on Funding


Special Instructions to Applicants (if applicable)

This is an internal to MTU search only.

Applicants will need to upload a resume, letter of interest and list of references.

Additional Information


Required Education, Certifications, Licensures* (minimum requirements)

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