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Principal Giving Program Strategist

Wayne State University
Michigan, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Feb 1, 2023

Principal Giving Program Strategist

Wayne State University is searching for an experienced Principal Giving Program Strategist at its Detroit campus location.

Wayne State is a premier, public, urban research university located in the heart of Detroit, Michigan where students from all backgrounds are offered a rich, high-quality education. Our deep-rooted commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity, diversity and inclusion creates exceptional educational opportunities which prepare students for success in a global society.

Essential functions (job duties):

Manage initiatives that increase success of principal gift fundraising institution-wide including initiating and overseeing creation of effective communications and materials for the university’s highest-level donors and preparation of senior executives for principal gift actions. Lead and support key institutional and divisional partners in advancing principal giving prospects to successful philanthropic solicitations. Devise and implement highly customized, robust stewardship efforts for principal gift donors and prospects. Assist in managing effective and productive principal gift strategy sessions. This position reports to the Associate Vice President, Principal Giving.

Initiate and oversee creation of proposals and other materials for our highest-level donors and prospects; prepare executive-level meeting briefings, presentations and agendas; draft highly customized, detailed correspondence from the university’s executive leaders to the university’s principal gift donors and prospects.

Collaborate and support school- and college-based fundraising and academic colleagues on developing and implementing strategies for principal gift donors and prospects; ensure coordination across multiple departments.

Responsible for formulating, producing and implementing timely and robust stewardship plans for our highest-level donors, in consultation with the Donor Experience team as needed. Partner with Development Communications to produce and deliver professional and meaningful donor print materials, videos and recognition pieces.

Coordinate logistics, prepare meeting materials and participate in principal gift strategy meetings. Organize and disseminate detailed follow up, engage appropriate meeting participants, track and advance action items. Partner closely with Prospect Development to identify the prospects for discussion, request necessary donor profiles and document outcomes.

Plan and manage high-level, tailored, effective events and recognition activities locally and in locations across the country for key leaders and our highest-level donors and prospects.

Perform other related duties as assigned.


Education Bachelor's degree

Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in public administration, philanthropy, marketing, public relations, business administration, communications or related field. Reasonable knowledge and understanding of university policies and procedures.

Experience Specialist (minimum 5 years of job-related experience)

Minimum of five (5) years of experience working in fundraising, alumni relations, event planning, or related area required. Experience with project management and high-level constituent engagement preferred. Experience in a higher education or non-profit environment preferred. 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS: Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and professionally both orally and in writing. Strong interpersonal skills are a must. Ability to work successfully with persons from diverse backgrounds.

WRITING SKILLS: Ability to conduct research, interview subjects and write materials that are creative and interesting, with strong attention to detail, grammar and style rules.

EDITING AND PROOFREADING SKILLS: Ability to accurately edit and proofread a variety of materials under tight deadlines.

PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION: Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, prioritize and plan work activities while meeting respective deadlines. Strong organizational and time-management skills required. Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a deadline-oriented environment.

ANALYTICAL AND PRESENTATION SKILLS: Ability to evaluate, interpret, and present complex information effectively in professionally prepared documents or presentations. Must possess a demonstrated attention to detail in order to achieve a high degree of accuracy.

TECHNICAL SKILLS: Proficient in the use of complex administrative systems software, preferably in the higher education environment. Proficient with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word, Excel and Teams. Ability to understand and translate complex concepts into lay terms.

LEARNING AGILITY: Independent and innovative self-starter who displays an ability to learn quickly and easily adapts to changing situations. Experience researching topics to gain knowledge and understanding when information gaps exist.

TEAMWORK: Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues within the division and other units to gain full understanding of the project and desired outcome; ability to produce high quality and consistent results with assistance of team members; provide support to teammates when tackling complex projects.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION: Demonstrates a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion through continuous development, modeling inclusive behaviors and proactively managing implicit bias.


H86 - Development & Alumni Affairs

Primary department:

H8605 - Development Office

Employment type:
  • Regular Employee
  • Job type: Full Time
  • Job category: Staff/Administrative
Funding/salary information:
  • Compensation type: Annual Salary
  • Salary minimum: $65,000
  • Salary hire maximum: $75,000
Working conditions:

Normal office environment. Adhere to confidentiality and data usage policy for the division.

Job openings:
  • Number of openings: 1
  • Reposted position: No
Background check requirements:

University policy requires certain persons who are offered employment to undergo a background check, including a criminal history check, before starting work. If you are offered employment, the university will inform you if a background check is required.

Equal employment opportunity statement:

Wayne State University provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. The university encourages applications from women, people of color and other underrepresented people. Wayne State is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

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