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Director, Major Gifts

Director, Major Gifts

Wayne State University is searching for an experienced Director, Major Gifts 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):

Provide leadership and direction for the College of Nursing Development Office. Develop and manage fundraising strategies and initiatives for the college, with a priority focus on soliciting and securing individual major gifts of $25,000 and above. Cultivate, solicit, and steward major individual donors to meet established fundraising goals within the allocated expense budget. Engage the Dean and faculty members in philanthropy initiatives and fundraising strategies, as needed. This position reports to the Dean, College of Nursing, and serves as a member of the Dean’s Executive Committee.
Oversee the cultivation and solicitation of major individual donors; manage portfolio of prospects and conduct one-on-one visits to qualify, cultivate and solicit donors and prospects to increase donor giving.
Responsible for achieving annual fundraising goal and assisting in meeting unit goals; allocating and prioritizing time and resources to achieve the greatest return on investment. Performance and productivity will be measured on the following core metrics as determined annually:
Dollars raised for campaign gifts
Dollars raised for cash and in-kind gifts
Number of Major Gift solicitations of $25,000+
Number of Major Gifts closed at $25,000+
Number of face to face meetings (visits)
Number of meaningful contacts each month
Supervise a diverse staff, effectively managing performance to meet individual and team initiatives; foster a collegial and highly productive work environment. Recruit, interview, hire, train, coach, evaluate, and discipline staff. Establish and communicate performance expectations in a manner that motivates and empowers staff to fulfill job duties. Encourage, support, and ensure employee participation in training and development programs.
Collaborate with dean, department chairs and faculty in identifying fundraising needs and priorities for the College of Nursing (CON). Collaborate with direct reports to develop fundraising plans and strategies; establish realistic and achievable timelines; remain current with fundraising trends and serve as a resource on successful development activities, techniques and methods.
Collaborate with division units (e.g., Corporate Relations, Foundation Relations, Annual Campaigns, Planned Giving, Donor Experience and Prospect Development) as well as other university units to ensure operational efficiencies within the CON Development unit.
Manage unit's annual expenditure budget. Develop revenue and expense projections, approve expenditures at unit level and monitor transactions for compliance with university policies and procedures.
Identify and recruit prospects to participate on volunteer committees for specific projects and solicitations; train volunteers on appropriate cultivation and solicitation methods, techniques and processes; provide oversight of volunteers to ensure college, division and university missions are attained.
Oversee the routing of donor contributions to central development for processing.
Perform other related duties as assigned.

Unique duties:


Education Bachelor's degree
Graduation from an accredited college or university with a degree in marketing, public relations, business administration or related field.
Reasonable knowledge and understanding of university policies and procedures.
Experience Specialist (minimum 5 years of job-related experience)
Minimum five (5) to seven (7) years’ experience working as a fundraising professional in direct major donor solicitations in excess of $25,000. Minimum of four (4) years’ experience managing personnel, developing, and implementing policies and procedures.
Direct experience with creating comprehensive fundraising plans, preparing proposals, and conducting major gift solicitations required. Higher education development and prior volunteer management experience 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.
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. Maturity, sound judgment and 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 and Excel.
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.
LEADERSHIP SKILLS: Demonstrated strong leadership skills that can influence and motivate individuals and groups to achieve results.
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.

Preferred qualifications:


H15 - College of Nursing

Primary department:

H1501 - Deans Office Nursing

Employment type:
  • Regular Employee
  • Job type: Full Time
  • Job category: Staff/Administrative
Funding/salary information:
  • Compensation type: Annual Salary
  • Hourly rate:
  • Salary minimum:
  • Salary hire maximum:
Working conditions:

Normal office environment. Adhere to confidentiality and data usage policy for the division. This position requires a high level of commitment and enthusiasm. Due to travel requirements, evening meetings and special events, etc., candidate must be willing to work extended hours as needed.

Job openings:
  • Number of openings: 1
  • Reposted position: No
  • Reposted reason: None (New Requisition)
  • Prior posting/requisition number:
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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