Assistant Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship/ Development Officer I

  • Michigan State University
  • East Lansing, MI, USA
  • Jan 22, 2024
Full time Development/Advancement/Fundraising External Relations, PR, Marketing

Job Description


Assist Direct Annual Giving & Stewardship / Development Officer I

Job no: 920900
Work type: Support Staff
Pay Grade: 12
Major Administrative Unit / College: University Advancement
Department: Constituency Program Dir 3 40001225
Sub Area: AP- Professionals
Salary: Salary Commensurate with Experience
Location: East Lansing
Categories: PR/Media/Graphics/Comm/Fund Raising, Administrative Professionals- AP, Full Time (90-100%), Union, Remote-Friendly

Working/Functional Title
Assist Direct Annual Giving & Stewardshi

Position Summary
Michigan State University seeks an Assistant Director of Annual Giving & Stewardship to fundraise for Wharton Center for Performing Arts, a prominent arts center for Broadway shows, theater, music, and statewide arts education programs for participants of all ages. The Assistant Director of Development will develop and implement strategies to increase annual giving, engage current donors to retain and increase average gift size, and steward donors toward major gift prospects through communication and events. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker, have a passion for the arts, and have demonstrated experience as a collaborator with a track record of personal fundraising success.

Reporting directly to the Director of Development, Wharton Center, the Assistant Director will actively work with University Advancement's annual giving team as well as Wharton Center's departments to collaborate on best strategies. This position has a dotted line report to the Director of Annual Giving, University Advancement.


Wharton Center for Performing Arts – Now celebrating our 41st season, Wharton Center was founded with the mission to enrich the lives of Michigan residents and strengthen the value of the arts by serving as a leading resource for arts entertainment and education programs. Beyond public performances in music, dance, and theatre, Wharton Center offers in-depth arts education opportunities and community engagement activities for K-12 students as well as MSU students. These unique, valuable experiences allow children, young adults, and the community to engage in the arts, celebrate humanity, and grow critical life skills such as acceptance, empathy, and teamwork. It is our goal that participants find that the arts enrich, enhance, and broaden their lives and the greater community.


  • Management of and innovation in best practices of annual fundraising in the performing arts sector.
  • Develop and implement plans for donor acquisition of broader audiences outside of current Wharton Center donors and regular attendees.
  • Implement gift renewal and acknowledgment process in partnership with UA with the goal of retention, increasing average gifts, and acquiring new donors.
  • Develop and implement plans for online and social media fundraising campaigns in partnership with UA and Wharton Center's marketing team to acquire new donors, secure add gifts, and special projects.
  • Develop ideas to engage Wharton Center season ticket subscribers and first-time donors through events and communications to build affinity and identify major-gift prospects.
  • Develop promotional brochures, sponsorship materials, appeal letters, and other supportive materials for development purposes.
  • Work collaboratively with University Advancement, Annual Giving, and various Wharton Center departments to create and carry out fundraising strategies.


  • Work with the development team to design, implement, and ensure proper follow-up for Wharton Center donor events to promote giving.
  • Maintains acknowledgment and gift renewal process for annual donors to Wharton Center.
  • Work with a team of staff members to manage volunteer efforts.
  • Manage annual stewardship communications, including donor lounge cards/passes, parking passes, etc.
  • Develop meaningful stewardship reports for endowment giving, estate gifts, and donor recognition
  • Maintain accurate records on annual donor levels in multiple databases and prepare reports.


Reports to the Director of Development, Whaton Center, with a dotted line reporting relationship with the Director of Annual Giving, University Advancement.

If you review this job description and have done many of the responsibilities or have transferable skills, we want to hear from you and welcome your application! We are seeking successful, ambitious fundraisers who want to become part of our team and, help us help us in our ambitious campaign!

Preferred and Required Qualifications

Unit Specific Education/Experience/Skills
Knowledge equivalent to that which normally would be acquired by completing a four-year college degree program in Liberal Arts, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing, and/or Business; one to three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in professional fundraising, public relations, marketing, higher education fundraising or related field; or an equivalent combination of education and experience. In-state travel and some out-of-state travel required.

Desired Qualifications

  • A Bachelor's degree is required. An advanced degree in liberal arts, business, communications, public relations, marketing, or some other related field is desirable.
  • Three years of related and progressively more responsible or expansive work experience in professional fundraising, public relations, marketing
  • Five years of meaningful experience in or knowledge of annual giving.
  • Strong verbal and written communication (including proposal and report writing), along with advanced interpersonal skills, are required.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in a complex higher education institution, and understanding and experience in development are highly desirable, as is a collaborative team-oriented style.
  • Must have a valid driver's license.


Application Details (to apply use the Apply Now button below.)

If you review this job description and have done many of the responsibilities or have transferable skills, we want to hear from you and welcome your application! We are seeking successful, ambitious fundraisers who want to become part of our team and, help us help us in our ambitious campaign!

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 and cover letter

Special Instructions
If you have any questions regarding this position, please contact Patricia Karam, Director of Recruitment, at

All candidates must submit an application resume and cover letter through the Michigan State University Human Resources web-based system; the URL for this website is Please indicate the position number 920900 when submitting your application.

Screening of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

Work Hours
mainly 8-5, except when there are donor/alumni centered events


Remote Work Statement
MSU strives to provide a flexible work environment and this position has been designated as remote-friendly. Remote-friendly means some or all of the duties can be performed remotely as mutually agreed upon.

Bidding eligibility ends January 23, 2024 at 11:55 P.M.
Advertised: Jan 17, 2024 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: Feb 15, 2024 Eastern Standard Time

To apply, visit

Jobs at Michigan State University.

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