Founding Vice President of Development

Posted on 03/08/2024

Saginaw Valley State University

University Center, MI

For full consideration, please apply by April 18th. 

This is an incredible opportunity to join Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) in this founding role as the next Vice President of Development. Serving on the executive team, the Founding VP of Development is a direct advisor and co-strategist to the President. With a new structure in place, this newly created position combines the Development Office, SVSU Foundation, Alumni Relations, and Marshall Frederick Sculpture Museum, which streamlines processes to build on current successes and maximize development potential for scholarships, programs and capital improvements. This will be an extraordinary opportunity for the VP of Development to set a visionary roadmap, sculpt a high-performing team, and leave an enduring legacy. 

The ideal candidate has leadership experience in higher ed or a nonprofit development role, building high-performing teams, leading fundraising campaigns and is effective in engaging with a broad range of constituents to develop relationships with prospects and donors. The success of the VP of Development will be driven by their collaborative approach and ability to implement new and innovative ideas to increase gifting and drive growth for the university.   

This position reports directly to the President and leads the Development Office, SVSU Foundation, Alumni Relations, and Marshall Frederick Sculpture Museum. 

Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Direct the activities of the development services, including budget management, personal supervision, planning, program and staff development, and evaluation.
  • Serve as a member of the President’s leadership team and participate in formulating and administering University policies.
  • Assess the growth potential and effectiveness of university development.
  • Develop the culture of philanthropy, substantially and sustainably increase philanthropic support and engagement, and strengthen internal and external relationships on behalf of the institution.
  • Support the president in his role as chief spokesperson and fundraiser, serving as an advisor and co-strategist in cultivating prospective donors, soliciting transformative gifts, and operationalizing bold ideas.
  • Cultivating a strong working relationship with executive team peers, administrators, faculty, and staff across the university.
  • Work collaboratively with marketing and communications to develop and implement a plan to increase awareness of the development efforts of the university.
  • Represent the University on university, community, state, and national committees.
  • Remain current with the trends and best practices pertaining to the field through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses. 

Minimum Qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • 5 or more years of progressively responsible fundraising and high-level leadership experience in a higher education or nonprofit development role. Transferable experience will also be considered.
  • Experience working with non-profit boards or volunteers. 
  • Credibility and sound judgment required to effectively engage and leverage leadership, volunteers, and other key constituents in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of key prospects and donors. 
  • Demonstrated experience leading fundraising campaigns.
  • Superb interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively across complex organizations. 
  • Demonstrated ability to build and lead effective, diverse management teams.
  • Experience and ability to positively interact with a diverse campus community.

Preferred Qualifications: 

  • Master’s degree. 

About the Institution

Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) is the newest of Michigan’s 15 public colleges and universities. SVSU is a comprehensive university with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs of study for its more than 7,500 students. Located on a suburban campus in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region, SVSU offers programs of study in its five colleges (the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, the College of Business and Management, the College of Education, the Crystal M. Lange College of Health and Human Services and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology).  SVSU stands out as a great place to work and has received national recognition among “Great Colleges to Work For” for eight consecutive years. There are over 1,100 staff committed to a supportive and empowering environment for students around the world.

SVSU has 97% job and graduate school placement for their graduates. In 2023, SVSU was voted Best College Campus in Michigan and the Best Housing in the US on In addition, the campus has nearly 200 student organizations connecting students and providing a sense of community.

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