Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts

Posted on 11/01/2023

Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

The Assistant Director of Leadership Gifts will serve as an ambassador for the engagement and growth of Western Michigan University’s leadership (mid-level) donors program. This is a great opportunity to develop relationships with prospective donors leading toward a lifelong philanthropic engagement strategy. Frontline fundraisers are required to thoughtfully qualify, cultivate relationships, produce revenue, and steward donors. Frequent outreach and donor meetings to increase revenue for educational program funds and scholarships are required. The ability to work with diverse groups of alumni, donors, and teammates is desired. This position is crucial to advancing Western Michigan University’s robust pipeline for our Major Gifts Team and beyond. Entry-level fundraisers who are passionate about growing gifts at the leadership (mid-level) donors and beyond are encouraged to apply.

Major Duties

  • Develops and promotes relationship strategies for leadership and major gift prospects in assigned portfolio.
  • Assists in identifying potential leadership and major gift prospects, including determining the interest and affiliation with the University.
  • Builds relationships with donors and assists in coordinating strategies and personal visits for the involvement of institutional partners.
  • Assists in writing leadership and major gift proposals and agreements.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in related field from an accredited institution.
  • One year’s relevant experience.
  • Ability to motivate volunteers and donors.
  • Embraces the concept and attitude of teamwork in a complex organization.
  • Demonstrated written, oral and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Ability to articulate the importance of higher education, understand and articulate the critical role and priorities of the University and the development program.
  • Strong self-motivation.
  • Proven ability to work well as a contributing team member within a complex organization requiring collaboration, teamwork and communication.
  • Demonstrated experience using relational databases.
  • Experience with office software applications.
  • Ability to work irregular shifts and extended hours, including evenings and weekends.

Desired Qualifications

  • Basic understanding of the concepts and principles of fundraising.
  • Successful track record in gift fundraising, equivalent sales experience or experience in coldcalling.


Western Michigan University is redefining success as it expands what it means to be smart in an everchanging world. WMU prepares students from around the globe for a life well lived by helping them to pursue, thrive, and prosper so they can make a meaningful impact on society. Founded in 1903, WMU has undergone dramatic growth in size and stature during its nearly 120 years of service. Most recently, WMU saw first-year enrollment increase by 25% over previous years.

Through the establishment of the largest gift to a public University in 2021, The Empowering Futures Gift, WMU further embraces the University’s mission, “So that all may learn.” This generous gift of $550M provides the University with the ability to rethink and redefine the meaning of access at WMU, while providing the genesis of real actions to remove the barriers to students working to complete their degrees and change their lives through education.


Pay is commensurate with qualifications and experience, combined with an excellent benefits package. The position is Grade F: $50,239 (minimum) – $64,054 (midpoint)

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