Director of Development

University Musical Society (UMS)

The University Musical Society, or UMS, is an independent multi­disciplinary performing arts presenter with a long and deep affiliation with the University of Michigan (U-M), and is located in the center of the Ann Arbor campus.  A National Medal of Arts recipient in 2014, and the nation’s first performing arts series at a major university, UMS offers 70-80 mainstage performances each season in 7-10 U-M and Southeast Michigan venues. Since its founding in 1879, UMS has presented top-ranking international artists including orchestras, chamber music, solo recitals, jazz, global music, ballet, modern and culturally specific dance, opera, theater, choral groups, and special attractions.

UMS also develops and executes an extensive education program involving up to 150 events each season; commissions and presents new work; and hosts many artist residencies.  UMS employs a full-time staff of 32, has a 34-member Board of Directors, a 27-member National Council, and engages approximately 700 volunteers who serve various capacities across the organization, including ushering, serving as UMS Ambassadors, and singing in the UMS Choral Union.

The mission of UMS is to inspire individuals and enrich communities by connecting audiences and artists in uncommon and engaging experiences.  For more on UMS, visit

Position Summary:

This senior position reports to and works directly with the UMS President to design and lead a comprehensive development program that includes: annual, major, planned, and endowment giving; foundation and corporate giving; and donor engagement. The Director will be responsible for a portfolio of key donors and prospects, and will actively direct and support the President, Board and staff members in fundraising efforts.  The position requires broad and comprehensive experience, both of high-level strategic planning and management of practical day-to-day operations, and a strong commitment to principles of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout the organization.  The Director will be responsible for helping shape, then translating UMS’s vision, strategy, and commitment to U-M, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan into a clear and compelling fundraising strategy, with achievable goals and performance objectives.

Additionally, the Director will work closely with the President on Nominating and Development Committees of the Board and in advancing the National Council.  This position will supervise eight staff members, including: Associate Director of Development, Corporate Partnerships and Major Gifts; Associate Director of Development, Foundation & Government Relations; Major Gifts Officer (Senior); Manager of Volunteers & Special Events; UMS Campaign Director; Annual Giving Manager; Development Communications Manager; and Development Coordinator.

Major Objectives in the first 12-18 month period:

  • Develop, communicate and implement a strategic development plan, metrics and goals for both Annual Fund and Campaign fundraising, seeking greater utilization of UMS and U-M resources.
  •  Lead, mentor and mobilize the talented UMS development team to inspire excitement, energy, action, and trust amongst various UMS constituent groups.
  • Accelerate and focus research, cultivation and solicitation in major gifts.
  • Prioritize UMS efforts in planned giving.
  • Engage and mobilize Development Committee and board leadership in development activities.
  • Perform increasing duties and responsibilities as requested by the President, including publicly representing UMS and articulating vision, mission, and activities to the community.

Ongoing Responsibilities:

  • Design and lead a comprehensive development program that includes: annual, major, planned, and endowment giving; foundation and corporate giving; and donor engagement.
  •  Develop goals to provide the necessary funds to support the activities of UMS, ensuring a clear and trackable process for fundraising, leading to said fundraising goals being achieved.
  • Design cultivation and solicitation strategies, and execute prompt and effective follow-up communications, activities and stewardship.
  • Proactively identify and manage a portfolio of individual major gift prospects and donors, with an emphasis on gifts of $100K and more.
  • Work closely with the UMS staff and UMS Board of Directors, the Senate (128-member informal group of former Board members), and Ambassadors (40+ member volunteer association) as well as corporate sponsors, members, and both current and prospective patrons of UMS.
  • Manage a staff of eight and training new staff members so that the Development office functions effectively.
  • Liaise with the university’s central campus development team (OUD) when appropriate.
  • Serve as an active and visible member of the Ann Arbor and southeast Michigan community, continually building positive relations for UMS with individuals, corporations, and foundations in our service area.
  • Serve as development liaison for the UMS National Council, the Development Committee and the Nominating Committee of the Board of Directors and for other such committees as determined in collaboration with the President.
  • Build and maintain good relationships with Board members.
  • Be an active participant in the management of UMS – as a member of the management team and the staff programming committee, and as an advocate for other key aspects of UMS (marketing, education, audience development, etc.).

Required Qualifications:

  • 5-7 years of experience in a significant role in development and fundraising for a non-profit institution.
  • Familiarity with and passion for the performing arts, and an ability and willingness to quickly learn UMS history, mission, current programming, etc.
  • Familiarity with and commitment to the importance of utilizing a CRM system in fundraising, preferably TESSITURA, DART or comparable system.
  • Proven experience in working with six and seven-figure gifts, and in leading a team and volunteers to cultivate and solicit major donors.
  • Excellent communications skills coupled with strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Proven ability to work successfully with volunteers.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with talented and committed colleagues in a team environment.
  • Ability to interact with high-level donors and to maintain a high level of confidentiality.
  • Ability to travel frequently and to work evenings and weekends when needed.
  • Advanced degree or equivalent combination of education and experience.
How to Apply / Contact
Applications will be accepted only through the University of Michigan jobs website. Visit and search for job ID 153573. Applications must include both cover letter and resume to be considered.

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