VP of Donor Strategy and Engagement (Grand Rapids, MI)

Do you have a unique mix of marketing experience and fund development? Are you looking to create strategy and help others execute ideas? If so, then read on! On behalf of our client, Heart of West Michigan United Way, we are looking for a VP of Donor Strategy and Engagement. This VP level position orchestrates the plan and execution of all fund development, marketing, and volunteer activities that drive support and engagement, and deepen involvement with the work of United Way.

Heart of West Michigan United Way unites community resources to invest in solutions that reduce poverty in West Michigan. The staff, volunteers, donors, and agency partners are committed to creating lasting, sustainable changes that transform lives and build a thriving community for all. This role leads the organization’s ongoing digital evolution allowing data trends and supporter insights to drive strategies that deliver customized communications and experiences. This position is also responsible for innovating and re-imagining an individual and business engagement model that supports both community impact goals and strengthens relationships. The VP of Donor Strategy and Engagement leads a departmental team with multiple Director and Manager direct reporting relationships.


  • Oversee the development and implementation of a strategic annual and community fundraising plan that draws resources from multiple sources (current and new) in public and private sectors – corporations, individuals, foundations, government, and nonprofits. Build the organization’s capacity to diversify and expand its funding sources.
  • Lead the development and execution of all marketing campaign and fundraising tools including print, video, digital, web-based communication, online donations, etc.
  • Envision and execute key resource development and donor strategies.
  • Build new and grow existing relationships with key corporations, donors and prospects to understand their needs, leverage their gifts, and communicate appreciation.
  • Develop and implement a strategic, segmented, donor communication, marketing, and events plan.
  • Build the organization’s capacity to diversify the donor pipeline and expand the brand experience across sectors through offering volunteer opportunities as well as giving.
  • Maintain the United Way brand in compliance with United Way Worldwide standards and manage Heart of West Michigan United Way’s brand for consistency and organizational clarity.
  • Maintain an in-depth knowledge of fundraising best practices, trends, and strategies, including research of peer and comparable local United Ways; utilize these best practices to attract/retain donors and new businesses.
  • Provide budget projection and oversight on all department activities to include deploying resources within budget restrictions.
  • Provide leadership, coaching, and direct and evaluate the work of Donor Strategy and Engagement Team, specifically the roles that report to this position.
  • Foster a culture that motivates staff to support United Way’s long-term vision.
  • Provide oversight and leadership for all Volunteer Center key initiatives.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a related field required; MPA or MBA preferred.
  • 7-10 years in a leadership/management role preferably within a fund development field, non-profit sector, or a high-level sales management or marketing position.


  • Proficiency with fundraising applications, donor management systems, and marketing analysis, and using available data to perform comprehensive donor data analysis and reporting, with a strong understanding of data utilization and management, as well as the effective use of fundraising technology and data for strategic operations and decision making.
  • Requires the ability to develop and execute on strategies.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to engage and inspire a wide range of audiences.
  • Verified track record of meeting or exceeding measurable fundraising goals in a medium to large, fast-paced nonprofit environment.
  • Proven track record of generating revenue through marketing and/or sales initiatives.
  • Experience in the use of social media and social networking (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, website).
  • Demonstrated skills in planning, task and time management, delegation, and oversight of others’ work.
  • Ability to successfully navigate community leadership and high-profile community members’ interests within United Way while keeping United Way focused on mission.
  • Commitment to foster an inclusive and racism free environment.
  • Proven team leadership and development.

If this sounds like an excellent fit for you, please contact Carly Smyly at [email protected].