Director of Development, Van Andel Institute

Job Title

Director of Development


Van Andel Institute

About the Position

VAI is currently seeking to hire a Director of Development. In this role, you will be assisting the Chief Development Officer and Institute Executive Leadership in establishing fundraising objectives and goals which are meaningful, challenging, realistic and metric – and action-oriented.

As our Director of Development, you will lead a team of fundraisers who will support key philanthropic initiatives for the Institute.  While you will have substantial management, supervisory and mentoring responsibilities, you will also carry a portfolio of major gift prospects and donors and be visible with key donor and volunteer constituencies, in order to lead by example.

Job Duties

Your Key Responsibilities in this role will include the following:

  • Focus on Individual Major Gift Donors and Prospects – you will identify new major gift prospects, help build strategy and cultivation plans, and exemplify a culture of philanthropy at VAI.
  • Work with Van Andel Institute Volunteer Boards – you will focus on transitioning donors to a major gift level, while assisting in developing/implementing a stewardship and cultivation plan for existing and potential major donors.
  • Manage and mentor a Major Gifts Officer and Development Associate Campaign development and oversight


We are looking for individuals who have the following:

  • At least 10 years of progressively responsible fundraising experience, ideally in a medical or research setting.
  • Solid experience in leading and managing a team primarily in the areas of major, annual, and planned giving.
  • A Team Player – the ability to coordinate, work collaboratively and strategize with other departments
  • A People Person – you thrive on meeting donors and cultivating relationships. You are charismatic and outgoing and are a good listener, empathetic, engaging, and dynamic.
  • A Go-Getter – you are not afraid to proactively seeking out new prospects, meetings, etc., and also flexible and able to adapt well to change.
  • A Good Communicator – you have the ability to communicate effectively in both writing and verbally, translating complex scientific concepts into compelling cases for support.
  • A Strategic Thinker – providing general management and fundraising processes to support key institutional initiatives.

How to Apply

If you are a person who has demonstrated success in these areas, we would love to have a conversation with you! The first step in beginning this conversation is starting your application by visiting

In addition to your resume, provide a cover letter outlining why you are interested in this role and how this position aligns with your goals.

If you have any difficulty uploading your application or any questions, please email Eric Miller at

About the Organization

100% to Research, Discovery & Hope®

So many of us have had personal experience with the devastation diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s bring to individuals, to families and to hope itself. Van Andel Institute (VAI), a nonprofit biomedical research and science education institute located in the heart of Grand Rapids, MI’s vibrant Medical Mile, mission is to find what causes disease and to translating those discoveries into therapeutic solutions that conquer illness and enhance lives. At VAI, every dollar, donated or raised, goes directly to our biomedical research and science education teams.

VAI is actively striving to diversify its workforce and strongly encourages qualified individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.

Van Andel Institute is an EEO and Affirmative Action Employer


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