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Donor Relations Coordinator


Grand Rapids, MI
ID: 739-085

Donor Relations Coordinator

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 medical research and science education teams.


VAI is currently seeking to hire a full-time Donor Relations Coordinator.


In this role, you will be responsible for strategic leadership of the Institute’s Donor Relations and Stewardship functions as part of the Institute’s overall fundraising program. This important work will help expand engagement with the Institute’s existing donors as well as enhance relationships with new donors.


Your Key Responsibilities in this role will include the following:

  • Envision and execute a donor-centric stewardship, impact, and engagement program – you will plan and synthesize a comprehensive program that appreciates Van Andel Institute’s philanthropic community and ensures that gifts are stewarded properly
  • Provide strategic direction for projects that enhance the donor giving experience
  • Manage administrative and daily operations of stewardship/impact reporting programs - you will also interface with VAI internal stakeholders and departments
  • Collaborate with Major Gifts, Events/Corporate Giving, and Communications Teams – you will develop new materials, stewardship campaigns, and tools targeted to enhance relationships with donors and prospects.
  • Work with writers and graphic designers – you will help create consistent print and digital content that shows gratitude, donor impact and engagement
  • Improve the operational systems, processes, and policies in support of the Philanthropy team – you will help support better database/management reporting, information flow, businesses processes, and organizational planning


What you will like most about working in the Philanthropy Department:

  • Your work will make a difference in the future of human health and science education!
  • You will be surrounded by driven, hard working professionals.
  • You will be encouraged to take risks and fail.
  • New opportunities and challenges are always arising.
  • The Institute and department offer several fun, teambuilding events, creating a community.
  • The opportunity to learn new perspectives and share yours in a diverse, collaborative environment.

You should possess the following characteristics/traits:

  • Attention to Detail – you can provide excellent work on many tasks and track multiple activities with limited errors.
  • Self-Starter – self motivation and excitement for the Institute’s mission is important in this fast paced and rewarding position.
  • Curiosity – learn at every opportunity and thrive on the pursuit of discovery.
  • Relationship Building – identify and cultivate strong donor and employee relationships.
  • Working with Urgency – run toward challenges and embrace them.
  • Collaborative Spirit – share information, credit freely, and seek diverse perspectives.
  • Ownership – take ownership of work and seek solutions to exceed stakeholder expectations.


To be a successful member of our team, we will measure you on the following areas:

  • Professionalism
  • Relationship building
  • Strong technical skills
  • Accuracy and Attention to Detail
  • Collaborative Team Player
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Timeliness


The skills you will be required to have in this role:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 5 years related non-profit, stewardship, and fundraising experience preferred
  • Non-profit fundraising essentials including donor cultivation and stewardship
  • Proficiency with Raiser’s Edge and/or other databases
  • Outstanding verbal and written communication skills
  • Cultivating and building strong relationships with employees and donors
  • Prioritizing, multi-tasking, and thriving in a fast-paced environment
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Proven ability to work autonomously and in a team setting
  • Handling sensitive information in a confidential manner



All full-time employees of Van Andel Institute are eligible for benefits, effective Day One! The salary you can expect in this Donor Relations Coordinator role is based on your experience and skills.


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 Megan Doerr at  


As Van Andel Institute is a drug and alcohol free employer, all prospective new employees undergo a urinalysis/drug test as part of our pre-employment process. Prospective employees will also undergo a background check (criminal history and misconduct, employment and degree verification).


VAI is actively striving to diversify its workforce and strongly encourages qualified individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer. 



About Grand Rapids, MI

Van Andel Research Institute is located in downtown Grand Rapids, MI which is the second-largest city in Michigan and the largest city in West Michigan. Grand Rapids offers a remarkable combination of cosmopolitan atmosphere and small-town warmth, known for its philanthropic and sustainability-driven community, and is ranked one of "America's Top 100 Places to Live."


Located on the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids offers all the big-city excitement you would expect from a million-resident metropolis, featuring hundreds of restaurants and nightspots, theaters, museums, sports and concerts. The safe and clean downtown is surrounded by an eclectic mix of walkable neighborhoods. 

With a medical and life sciences industry boom, strong entrepreneurial activity, dedication to green building and living, and innovative employers, Grand Rapids' diverse economy continues to grow, offering endless career opportunities.

This position is located at 333 Bostwick Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI. View the Google Map in full screen.