Skip Navigation

Donor Relations Administrative Assistant


Grand Rapids, MI
ID: 946 - 085

Van Andel Institute (VAI) has an opening for a Donor Relations Administrative Assistant. This position will be 30 -32 hours per week, but still considered full-time. This individual will provide superior operational support as an integral member of the VAI Philanthropy Team with a focus on the fundraising operations and individual giving.


VAI is a world leader in cancer epigenetics and Parkinson’s disease research. We orchestrate cutting-edge clinical trials to improve human health by collaborating with academia, industry and philanthropy. Our Institute is home to nearly 500 scientists, education and support staff who work on-site within laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe.


As the Donor Relations Administrative Assistant you will provide operational support to maintain the integrity of the fundraising database and assist with individual giving functions.  Additionally, you will serve as an internal champion of Philanthropy at the Institute. You must have strong critical thinking, confidentiality, the ability to manage multiple projects, excellent written and oral communications skills, and exemplify our culture of collaboration.


Some of the responsibilities you can expect to fulfill would include:


Fundraising Operations

  • Manage Employee Giving Campaign
  • Process acknowledgment letters
  • Manage invoice and receipting process for Philanthropy Department pledges
  • Data entry and updates in the philanthropy database
  • Manage tribute donation forms
  • Run credit card payments
  • Serve as gift entry backup
  • Perform simple database imports and exports


Individual Giving

  • Record meeting notes for Individual Giving meetings
  • Assist with prospect research
  • Answer phones, manage mail and email, prepare correspondence
  • Assist with printing, copying, scanning and other office duties as assigned
  • Maintain departmental filing and archiving systems including written policies and procedures.
  • Support major gifts and planned giving officers with necessary support


General Philanthropy Support

  • Maintain appropriate levels of office supplies, equipment, work orders, etc.
  • Event support as needed and available
  • Reconcile monthly expense reports


This job might be for you if you: 

  • Display a customer service mindset in working with members of the team, the institute and philanthropic supporters.
  • Communicate efficiently both verbally and in writing.
  • Be able to work independently and as a team member to complete administrative tasks in support of the philanthropy team.
  • Have strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and a sharp focus on the efficient completion of tasks.
  • Be able to anticipate needs and suggest proactive measures to lessen the administrative burden on other members of the team.
  • Be able to effectively prioritize tasks to efficiently manage multiple projects and requests.


You should possess the following skills, characteristics, and traits:

  • An associate degree required with Bachelor’s degree is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite particularly Excel and Mail Merges in Word.
  • Excellent attention to detail – you are able to provide excellent work on many tasks and track multiple activities with limited errors.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • Self-starter – self-motivation and excitement for the Institute’s mission are important in this fast-paced but rewarding position.
  • Great communicator – excellent written and oral skills are key in keeping things moving forward through all daily interactions with donors and vendors.
  • Ability to ask for guidance – because this position supports a number of different projects, it is imperative to be able to ask for guidance and assistance in prioritizing competing priorities.
  • Familiarity with Raiser’s Edge and Blackbaud products is not mandatory, but helpful



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



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 to APPLY NOW!

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


At Van Andel Institute, the health and safety of our people is our number one priority. As a condition of employment at Van Andel Institute, all employees are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. “Full vaccination” is defined as two weeks after both doses of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks since a single-dose vaccine has been administered.

VAI is committed to achieving excellence through increasing diversity. We actively encourage applications from women, persons of color, persons with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups.

Van Andel Institute is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) Employer.

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.  This is a 7-panel drug screen and it includes testing for Marijuana, Cocaine, Amphetamines, Opiates, PCP, Barbiturates, and Benzodiazepines.



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