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Job ID: 124760

Director/Senior Director of Gift Planning and Special Gifts
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Date Posted Jun. 24, 2019
Title Director/Senior Director of Gift Planning and Special Gifts
University Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Daytona Beach, FL, United States
Application Deadline Open until filled
Position Start Date Available immediately
  • Director/Manager
    Senior Executive Officer
  • Development/Institutional Advancement
    Alumni Relations

The Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement is growing and looking to add a Director/Sr. Director of Gift Planning and Special Gifts to the ranks. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Philanthropy and Alumni Engagement, the Director/Senior Director of Gift Planning and Special Gifts is primarily responsible for establishing and executing a plan of action designed to attract, capture, and retain philanthropic support contributed through planned gifts. While the officer’s primary focus shall be cultivating relationships with prospective donors and successfully soliciting planned gifts, the Director/Senior Director is also responsible for managing the approved acquisition of unusual or complex gifts (including gifts in kind) and arranging memorial gifts. The Director/Senior Director will also work in partnership with existing staff to advance major gift donors to planned gift donors. In collaboration with the Director of the Legacy Society, the officer shall develop, recommend, and, as assigned, implement a comprehensive gift planning program. As this is an emerging program, it will be initially be necessary to prospect for leads and act on referrals and to install novel programmatic elements, procedures, and guidelines that will support an ultimately successful effort. This represents an exciting opportunity for the Director/Senior Director to make this program their own, establishing a legacy that will endure for decades.

Drawing on data analytics, educational and engagement activities, and a robust marketing plan, the officer will develop and deploy multi-channel strategies for identifying and prioritizing prospective planned giving donors. The officer will follow through on leads personally by conducting direct cultivating, solicitation, and stewardship efforts and/or engage colleagues in pursuing planned gifts. The Director/Senior Director will build relationships with planned giving prospects and donors as well as with estate and financial planning professionals. To convert those relationships into planned gifts, the officer shall coordinate and prepare illustrations, proposals or other information in order to cultivate and solicit prospects. The Director/Senior Director will highlight potential tax and estate planning benefits for donors and their advisors. Crafting planned gift agreements, gift annuity agreements, and other planned giving documents, the officer works with the University’s Treasurer, Controller, and General Counsel, as necessary, to close, steward and administer planned gifts. The officer coordinates and monitors the administration of estates or trusts to ensure that the necessary information and/or documentation is supplied in order for the University to receive estate or trust gifts. The Director/Senior Director shall maintain a robust level of expertise regarding taxation, estate/trust giving and charitable giving, particularly planned giving.

The Director/Senior Director must be a proactive, creative and tenacious problem-solver; positive, engaging and gracious; nurturing of professional and client relationships and a careful listener with high emotional intelligence; professional, poised and polished; discrete with confidential material; an exceptional communicator and brand ambassador; and a service-oriented member of the team. The officer must possess the ability to work with a sense of urgency, high attention to detail and commitment to producing excellent, finished work with minimal oversight. The officer must perceive and recommend opportunities for synergy and possess the ability to leverage their advancement experience and professional insights to make sound, independent decisions with strategic and financial impact on the program and the University.

Responsibilities include the following:

Gift Planning

Establish and execute a plan of action for gift planning. Direct the acquisition of charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, estate gifts, bargain sales, gifts in kind, and other types of planned gifts. Grow the institution’s deferred gift inventory.

Through personal visits, directly cultivate, solicit and steward planned gifts and assist/support colleagues in individually pursuing their own efforts. Build relationships with planned giving prospects and donors, and with estate and financial planning professionals and assist donors in planning their gifts to the institution. Coordinate and prepare illustrations, proposals or other information in order to cultivate and solicit prospects. Highlight potential tax and estate planning benefits for donors and their advisor’s.

Draft documents such as University-wide gift agreements, gift annuity agreements, and other documentation pertinent to closing planned gifts. Work with the University’s Treasurer’s Office, Controller’s Office, and General Counsel’s Office as necessary to close, steward and administer planned gifts. Coordinate the administration of estates/trusts to ensure that the necessary information and/or documentation is supplied in order for the University to receive estate/trust gifts. Establish and deepen bonds with the region’s professionals engaged in supporting planned giving (e.g. accountants, insurance brokers, wealth managers, estate attorney, etc.) by creating and managing a university-delivered continuing education program to serve them. Establish and manage a volunteer planned giving council to guide this enterprise.

Conduct the necessary due diligence steps to acquire and dispose of gifts of real estate and other real property. Ensure that planned gifts are accurately recorded. Regularly review documentation for all realized planned gifts and ensure resulting accounts are accurately established. Conduct regular annual audits of planned gift record keeping and the status of the deferred gift inventory.

Maintain a robust level of expertise regarding taxation, estate/trust giving and charitable giving, particularly planned giving. Coordinate and respond to inquiries arising from planned giving promotional materials and general development literature and mailings. Sustain a high level of training among all solicitors and gift management personnel.

Market the Gift Planning Program

Analyze demographic segments and develop tailored marketing communications approaches to generate leads. Promote marketing of planned giving opportunities through seminars, workshops, websites, digital newsletters and email, social media, direct mail and personal contacts. Also develop marketing that engages estate and financial planning professionals. Oversee and manage third-party contractual marketing services and planning tools. Identify and/or create content to populate marketing communications supporting increased gift planning or special gifts. Partner closely with the Director of the Legacy Society to promote planned giving and assist in stewarding donors to the Society.

Memorial Gifts

Oversee the acquisition and deployment of Memorial Gifts by working directly with family, alumni, and friends to establish memorial funds. Responsible for ensuring the effective, appropriate and timely application of memorial funds and ongoing communication and stewardship of its donors. Coordinate with family members and friends to organize micro-campaigns in support of building memorial funds.


Required Qualifications:
Bachelor’s degree
Four years of experience in fundraising or related experience, including two years of philanthropic gift planning
Preferred Qualifications:
Preference for legal training
Experience in higher education philanthropy

Best practices in planned giving
Planned giving instruments and gift planning techniques
IRS tax code as it pertains to gift planning and to philanthropy
Planned giving technologies and calculation tools
Marketing techniques for gift planning programs
Comprehensive strategies associated with a successful, best-practice gift planning program
Advancement CRM operations
Higher education fundraising strategies and techniques
Gift accounting and booking processes, including CAE reporting standards
Development and implementation of philanthropy best-practice policies, procedures, and practices
Directly cultivating and soliciting gifts from donors
Proper business correspondence
Proficiency in the Microsoft Office Suite (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
Use of general office equipment and computer
Use of the internet as a productivity or research tool
Business and professional etiquette
Basic understanding of research


Analyze advancement CRM data to create action plans to increase fundraiser performance
Effectively use and communicate through social media techniques and platforms
Apply mobile device technology for productivity, communication, and social media
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Problem solving skills, emphasizing a solutions-oriented mentality
Excellent interpersonal skills
Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
Strong analytical skills
Basic budgeting and cost-estimating
Customer relations skills
Comprehend, analyze, and synthesize prospect reports, maps, tables, graphs, and other technical information


Ability to work in a team environment energetic, self-motivated, well prepared, with routinely robust follow through
Demonstrate strong character, emphasizing integrity, caring, and honesty, as well as loyalty to the institution
Develop proficiency with University’s fundraising database/software
Maintain positive and respectful engagement with colleagues and clients
Effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks simultaneously
Adaptable and resilient when confronted with challenges and changing priorities
Manage and meet deadlines
Adhere to divisional and university policies and procedures
Compile expense reports
Plan and appropriately execute social engagement activities
Read and generate prospect reports, maps, and other technical information associated with giving and engagement
Work effectively in a multi-faceted organization and develop cooperative and mutually respectful relationships with stakeholders at all levels as well as diverse individuals and communities
Manage sensitive and confidential information
Demonstrate an authentic and enthusiastic interest in the mission of the university
Lift overhead and carry 25 pounds
Optimize travel planning and execution
Travel as appropriate by automobile, aircraft and other means
Work frequently on evenings and weekends
Maintain a valid driver’s license and possess the ability to safely and effectively drive

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