Executive Director Gift Planning

Posted on 09/30/2022

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY

Reporting to the VP of Central Teams, the Executive Director (ED) is responsible for implementing a program to identify, grow, cultivate and steward a pipeline of donors who will utilize deferred gifts, trusts, annuities, complex gifts and gifts of real estate, life insurance and other tangible items to make gifts to the University.

The ED will manage a team of three professionals to create an industry-leading program solicitation strategy using social media, digital tools, email, web, print, marketing programs, text, phone and more. She/ He will manage, cultivate and steward a portfolio of 40-50 donors primarily related to gift planning and estate gift opportunities.

The ED creates and implements strategies to partner with gift officers across the University to incorporate planned gifts into solicitations. He/ She serves as an internal expert and consultant on complex gifts and a variety of gift planning vehicles (trusts, annuities, gifts of real estate, and more.).

The ED is responsible for creating and maintaining effective relationships and collaborations with key colleagues with central Marketing and within AEA including Alumni Engagement, Advancement Services, Technical Systems and Services, Prospect Research, regional Advancement, Donor Relations, and the leads of the Schools, Colleges and Units.


  • Bachelors Degree required, Masters Degree preferred. Relevant advanced professional degree or certification preferred (e.g. law, financial advisor, MBA, trust and estate planning).
  • Minimum of five years of frontline fundraising for gift planning, estates, deferred gifts.
  • Deep understanding and familiarity with the variety of gift planning vehicles and strategies.
  • A valid Driver’s license is required.
  • Minimum of three years of management experience.
  • Experienced and driven fundraising professional -Understanding of fundraising marketing in higher education.
  • Experience creating fundraising campaigns that serve multiple constituent partners with an effective mix of messaging, creative, and channels.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


  • Will manage and steward a portfolio of 40-50 donors primarily
  • related to gift planning and estate git opportunities.
  • Maintain updated plans, solicitations, and opportunities for all donors and prospects. Report results of all solicitations/gifts in the CITRUS/CRM database including meaningful interactions and ensuring the accuracy of the data entry.
  • Provide leadership, strategy and direction for other divisional and unit based frontline fundraisers to close significant complex gifts and deferred gifts.

Program Leadership and Management:

  • Manage, direct and motivate a team of three staff.
  • Oversee the management of estate gift administration.
  • Develop and evaluate annual goals for each team member.
  • In addition to directing these positions, the ED will partner closely with the Donor Relations office for continued effective stewardship and engagement of the 1,100+ members of the 1870 Society (deferred giving recognition society.)
  • Responsible to train major gift officers on effective planned giving discussions and, along with the GP team, consult with all gift officers on gift planning strategies for their prospects.

Marketing and Internal Consulting:

  • Create strategy, manage and direct the creation of marketing programs to increase the pipeline of leads for gift planning donor opportunities, coordinate such with colleagues across AEA.
  • In partnership with AEA’s Philanthropic Engagement, external vendors, and using digital marketing tools (Marketsmart, email, social), ensures effective evaluation of gift planning marketing efforts from direct mail, electronic, new media, face-to-face, and volunteer solicitation strategies. Measure these efforts against impact as a Tier One program as the internal consulting role across AEA.

Reporting and Collaboration:

  • Aligns departmental plans with AEA and university strategic plans. Create and implement systems to provide monthly, quarterly, and annual reports and metrics that can be shared with key stakeholders and provides detailed reporting to units.
  • Serves as a member of the Vice President’s leadership team.
  • Provides strategic vision and guidance to maximize planned giving goals associated with university-wide annual goals. Partner with the CFO’s office, Treasurer’s office, and Counsel’s office to ensure program is aligned effectively with University policies.

Please apply at Executive Director Gift Planning and attach a cover letter and resume. Syracuse University is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action institution. The University prohibits discrimination and harassment based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, gender, national origin, citizenship, ethnicity, marital status, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law to the extent prohibited by law. This nondiscrimination policy covers admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in University programs, services, and activities.

To apply for this job please visit www.sujobopps.com.