Senior Director of Gift Planning

Purpose of position:

The Senior Director of Gift Planning works with the vice presidents, development staff, estate planning professionals and volunteers, to identify, cultivate and provide assistance to those individuals who have expressed interest in supporting the University of Montana through a planned gift. In addition, the senior director is expected to build a sustainable program around the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of planned gifts directed to support the University of Montana. In accomplishing this work the senior director will also be expected to support specific individuals in their planning and execution of principal gifts to the University that may involve a wide variety of assets and gift vehicles. The senior director will also be responsible for developing stewardship plans for these donors. The senior director works independently but is accountable to the President and CEO. This is an administrative exempt staff position.

Characteristic duties and responsibilities:

  • With the development staff, the senior director identifies prospects who may be interested in contributing to The University of Montana through the gift planning program. The senior director will have a budget for marketing materials and travel.  Moderate travel will be necessary to manage the responsibilities of this position.
  • Responsible for negotiating and closing a wide range of planned giving arrangements including charitable gift annuities, real estate and other non-cash tangible properties, charitable remainder and lead trusts, testamentary trusts, bequests, life insurance policies and retained life estates.
  • Provides stewardship for planned giving donors including personal visits, recognition activities and events.
  • Ensures the development and execution of a comprehensive marketing and communications plan for the gift planning program to include newsletters, maintenance of the gift planning website, advertising in UM publications, overseeing recognition and stewardship events, and for arranging and delivering educational seminars for a wide range of constituents of the University.
  • Develops a network of estate planning professionals that serves as a technical resource to planned giving staff. understands the UM Foundation’s planned giving program and assists with planned giving case discussions; helps the UM Foundation promote its planned giving program including the review of Foundation planned giving marketing materials and assistance with the development of a marketing plan; assists with presentation of local seminars; helps Foundation staff gain access to other  professional networks; and helps Foundation staff to identify and cultivate any prospective donors whose largest gifts may come to the Foundation in forms other than cash or securities.
  • Prepares detailed presentations for donors on the benefits and implications of various gift planning vehicles and the merits of supporting the University of Montana.
  • Prepares planned gift illustrations for fundraising staff to share with potential donors.
  • In consultation with the executive management team, the senior director establishes goals, objectives, and strategies for the planned giving program. Participates in assessing progress toward goals and prepares quarterly progress reports for the vice president and president and CEO of the UM Foundation. Participates in the development of policies and procedures relating to the planned giving program.
  • Serves as the UM Foundation liaison with the planned gift third party administrator; provides information about new annuities, participates in annual phone review with the administrator, confirms the format of annual trust reports prepared by the administrator, and conveys new trust payment information to beneficiaries.
  • The senior director seeks necessary training in order to remain up to date in knowledge of planned giving issues and vehicles, and attends professional meetings that relate to the planned giving field.
  • Maintains accurate records and a roster of members in the Oscar J. Craig Heritage Society.
  • Travels and attends meetings and functions at various hours as required, including weekends.

Essential job functions:

  • Provide informal leadership within the organization, and provide formal leadership and management of the gift planning program and function
  • Create and execute an annual development plan for gift planning
  • Commitment to the mission, vision, and core values of the UM Foundation
  • Fundraising

Core competencies:

  • Ability to work closely and effectively with UM Foundation staff, estate planning professionals, volunteers and members of the  campus community
  • Knowledge of planned giving vehicles including charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder and lead trusts, pooled income fund gifts, testamentary trusts, life insurance policies and retained life estates
  • Knowledge of estate planning and federal and state tax law as applied to charitable giving
  • Highly functioning and appropriately autonomous professional
  • Demonstrated formal and informal leadership ability
  • Proven record of meeting performance expectations
  • Demonstrated competency in fundraising skills and abilities

Minimum qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited school or university
  • Background in law, tax, estate or financial planning
  • Demonstrated fundraising and/or non-profit volunteer experience 
  • Experience developing and managing long-term business relationships

Preferred qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in law, tax, or other related field
  • Fundraising experience in a higher education setting or similarly complex setting
  • Demonstrated track record of securing planned gift contracts
  • Demonstrated ability in strategic planning
  • Supervisory experience

To apply, please contact Philippe (Phil) Gerard at
Full position description.