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Senior Director, Planned Giving

Company: Wayne State University
Date Posted: June 19, 2017


Provide leadership, direction and management of the Planned Giving program. Design and implement a comprehensive planned giving program; manage fundraising strategies and initiatives. Manage staff and office operations in order to cultivate, solicit and steward planned gift donors to meet established fundraising goals within the allocated expense budget. 


  • Responsible for the design and implementation of a comprehensive planned giving program to increase donor giving, including management of a personal portfolio of 100-150 prospects.
  • Collaborate with division leadership and direct reports to develop fundraising plans and strategies for planned gifts. Establish realistic and achievable timelines; remain current with fundraising trends and serve as a resource on successful development activities, techniques and methods.
  • Responsible for leading team to meet annual fundraising goals and achieving individual fundraising goals; allocating and prioritizing time and resources to achieve the greatest return on investment. Performance and productivity will be measured on the following core metrics as determined annually:
    • Dollars raised toward Campaign goal
    • Number of planned gift solicitations of $25,000+
    • Number of planned gifts documented at $25,000+
    • Number of meaningful contacts each month
  • Partner with development professionals within the schools and colleges to identify planned gift opportunities for alumni and friends. Develop related proposals and assist development professionals to secure planned gifts. Conduct one-on-one solicitations and work with donors' advisors, as appropriate, to strengthen donor relations and increase planned gift revenues.
  • Work in partnership with Office of General Counsel, Vice President for Finance and Office of Investment, Debt and Risk to ensure planned gift agreements are in compliance with university policies and procedures. Responsible for managing pending estates and trusts to ensure gifts are received upon settlement of the donor's estate.
  • Work closely with President and VP Development to secure principal estate gifts including drafting complex contractual gift agreements. Train major gift officers in the schools and colleges to integrate planned gifts into overall prospect strategies.
  • Manage and strengthen creative donor-centered marketing strategies as the key communications tool for the planned giving program.
  • Attend and participate in prospect review meetings to strategize and prioritize donor cultivation and solicitation for major and planned gifts.
  • Perform personnel management functions for planned giving team. Interview, develop and evaluate personnel. Set clear direction, manage workflow of subordinate staff and determine appropriate staffing levels to meet priorities and established deadlines.
  • Manage annual budget for the planned giving program. Develop revenue and expense projections, approve expenditures for the program and monitor transactions for compliance with university policies and procedures.
  • Provide donor or donor's representative with necessary broker/bank information for completion of stock or IRA gift transactions.
  • Adhere to confidentiality and data usage policy for the division.
  • This position requires a high level of commitment and enthusiasm. Due to travel requirements, evening meetings and special events, etc., incumbent must be willing to work extended hours as needed.
  • Perform related work as assigned.


  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • Graduation from an accredited college or university with a bachelor's degree in marketing, public relations, or business administration.
  • Master's degree preferred.


  • 8-9 years of progressively responsible development experience in planned giving. Proven success in closing six-and-seven-figure gifts.
  • Minimum of 4 years experience managing personnel, developing and implementing policies and procedures.
  • Technical expertise in financial aspects of charitable giving, charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities and other planned giving vehicles. Extensive experience in drafting complex contractual agreements.
  • Direct experience with creating development fundraising plans, preparing proposals and conducting major and planned gift solicitations required.
  • Knowledge of Banner, COGNOS and Crescendo preferred.
  • Familiarity and sensitivity with the special needs of the elderly.


Reasonable knowledge and understanding of University policies and procedures. 


Ability to communicate clearly, concisely and professionally both orally and in writing. Strong interpersonal skills are a must. 


  • Ability to manage several projects simultaneously, prioritize and plan work activities while meeting respective deadlines. 
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills. 


  • Ability to evaluate, interpret, and present complex information effectively in professionally prepared documents or presentations. 
  • Must possess a demonstrated attention to detail in order to achieve a high degree of accuracy. 


  • Proficient in the use of complex administrative systems software, preferably in the higher education environment.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office suite, especially Word and Excel. 


  • Independent and innovative self-starter who displays an ability to learn quickly and easily adapts to changing situations. 
  • Experience researching topics to gain knowledge and understanding when information gaps exist. 


  • Ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues within the division and other units to gain full understanding of the project and desired outcome
  • Ability to produce high quality and consistent results with assistance of team members; provide support to teammates when tackling complex projects.

Apply online at and use posting number 042714