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Associate Director of Gift Planning-Northeast

Organization: The Nature Conservancy
Date Posted: 5/19/2017
City: Washington, DC or Philadelphia metro areas
Location: District of Columbia
Country: United States
Primary Category: Non-Profit
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's
Experience Requirement: 5-10 years

Description & Details


The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to make a positive impact around the world in more than 30 countries, all 50 United States, and your backyard. Founded in 1951, the mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. One of our core values is our commitment to diversity therefore we are committed to a globally diverse and culturally competent workforce. Visit to learn more.



The Associate Director of Gift Planning develops, implements and manages effective gift planning strategies and plans for the cultivation and solicitation in asking for, negotiating and closing planned and outright gifts of $100,000 or more from major individual donors and prospects.  The Nature Conservancy has one of the most successful and sophisticated gift planning programs in the country. For more than 30 years, the Conservancy has recognized the power of planned gifts to help our supporters leave a lasting legacy to our mission to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. TNC has more than 23,000 Legacy Club members and in FY14, nearly 1,500 individuals told us they had included the Conservancy in their will, retirement plan or other estate plan. Annually we raise approximately $100 million in deferred and complex gifts, including CGAs, CRTs, gifts of real estate, and donor advised funds. In addition, TNC is embarking on the largest campaign in conservation history – a $5 billion investment in private philanthropy and impact capital that will enable us to leverage tens, if not hundreds, of billions of dollars in public investment for nature. Become a part of our skilled gift planning staff dedicated to working with our supporters to establish gifts of complex assets and giving vehicles to achieve their philanthropic goals to protect, transform and inspire.



The Associate Director of Gift Planning is responsible for developing and managing effective gift planning donor strategies that result in raising funds through outright, blended and planned gifts while working with our chapter leadership and fundraising staff in the northeast, including Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  S/he will serve as a technical and strategic gift planning advisor and partner to state leadership and fundraising staff in assigned chapters to determine effective strategies for identified donors and prospects to generate leads for complex gifts. S/he understands and applies complex principles of developing donor strategies and builds strong relationships with a portfolio of new and current donors and prospects. The Associate Director discusses assets proficiently and listens for opportunities for gifts of assets.  S/he negotiates and closes a wide range of outright and complex gifts, including bequests and life income gifts, gifts of non-cash assets such as stock and real estate, and Donor Advised Funds. S/he will incorporate blended gifts and gifts of assets in proposals to donors. S/he is capable of articulating the global priorities of the Conservancy and working within a campaign at an advanced level. S/he involves and engages appropriate partners in the field and staff at the Worldwide Office, keeping them apprised of interactions, issues or concerns. S/he will be required to use the Conservancy’s donor database. Understands and complies with all TNC gift-related policies and procedures and ensures ethical compliance, as defined by the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and the Association for Fundraising Professionals.



  • Decisions may have program-wide impact, affect staff in non-program areas, and bind the organization financially or legally.
  • Direct or participate in negotiations for complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.
  • Ensure compliance with TNC policies and procedures and external (donor/legal/IRS) requirements; be alert to ethical compliance issues.
  • Financial responsibility for setting and meeting fundraising objectives, evaluating results, and developing corrective strategies.
  • Implement and lead multiple collaborative and complex projects, directing work of staff, managing budget, setting deadlines, and ensuring accountability.
  • Maintains confidentiality of frequently sensitive and emotionally charged information.
  • Maximum opportunity to act independently, resolves complex issues within scope.
  • May supervise support or administrative staff.
  • Persuasively convey the mission of TNC to diverse groups important to the organization’s overall prosperity.
  • Travel frequently and on short notice, work long hours and weekends as needed.
  • Work environment involves only infrequent exposure to disagreeable elements and minor physical exertion and/or strain.
  • Responsible for closing 30 – 50 outright, complex, and/or planned gifts annually. Responsible for 300 – 400 donor interactions and 50 visits annually. Work with donors on complex giving vehicles and assets. Annual fundraising target of $7,000,000 or more.



  • Bachelor’s degree and 7 years related experience.
  • Experience building and maintaining long-term relationships with constituents such as major donors and corporations.
  • Experience in asking for, negotiating and closing planned gifts of $100,000 or more.
  • Experience in managing and tracking multiple prospects and donors.
  • Experience working with fundraising principles and practices.
  • Experience using communication and presentation skills.
  • Experience, coursework, or other training in current and evolving trends in charitable giving, particularly in the areas of capital campaigns, major gifts and planned giving.



  • Bachelor’s degree and 8 – 10 years’ related work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Ability to inspire, motivate and marshal resources. Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to positively influence and persuade.
  • Ability to design and implement fundraising strategies, including cultivation, solicitation and recognition strategies.
  • Ability to determine an individual’s interests, capacity and potential for helping the Conservancy meet its goals, and act appropriately to tie those interests with the Conservancy’s work.
  • Ability to educate and inform prospective and existing donors about appropriate giving vehicles.
  • Ability to qualify donors & prepare planned gifts proposals; design cover letters for proposals; and identify options for donors.
  • Advanced knowledge of complex charitable gift planning.
  • Demonstrated experience using listening, diplomacy, and tact to build strong relationships and motivate donors and volunteers.
  • Proven ability to negotiate complex, high profile or sensitive agreements.


Asset Transfer

Handles complex asset transfers – Processes basic and complex asset transfers, such as those related to publicly traded stocks, real estate, tangible personal property, matured life income gifts and Donor Advised Funds. Explains the processes to relevant stakeholders. Provides reports on asset transfer activity on a regular and an ad hoc basis.


Assets & Ownership

Expert on assets and ownership – Provides guidance on developing comprehensive philanthropy plans. Works with donors, advisors and TNC staff to structure gifts of complex or significant assets to maximize benefits to donor and to TNC. Works with other Development staff to enhance awareness of all asset classes.


Customer Service

Engages customers in identifying issues, options and desired outcomes – Develops a clear picture of needs and best options from a client’s perspective. Identifies options and resources for alternative solutions that are practical and effective. Helps customers navigate complex and sensitive issues, focusing on needs and best interests of the customer.


Gift Closing

Provides leadership to fundraising staff – Works with the Conservancy’s most complex donors. Develops methods for building stronger closing skills in other staff. Mentors staff to increase success rates. Sets goals and measures for success within the framework of existing conditions. Prepares and advises executive staff or key volunteers on making the ask.


Philanthropy Context

Provides expertise to donors and other stakeholders – Identifies trends and develops methods for addressing needs through new programs or giving options. Uses industry analysis to develop understanding of broader philanthropic trends and applies knowledge to strategy development. Works with staff to develop strategies for corporations, foundations, and complex donors. Applies best practices and knowledge in order to craft solutions for emergent business needs and problems.


Project Management

Understands the basics of project management principles – Applies principles to contribute to individual projects. Identifies the sequence of tasks and resources needed, priorities key action steps. Seeks input on challenges, actions, timelines, scope, methodology, outcomes and priorities and adjusts project plans.


Writing & Editing

Applies revision/editing strategies and adapts writing to audience and purpose – Considers and adapts the content, tone, and style to the audience and purpose when writing. Organizes information to lead the read to a conclusion. Selects the most effective and meaningful ways in which to express ideas and information.



Analysis & Problem Solving

Develops plans, tracks performance, and can identify lessons learned – Initiates innovative ways to define, understand, and address issues. Uses unique insights to develop appropriate plans, anticipating needs of audiences. Establishes and analyzes performance metrics and communicates lessons learned to inform strategies. Assesses quality, makes recommendations, and advises on use of resources. Explains data collection and analysis principles. Provides guidance on addressing challenges and obstacles to meet goals.


Organizational Agility

Serves as a resource to staff – Assists staff in developing strategies and plans based on organizational priorities and goals. Provides guidance related to procedures and policies. Builds consensus across various audiences. Anticipates business needs and applies best practices and knowledge within networks to craft strategic solutions. Understands internal and external influences on the organization.


Planning & Implementation

Creates individual objectives in alignment with plans – Develops a clear understanding of the organizational and program plans and how individual activities influence success. Applies strategic plan to short-term and long-term individual goals.


Product & Practice Expertise

Expert on specific products or practices – Institutionalizes the use of products to drive strategy choices and business decisions. Analyzes, anticipates and addresses policy and procedural issues and designs and/or revises based on changing circumstances and organizational priorities. Applies best practices and knowledge within and across networks and programs, and advocates for the use of appropriate processes. Understands and applies industry best practices to organizational processes. Applies solutions organization-wide to achieve high-level business objectives. Serves as organizational owner and sponsor of systems.


Relationship Management

Leads working relationship and takes responsibility for (donor/client) satisfaction – Directs and leads working team and/or partner relationships and consistently seeks to improve results and satisfaction. Promotes the goals, contributions and needs of the program through interactions with colleagues and stakeholders. Provides advice or mentoring regarding relationships.


Strategic Outreach

Adapts to audience and purpose – Incorporates analysis and audience insight into messaging strategies. Integrates the written, visual and design components that connect with the selected audience. Anticipates audience needs and adapts messaging to offer strategic solutions.


Training & Mentoring

Trains broad audiences and assists with the development of materials to support learning – Designs training that engages specific audience, explains difficult information in a manner focused on the perspective and level of knowledge/expertise of the audience. Connects training to the front-end use of information. Assists with the identification of core information to be shared in training and the best methods for distribution. Creates engaging presentations that communicate key messages.


This description is not designed to be a complete list of all duties and responsibilities required for this job.

How to Apply / Contact


Visit and apply online with cover letter & resume to job #45415 or apply directly through https://Gift Planning-NEAll resumes and required cover letters must be submitted through The Nature Conservancy’s online application system.  The application deadline is June 18, 2017 at Midnight EDT.  If you experience technical problems with the site or application process, please contact and include the job opening ID. 


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