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Director of Gift Planning

Organization: Columbia University Office of Alumni and Development
Date Posted: 10/23/2017
City: New York
Location: New York
Country: United States
Primary Category: Non-Profit
Type of Position: Full-Time
Education Requirement: Bachelor's
Experience Requirement: 5-10 years

Description & Details

The Director of Gift Planning plays a leadership role in increasing at Columbia University and its schools, units, institutes, and centers the number of donors with sophisticated gift plans and the level of their charitable commitments. Reporting to the Executive Director of Gift Planning, the Director of Gift Planning will have proven experience helping charitable individuals meet their philanthropic and financial goals through holistic and thoughtful gift planning. The ideal candidate will have a track record of developing long-lasting and productive relationships between individual donors and/or investors and the institutions they support. S/he will cultivate and solicit a defined portfolio of prospective gift planning donors. S/he also will partner with fundraisers at all levels at assigned schools and units by joining them, their prospective donors, and their donors’ advisors in meetings and conversations to optimize commitments to Columbia. The successful candidate will model and promulgate effective donor-centric fundraising techniques, and will play a central role coordinating and coaching fundraisers and donors—and donors’ attorneys, accountants, and financial planners—through complex transactions. The best candidate will be proficient in major gift fundraising, and in technical areas such as estate and wealth planning, tax, illiquid or hard to value assets, complex charitable giving vehicles and structures, and the financial and personal issues affecting wealthy families.


Specific duties and expectations include:

  • Supervise two or more members of the Gift Planning team, including the Assistant Director of Gift Planning, who is responsible for Gift Planning marketing and digital assets and carries a portfolio of prospects, and the Development Assistant, who provides administrative support for the Gift Planning team.
  • Manage a portfolio of planned giving prospects capable of making $100,000+ planned gifts
  • Set a leadership example of collaborative gift planning at Columbia University.
  • Model best practices and behaviors for donor-centric fundraising.
  • Assist with development and presentation of gift planning training sessions for fundraising staff, volunteers and faculty.
  • Serve as primary gift planning liaison for fundraisers and donors at assigned schools/units; build strong collaborative relationships by adding expertise and strategies to enhance giving through inclusion of gift planning components.
  • Collaborate with major and principal gift officers and chief development officers at assigned schools/units to develop gift planning strategies for individuals with the capability of making significant commitments to Columbia University; prepare and present innovative gift planning strategies and proposals that provide maximum benefit to both prospect and Columbia University, including gift illustrations where applicable; emphasis on loyal donors and prospects age 70 plus.
  • Follow-up with inquiries generated by targeted marketing in areas such as bequests, Columbia’s donor advised fund, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable gift annuities, and complex assets. 


Bachelor’s degree required. A minimum of seven (7) years of related work experience required in major gift fundraising, gift planning, legal, and financial or other similar setting with a focus on philanthropic planning and attention to the individual donor/client/customer. Demonstrated experience working successfully with high net worth individuals and successful closure of a variety of planned gifts. Must possess highly developed interpersonal skills and the ability to work with a diverse population of donors and prospects. Must possess excellent written and oral communication skills. The ability to travel extensively to meet with donors and prospects and to participate in some weekend and evening events. Mature judgment and discretion essential.

How to Apply / Contact

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