Associate Director of Planned Giving - (4517) (REVISED and EXTENDED)

Primary Function

Note: As of 4/14/2021, slight changes were made to qualifications and search has been extended to later date.

The Associate Director of Planned Giving works within the Gift and Estate Planning Team to coordinate, with the Director of Gift Planning the planning, review, assessment, and coordination of planned giving initiatives.

The primary goal of the position is to market, solicit and steward current planned and deferred gifts (bequests, charitable gift annuities, trusts, real estate, appreciated securities, IRA and whole-life insurance designations, etc.). This position works with all legal instruments associated with planned giving and requires a law degree. These gift vehicles will provide donors the opportunity to leave a legacy to NIU and to further its overall mission of providing a high quality, affordable and accessible education to all who desire one. A secondary goal is to provide ongoing support relative to the marketing and branding of the gift planning program to the various university constituencies.

A high degree of confidentiality and discretion is mandatory, as well as superior personal initiative and communication skills. The Associate Director of Planned Giving reports to the Executive Director of Advancement.

Duties and Responsibilities (generally)

Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward planned and deferred gift prospects. Manage a portfolio of 100-125 prospects. Conduct prospect research and forge deeper relationships with various campus constituencies, such as the seven university colleges, annual fund donors, Northern Public Radio donors, NIU annuitants association and the alumni association. Coordinate with the Executive Director of Advancement and the Director of Planned Giving to develop the overall marketing and branding strategy for the planned giving program, assist in the development of collateral materials, and ensure that the planned giving portion of the NIU Foundation website is up-to-date, compelling and relevant. Assist in coordinating the bi-annual stewardship program to honor and thank planned giving donors who have enrolled in the Foundation’s Cornerstone Society. Work with major gift officers to ensure that each college and other university programs have the necessary, appropriate and customized planned giving marketing materials. Assist in developing an annual report on marketing efforts to ascertain return on investment and program impact. Assure that all estates are settled in a professional, timely and efficient manner and funds are used to fulfill the donor’s specific philanthropic intent. Maintain an annual schedule of professional training in the areas of estate planning, planned giving marketing and not-for-profit management.

Minimum Required Qualifications for this position

1. Bachelors degree
2. Three (3) years of experience with successful major gift solicitation.
3. Five (5) years of experience in planned giving.
4. Five (5) years of professional experience in a collegiate environment.
5. Knowledge and experience in development and alumni relations fields.
6. Experience of diverse engagement strategies and philanthropic behaviors.
7. Experience engaging with diverse populations to develop a diverse philanthropic plan.
8. Demonstrated exceptional writing skills, strong oral communication with group presentation skills.
9. Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
10. Demonstrably strong work ethic and entrepreneurial mentality. A high-level of integrity, focus and commitment to achieve ambitious goals is essential.
11. Familiarity with the “moves management” approach to major gift fundraising
12. Experience working within a matrixed organizational structure where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different divisions.
13. A flexible attitude and clear ability to modify and adapt as situations arise.

Specialty Factors (Additional Required Qualifications)

Education and Experience Preferred

1. Juris doctorate degree.
2. Five (5) years of experience in planned giving.
3. Ten (10) years of professional experience in a collegiate environment.
4. Advanced degree and/or professional designation ( CFRE ).
5. Capital campaign experience in higher education is highly desirable.
6. Knowledge of Microsoft Office software and familiarity with appropriate foundation fundraising tools. Knowledge of computerized systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and donors.
7. Commitment to the ideals and culture of higher education.
8. A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in trust and integrity.
9. The ability to effectively work in a group/team environment to assist in intra-divisional initiatives.

List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the performance of this position.

1. Ability and desire to engage in face to face relationship activities, primarily through the scheduling of one-on-one appointments with donor prospects who have never been engaged with NIU .
2. Ability and willingness to travel to meet donors and prospects in their homes and offices.
3. Business proficiency in Microsoft Office Word, Access and Excel, including the tabulation of budget figures, creation of scenario planning tools and merging files; experience in enterprise systems for event and scheduling management.
4. Familiarity with fundraising tools. Knowledge of computerized systems of donor record keeping, data tracking of prospects, and donors.
5. Exceptional organizational and project management skills.
6. Excellent attention to detail.
7. Exceptional communication skills as there will be strong interactions with both internal and external constituents.
8. The ability to synthesize multiple sources of information.
9. Ability and willingness to travel, sometimes extensively; and to work extra hours, nights and weekends to ensure the job is done exceptionally well; Ability to work autonomously, as well as manage several constituents.
10. Experience working within a matrixed organizational structure where performance responsibilities are evaluated in different divisions.
11. The ability to think critically and strategically; capable of taking responsibility for specific goals within designated time frames. Capable of coordinating multi-task initiatives to successful conclusion.
12. A flexible attitude and clear ability to modify and adapt as situations and conditions change, as well as a resilience with regard to the rigors of public higher education and the increasing pressure of resource constraints.
13. A proven ability to build strong relationships anchored in trust and integrity.

Working Hours
While established University office hours are 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, major donor work is professionally conducted at times and places consistent with prospect and donor availability. Oftentimes this work includes nights and weekends, and trips outside the Uni
Minimum Pay Rate (Hourly or Monthly)
Commensurate with experience and internal equity; position includes eligible benefits
Hiring Rate Information

Actual hiring rate is commensurate with experience, education, and internal equity; position includes a robust benefits package to eligible applicants.

Posting Date
Closing Date

Priority Review Date
Special Instructions to Applicants

Please submit application and documents through NIU online employment system at by December 31, 2020. Applications will continue to be received until the position has been filled. However, to ensure full consideration, applications must be received by December 31, 2020. For questions, contact Melissa Nigro,

Link to Department Homepage
Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Extensive and consistent travel is required for this position. Use of transportation is required. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in writing and orally. The employee frequently is required to stand for long periods of time; walk; use fingers and hands to feel, grasp, operate or handle objects, tools, or controls; and reach with hands and arms. Must be able to lift and carry 20 lbs. regularly.

EEO Statement

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Ethics and Compliance Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Health Services 230

Is Background Check Required
Visa Policy

In compliance with federal law, all persons hired will be required to verify identity and eligibility to work in the United States and to complete the required employment eligibility verification document form upon hire.

ADA Accommodation

NIU remains committed to ensuring that its recruitment and application procedures include full opportunities for applicants with disabilities. Employment opportunities will not be denied to anyone because of the need to make accommodations for a person’s disability during either the application or interview process. An applicant who believes they require an accommodation to participate in the employment process due to a disability may request that accommodation through the Accommodation Request Form . For further assistance, please contact the office of Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity and Education ( AAEOE ) at .

Clery Act Information

NIU provides information regarding campus security, personal and fire safety, including topics such as: crime prevention, emergency response procedures and crime reporting policies, in addition to crime and fire statistics for the most recent three calendar years. The Annual Security Report containing security and safety information is available at or by contacting the University Police Department and Public Safety Department at 815-753-9628 to receive a hard copy. The Annual Fire Safety Report is available at or by contacting the Environmental Health and Safety Department at 815-753-0404 to receive a hard copy.

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Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Applicant Documents
Required Documents
  1. Resume/Curriculum Vitae
  2. Cover Letter
  3. Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)
  4. List of References
Optional Documents

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