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SMU-2108006-Director of Major & Planned Gifts

Samuel Merritt University
California, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Closing date
Aug 7, 2021

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Position Type
Administrative, Business & Administrative Affairs, Other Business & Administrative Affairs
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Job Details

Job Summary:
Reporting to the Vice President for Advancement and Communications, this is an exciting opportunity to develop and lead major and planned giving programs at Samuel Merritt University.  The ideal candidate will have a demonstrated professional history of cultivating, soliciting and closing major gifts.  Day to day functions will place a priority on field work and building personal relationships throughout the University’s constituencies including alumni, corporations, friends, community leaders and faculty and staff.  

In addition to developing and managing a portfolio of 50-70 major gift prospects, the Director of Major and Planned Gifts will work closely with the office of Marketing and Communications to develop a marketing/communications plan to advance the Planned Giving program at Samuel Merritt University.  The marketing/communications office will assist in the development of a broad based communications plan for Planned Giving prospects and the DMPG and VPAC will personally engage new leads generated from the Planned Giving marketing/communications efforts.  Functioning much like a startup business, this is an outstanding opportunity for a creative, motivated self-starter who enjoys the challenges and opportunities associated with building and growing a new program.

In combining the major and planned giving functions, this unit is better equipped to assist donors with meaningful blended gift options, and provide for a more focused partnership between Advancement, Marketing and Communications and the academic units.

Job Duties and Accountabilities: 
All items listed below are considered “essential job functions” for ADA purposes

  • 70% - Develop and manage a comprehensive program for major gifts and planned giving including development and management of major gift portfolio, implementation of a marketing strategy for planned giving prospects, and college/department specific fundraising for various academic initiatives and programs
  • 20% - Assist the Vice President of Advancement and Communications (VPAC) in creating and executing a strategic plan for Advancement, focused on fundraising and alumni engagement 
  • 10% - Serve as a member of the Advancement and Communication Leadership Team
  • Other duties as assigned

Skills and Abilities:  

  • Ability to work on a team and meet performance deadlines in a dynamic environment;  
  • Outstanding communication and interpersonal/leadership skills
  • Build and manage a portfolio of 50-70 major and principal gift prospects
  • Work with donors, their attorneys, and financial advisors to create blended gift options to achieve each donor's goals
  • Create strategies to drive collaboration with all units within Samuel Merritt University
  • Implement best practices in gift planning and major gift fundraising
  • Oversee a multi-channel marketing plan specifically designed to reach appropriate donors for different gift options, particularly estate gifts
  • Serve as a member of the VPAC leadership team
  • Implement a fundraising plan with measurable goals for performance, professionalism, and collaboration that aligns with the University’s mission and Advancement’s goals.
  • Assist VPAC in developing strong relationships with deans and department Chairs

Education and/or Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred;
  • Minimum of 5 years of major gift and/or planned giving experience
  • Comprehensive knowledge and understanding of planned giving vehicles
  • Knowledge and experience working with Raiser's Edge or similar fundraising database

The University has an institution-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to build a welcoming and supportive campus environment, and acknowledge that diversity is an educational imperative to achieve excellence.

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