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Executive Director, Principal Gifts and Gift Planning

USNA Alumni Association & Foundation
Annapolis, Maryland
Commensurate with experience
Posted Date
Nov 2, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Executive Directors
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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The United States Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation in Annapolis, Maryland is looking to hire a full-time, exempt Executive Director, Principal Gifts and Gift Planning to join the Development Team to enhance our campaign initiatives and operations in anticipation of a future campaign.


The Executive Director, Principal Gifts and Gift Planning (EDPG/GP) plays an integral role in attracting impactful philanthropic support for the Naval Academy and the Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation. Reporting to the Executive Vice President of the Foundation, the EDPG/GP will manage two planned giving staff, the Principal Gift Strategist, two Corporate/Foundation professionals, as well as serve as part of the Foundation's senior leadership team.


The EDPG/GP is responsible for securing legacy gifts to the Naval Academy and stewarding long-term funding relationships. The Executive Director secures gifts from a portfolio of assigned prospects, collaborates with other gift officers to secure new legacy commitments and/or current gifts of complex assets, and manages staff assigned to gift planning to build the pipeline of future support and raise awareness of legacy giving within the Naval Academy community. Recognizing the importance of legacy giving and the procurement of non-cash assets in meeting campaign goals, the EDPG/GP participates in principal gift strategies and demonstrates leadership in securing resources for Naval Academy fundraising priorities.


This position pays a competitive salary commensurate with experience and is also eligible for an annual performance-based bonus, when applicable. You would also be eligible for a generous benefits plan which includes medical, dental, vision, an FSA, an HSA, a fully vested 403(b) retirement plan with employer matching, 22 days of accrued paid time off (PTO) per fiscal year, 14 paid holidays per calendar year, group life insurance, short-term & long-term disability, identity theft protection, and annual opportunities for professional development. Although not guaranteed, certain additional benefits may be offered through the Naval Academy, such as use of certain recreational facilities (including the Brigade Sports Complex gym, marina and indoor/outdoor pools), as well as category II eligibility for employee children to apply to the Naval Academy Primary School.


This position is based in historic Annapolis at our current offices located overlooking the Severn River on the beautiful grounds of the U.S. Naval Academy. In 2023, the staff of the Alumni Association and Foundation will move into new modern offices in a to-be-constructed Alumni Center, which is being built on the banks of College Creek overlooking the Naval Academy and downtown Annapolis.


The United States Naval Academy Alumni Association and the United States Naval Academy Foundation are two independent, not-for-profit corporations sharing a single president and CEO and operating as a fully integrated organization in support of the Naval Academy and its mission.

The organization's focus and core competencies are engagement and philanthropy in pursuit of complementary and closely aligned missions.


Our Mission: The course set by Alumni Association founders in 1886 rings true today as our mission is to serve and support the United States, the Naval Service, the Naval Academy, and academy alumni by:

  • Furthering the highest standards at the Naval Academy.
  • Seeking out; informing, encouraging and assisting outstanding, qualified young men and women to pursue careers as officers through the Naval Academy, and
  • Initiating and sponsoring activities that will perpetuate the history, traditions, memories, and growth of the Naval Academy and bind alumni together in support of the highest ideals of command, citizenship, and the government.

Our important mission requires that we hire and retain the best of the best. In order to do that, we offer competitive pay, generous benefits, opportunities for career development, and a positive work experience.

Specific Duties

  • Manage and develop the Planned Giving team, Corporate and Foundation Relations team and Principal Gift strategist.
  • Personally manage a high-level portfolio of alumni and friends with capacity to make gifts of $1 million or more.
  • Identify, qualify, cultivate, solicit, and steward assigned principal gifts level prospects and donors. Drive and manage strategic, consistent, personalized engagement with donors and donor prospects, including meaningful interaction with Yard leaders, faculty members, Board of Directors, and other high-level volunteers.
  • Work closely with donors and their advisors to develop and implement planned giving strategies for estate, blended, and complex gifts that may involve non-cash assets such as closely held stock and real estate.
  • Represent the Foundation's priorities in the context of an overall vision for USNA and its place in the world. Contribute to the identification, development, and refinement of compelling gift opportunities to align principal gift donors' interests with the Academy's priorities.
  • Collaborate closely with Academy leaders, including deans, department chairs, faculty, and administrative staff to identify fundraising opportunities and accomplish fundraising goals.
  • Align potential principal gifts donors with volunteer leadership opportunities, committees, activities, and/or events that are appropriate to their interests (or potential interests) and areas of expertise that deepen their engagement over time and facilitate significant philanthropic investment.
  • Plan, coordinate, and direct visits and special events for principal gift level prospects and donors.
  • Work closely with Executive Vice President of Development and CEO as necessary and appropriate to develop principal gift prospects.
  • Provide overall support and management of the principal gift office, including planned giving. Ensure existing policies are kept up-to-date and develop new policies as needed.
  • Keep up to date with the academic, athletic, and programmatic happenings of the Academy.


Work closely with Foundation colleagues including the Executive Director, Vice President, the Executive Director, Donor Relations and Stewardship, and the Executive Director, Advancement Services.


  • BA/BS degree. JD or Master's Degree preferred.
  • 8+ years of demonstrated, successful fundraising experience or equivalent combination of education and experience required, preferably in higher education, including track record securing high impact gifts ($1M+) from individuals. A particular emphasis will be placed on experience on planned gift development or similar experience in working with high-net-worth individuals in private banking, financial services, financial planning, or related professions.
  • Extensive experience working with high net-worth individuals.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Strong project management and organizational competencies with demonstrated aptitude for multitasking, attention to detail, and meeting competing and overlapping deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to set, meet, and exceed goals and fundraising objectives.
  • Experience with comprehensive higher education campaigns.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Experience with planned giving and structuring blended gifts.
  • Working knowledge and documented experience involving estate planning or income, capital gain, and estate tax issues, preferably consisting of cultivating, soliciting, and closing major and/or planned gifts.
  • Demonstrated experience in illustrating, presenting and closing complex planned gifts such as CLATs and gifts of closely held stock.
  • Dedicated work ethic-proactive, responsible, reliable, creative problem-solving.
  • Knowledge of specialized donor database, prospect research, and wealth screening programs.
  • Demonstrated management experience preferred.

To Apply: Please go to and apply through our website.


The USNA Alumni Association and Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information, or to apply now, you must go to the website below. Please DO NOT email your resume to us as we only accept applications through our website.


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