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Director, Gift Planning & Leadership

Who We Are:

System Administration, which also houses the Office of the President, is located in the uptown neighborhood of Denver with a few smaller offices located on the campuses. Many of our departments support the educational and research missions of the four University of Colorado campuses, but System Administration is not considered a campus. We provide diverse opportunities for professional development, innovation, and collaboration with talented staff and faculty. Learn more about CU System Administration .

The CU System Office of Advancement provides excellent customer service, strategy, expertise, and efficiency to our partners on CU’s campuses and at the University of Colorado Foundation. We support CU’s fundraising and engagement goals through advancement operations that include constituent research and development, data management, business intelligence, technical architecture, annual giving, planned giving, gift administration, marketing and communications, IT, budget and finance, and more. We believe that a healthy office culture is foundational to our success. We create this by bringing together a diverse team of colleagues and infusing our core values—Work Together, Think Big, Be Good and Have Fun—into our work every day. 

Position Summary:

The Director of Gift Planning & Leadership, Gift Planning (herein Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning) is a centralized University of Colorado (CU) system position embedded within Anschutz Medical Campus’s Office of Advancement. The Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning is responsible for the leadership and strategic oversight of the gift planning efforts at the Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC).

The AMC Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning supports an average of 12 major gift officers and their respective portfolios, with approximately 15-20 personally managed prospects and a strong fundraising pipeline of planned and active planned/blended gift proposals. This role serves as a trusted advisor to the vice chancellor of advancement and the development officers.

The Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning is responsible for refining and implementing strategies to increase the overall pipeline of asset/blended/planned gifts. Additionally, through individual effort and collaboration, the Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning is responsible for growing outright major/principal gift and deferred giving initiatives with prospects, benefactors, outside allied professionals, and members of the University community. The Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning understands and applies national standard methodologies, process and service excellence principles for gift planning and continually seeks out new industry knowledge.

This position reports to the Executive Director of Gift Planning and is exempt from the State of Colorado Classified Staff System.

Where You Will Work:

The CU System Office of Advancement follows a “flexibility first” approach to our work that defines how we manage and make use of in-person time. As a hybrid role, this position will work mostly remotely with occasional in-office time as directed by this roles manager. At minimum, in-office time for this position will include four separate callback weeks per year — when all our colleagues are expected to be together in the office. Additional in-office time will be determined by this roles manager.

Diversity and Equity:

The University of Colorado System Administration Office is committed to recruiting and supporting a diverse workforce. The university strives to promote a culture of inclusiveness, respect, communication and understanding. We encourage applications from women, ethnic minorities, persons with disabilities, persons within the LGBTQ+ community and all veterans.

Duties & Responsibilities:

Duties and responsibilities of the position include, but are not limited to:
  • Serves as a department liaison for the Anschutz Medical Campus and contributes to strategic direction, coordination, and evaluation of the gift planning efforts.
  • Serves as a liaison to ensure that each principal gift conversation incorporates a blended, asset based, or deferred giving strategy, where applicable.
  • Advises AMC development officers on prospect identification for planned gifts and development of solicitation strategies.
  • Supports AMC development officers by adding enrichment to the cultivation, proposal, and solicitation phases of gift conversations, to include in-person and virtual meetings with donors as needed, and development of gift agreements.
  • Cultivates planned gifts to benefit AMC by providing technical gift planning expertise for University of Colorado colleagues and supporters.
  • In collaboration with CU Advancement staff, the Philanthropic Advisor, Gift Planning cultivates, solicits, negotiates, and closes gifts by focusing primarily on multi-faceted outright gifts; gifts of sophisticated or unique assets; revocable designations; and irrevocable gifts such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, retained life estates, or charitable lead trusts.
  • Contributes to University system, campus and department goals by crafting and implementing an annual workplan, identifying specific areas of focus which may include proactive lead generation to build a strong future “pipeline” of planned gift prospects or benefactors; prospect strategy sessions; trainings; stewardship of existing legacy society members; marketing efforts; strengthening relationships with the advisor community; proposal creation; benefactor visits/travel; etc.
  • Manages and supervises at least one programmatic activity that is a priority for the Office of Gift Planning including, but are not limited to: CU President’s Gift Planning Advisory Council, Internal Training Programs, or best process initiatives outlined in 3-yr strategic plan
  • Responsible for assisting the Executive Director of Gift Planning in analyzing and projecting internally the legal and tax consequences of gifts of cash or property.
  • Responsible for identifying training needs for development officers as they learn to recognize gift planning opportunities. This will involve providing training sessions as needed and possibly crafting new ones.

What We Offer:

Salary: The anticipated hiring range has been established at $115,000- $130,000 .

CU System Administration takes into consideration a combination of the selected candidate’s education, training and experience as it relates to the position, as well as the position’s scope and complexity, internal pay equity and external market value when determining a salary level for potential new employees.

Benefits: With our unparalleled range of benefits, including top-notch healthcare, comprehensive wellness programs, enriching professional development, and a dynamic work-life balance, we ensure your holistic growth and happiness.
  • No-cost or low-cost medical & dental plan options, some inclusive of IVF assistance.
  • Disability, Life, Vision Insurance options.
  • Multiple retirement planning options including a mandatory 401(a) plan where CU contributes 10% of your gross pay, a 401k or 403b plan and a 457 deferred compensation plan.
  • Pre-tax savings plans, such as Health care and Dependent care flexible spending accounts.
  • Embrace a healthy work-life balance with ample sick and vacation leave, along with at least 12 paid holidays. This includes a dedicated week off for winter break.
  • 4 weeks of parental leave to adjust to the joys of parenthood.
  • A tuition benefit program for you and/or your dependents.
  • Free RTD EcoPass and Free Onsite Parking at our 1800 Grant Street Office.
  • Many additional perks & programs with the CU Advantage .
Additional taxable fringe benefits may be available.

For more information on benefits programs, please review our Comprehensive Benefits Guide .

Access our Total Compensation Calculator to see what your total rewards could be at CU. (This position is a University Staff position)


Minimum Qualifications:

Please ensure your resume includes any and all relevant experience to be accurately assessed against these qualifications. You must meet all minimum requirements listed at the time of application to be considered for this role.
  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education, or equivalent professional experience (professional experience may be substituted for the educational requirement on a year-for-year basis)
  • Five (5) years’ professional experience working in gift planning, estate/financial planning, or blending major and principal gifts of $500,000 or more.
  • Experience cultivating, soliciting, negotiating, and closing gifts of sophisticated or unique assets; gifts or real estate; revocable designations; or irrevocable gifts such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities, or retained life estates.
  • Ability to travel
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Bachelor’s or post-baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the field of business, business administration, finance, or another closely related field.
  • Advanced degree (MA, JD, CFP, MBA)
  • Six (6) years’ professional experience working in gift planning and blending major/principal gifts of $1,000,000 or more.
  • Two (2) years’ experience in a team lead or supervisory role, which may include assigning and reviewing the work of others, providing mentorship to internal and external team members, and/or assisting management with performance reviews
  • Experience in a nonprofit, higher education, or healthcare environment
  • Experience working within large, sophisticated organizations
  • Demonstrated success in higher education or healthcare major, planned, and/or principal gift fundraising.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

To be successful in this position, employees will need to know the following:
  • Dedication to promoting and improving diversity and equity
  • Ability to operate and use a smart phone.
  • Digital literacy to use Microsoft Office programs and virtual meeting technology (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, MS Teams, Zoom) and learn and experiment with new software and systems
  • Knowledge of the University of Colorado’s mission, demographics, faculty, current programs, departments, and cultural identity
  • Proven knowledge of gift planning principles, procedures, and standard methodologies
  • A dedication to professional development, learning, and being mentored
  • Benefactor-centric customer service skills, including the ability to actively listen, address customer needs, defuse tense situations, and maintain an open, flexible, and friendly demeanor
  • Interpersonal skills to facilitate interaction, communication, and teamwork between others
  • Ability to persuasively engage benefactors and articulate how CU distinguishes itself from peer institutions
  • Ability to make persuasive verbal and written cases for supporting key programs and projects, effectively matching the interests of prospective benefactors to specific university needs
  • Ability to deliver a high level of dedication to customer service
  • Ability to communicate and work effectively with individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds, cultures, and ages
  • Ability to navigate sophisticated, multi-layered environments and organizations
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team setting
  • Ability to develop strategies to achieve operating goals
  • Ability to interact with high-level benefactors, maintain a high level of integrity, discretion, and confidentiality.
  • Ability to establish and maintain coordinated working relationships with faculty, staff, and others
  • A proven track record to self-motivate and work both independently and as part of a team
Software Utilized
  • Microsoft Office Products, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Gift planning software, such as PGM Anywhere, TIAA Kaspick GiftAdvisor
  • Benefactor tracking and reporting software, such as Salesforce
  • Project management, such as
  • Smart phones

How to Apply:

For full consideration, please attach the following as separate documents to your application:

  1. A cover letter identifying the job specific minimum qualifications you possess
  2. A resume including any and all relevant experience to be accurately assessed against the qualifications listed in the posting.

Please ensure you check the “Job Specific Attachments” box next to each document on the “Required Documents” page of the application for the appropriate documents to be attached.

When to Apply:

For full consideration completed applications must be submitted by June 28th. Reference checking is a standard step in our hiring process. You may be asked to provide contact information, including email addresses, for up to five references as part of the search process for this position. *Please note: All application materials must be submitted through CU Careers; emailed materials will not be considered.*

Sponsorship Statement:

We are unable to sponsor applicants for work visas for this position.

Background Check Statement:

The University of Colorado is committed to providing a safe and productive learning and living community. To achieve that goal, we conduct background investigations for all final applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial history, motor vehicle history and/or fingerprinting background check. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that a verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work. The University of Colorado is committed to diversity and equality in education and employment.

ADA Statement:

We are committed to an inclusive and barrier-free search process. We provide accommodations for applicants requesting accommodation through the search process such as alternative formats of this posting. Individuals with disabilities in need of accommodations throughout the search process should contact the ADA Coordinator at: .

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