Associate Director, Gift Planning

Reference: JOB988
Employer: Carnegie Mellon University

The gift planning officer II is responsible for identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of prospects with the inclination to create a planned or major gift to the university. Manages a portfolio of approximately 100-125 prospects and donors. This person will be expected to travel 10-15 times per year outside of the Pittsburgh region.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred
  • 3-5 years of successful fundraising experience, preferably in higher education
  • Valid state driver's license
  • Must successfully complete a driver's license verification on an annual basis and successfully complete the National Safety Council's Defensive Driving Training once every three years


  • Knowledge of the principles of fundraising
  • Introductory knowledge of the financial, tax, and legal aspects of charitable giving as well as an enthusiastic willingness to expand that knowledge base
  • Familiarity with the various gift planning vehicles and how to apply them in an individual situation
  • Ability to understand and articulate the objectives of the University Advancement division, and to integrate and execute individually assigned goals within those objectives
  • An interest in all aspects of education and a dedication to promoting the university's fundraising priorities through developing excellent working relationships with university constituencies
  • Excellent oral, written and interpersonal skills required
  • Personal belief in mission, goals and objectives of private higher education
  • The ability to lead, participate in, and advise all aspects of a donor’s gift process and to maintain consistent stewardship contacts with assigned donors

Working Conditions: Required to travel to other locations, both on and off campus. Required to travel around the region and to other areas of the country. Work is usually performed in an office setting or remotely when travel needs dictate. Evening and weekend work will occasionally be required.

Additional Requirements:

Accountability: This officer is expected: 1) To cultivate a portfolio of 100-125 assigned donor prospects; 2) To set and carry out gift planning strategies for these prospects; 3) To assume and consistently achieve annual commitments of $1 million dollars, 24 proposals, and 72-96 visits per year; 4) To implement stewardship activities with existing gift planning donors.

Direction: Works independently and provides updates to supervisor and related stakeholders as needed. Generally prioritizes, initiates contacts and sets own travel schedule. Must be self-motivated in initiating contacts with prospects, also expected to work in a collegial manner with development team in creating and implementing overall department strategies leading to new gift opportunities.

Decision Making: Prioritizes direct donor interaction. Qualifies prospects and implements plans to increase gifts. Strategically designs, proposes, and executes appropriate gift planning strategies. Determines if other stakeholders need to be apprised or involved in communications with prospective donors. Implements plan to bring qualified prospects to closure.

Supervisory:  None.


  • Set annual goals based on divisional and team expectations. Track and report progress in cooperation with supervisor and fellow gift officers. Prepare reports and communications for donors, volunteers, colleagues, and management.
  • Qualify, cultivate and solicit prospects through a variety of media, with special emphasis on direct personal visits. Respond to inquiries from donors, prepare and present gift alternatives to current and prospective donors often in conjunction with colleagues.
  • Personal outreach to assigned prospects in order to reach annual commitment goals and create a pipeline of prospects for future solicitation and ongoing stewardship. Travel 10-15 times per year outside of the Pittsburgh region required with a goal of 72-96 annual visits. Clearly communicate with other university stakeholders and professional advisors.
  • Determine ongoing relationship activities with prospects; recommend specific purpose and level of gift appropriately suited to the donor’s individual circumstance; identify fellow colleagues or university leadership to be involved in cultivation and subsequent solicitations; directly solicit gifts; execute complicated gift planning strategies to accept gifts to the university prudently while adhering to relevant policies; begin the stewardship process with new gift planning donors.
  • Support Annual Giving, Alumni Relations, Special Events and other units within University Advancement.
  • Track all donor activities and prospect communication using CMU’s centralized donor database. Produce individual contact reports summarizing every prospect visit. Follow up in writing to acknowledge prospects after visits and gifts. Report progress on goals including number of visits, solicitations, commitments, upgrades and qualifications.
  • Promote gift planning techniques appropriate for donor circumstances and designed to increase a donor’s ability to make a significant gift.
  • Respond to inquiries about gift planning techniques; provide information to donor’s advisors.
  • Participate in various training opportunities provided by the university.
  • Keep current on programs and faculty, research and student initiatives at the university.
  • Collaborate with faculty, deans and other advancement colleagues when necessary.
  • Continue professional education through independent study, attendance at conferences, seminars, webinars, and other appropriate educational offerings.
  • Other duties as assigned.



Posted January 22, 2018