Position Summary: The Major and Planned Giving Officer is a lead relationship and fund management position at Union Theological Seminary (“Union”) responsible for the planning, implementation, and execution of a strategy to attract major, planned, and legacy donors to partner with Union to fulfill their philanthropic and financial goals.
This position reports to the VP Development and Alumni/ae Relations and will work closely with the VP to expand Union’s relationships with current and prospective donors and professional advisors, educating them about Union philanthropic opportunities and charitable giving options
They will work to move current and prospective donors through the donor cycle including identifying, qualifying, engaging, evaluating, soliciting, recognizing and stewarding current and future major donors, planned giving prospects, and legacy donors.
Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Respond to inquiries from prospects, donor representatives and professional advisors regarding major, planned, and legacy gifts.
Work collaboratively with Union’s communication team to develop new print and online materials about charitable giving options for prospective donors and professional advisors
Conduct professional advisor and donor research; and draft and prepare fund agreements
Maintain a high level of expertise regarding state and federal taxes, gift and estate giving methods and the legal aspects of charitable giving
Provide Professional Advisors Services- Solicit and schedule meetings with professional advisors to educate them about Union. This will include individual meetings, as well as small and large group meetings and presentations (they can be in person or virtual)
Promptly and accurately respond to professional advisor requests for information about Union services and charitable giving options
Identify new professional advisors and track contacts with advisors and client referrals Employ an effective major donor prospect management system, assuming a portfolio of prospects for cultivation and engagement with a goal of encouraging new charitable funds, the development and stewardship of legacy gifts, and support of Union and our initiatives
Develop and implement the organizational strategy for donor, fund holder and professional advisor education and engagement in partnership with the President, EVP, and VP Development and Alumni/ae Relations
In collaboration with the President, EVP and the VP of Finance, serve as primary contact with legal counsel on issues related to unusual or complex gifts. Update the gift acceptance policies as needed.
Participate in recognition events for current donors and fund holders, professional advisors, and legacy donors.
Help design and participate in targeted prospective donor and professional advisor educational programs.
Participate in the creation of annual development department plans, goals and strategies.
Attend staff meetings and serve on internal committees as appropriate.
Contribute to Union publications and marketing materials by providing data, reports, content and proofreading as needed. Contribute to communications content, when appropriate, including impact reports, press releases, blog posts, op-eds, and letters to the editor.
Represent Union at meetings and events which may occur during or outside of normal work hours.
Participate in all aspects of the gift cycle – initiate contacts with potential leadership and major gift donors, develop appropriate cultivation strategies, move potential donors in an appropriate and timely fashion toward fund creation, and maintain stewardship contact with donors.
Work collaboratively with colleagues, volunteer leadership, and professional advisors (attorneys, wealth advisors, accountants, and trust officers) to cultivate and expand current giving by planned gift donors.
Oversee process of establishing new funds by assisting donors in selecting philanthropic interests that complement and enhance donors’ goals.
Support the giving interests and practices of our donors and fund holders, creating rewarding experiences and high impact results.
Plan, implement, and evaluate donor cultivation and stewardship events such as small gatherings, luncheons, cocktail events, and educational opportunities to build partnerships with donors.
Maintain a broad understanding of Union Theological Seminary and use this knowledge to maintain relationships with current, new, and prospective donors and fund holders.
Other duties as assigned.
The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related or a logical assignment to the position.
Ideal Candidate: Union is seeking a professional who is energized by being a critical member of a dynamic team helping to increase philanthropy at Union. The successful candidate must have the following:
Deep commitment to philanthropy and higher education
Proven fundraising success and 5 – 7 years of major gift and planned giving experience demonstrating initiative, self-motivation, and follow-through
Technical and administrative self-sufficiency and high attention to detail are required to maintain a moves management system (Raisers Edge) for identified donor prospects
Excellent organizational and time management skills
Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite
Exceptional verbal and written communications skills
Ability and willingness to manage multiple tasks and priorities
Congenial personality, sense of humor, self-aware, flexible, resourceful, emotionally intelligent, confident, self-motivated, and results-oriented
Candidates with professional affiliations and CFP, CAP, and/or CFRE certifications preferred
About Union Theological Seminary
Founded in 1836, Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York is an independent, multi-denominational seminary in the City of New York. Union’s mission is at once progressive and faith-based: to educate leaders for ministry in churches and society, to extend the work of social justice, and to enrich the academy through teaching and research.
Education at Union is rooted in a critical understanding of the breadth of Christian traditions and is significantly and increasingly instructed by the pluralistic, interfaith reality of the globalized world. Union has nurtured many of the most significant theological voices addressing the most profoundly challenging issues of our contemporary experience: civil rights, women’s equality, ecological justice, and the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in our churches and in our public life. Now embarking on its 184th year, Union is launching a bold new strategic plan accompanied by a comprehensive campaign to grow Union’s national and global influence as a groundbreaking educational institution forming religious and community leaders to engage the realities of a diverse, interconnected, and increasingly urban world. As Union moves into this new era, building a world-class, social-justice inspired team is crucial.