Director of Gift Planning

Job description

Job location: Colby College

Employment Type: Full-time
Posted data: 2021-04-27
Req: R0000312
Job DescriptionDepartment:Office of AdvancementPay Rate Type:SalaryEmployee Type:Job Summary:College Advancement
Full-Time, Exempt, Salaried, Administrative Staff Appointment

Over the past five years, outreach efforts to communicate the value and impact of a Colby education have resulted in more than doubling the number of students seeking admission to Colby and setting several institutional records for funds raised. Major initiatives made possible through Colby’s campaign, Dare Northward, are enriching the student experience and positioning Colby’s home city, Waterville, as a destination for the arts and culture.

Propelled by visionary leadership, a compelling array of initiatives, and record fundraising in fiscal year 2017, Colby launched the largest fundraising campaign ever at a liberal arts college—$750 million—in October 2017. With the success of the Dare Northward campaign, the College will be known for a distinctive set of multidisciplinary academic offerings; an even more cohesive and accessible institutional culture for students from all backgrounds; the foremost art and athletic facilities in the educational sector; a welcoming, thriving, and dynamic surrounding community; increased global connections and resulting perspectives; the richest set of universal student experiences to enhance the Colby academic program; and the capacity to support the postgraduate success of every one of their students.

Thus far, more than 24,000 alumni and friends have made donations in support of initiatives such as the downtown Waterville revitalization, academic partnerships, financial aid, and global experiences and internships—collectively raising more than $610 million to date toward the Dare Northward campaign. Colby now ranks as a national leader among the nation’s colleges and universities in alumni giving participation. To learn about the Colby Dare Northward campaign, visit

The director of gift planning provides overall guidance and strategic direction for Colby’s gift planning program. Responsibilities include identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospective and existing gift planning donors; oversight of gift planning marketing; and administration and stewardship of life income gifts, bequest expectancies, realized bequests, gifts-in-kind, real estate gifts, and other complex assets in conjunction with the leadership and principal gifts staff. The director manages the associate director of gift planning, director of milestone reunions, and an administrative assistant. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.


  • Serve as chief strategist for gift planning and provide leadership and vision for the strategic direction and management of the gift planning program to substantially increase the number and size of gifts established through life income gifts, bequest documentations, and other deferred gifts
  • Develop, lead, and implement strategies to substantially grow membership of the Colby Legacy Society, Colby’s gift planning society, as a key component of Colby’s comprehensive campaign and in coordination with annual giving and leadership gifts teams
  • Manage a portfolio of assigned prospects to strategize, solicit, and close comprehensive gifts from planned giving prospects; achieve an average of four to six face-to-face visits per week with long-term revenue goals
  • Oversee the cultivation and solicitation of all planned gift prospects, in collaboration with other leadership gifts and principal gifts staff; develop donor strategies and provide technical support and assistance in closing planned gifts and membership in the Colby Legacy Society
  • Deliver training as appropriate on planned gifts to advance knowledge and foster opportunities in gift conversations and strategy development
  • Prepare reports, briefing materials, correspondence, proposals, statistics, and related documents for solicitation of prospects
  • Serve as a member of the College Advancement letter of intent team, advise on gift acceptance policies, and share responsibility for communication and execution of gift agreements
  • Oversee associate director of gift planning’s management of a comprehensive gift planning marketing plan and stewardship of Colby Legacy Society members
  • Manage director of milestone reunion’s close collaboration with the leadership gifts, engagement, and annual philanthropy teams on integrating gift planning solicitations into reunion fundraising, with an emphasis on the 25th and 50th Reunion milestones
  • Ensure technical, legal, fiduciary, and ethical integrity of the gift planning program; work with the Office of Financial Services and general counsel as needed to ensure proper life income gift documentation and estate administration, management, acceptance, and disposition of contributed non-liquid assets; compliance with state and federal regulations; and necessary disclosures in gift proposals and agreements
  • Remain current on relevant activity and trends in gift planning, financial and estate planning, federal tax law and regulations that govern charitable giving, and new services offered by other non-profit groups and organizations
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice


  • Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent in education and experience; advanced coursework and additional certification such as CPA, CFP, CSPG a plus
  • A minimum of 5 years of planned gift fundraising experience, legal, or financial experience with charitable gift planning, including tax and inheritance law
  • Superb written and oral communication skills
  • Knowledgeable in the use of gift planning software and the preparation of illustrations for gift proposals
  • Demonstrated success in soliciting and closing gifts
  • Experience in developing comprehensive prospect strategies and talent to think and work strategically
  • Appreciation of Colby’s mission and the ability to effectively communicate it
  • Willingness and ability to work outside normal working hours
  • Must be willing to travel; valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements
  • Proven ability to work independently and as a member of a team, establish priorities, and work collaboratively across campus and as a member of a diverse community
  • An entrepreneurial spirit and positive attitude


Reporting to the assistant vice president for college advancement, the director of gift planning will have direct contact with the vice president for college advancement, chief campaign officer, leadership gift officers, president, trustees, senior administration, alumni, parents, and key faculty members.


General open office and campus environment. Position involves sitting, although frequent movement is necessary. Computer usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Ability to move around campus and interact with faculty, staff, students, alumni and external constituencies regularly is crucial. Travel is required. The option to work remotely will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Director of Gift Planning - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855




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Job No:
Posted: 4/28/2021
Application Due: 7/27/2021
Work Type: Full Time