Associate Director, Estate, Trust and Gift Planning

Apply now Job no: 497558
Position type: full-time
Location: Lewisburg, PA
Categories: Other, University Advancement / Alumni Relations

Are you passionate about making a lasting impact through philanthropy? Do you excel at building meaningful relationships with donors and guiding them to leave a lasting legacy?  We are currently seeking a self-motivated and detail-oriented Associate Director, Estate, Trust and Gift Planning focused on achieving specific Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).  This individual is responsible for leading our Gift Planning Officers, building relationships and managing regionally-based portfolios of prospects and donors as well as partnering with the Development team and their respective portfolios. This individual will provide strategic direction to the gift planning officers to increase the overall effectiveness of the team and their ability to secure deferred gift commitments.    

We are in the silent phase of our campaign, and this role presents an opportunity to help shape the future of the University. We welcome you to consider joining University Advancement’s dynamic team at the start of our growing campaign. 

In this role you will:

  • Lead, inspire, and manage regional gift planning officers to increase planned and blended gift solicitations and closures through your own portfolio work, as well as collaboration with development officers within their region.
  • Advise gift planners and development officers about gift planning options and techniques, complex gift advice, and tax implications.
  • Hold gift planning officers accountable to their defined metrics, ensure that mechanisms are in place to accurately track their activity, and identify professional development needs and opportunities.
  • Build relationships and work closely with prospects and donors through the cycle of identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship with a focus on blended gifts.
  • Partner with donors and their professional advisors to establish, facilitate, and close creative and complex gifts including non-liquid and alternative assets.
  • Travel extensively (including air travel and travel to major metropolitan areas) for consistent and strategic prospect meetings designed to move prospects through the donor continuum.
  • Promote the University’s fundraising priorities through excellent working relationships with faculty, senior academic leaders, trustees, University volunteers, and UA colleagues. This includes preparing strategic briefings prior to visits and arranging for appropriate follow up-to-visits and events.
  • Collaborate with supervisor, researcher, and regional team members to increase blended gift opportunities and maintain a vibrant productive portfolio.
  • Maintain accuracy of donor and prospect records, including updating opportunities, contact reports, and prospect plan steps, in a prompt and timely fashion. 

What we are looking for: 

  • Bachelor’s degree and 7 years of experience in gift planning, legal or a comparable field, OR an equivalent combination of education and work experience
  • 3 years of demonstrated fundraising success related to complex gifts (can be concurrent with previous experience) 
  • Demonstrated successful management and supervisory experience
  • Demonstrated maturity of judgment, high level of accuracy, and close attention to detail, with a strong ethical sense to handle confidential and sensitive information appropriately
  • Demonstrated exceptional customer service skills with the ability to build relationships and communicate complex ideas, thoughts, and facts clearly, effectively, and persuasively both verbally and in writing
  • Demonstrated ability to comprehend sophisticated financial and legal concepts, the ability to comprehend technical material of complex gift plans, and remain current with changing legal and tax arenas affecting planned giving
  • Demonstrated creativity and broad-level strategic thinking
  • Experience that demonstrates the ability and commitment to learn how to use a variety of computer-based programs and platforms to perform essential job duties such as Microsoft Office Suite, Google Suite, CRM database functions, and other web-based tools
  • Willingness to travel frequently (including a valid driver’s license) and to organizing efficient, productive itineraries 

Preferred Qualifications

  • Advanced degree or designation in law, finance, estate, or financial planning such as JD. CPA, CFP
  • Demonstrated success in securing six-figure major gifts, specifically in planned giving
  • Experience in higher education

This position (and all positions in our division) requires the occasional evening and weekend work to support university events such as Homecoming & Family Weekend, Reunion Weekend, and large Career events. We do ask staff to mark their calendars in advance for these events. 

Additionally, we are looking for exceptional people who will embrace our values:

  • Lead with Integrity
  • Embrace a Collaborative and Inclusive Spirit
  • Be Open and Receptive
  • Nurture Creativity and Innovation
  • Foster a Culture of Empowerment and Knowledge

University Advancement (UA) is here to advance the mission of Bucknell University by engaging the Bucknell community. It is only through the support of alumni, parents and friends – by opening doors to career opportunities, engaging others to join the conversation and community, and entrusting us with their philanthropic commitments – that we can further elevate Bucknell as a leader in undergraduate education.  These values illustrate how we bring, as a division, the University's strategic plan to life and exercise our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion on a daily basis.

As part of UA, the Office of Estate, Trust, and Gift Planning (ETGP) strengthens Bucknell University by increasing the value, size, and utility of gifts contributed to the University. These goals are achieved by working with donors and their advisors to plan and arrange bequests, life income, and other blended and complex gifts; by conducting strategy meetings with development staff for blended gift visits and proposals; by managing, in conjunction with Bucknell’s finance department, all life income and trust asset investments under the control of the University; and by collaborating with University administrators to design plans for using outright and deferred gift contributions. ETGP streamlines the estate settlement process as it pertains to the University’s gifts from estates, thus ensuring correct distributions and donor intent, and, with the support of outside charitable tax counsel, advises and counsels University staff on legal issues related to charitable contributions and plans. This position reports to the Director, Estate, Trust, and Gift Planning and Sr. Philanthropic Advisor

Application Review:

Candidates will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.  Please be aware that the University will be closed for winter break from December 16th through January 2nd and that communication with candidates will be limited during this time. We appreciate your understanding and patience.

Work Type: 

This is a full-time, staff exempt, benefits-eligible position that may be eligible for hybrid work.      

This role is not budgeted for visa sponsorship at this time, all candidates must be authorized to work in the US at the time of submission of the application.

Salary Range:

This is a staff exempt position with a hiring range of $86,500-108,125 (E13). The offer rate will be based on a review of the candidate's credentials compared to the qualifications of the position, internal equity, and our overall compensation philosophy.


Eligible full- and part-time employees are compensated beyond base salary through our total rewards package that includes (but is not limited to):
- flexible scheduling options determined by role; 
- medical, prescription drug, vision, dental, life, and long-term disability insurance options
- an outstanding 10% employer contribution to your retirement plan (no contribution requirement for non-exempt positions)
- generous paid time off, including vacation and sick time, a community service day, and 19 paid holidays (including two full weeks off for Winter Break!)
- full-time and part-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for themselves. Additionally, full-time members of the faculty and staff are eligible for tuition remission for their spouse/spousal equivalent and are eligible for various tuition programs for their children. Credit for full-time benefits eligible employment at other institutions of higher education will be applied to waiting periods.
- a comprehensive employee wellness program including program incentives
- a myriad of other benefits, including parental leave, an employee assistance program, fitness center membership, and the power of your Bucknell ID card 

To learn more about Bucknell's benefits, click here! (*Eligibility criteria and waiting periods may apply.)

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

Bucknell is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports the growth and development of a diverse campus community.  We endeavor to enhance our capacity to value and capitalize on the cultural richness that diversity brings.  We encourage all individuals to apply and do not discriminate in admissions, employment, educational programs and/or activities on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, pregnancy, sex/gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, marital or family status, military or veteran status, or genetic information.

About Bucknell

Founded in 1846 and located along the banks of the Susquehanna River in historic Lewisburg, Pa., Bucknell University is an undergraduate-focused institution that stands uniquely at the intersection of top-ranked liberal arts, engineering and management programs. Our students choose from more than 60 majors and 70 minors in the arts, engineering, humanities, management, and natural and social sciences, as well as extensive global study, service-learning and research opportunities. Bucknell’s 3,700 undergraduate and 30 graduate students enjoy a low 9:1 student-faculty ratio and exceptional opportunities to collaborate with faculty mentors on scholarly and artistic projects.

Bucknell’s beautiful 450-acre campus includes first-rate facilities and is home to more than 90 percent of its undergraduate students. Student life is vibrant with about 200 student-run organizations, 27 NCAA Division I athletics teams, a robust arts culture, and a commitment among many of the students to community and global service work.

Bucknell is committed to fostering an environment that embraces diversity, equity and inclusion, and we seek candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports the growth and development of a diverse campus community. The University provides equal opportunity without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, national or ethnic origin, marital status, veteran status or disability in admissions, employment and in all of its educational programs and activities. We encourage individuals from historically underrepresented groups to apply.

The Community

Lewisburg (pop. 5,700) is located in central Pennsylvania and features beautiful Victorian homes, the restored art deco Campus Theatre (owned by the University), a variety of restaurants, shops and boutiques, and the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University Bookstore. It is the seat of Union County, which has about 44,000 residents.

The city of Williamsport is about a 30-minute drive from campus, and Penn State University’s main campus is about an hour away, as is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s state capital. Bucknell is within a three-hour drive of New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

The cost of living is low compared to that of major U.S. cities and suburbs. Bucknell’s surroundings yield fresh produce, cultural activities and events, and outstanding opportunities for outdoor activity on the Susquehanna River and in the nearby state parks and forests. The Lewisburg Area School District receives excellent reviews for its schools at all grade levels. Lewisburg Area High School consistently ranks among the top 50 high schools in Pennsylvania for SAT scores and statewide exams.

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