Director, Gift Planning

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Massachusetts

Deadline Open until filled
Date Posted August 20, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Not specified
Employment Type Full-time

The Director of Gift Planning reports to the Senior Philanthropic Counsel and Executive Director of Gift Planning.  The Director of Gift Planning oversees the gift planning team. This includes building a multi-year strategic plan, achieving organizational goals, and setting priorities for MIT's upcoming Campaign.  The position devises and executes plans to best serve the growing number of centralized and unit-based fundraising staff in Resource Development, the Schools, and Alumni Association. The position directly supervises, manages, and oversees all frontline planned giving officers, (marketing manager), development associates, gift processing staff, and administrative support team.  The director will lead, manage, and mentor the team to successful implementation of strategic plans. Additionally, the director will identify, cultivate, and solicit major outright and deferred gift prospects independently and in partnership with colleagues from across the Institute; market various deferred and outright gifting techniques to various internal and external audiences; provide collaborative guidance and technical assistance to donors, professional advisors, volunteers and institute advancement colleagues regarding the tax and financial aspects of charitable giving; and, as requested by the Senior Philanthropic Counsel and Executive Director of Gift Planning, complete other projects to enhance MIT's ability to secure a greater number of high-value major outright and deferred gifts.

Characteristic Responsibilities:


Management and Strategic Planning (65%)

  • Enhance a planned giving program, representative of a world-class institution, focused on securing gifts through trusts, annuities, and bequests to meet organizational goals.
  • In collaboration with the Senior Philanthropic Advisor, oversee personnel activities for the team, including recruitment, budget, hiring, training, and retention of new and existing staff.
  • Provide a strategic framework and essential leadership and guidance for gift planning officers and staff to maximize productivity of MIT's $100K+ pipeline.
  • Supervise the work of gift planning front-line staff and support professionals.  Set clear performance standards and metrics, evaluate performance; implement professional development activities and provide ongoing training and mentorship. Also, ensure qualitative attributes are evaluated and managed to meet expectations of office. Ensure that gift planning fundraising goals and marketing objectives are met campus-wide, including gift planning coverage for Resource Development, all the professional schools, the units, divisions, the List Museum, the Koch Institute.
  • Seek to build strong collaborations and effective working relationships with business partners (e.g. - leaders of OPP, Campaign Office, Recording Secretary's Office, OLG, AA, Schools) to enhance the overall strength of MIT's planned giving operations. Partner with relationship managers across Institute to develop comprehensive gift options for donors - providing counsel on complex gifts, trusts, and tax matters related to blended gifts, deferred gifts and/or bequests.
  • Enhance operational efficiency.  Audit current and introduce business systems in order to leverage operational and programmatic synergies -- building a stronger service model for relationship managers, evaluating programming, and streamlining operations around stewardship, prospect identification, and bequest programming. Ensure that all systems and processes - from gift documentation to systems reporting - are accurate and tailored to align with campaign reporting needs for management and team.
  • Collaborate with Communications and Stewardship teams to develop a comprehensive marketing program for purposes of promoting gift planning, targeting alumni, parents, friends of MIT through direct mail, electronic communications, seminars and face-to-face visits.
  • Provide leadership in training and mentoring central and school-based development staff in gift planning techniques and strategies, putting in place a systematic program that ties into overall training initiatives for staff, as well as faculty, volunteers, and campaign leaders.
  • Serve as the Office of Gift Planning's primary liaison with outside legal counsel, MITIMCO and Kaspick & Co on matters relating to planned gifts and bequests.  Monitor the investment strategies for trust income beneficiary needs and tax requirements. Monitor the gift administration provided by the investment managers and meet annually to review policy and program matters. Bear responsibility for the timely distribution of quarterly and annual reports to trust donors as well as tax information to all the Institute's planned giving donors.
  • Benchmark the Institute's gift planning program and performance against industry/cohort standards and present findings and recommendations to senior management.
  • Be familiar with and articulate about the Institute including mission, academic programs, research, and fundraising objectives. Ensure that staff is knowledgeable about fund-raising priorities, ways of giving, the donor development process and management of volunteers.

Individual Fundraising (35%)

  • Manage planned giving volunteers, including CDC members, and other volunteers assigned to promote planned gifts.
  • Manage a highly focused high net worth personal prospect portfolio. Solicit gifts from individuals, alone or in combination with other development staff and/or other representatives of the Institute. Identify, cultivate, solicit and steward deferred and outright gift donors.
  • Effectively respond to inquiries from prospective donors and their advisers for gifts to MIT through trusts, annuities and bequests. Provide professional assistance to personal representatives, lawyers, and financial firms for gifts to MIT through trusts, annuities, and bequests.
  • Other duties as required


Bachelor's degree required and J.D. or other advanced degree preferred.  Ten years of direct fundraising experience with seven years in gift planning, preferably in higher education, with progressive responsibilities and demonstrated success and expertise in gift planning including the ability to articulate and market economic concepts affecting planned gifts required. Technical expertise essential to gift planning, such as estate and financial planning, law, accounting, and trust administration required. Ability to think strategically, including the analytical acumen necessary to interpret financial information and manage data required. Proven track record as a highly successful fundraiser. Ability to develop and implement strategies.


Experienced leader of a successful team with proven abilities to attract, build, develop, and mentor a team. Proven experience managing people well; getting the most and best out of the team; setting and communicating guiding goals; measuring accomplishments, holding people accountable, and giving useful feedback. Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with a diverse and high-level group of individuals in a diplomatic, professional, engaging and creative manner. Excellent verbal and written communication skills.


Experienced in process improvements, being results-oriented, and holding others accountable. Ability to be flexible in working independently as well as collaboratively to achieve defined team goals.  


To apply visit and search job # 11221.

How To Apply

You can apply for this position online at