Website Santa Clara University

Director of Planned Giving


Position Title:

Director of Planned Giving


Position Type:



Hiring Range:


$96,600.00 – $130,600.00 per year; commensurate with experience.


Pay Frequency:




Santa Clara University is a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California’s Silicon Valley, offering its 9,000 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master’s, Ph.D., and law degrees.


Ranked among the top 15 percent of universities nationwide by U.S. News and World Report, Santa Clara University is California’s oldest operating institution of higher education. The University is focused on creating an academic community that educates citizens and leaders who will build a more just, humane, and sustainable world.


University Relations builds Santa Clara University’s excellence and character by strengthening relations with alumni, parents, and friends of the University, raising public awareness, and increasing private philanthropy. The development division has been recognized with the CASE Educational Fundraising Award, an honor given each year to superior fundraising programs at educational institutions across the country.




The Director of Planned Giving plays a critical role in Santa Clara University’s efforts to secure resources for its strategic funding priorities and deepen its relationships with alumni, parents and friends of the University. In furtherance of the University’s integrated strategic plan, this position works independently and inter-dependently to design and implement strategies with the University’s current and prospective donors who will make legacy or planned gifts.


The Director of Planned Giving creates drives and executes donor cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship plans to leverage this historic time for Santa Clara University to achieve the goals of an ambitious campaign plan. As the University ramps up its campaign and ongoing development priorities, planned gifts are expected and have the ability to contribute a minimum of 25% of these results.


The Director of Planned Giving reports to the Executive Director for Planned Giving and will build and manage a portfolio that includes the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects targeted for gifts of $100,000 and above. In addition to their individual contributions, the Director is a valued member of the Planned Giving team and will help to meet the vision and goals for the Planned Giving program and must be able to work with senior University administrators, major gift and reunion gift officers, and with schools/colleges and centers of distinction to identify funding opportunities and develop prospect-to-donor strategies.


They will contribute to the success of the University’s development goals; contribute to the University’s culture; add value to the Planned Giving program; increase the outreach and engagement with the University’s alumni and friends; and increase the planned gift pipeline with the ultimate impact of contributing greatly to the University’s mission and strategic goals. Successful candidates will have a proven record of and can articulate the importance of internal and external relationship building as it relates to Planned Giving or their previous field[s]


This position is eligible for a flexible work schedule: hybrid – work from office and home.




• Develop, lead and execute solicitations to secure planned gifts with a priority focus between $100,000 and above. Planned gifts may include documented bequest expectancies, life income gifts, IRA’s, life insurance, real estate, business interests, and other appreciated assets.


• Contribute to the growth of the University’s planned gift expectancy pipeline; this growth will contribute a minimum of 25% of the comprehensive campaign goal.


• Develop and manage a robust and dynamic portfolio that includes prospects in all phases of the donor solicitation cycle. Secure and conduct personal face-to-face visits monthly to qualify, engage, solicit, and steward the University’s planned giving donors and prospects.


• Work closely with all University constituencies to develop strategies for assigned planned giving prospects leading to successful solicitation of planned gifts.


• Collaborate with annual class giving officers to solicit members of the senior reunion classes (45/50/55/60th reunions) for planned gifts and membership to the legacy society; and collaborate with and assist assigned major gift and principal gift officers with the preparation, explanation and/or solicitation of planned and blended gift solicitations.


• Manage a minimum portfolio of about 120 Planned Giving prospects with a target of 8-10 face-to-face visits per month.


• Ability to move prospects through the discovery, cultivation and solicitation process with the result to raise $700,000-$2,000,000 and above annually in life income gifts, bequest expectancies, and other planned and major gifts.


• Lead the development of engagement and solicitation strategies for qualified planned giving prospects, oversee the implementation and personally drive the execution of said strategies. This includes collaborating with academic leaders, other development officers and directors of external relations and donor’s professional advisors to develop donor-centered proposals that may include gift strategies that involve various assets and priorities.


• Produce well-written, accurate and timely follow-up and related planned gift illustrations, correspondence such as comprehensive proposals, related budgets, contact reports, cover and thank you letters, e-mails, reports, and briefings in support of cultivating, soliciting and stewarding assigned prospects.


• Track and record activities as they relate to assigned prospects using the CRM database (CLARA) and report regularly to the Executive Director for Planned Giving. Proficient and versed in working with gift illustration software and technology related to the position.


• Adherence to the gift acceptance policies and procedures through various internal channels for gift acceptance is imperative. Participate as an active member of the Office of Development, sharing information and collaborating with colleagues in a respectful and professional manner; contributing to a healthy and positive work environment.


• Maintain a healthy, fair and inclusive work environment by promoting diversity, exercising teamwork and collaboration with working with diverse groups, donors, volunteer groups, and coworkers.


• Perform other duties as assigned in support of Santa Clara University’s mission.




• Maintain knowledge of University priorities in order to develop and match prospect’s philanthropic interests.


• Maintain a working knowledge of charitable tax, financial and estate planning law.


• Prepare, provide and discuss with prospects and their advisors gift illustrations through Crescendo software and other similar applications and written proposals.


• Assist donors in the acceptance process for outright gifts and life income gifts of real and personal property, including due diligence procedures and IRS compliance for charitable gifts.


• Assist in coordinating the annual events sponsored by the Office of Planned Giving and other University Relations events.


• Assist with the robust planned giving marketing and communications efforts.


• Participates in selected estate, financial or planned giving councils with the goal of developing effective relationships with member professionals, referrals, and to assume, when appropriate and agreed upon, a leadership position in the organization.


• Enhance professional development and expertise by maintaining membership in selected national and regional planned giving associations; maintains contacts and consults with fellow gift planners; subscribes to Planned Giving listservs; actively reads planned giving and related professional journals and reports.




• Recommend initiatives and implement changes to improve quality and services.


• Identify and determine cause of problems; develop and present recommendations for improvement of established processes and practices.


• Maintain contact with external constituents and solicit feedback for improved university relations.


• Maximize productivity through use of appropriate tools; planned training and performance initiatives.


• Research and develop resources that create timely and efficient workflow.


• Prepare progress reports; inform supervisor of project status and deviation from goals. Ensure completeness, accuracy and timeliness of all operational functions.


• Prepare and submit reports as requested and required.


• Develop and implement guidelines to support the functions of the unit.




To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. We will consider candidates that do not come from a traditional fundraising background. While our preference is to hire someone with specific experience in the industry, we encourage you to apply if you do not have the specific listed work experience but you believe your skills and professional background would translate successfully into this role.


The items below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and experience required or preferred.


This position requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.




• Must be a goal oriented and self-motivated individual who can demonstrate accountability, initiative, creativity and focus in a rapidly changing and intellectually stimulating environment.


• Demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate, build alliances, and achieve results within a population that may possess competing interests, opinions, and /or expectations.


• Demonstrate strong active listening skills and ability to negotiate positive outcomes.


• Positive attitude, sense of humor and flexibility.


• Preference for proficiency in using Crescendo Pro (or similar),a CRM database (preferably for fundraising), or experience using any fundraising database. If no experience, then willingness to learn new software if needed.


• Excellent computer skills; proficiency in using advanced functions of word processing, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint, Google products (i.e., Google docs, Gmail, etc.) database and web resources.


• Required to have a valid driver’s license and personal transportation vehicle available for frequent travel to business meetings (mileage is reimbursed under federal guidelines).




• Demonstrated level of comfort working and communicating with top executives, community leaders and/or University leadership. Ability to motivate, build long-term relationships with and gain the respect of internal and external clients.


• Demonstrated ability to manage time and work load to multitask and achieve goals in a deadline driven environment.


• A genuine appetite to contribute to a collaborative, ethical, and professional team environment.


• Ability to work on the road and/or work at odd hours and on weekends.


• Demonstrated ability to multitask in a deadline driven environment with a healthy attitude to attaining goals; to work independently and as a member of a staff team; to exercise sound judgment and discretion; and to promote collaboration.




• Bachelor’s degree required with related advanced training in fundraising, estate and financial planning.


Years of Experience


• Candidates will have 6-8 years of related professional experience including 3-5 years of direct fundraising experience, preferably in a higher education environment.


• Verifiable track record of successfully soliciting and closing gifts from individuals/organizations or similar experience in developing relationships with high net worth clients or customers.


Desired Qualifications


• Strong knowledge of Planned Giving vehicles, federal and state tax regulations and charitable estate planning laws and techniques. Includes knowledge of due diligence procedures in the acceptance of non-cash gifts, such as real estate, securities, illiquid assets, etc.


• Successful professional experience, preferably at an institution of higher education or a sales-driven organization related to Planned Giving and/or sales objective.


• Advanced degree in law, estate or financial planning, or CFRE.




The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.


• Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer and phone.


• Required to frequently travel to outside constituent meetings.


• Required to travel to other buildings on the campus.


• Driving related to meetings with external constituents.


• Meeting with external constituents at off-campus locations including other offices, restaurants, other private and public venues.




The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.


• Typical office environment. Share spaces with teammates.


• Mostly indoor office environment with possible windows.


• Offices with equipment noise (like office printers).


• Offices with frequent interruptions.


COVID-19 Statement


The health and safety of the university community is a top priority. All Santa Clara University students, and employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or request a medical or religious exemption. Please visit our for additional information.


EEO Statement


​Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination


Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University’s equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972


Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Information about Title IX can be found at Information about Section 504 and the ADA Coordinator can be found at, (408) 554-4109, Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).


Clery Notice of Availability


Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services . To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.


Americans with Disabilities Act


Santa Clara University affirms its commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at


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