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Director of Estate and Gift Planning

Company: San Diego Humane Society
Date Posted: September 1, 2016

Summary:  San Diego Humane Society offers San Diego a wide range of programs and services that strengthen the human-animal bond, from wildlife rescue to adoption services to the prevention of cruelty and neglect. Philanthropy is foundational to our ability to serve the people and animals of San Diego County, and the Director of Estate and Gift Planning plays an invaluable role in securing these philanthropic relationships and by serving as the organization’s expert on planned giving.

Under the supervision of the Senior Director, Philanthropy, the Director will help ensure the fundraising success of the San Diego Humane Society through a focus on estate administration, frontline activity, and ongoing marketing of planned giving opportunities available at the organization. As such, the Director will design, manage, expand and implement the activities of the organization’s planned giving program. The incumbent will coordinate and administer programs and activities to steward existing planned gift donors, and to strategically identify, cultivate and solicit prospective donors. Additional responsibilities include representing the organization’s interests in estate administration matters, including working closely with attorneys, trustees and family members. The Director’s efforts will all focus on creating tools to increase awareness of, and participation in, San Diego Humane Society’s planned giving vehicles.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Include, but are not limited to, the following. Other duties may be assigned. 

  • Develop and implement strategic identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship plans for planned giving prospects. Maintain an active portfolio by maintaining regular, effective contact with donors through various activities and communications, with an emphasis on personal interactions/meetings. Meet with donor advisors as appropriate. Ensure donors and prospects are encouraged to seek independent legal, tax and/or financial advice.
  • Establish annual fundraising goals in consultation with Senior Director, Philanthropy. Manage program budget.
  • Support and partner with Philanthropy colleagues to secure planned gifts by providing technical expertise, options and proposal language, participating in prospect meetings as appropriate and integrating planned giving into fundraising activities.
  • Develop and implement joint major/planned giving opportunities in collaboration with colleagues from Philanthropy Department, leading to successful joint solicitations.
  • Increase prospect awareness of, and participation in, planned giving vehicles by designing and implementing proactive marketing efforts such as mailers, newsletter articles, estate planning luncheons, web site, brochures and more.
  • Oversee legacy society by executing stewardship events, providing ongoing donor stewardship to society members as point of contact, ensuring proper database coding, etc.
  • Ensure proper database tracking and coding of all planned giving inquiries and gifts.
  • Coordinate flow of information regarding trust and estate gifts as appropriate between Philanthropy and Finance departments, as well as others within the organization, including accruals reporting.
  • Cultivate relationships with attorneys, trust officers, accountants, financial planners and other estate planning professionals to coordinate the timely and accurate acceptance of estate and trust gifts.  Monitor administration of trusts and estates to ensure San Diego Humane Society’s interests are protected. 
  • Maintain professional development, keep abreast of planned giving trends, opportunities and related legislation, and provide regular updates to colleagues.
  • Support and organize the efforts of volunteers as needed.
  • Display deep understanding of San Diego Humane Society’s mission, philanthropic initiatives and donor base.
  • Participate as a member of the Philanthropy team, including attending meetings and special events, participating in special projects as appropriate, and other as assigned.




  • Bachelor’s degree or combination of relevant experience and education.  Certified Specialist in Planned Giving and/or Licensed Real Estate professional and/or Estate Planning Attorney preferred. 
  • Significant, demonstrated knowledge of planned giving vehicles, including charitable gift annuities, real estate and other  tangible properties, charitable remainder and lead trusts, testamentary trusts, bequests, life insurance policies and retained life estates.
  • Must understand the nuance and peculiarities of planned giving programs and the relevant legal, financial and administrative regulations.
  • Ability to work in a collaborative and consultative manner with organizational partners.
  • Considerable judgment in the preparation, management and development of fundraising proposals.
  • Demonstrated success in implementing prospect strategies to secure deferred gift and estate planning vehicles. 
  • Ability to function independently without close supervision. 
  • Superior interpersonal, oral and written communication and presentation skills with the ability to represent San Diego Humane Society’s mission and interest to diverse groups of individuals.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft office products and planned giving software such as PG Calc or Crescendo.
  • Four years required, seven years preferred, successful experience in planned giving fundraising; or, a combination of experience in a related field with transferable skills and one to two years’ experience in planned giving fundraising. 
  • Valid CA Driver’s License and good driving record required.
  • Personal commitment to helping animals and belief in the mission of San Diego Humane Society.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:  Will sit, stand, walk, talk, hear, stoop, bend, stretch, squat, kneel, grasp, grip, put fingers together firmly and reach above and below shoulder level, lift and/or carry up to 30 pounds and push and pull up to 30 pounds for situations of manipulating or moving supplies; repetitively use hands to operate computers; flex the neck upward and downward; twist the neck and the waist.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

WORK ENVIRONMENT:  Standard office environment, with exposure to environmental conditions that include working near and potentially caring for animals.  Regular automobile travel required during workdays.  


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