Department, University, and Community
The Division of University Advancement houses the Northern
Illinois University Foundation, which is also an independent 501c3
fundraising organization. We have a dynamic, deeply engaged,
thoughtful and fun team who are devoted to ensuring successful
fundraising to benefit Northern Illinois University, and to create
sustainable revenue streams ensuring the continued success of the
At Northern Illinois University Foundation, our vision is to
develop, support and encourage a culture of giving throughout the
NIU community that will allow it to flourish and accomplish NIU’s
goal of becoming the most student-centered public research
university in the Midwest.
The Gift Planning team strives to be a high ROI team that
provides the most fulfilling donor experience possible.
The ideal candidate is self-motivated, metrics driven, and has a
demonstrated track record of high performance. The Director will
live our value of helping donors discover the joy in making a
difference through their philanthropy while making an everlasting
impact at Northern Illinois University.
NIU is a university that has diversity, equity, and inclusion as
one its primary core values. We seek and are strengthened by the
diverse perspectives and experiences of our university community
members, and we appreciate and respect every member of our
community. Being a part of the NIU Huskie family means being an
advocate for diversity and embracing inclusive principles.
Our Values and Professional Commitments
- Northern Illinois University celebrates diversity in all its
forms. We believe that diversity in gender, ethnicity, physical
ability, religious beliefs, age, and sexuality is what makes the
world an interesting place. Creating an environment in which those
differences are not only acknowledged but celebrated is our goal.
Diversity makes the educational experience richer and makes NIU the
ideal place to learn. https://www.niu.edu/diversity/about/index.shtml
- The NIU Foundation and Division of University Advancement, the
outward facing engagement and fundraising organization, represents
NIU’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion to alumni,
donors and friends of the university in all interactions. As
practitioners and colleagues we infuse our interactions with a
spirit that champions our students, faculty and staff who come from
a wide range of backgrounds. We confront stereotypes and
injustices where they are present and embrace the intrinsic dignity
of each individual.
- As practitioners of both the art and science of professional
fundraising, we represent demonstrable commitment to the highest
standard of ethical and professional conduct in accordance with the
CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of Fundraising
Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards, and The
Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
Reporting to the Executive Director of Advancement, Director of
Planned Giving directs and oversees a comprehensive program of
planned giving, focused on the identification, cultivation,
solicitation and stewardship of individual prospects with the
capacity and interest in an estate gift or other planned vehicle to
benefit NIU. The Director will shape and grow a model planned
giving program that reflects the size and capability of NIU.
The Director is him/herself an active fundraiser, and in close
collaboration with the Vice President for University Advancement
and Executive Directors, manages a portfolio of planned and major
gift prospects (prospects with the capacity to make gifts of
$500,000 or greater) and is responsible for closing $5m in gifts
annually (combination of planned, major and blended gifts). The
Director plays an important role in high level strategy and
fundraising support to university leadership, especially in
The ideal candidate will have progressively significant and
relevant development experience and a proven track record in
raising planned gifts in the seven-figure range and in successfully
managing and marketing planned giving programs in a higher
educational environment. The candidate must have the skills and
know-how to build and manage a comprehensive planned giving program
while also actively and continually contributing to overall major
and planned gift efforts and strategies; technical expertise and
knowledge of planned giving vehicles, tax law and estate planning;
a natural ability to cultivate and sustain relationships; a track
record in securing major and planned gifts; and a style that shows
a passion for the cause and also one that is professional,
down-to-earth, enthusiastic, credible and confident.
Organizational Relationship: The Director of Planned
Giving will work closely with the Gift Planning Team, the Campaign
Director, the Executive Directors and the Major Gift Officers at
the NIF Foundation to facilitate appropriate communication and
collaboration with the Northern Illinois University system and NIU
Duties and Responsibilities (generally)
The Director of Planned Giving directs and oversees a
comprehensive program of planned giving, focused on the
identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of
individual prospects with the capacity and interest in an estate
gift or other planned vehicle to benefit NIU.
The Director will shape and grow a model planned giving program
that reflects the size and capability of NIU. The Director is
an active fundraiser, and in close collaboration with the Vice
President of University Advancement and Executive Directors of
Advancement, manages a portfolio of major and planned gift
prospects and is responsible for personally closing $5m annually.
The Director plays an important role in high-level strategy and
fundraising support to university leadership, especially in
campaigns. The Director manages the Associate Director of
Planned Giving, and an Administrative Assistant/Aide who supports
the Planned Giving Program.
Education and Experience Required:
- Bachelor’s Degree.
- Eight (8) to ten (10) years of successful experience in
development with at least five years in planned giving
- Three (3) years of experience in not-for-profit higher
- Three (3) years of experience working within a matrixed
organizational structure where performance responsibilities are
evaluated in different divisions.
Preferred Education and Experience
- Master’s Degree.
- Juris Doctorate Degree.
- CFRE and/or Series 65 certification.
List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to
the performance of this position
- Demonstrable commitment to the highest standard of ethical and
professional conduct in accordance with
the CASE Statement of Ethics, the Association of
Fundraising Professionals Code of Ethical Principles and Standards,
and The Donor Bill of Rights. (Membership not required.)
- Deep, personal commitment to diversity in all forms, the
recognition of all individuals to mutual respect, and the
acceptance of others without biases. Demonstrable commitment to
leading by example, modeling diversity, equity and inclusion
throughout the university.
- Excellent interpersonal skills to relate to donors, volunteers,
colleagues and university leadership.
- Self-motivated (a “self-starter”); innovative and ability to
work with considerable independence within the context of a team
environment and a network of relationships.
- Superior written and oral communication, negotiating,
organizational, analytical and fundraising skills, including the
ability to interpret financial information and manage data.
- Familiarity with financial planning, tax and charitable gift
laws and planned giving vehicles and methods.
- Knowledge of university governance and academic administrative
and financial policies and guidelines.
- Must be able to travel frequently; some international travel
may be required.
- This position requires the handling of highly sensitive and
confidential information and requires an exemplary track record of
professionalism, maturity and discretion.
- Strong communication, organizational, interpersonal,
administrative and managerial skills.
- Strong sales and closing skills.
- Must be able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment.
- Willingness to commit to the mission and goals of Northern
Illinois University and the NIU Foundation.
- Familiarity with donor databases and gift planning tools (e.g.
Millennium, The Raiser’s Edge, PG Calc).
Salary range: $8,750
monthly ($105,000 annually); Actual hiring rate is commensurate
with experience, education, and internal equity; position includes
a robust benefits package to eligible applicants.
Application Materials and Process:
- Resume/Curriculum Vitae
- Cover Letter that speaks to the following aspects of
experience, as listed in the education and experience requirements:
- Years of experience with successful planned giving
- Years of experience in not-for-profit higher education.
- Developing diverse engagement strategies, populations and
- Working within a matrixed organizational structure.
- List of three references
- Transcripts (unofficial with official required at hire)
For full consideration, please upload and submit application
materials at https://employment.niu.edu/postings/58010
by October 17, 2021. Interviews may occur before the priority
review date, however all applications received by the priority
review date will receive full consideration. Applications received
after the priority review date will be considered as needed. For
questions, please contact Melissa Nigro, email@example.com.
Northern Illinois University is an AA/EEO institution.
Pre-employment background check and verification of eligibility to
work in the United States is required.