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Executive Director of Development - Planned Giving

Nova Southeastern University
Florida, United States
Salary Not specified
Closing date
Jul 1, 2022

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Position Type
Executive, Fundraising, Planned Giving
Employment Type
Full Time
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Executive Director of Development–Planned Giving

at Nova Southeastern University in Florida

Nova Southeastern University, a not-for-profit, independent, multi-campus university in Florida, seeks an experienced fundraising professional to serve as Executive Director of Development–Planned Giving. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Development, the Executive Director provides leadership and strategic direction that enables NSU to achieve its fundraising goals through major and planned gifts. The Executive Director is an on-campus position at NSU’s main campus. The start date is negotiable, with no later than August 2022 being the preference.

For complete information, the Search Profile  at  


Founded in 1964, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) has a reputation for academic excellence and innovation. George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., has served as President and CEO of the University since July 2011. Under his leadership, NSU has refocused its Mission and Vision, establishing eight core values to guide NSU into the future: Academic Excellence, Student Centered, Integrity, Innovation, Opportunity, Scholarship/Research, Diversity, and Community.

     NSU has more than 22,000 students enrolled across 15 colleges and schools. Offering more than 288 academic programs, the University awards over 6,000 degrees each year, including doctoral, professional, master’s, and bachelor’s, as well as graduate-level certificates.

     Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU receives more than $107 million in external funding for projects that advance the University’s mission of research, academic excellence, and public service. Hundreds of basic, applied, and clinical research projects are underway to improve patient care, make new drug discoveries, reduce mental health disorders, and examine the forces that impact the oceans.

     The largest private research university in Florida, NSU has nine campuses. The main campus is in Fort Lauderdale/Davie, Florida. Regional campuses, located in Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, provide an on-campus atmosphere with evening and weekend classes along with administrative and student services and academic resources. Many students attend NSU through a vast array of degree programs in fully online or hybrid formats.


NSU’s University Advancement department has an energetic and dedicated team focused on growing support for and awareness of the University. NSU has more than 200,000 alumni, nearly 32,000 donors, and tens of thousands of social media friends, as well as strong corporate and community partnerships. University Advancement is achieving success by working with the right donors, for the right gifts, at the right time. The University currently is conducting its Campaign to Preeminence to raise $1 billion by 2025 through philanthropy and research.

     As of FY 2021, the University’s endowment was $185 million, an increase of 112 percent since 2016. More than 48 percent of the endowment is committed to scholarships, with NSU providing more than $1.5 million in scholarships to 351 students in 2020-2021 from endowed funds.

     In 2019-20, NSU received $21.9 million in gifts, including $6.9 million in planned gifts. Of the 5,337 donors, 2,350 were first-time donors, and 2,077 were alumni. The largest college gift of the year was $5.5 million for the College of Pharmacy.  

     Learn more about NSU’s University Advancement department at


The Executive Director of Development – Planned Giving is responsible for annually developing, implementing, and overseeing a comprehensive and strategic planned giving program that advances the mission and goals of the University. Working cohesively and collaboratively with university officers and leadership, the Executive Director provides advice, expertise, and initiatives of engagement for securing legacy and leadership gifts.

     In providing oversight and leadership to the department in the area of planned giving, the Executive Director supervises and mentors five Advancement officers as well as develops and conducts programs and information on planned giving for committees, volunteers, and alumni. This senior fundraiser also manages an active and strategic portfolio of major gift prospects and donors for cultivation and solicitation.

Essential Job Functions

  • Develop a planned giving program focused on securing the following types of gifts: all forms of life income gifts, retained life estate gifts, charitable lead trusts, and revocable gift commitments, such as will bequests and beneficiary designations for retirement plans and life insurance policies.
  • Prepare and complete gift proposals and illustrations, transfer documents, bequest language, and other gift agreements to secure major outright and deferred gifts.
  • Work with prospects and their professional advisors, academic leaders, other Development staff, and volunteers to develop solicitation and gift strategies.
  • Maintain current, accurate Prospect Management reports on Blackbaud, including strategic action reports, prospect pipeline, prospect status, and prospect list.
  • Identify, research, contact, cultivate, solicit, and steward a portfolio of approximately 100 to 125 deferred and outright gift donors, with an initial goal of four strategic actions weekly, including two meaningful face-to-face prospect visits.
  • Consult with donor advisors responsible for the completion of gift agreements; inform the tax, legal, and financial advisors of the University’s policies for planned gifts; assist prospective donors and their advisors in clarifying objectives and obtaining and recording pertinent information.
  • Cultivate and steward relationships with established donors and members of the Legacy 1964 Society, NSU’s recognition program for donors with declared intentions to make planned gifts.
  • Identify, in partnership with University Advancement staff, new prospects having the inclination and capacity to qualify as major gift prospects.
  • Develop a comprehensive centralized marketing program for purposes of promoting legacy planning internally and externally, and creatively engage prospects in the legacy planning process.
  • Manage the activities of the Planned Giving Advisory Council, including planning the agendas, coordinating, and helping to supervise the meeting and activities of the Council.
  • Develop and implement special events and programs designed to identify prospective donors, train the professional community, and market the University’s giving opportunities.
  • Support school/college/program-based efforts to promote complex outright and deferred gifts by assuming a leadership role in devising various marketing plans to each unit to various audiences; team with unit-based Development staff to secure deferred and complex outright gifts; help train and mentor central Development officers and unit-based Development staff in legacy planning techniques and strategies.
  • Prepare and implement a plan of action annually.
  • Work closely with the University Treasurer regarding the overhaul of NSU’s Charitable Gift Annuity Program, including administration, investment strategy, appropriate State filings, marketing, and eventual transfer to a different financial institution, and ensure that due diligence has been completed.
  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with the President’s Office, Ambassadors Board Members, Deans, Vice Presidents, etc. to secure legacy/leadership gifts.
  • Supervise and work closely with the Campaign Committee to lead the process of securing major philanthropic gifts, some of which may be blended gift commitments.
  • Supervise Advancement officers to ensure they are meeting metrics.
  • Oversee and manage substantial educational programming for NSU’s Planned Giving Council that is worthy of continuing education credits.

Additional Job Functions

  • Work cooperatively and collaboratively with faculty and staff throughout the University.
  • Represent the University Advancement department and NSU at activities, as needed.
  • Participate in University Advancement and university committees, as needed.


Candidate must have a bachelor’s degree and at least seven years of progressively responsible fundraising experience. Candidate must have a valid driver’s license and automobile insurance.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master’s degree
  • Seven years of fundraising experience within higher education, hospital, or non-profit setting
  • Five years of planned giving experience within higher education, hospital, or non-profit philanthropy

Required Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Demonstrated experience and understanding of development strategies and alumni relations, particularly planned giving
  • Ability to deal tactfully and effectively with others
  • Ability to independently organize and schedule appointments to assure that targets for the number of personal visits and/or personal contracts are met each month
  • Ability to communicate effectively as evidenced by clarity and conciseness of oral and written presentations
  • Computer experience, including Internet research, MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, Windows, relational database systems
  • Ability to travel locally, regionally, and in assigned geographic territory, as well as to other off-site locations, as requested
  • Demonstrated workstyle of discipline, attention to details, and results-oriented
  • Demonstrated ability to be highly organized and to effectively manage multiple tasks simultaneously

Pre-employment Conditions

  • To ensure a safe learning environment for students and staff, as a condition of employment the selected candidate will need to provide proof of a completed COVID-19 vaccination prior to commencement of employment or an approved exemption and reasonable accommodation.
  • A background screening is required.

NSU’s comprehensive benefits package includes tuition waiver along with health and retirement plans.


Fort Lauderdale offers beautiful ocean beaches, scenic inland waterways, and a broad range of cultural offerings. With an estimated population of 186,000, Fort Lauderdale is one of the largest cities in Florida and is known for its outstanding quality of life. Whether strolling the city’s picturesque Riverwalk, visiting a museum, or enjoying entertainment and fine dining, Fort Lauderdale is a great place to live, work, and enjoy life.


Confidential inquiries are welcomed, and nominations are invited.


Application packet must include a) A letter of application that addresses the responsibilities and qualifications of the position; b) Résumé; and c) At least four references with full contact information including e-mails (References will not be contacted without consent from applicant.)

Submit application packet (preferably as PDFs) to by July 8, 2022, for best consideration. Additional information will be requested upon receipt of application. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Submit nominations to with complete contact and e-mail information for the individual being nominated.

Emily Parker Myers, CEO, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, is the lead consultant for this search with Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, assisting. Request a conversation regarding this search at

Nova Southeastern University is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and does not discriminate with regard to applicants or employees with disabilities, and will make reasonable accommodation when necessary. Nova Southeastern University considers applicants for all positions without regard to race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status.

Concerned for the health and welfare of its students, faculty, staff, and campus visitors, NSU is a tobacco-free university.

Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting | 478-330-6222


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