Director of Gift Planning

Organization: The Monterey Bay Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Monterey, California, United States
Job or Internship: Job

The nonprofit Monterey Bay Aquarium has a single mission: to inspire conservation of the ocean. Through world-class living exhibits, education programs, wildlife research and by advocating for ocean policy reform, we work to help people know more, care more and do more on behalf of the oceans. Everyone who works at the aquarium, no matter what their job, has a critical role to play in helping us achieve a vision of a world in which the oceans are healthy, and people are committed to protecting the integrity of Earth’s life-sustaining natural systems. If you can bring your passion and talents to an organization with this vision, we invite you to apply for a position that best suits your skills.

The Director of Gift Planning is responsible for all aspects of our gift planning program including personal cultivation to our Ocean Legacy Circle donors and prospects; appeals and solicitations to increase bequests and other deferred gifts.

Essential Functions

• Manages all aspects of our gift planning program including personal cultivation for Ocean Legacy and endowment donors and prospects; sets and achieves goals for personal contacts, meetings, tours, solicitations and gifts closed.

• Sets and meets goals for growth in Ocean Legacy donors. Manages program growth including internal and external marketing of planned and endowment gifts. Prepares copy for newsletter, mailings, brochures, emails, website, recognition, acknowledgements and benefits. Maintains and updates planned giving web pages.

• Hosts seminars, receptions, special events, and donor tours.

• Researches planned gift and endowment prospects; identifies, cultivates and solicits prospects, donors and their legal and financial advisors concerning planned gifts. Prepares and presents detailed gift and estate planning proposals.

• Builds and manages a network of estate planning professionals (attorneys and financial advisors).

• Prepares gift illustrations and agreements; manages all records and works closely with Finance (and legal) staff to ensure proper accounting for estate gifts and licensing requirements.

• Oversees administration of planned gifts, tax forms, probate proceedings; provides tax information to donors of planned and non-cash major gifts.

• Provides accurate records, monthly and annual progress reports, annual budget and plans.

• Develops and maintains policies and procedures related to gift acceptance, recording, reporting and administering planned gifts consistent with best practices and regulatory requirements.

• Manages all aspects of vendor management (including website support) for planned giving program including proposals, contracts and reports.

• Maintains technical expertise with respect to structure, application, operation and tax ramifications of planned gifts and charitable estate planning.

• Works closely with senior development staff to assure unity, collaboration and maximum impact for Aquarium-wide donor support.

• Provides training and coaching to staff on speaking to Ocean Legacy donors and prospects.

• Models departmental standards for customer service and teamwork.

• Assists with special projects, as needed.

Required Knowledge/Experience

• Minimum four year degree or higher in marketing, public relations, business, communication or related field; a master’s degree is preferred

• Three or more years experience in managing a planned giving program; experience in a development department preferred

• Must have a successful fundraising track record and direct experience working with donors; demonstrated ability to plan and execute a planned giving program or directly related experience in a corporate, foundation or non-profit organization.

• Understands the various charitable planned and deferred giving vehicles available; experience using PG Calc, Cresendo or similar planned giving software

• Ability to analyze financial information and develop strategies to implement appropriate charitable giving vehicles

• Excellent organizational, customer service, verbal and written communication skills, active listening and relationship-building competencies, and the ability to articulate the case and mission of the Aquarium and annual priorities to potential donors

• Must be willing to travel throughout the Monterey and San Francisco Bay areas

• Ability to interact well with people at all levels and work well in a team environment

• Proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and experience with a fundraising data base program

• Flexibility to work occasional evening and weekend events.

Apply online at

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is committed to diversity and invites individuals who bring a diversity of culture, experience and ideas to apply.