Utah State University

Sr. Director of Development – Gift Planning

City Logan Campus
Posted Date 6 months ago(10/4/2023 12:22 PM)
Requisition ID
# of Openings
Job Locations
Category (Portal Searching)
Program Management & Support
Position Type
Benefited Full-Time
Job Classification
Percent of Time or Hours per Week
University Advancement
Vice President-Univ Advancement
Advertised Salary
Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits
Telework Eligible


The Sr. Director of Development-Gift Planning (Development Officer SR) provides overall guidance and management of the planned giving program and team. She/he is responsible for the acquisition of philanthropic planned gifts and evaluating gift planning officer performance. The Sr. Director enhances the performance of other fundraisers by helping them develop planned giving and complex gift competencies, providing feedback and perspective on their fundraising approach/methods, coaching them to realize their optimal performance and objectives, and traveling with gift officers to assist donors in achieving their philanthropic goals.  She/he will identify planned giving prospects to help achieve USU advancement’s goals.

As a development leader on the USU development team, the Sr. Director of Development-Gift Planning is highly collaborative, committed to a culture of excellence, demonstrates advanced fundraising competencies and helps lead USU’s sustained fundraising success and growth. The Sr. Director of Gift Planning reports to the AVP of Central Development.

This position requires extensive public contact with high-level alumni, donors and volunteers. Travel is required.


Core responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Lead the day-to-day planning and oversight of the gift planning development team and drive fundraising activity related to major gift portfolios.
  • Develop and implement both annual and long-range goals, objectives and strategies to maximize private support through various sources (individuals, alumni, friends and planned giving vehicles) for Utah State University.
  • Manage staff, including team member recruitment, retention, performance management, coaching and development. Supervise the activities of gift planning officers. Facilitate professional development of staff to build fundraising competencies by utilizing internal and external resources.
  • Implement strategies, activities, and materials that promote planned giving vehicles and communicate effectively the tax advantages and how planned gifts are beneficial components in charitable estate planning.
  • Enhances the performance of unit-based fundraisers by helping them develop planned giving and complex gift competencies, providing feedback and perspective on their fundraising approach/methods, and coaching them to realize their optimal performance and gift acquisition objectives.
  • Collaborate with USU leaders and development peers to link donors’ passions with USU priorities and ensure a gratifying gift and/or engagement experience.  
  • Qualify, cultivate, solicit and steward planned giving prospects to advance philanthropy at USU. 
  • Utilizing the suite of advancement resources, provide regular individual and team progress reports on gift planning officer and unit performance. Ensure all team members complete contacts/proposals in a timely manner.
  • Partner with prospect analytics and research, the principal gift workgroup and campaign operations to identify new donor opportunities, analyze team performance, and implement effective practices.
  • Develop and conduct planned giving seminars for development staff and well as donors and advisors on the benefits of planned giving, gift planning tools, estate planning tools, and techniques to effectively communicate complex gift conversations.
  • Serve as staff liaison and advisor to the planned giving advisory board by providing resources and tools to grow USU’s planned giving partnerships. 


Minimum Qualification:

  • Bachelor’s degree plus five years of experience OR an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Demonstrated experience building successful, productive and collaborative relationships with top university administrators, deans and board members.
  • Demonstrated experience staffing dean’s councils, advisory boards and committees.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • An advanced academic degree.
  • Experience with capital campaigns.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to have complex gift conversations and a track record of closing gifts or negotiating contracts.
  • Excellent written, verbal and interpersonal communication skills, as well as analytical, research and management skills.
  • Knowledge of, and commitment, to the use of information technology to support advancement programs.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, particularly with donors, volunteers and staff members from diverse backgrounds.
  • Commitment to diversity and inclusion.
  • Ability to position the Dean to maximize their potential as a fundraiser for the College/School.
  • Willingness and ability to travel; evening and weekend work is required.
  • Ability to work effectively with multiple stakeholders (students, alumni, faculty, staff) from diverse backgrounds.


This position description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive list of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to the position.

Required Documents

Along with the online application, please attach:


1. Resume to be uploaded at the beginning of your application in the Candidate Profile under “Resume/CV"

2. Cover letter to be typed/pasted at the end of your application


**Document size may not exceed 10 MB.**

Advertised Salary

Commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits


Employees work indoors and are protected from weather and/or contaminants, but not, necessarily, occasional temperature changes.  The employee is regularly required to sit and often uses repetitive hand motions.

College/Department Highlights

The Division of Advancement is a welcoming office where inclusiveness and teamwork are highly valued. Advancement staff are engaged in the meaningful work of securing private financial resources to fuel Utah State University's mission by creating gratifying gift and engagement experiences for USU's generous and passionate alumni and friends. Comprising the division are the office of the Vice President, the USU Foundation & Board, Advancement Services, the Alumni Association (Alumni Engagement), Gift Planning, Corporations and Foundations, Strategic Communications, the Annual Fund and ACE (Alumni Center for Engagement). Furthermore, the division coordinates all fundraising efforts across campus, including colleges, various programs, extension campuses, and USU Athletics. Through the collaboration of these units, the Division of Advancement is able to achieve significant annual fundraising goals by inspiring stakeholders to invest their time and resources in Utah State University.  

University Highlights

Founded in 1888, Utah State University is Utah’s premier land-grant and space-grant university, with a strong commitment to excellence, access, and inclusion. USU serves approximately 27,500 students throughout the state at three residential campuses, eight statewide campuses, and 23 education centers. USU Online has served students from all 50 states and 55 countries for over 25 years, and USU Extension provides outreach and service to all counties in Utah.  


As a land-grant university, USU engages communities and empowers people to lead successful lives of involvement, innovation, and impact. As an R1 research institution, USU provides a high-quality undergraduate and graduate education at an affordable price. Washington Monthly has consistently ranked USU in the top 10 among public universities for contribution to social mobility, research, and public service.  


Utah State is committed to cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community where different perspectives, values, cultures, and identities are acknowledged, welcomed, and valued. We seek to recruit, hire, and retain people from all walks of life who will champion excellence in education, research, discovery, outreach, and service. We believe that promoting a strong sense of community and belonging empowers and engages all members of USU to thrive and be successful. Learn more about USU. 


The university provides a Dual Career Assistance Program to support careers for partners who are also seeking employment. Additionally, USU is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities. To request a reasonable accommodation for a disability, contact the university’s ADA Coordinator in the Office of Human Resources at (435) 797-0122 or hr@usu.edu. 


About the Region

U.S. News and World Report ranked Utah first for its strong economy, fiscal stability, education, and health care. Outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities abound throughout the state, including five national parks, 43 state parks and recreation areas, and 15 alpine ski resorts. The home of USU’s main campus, Logan, is a city of 54,000-plus people in a picturesque mountain valley 80 miles north of Salt Lake City. The Logan metro area claimed the top spot in the Milken Institute’s 2022 ranking for best-performing small cities in the nation. 


*updated 7/2023

Notice of Non-discrimination

In its programs and activities, including in admissions and employment, Utah State University does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination, including harassment, based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, status as a protected veteran, or any other status protected by University policy, Title IX, or any other federal, state, or local law.

The following individuals have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the application of Title IX and its implementing regulations and/or USU’s non-discrimination policies:


Executive Director of the Office of Equity Matthew Pinner, discrimination@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 401, 435-797-1266

Title IX Coordinator Cody Carmichael, titleix@usu.edu, Distance Education Rm. 404, 435-797-1266

Mailing address: 5100 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84322

For further information regarding non-discrimination, please visit https://equity.usu.edu/, or contact:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 800-421-3481, OCR@ed.gov

*updated 09/2023


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