Posted On: 2017-10-26
Closing On: 2017-11-27
Location: Kingston, ON
Employment Type: Full-Time
Level: Senior

Job Description

Executive Director, Gift Planning

Department of Development, Office of Advancement


Join Queen’s Office of Advancement to move people to extraordinary levels of support for the university.

Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Executive Director, Gift Planning is responsible for the strategic oversight and leadership of the gift planning function at Queen’s University.  The Executive Director will play a prominent role in a new family wealth initiative, spear-headed by the Office of Advancement. The incumbent works closely with other senior Development staff involved in top prospect activities, facilitating strategies, monitoring and coordinating initiatives; ensuring that next steps are completed in a timely manner with the goal of furthering the university’s development goals. The Executive Director manages a diverse and sophisticated portfolio of major and principal gift level benefactors, estates, corporations and foundations. The incumbent will be a recognized leader in the field of gift planning and serve as a key advisor to the Vice-Principal (Advancement), Development Leadership Team, volunteers, and the university more broadly, providing high level expertise, strategic direction and facilitation in the areas of gift planning, tax and family wealth management.  

This position requires travel within and outside of Canada. Work on evenings and weekends is occasionally required.


Duties of the Executive Director, Gift Planning:

  • Leads a comprehensive gift planning program designed to obtain maximum long-term financial support for the university from a wide range of potential benefactors. Program elements include mass marketing and mass appeals, in-person visits, data-mining, working with allied professionals, implementing a family wealth initiative, and other means of inspiring planned gifts.
  • Develops strategies, identifies, evaluates, cultivates, solicits, and stewards net-worth prospects and major gift benefactors with a primary focus on securing integrated gifts (in-life and future gifts) with a combined present value above $500,000. Personally manages a portfolio of 50-75 of Gift Planning’s prospective and major gift benefactors.
  • Collaborates with Stewardship & Benefactor Relations to establish timely and appropriate stewardship plans, ensuring gifts are handled and recognized according to sound Advancement practices.
  • Serves as a central resource and liaison to benefactors, the Office of Advancement, senior university officials, volunteers, allied professionals, executors, and others, to help secure planned gift commitments; family wealth management; and provide legislative, tax and regulatory expertise. Stays abreast of philanthropic developments, giving vehicles, and/or relevant legislation that may assist in maximizing revenue.
  • Motivates and organizes a broad range of influential volunteers (including leadership of the Advancement Gift Planning Advisory Committee), and university senior administrators, who will assist in securing philanthropic commitments.
  • Researches, coordinates and prepares internal and external communications, briefing notes, research profiles, funding proposals, gift agreements, stewardship reports, activity reports, and accountability reports. 
  • Develops and maintains an in-depth knowledge of the university’s activities, priorities and needs in both teaching and research. Applies this knowledge in matching the interests and needs of prospective benefactors with the strategic needs of the university.
  • Contributes to the strategy for comprehensive and project specific fundraising campaigns.
  • Analyzes data and prepares reports required to formulate, execute, evaluate and benchmark strategic and priority driven implementation plans. Reports findings and implements changes in strategy as required.
  • Prepares annual budget documents, and manages the operating budget for the Gift Planning unit, plus other related fundraising budgets (e.g. Family Wealth).
  • Serves as part of the Development Leadership Team.
  • Represents the university and the Office of Advancement on committees and to internal and external audiences, ensuring understanding and adoption of Advancement policies and procedures.
  • Plans, prioritizes and manages the work of employees, providing strategic and tactical advice, guidance and coaching.  Identifies the need for staff resources, participates on staffing committees, and makes effective recommendations regarding employee selection. 
  • Manages performance by establishing performance standards, reviewing and evaluating performance, and conducting formal performance reviews on an ongoing basis.
  • Assesses staff training and development needs, and ensures that employees receive training required to improve and sustain successful performance. 
  • Investigates, addresses and resolves employee/labour relations issues, including making decisions regarding disciplinary and discharge matters.
  • Undertakes other duties as assigned in support of the unit and/or department.


Qualifications Required

  • University degree focusing in law, accounting or finance, with a particular understanding of tax. Degree from Queen’s considered an asset.
  • Recognized or working towards a professional designation (e.g. Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) or equivalent), and a member of the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) considered assets.
  • Minimum 15 years of progressive experience managing a complex client or gift planning portfolio, with a focus on financial law or planning, major and planned giving, preferably in a university setting.
  • Solid understanding of family wealth management (involving business or investable wealth) such as wealth transfer strategies, taxation, philanthropy, family governance and wealth education.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of gift planning vehicles (such as charitable bequests, trusts, annuities, insurance, and registered retirement funds), integrated gift strategies, and other non-traditional gift plans is essential.
  • Outstanding prospect management and tracking skills including identifying, evaluating, cultivating, stewarding and directing personal solicitation of planned/major gifts or equivalent.
  • Proven success developing and implementing strategic plans, and meeting objectives.
  • Experience working as part of a large and complex organization considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated success working with volunteers to achieve shared goals.
  • Proven leadership and human resources management skills including recruiting, organizing, directing, motivating and retaining staff.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of federal and provincial Canadian legislation affecting charities and charitable status in order to secure complex planned and major gifts.
  • Understanding of the administrative, academic and governance structures of the university environment and the challenges faced by post-secondary institutions.
  • A valid driver’s license and passport is required.
  • Consideration will be given to an equivalent combination of education and experience.


To apply or for additional details on this continuing appointment, including essential competencies and special skills, please visit Career Q, on our Human Resources website. The application deadline is Monday, November 27, 2017. The University thanks all who express an interest in this position and advises that only those selected for interviews will be contacted.


The University invites applications from all qualified individuals. Queen’s is committed to employment equity and diversity in the workplace and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ persons The University will provide support in its recruitment processes to applicants with disabilities, including accommodation that takes into account an applicant's accessibility needs. If you require accommodation during the interview process, please contact Carla Ferreira Rodrigues, at or 613-533-6771.

One of Canada’s leading universities, Queen’s has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence, research and a diverse and vibrant learning environment. With its strong tradition of public service, the University has helped to shape Canadian values and policies, educating notable political and cultural figures.

Queen’s University is located in the heart of the community in historic Kingston, midpoint between Montreal and Toronto, and the nation’s capital.