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Director of Planned Giving for the Upstate Foundation

Company: Upstate Foundation
Date Posted: January 31, 2018

 Background & Position Summary:

In early 2010, the Foundation for Upstate announced the Upstate Legacy Society to honor its generous planned gift donors and to encourage new planned gift donors.  In October 2010 the inaugural Legacy Society Luncheon was held with the President of Upstate Medical University welcoming and thanking the 17 founding members of the Legacy Society. From 2010 to 2015, under the guidance of the Foundation Board’s Planned Giving Committee, the Upstate Legacy Society had grown to 32 members.

Based on that progress and opportunities for continued growth, the Upstate Foundation Board of Directors approved the hiring of a Director of Planned Giving in 2015.

The current Director for Legacy Giving has developed; a multiyear plan, new promotional literature, a print media awareness campaign and a Professional Advisory Board.  A total of

11 new planned gifts have been identified/solicited and more than 100 prospects identified.

That Director will be retiring in 2018.

The new Director will be the Upstate Foundation staff member with primary responsibility for the management and growth of a comprehensive gift planning program.



This position requires some travel, primarily within the central New York (CNY) region, and limited travel outside of CNY. Because travel to suburban and rural areas in CNY will be required, the candidate must hold a valid New York State driver’s license and have access to a reliable vehicle which can be used for business related travel. (Use of a personal vehicle is reimbursed at the prevailing IRS standard mileage rate).

Ideal candidate:

The ideal candidate is a passionate, experienced and successful planned giving officer who is looking for an exciting leadership planned giving position with limited (mostly local) travel requirements.

The ideal candidate will have the opportunity to leave his or her mark at Upstate by leading the efforts to craft the future direction of this vital program and bringing the program to an even greater level of success.


Required and Desired Qualifications: 

  • A Bachelor’s Degree is required; an MBA, MPA, JD or other advanced degree, and/or professional certification (CAP, CFP, FSCP, ChFC, WMCP) is highly desirable.
  • A minimum of three years of development experience with documented success in personally cultivating and securing major/planned gifts is required; seven or more years is desired.
  • Five or more successful years as a Planned Giving Officer, or an organization’s sole/primary Planned Giving expert desired.
  • Prior experience with estate planning from a legal, accounting, tax, and/or financial planning desired.
  • A valid driver’s license and access to a reliable vehicle to travel within NY State is required; some out-of-state travel may be required; occasional weeknight or weekend work may be required.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Director of Planned Giving for the Upstate Foundation will have primary responsibility for the management and growth of a comprehensive gift planning program. Specific responsibilities include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Developing and documenting a comprehensive understanding of institutional priorities suitable for planned gifts.
  • Developing succinct case statements for planned gift opportunities.
  • Managing updated and prioritized lists of planned gift prospects.
  • Maintaining and updating the marketing program with appropriate collateral materials and effective awareness, solicitation and stewardship events.
  • Nurturing strong relationships with CNY financial, legal and tax advisors.
  • Meeting the ongoing training needs of Upstate Foundation Development Officers and volunteers.
  • Managing the Upstate Legacy Society and overseeing all Planned Giving stewardship activities.
  • Managing a caseload of approximately 75-100 major/planned gift donors and prospective donors.
  • Serving as the Foundation’s planned giving expert on cultivation and solicitation calls with Development Officers and volunteers.
  • Meet personally with prospects; qualify, cultivate, solicit, secure and steward major/planned gifts.
  • Providing Foundation staff leadership to the Foundation Board’s Planned Giving Committee
  • Assisting with and participating in other Foundation fundraising programs as needed.
  • Some travel and weekend/evening work will be required.

Compensation:          Commensurate with qualifications.  Excellent benefits package.

Syracuse, New York is located in the very center of Upstate New York and offers a high quality of life at a low cost of living. The area has a population of between 650,000 to 700,000. The region offers many cultural and recreational opportunities and is home to 12 colleges and universities.

With more than 9000 employees, UPSTATE is the largest employer In Central New York. 

To Apply:                  For additional information and to apply for this position (Job # 050092) please go to Upstate’s Human Resources website: