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Senior Director of Gift & Estate Planning Search

Company: The University of Georgia
Date Posted: January 30, 2018

For full information, see the Search Profile.

The University of Georgia, the flagship research institution of the University System of Georgia, invites applications and nominations for the position of Senior Director of Gift & Estate Planning. This is an exceptional opportunity for an experienced and knowledgeable advancement officer to serve a leadership role in gift and estate planning at one of the best public universities in the nation.

The Opportunity - The University of Georgia is the birthplace of public higher education in America. Ranked as one of the nation’s top public research universities, UGA has continued to be at the forefront of education and research since its founding in 1785. 

The UGA Division of Development and Alumni Relations is responsible for resource development that enables the University to help remove barriers for students, enhance the learning experience and environment, and conduct work and research in seeking to solve the challenges of the world.

The Office of Gift & Estate Planning works collaboratively with all colleges and areas of the University of Georgia to secure planned gift commitments from alumni and friends. Planned gifts include bequests, gifts of retirement assets and/or life insurance through a beneficiary designation, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable lead trusts. 

The office is currently comprised of an Associate Director of Development, Assistant Director of Development, Marketing Coordinator, Trust & Estates Coordinator, and Stewardship Coordinator. Each member of the team is available to assist development staff in identifying, cultivating, soliciting, and stewarding planned giving prospects.

Gift & Estate Planning also partners directly with donors and their professional advisors to create a plan allowing the donor to achieve their philanthropic, financial, and estate planning objectives while supporting the University’s mission.

Reporting directly to the Executive Director of Development, the Senior Director of Gift & Estate Planning is expected to advance the mission of the University, the Development and Alumni Relations Division, and the Office of Development. This administrator is charged with securing strong and stable relationships with internal and external constituencies and must operate through effective communication, strategy development, coordination and management of the planned giving program, and the successful leadership of staff.  

Position Responsibilities   

  • Determine and implement departmental direction concerning all facets of estate and gift planning including, but not limited to, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, pooled income funds, and bequests.  
  • Conduct face-to-face visits with prospective and current donors as needed for cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship purposes, including selected visits with advisors to donors.  
  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the fundraising programs in Gift & Estate Planning.  
  • Supervise the five-member staff and initiate any personnel actions required for the unit.
  • Serve as a member of the senior leadership team of the Office of Development, helping develop strategies and set policies and procedures.
  • Provide oversight of the design and development of proposals, planned gift agreements, and all print and web-based materials for the unit.
  • Develop and oversee the annual operating budget for the unit.
  • Serve as the point of contact for all UGA Development staff and other institutions regarding issues and questions involving estate and gift planning.
  • Attend Development staff meeting as required and attend and conduct continuing education as requested. 


Minimum: Bachelor’s degree and eight years of related higher education experience

Preferred: Higher education experience with comprehensive campaign experience

Other qualifications:

  • Knowledge of investments, financial markets, real estate, etc.
  • Strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong management, organizational, and time management skills
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Basic office computer and equipment skills 
  • Ability to travel in and out of state

Applications and Nominations


Confidential conversations, applications, and nominations invited. Initial screening of applications is underway and will continue until an appointment is made.

The application packet must include: 1) Letter describing relevant experience and interest in the position, 2) Resume, and 3) Three professional references, including full contact and email information (References will not be contacted without the applicant’s consent.)

Submit application to UGA-GEP@myersmcrae.comApplications for this position will be accepted until filled.

Submit nominations to with full contact and email information on the person being nominated.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The UGA Office of Human Resources also requires a completed application packet. The UGA application form is available at  and the Posting Number is S00217P. Submission instructions are on the website.

Emily Parker Myers, Chief Executive Officer, and Jennifer Barfield, Senior Vice President, of Myers McRae Executive Search and Consulting, are assisting the University of Georgia with this search.