Washington, DC

Director, Planned Giving, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

The Organization

About The Kennedy Center

“I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit.” – President John F. Kennedy

The Kennedy Center is the nation’s cultural center and living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Located on the banks of the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., the Center presents performances across all genres, and is also home to artistic affiliates Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.

Mission Statement: As the nation’s performing arts center, and a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy, we are a leader for the arts across America and around the world, reaching and connecting with artists, inspiring and educating communities. We welcome all to create, experience, learn about, and engage with the arts.

Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

The Kennedy Center is a welcoming and inclusive culture where everyone benefits – we do it in a way that honors everyone’s humanity. We are able to advance our mission because of committed and passionate employees. We are fortunate to be able to leverage their diverse perspectives, life experiences and skills to inform how our workplace can be a safe, transparent, and replenishing community. Through honest discussion, our focus on DEI, and the creation of a D&I council, we are committed to always being the best versions of ourselves.

Position Overview

Job Description

Salary: $115-125,000

The Director of Planned Giving reports to the Vice President of Individual Giving, and must also work collaboratively with the Manager of Planned Giving & Endowments and other Development senior staff.

The Director will lead the department’s planned giving efforts through research, cultivation, acquisition, stewardship and management of the Kennedy Center’s Legacy Societies, including partnering with other team members to steward the Center’s Legacy Society members.

The Director is responsible for a significant portion of the Kennedy Center’s income targets through planned giving gifts. The position requires a dedicated focus on building the planned giving pipeline while effectively maintaining and advancing existing programs, and designing and implementing a multi-year growth strategy.

The Director is also responsible for leading planned giving operations, maintaining systems and accuracy of critical data and reporting. The incumbent manages his/her time, resources, and work load to maximize productivity and financial results; exercises discretion; evaluates complex internal and external relationships; and regularly takes initiative to advance the objectives and goals of multiple campaigns. This position oversees one Manager, who in turn oversees one Assistant Manager.

Duties & Responsibilities

35%   Direct the Planned Giving Portfolio

  • Effectively identify, secure, and steward fundraising for planned giving across the Kennedy Center, National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington National Opera.
  • Ensure prompt and appropriate donor stewardship of the Legacy Society members and prospects by overseeing the accurate tracking of gift intentions, bequests, or gift vehicles.
  • Educate donors, development, and other Kennedy Center staff on the creation of planned gift vehicles, their benefits, and the implementation thereof.
  • Work with the Strategy and Special Projects team to build donor pipelines by identifying and cultivating new planned gift opportunities.
  • Collaborate with other directors and team members to deepen relationships and identify new revenue opportunities and offerings as appropriate to grow the planned giving portfolio.

20%   Support the administration of Trust & Estate Management gifts

  • Oversee the accurate reporting of estate gifts in process; ensure the completion of moves management across legal, finance, and development departments.
  • Serve as Kennedy Center representative to executors and legal representatives in progressing bequests and estate gifts.
  • Educate donors, development, and other Kennedy Center staff on trust and estate management gifts and processes.

20%   Management and Strategic Planning

  • Manage and develop planned giving team’s best practices in all areas of fundraising, including written and verbal communications, prospect research, proposals, meetings, events, and donor engagement
  • Provide team leadership and coaching through regular feedback and performance management, align priorities to meet revenue and goals, and appropriately delegate tasks to ensure a high-performing team that regularly meets or exceeds goals
  • Oversee the accurate record-keeping of commitments, forecasting and pipeline development, implementation of marketing efforts or analytics, and budgets by working with the team and collaborating with other development departments (e.g., strategy and special events, communications and stewardship, systems, etc.)
  • Work across the development department and across the Kennedy Center as appropriate, to develop, implement, and evaluate short and long-term goals and strategies for meeting the goals in development’s strategic plan
  • Identify operational/process innovations as appropriate that would optimize the team’s work efforts

15%   Oversee Legacy Society Events

  • Collaborate with the PG&E, special events, and other teams to conceive and design thoughtful and strategic engagement events to cultivate and educate donors on gift planning.
  • Coordinate the strategy and execution of the annual Legacy Luncheon benefit event.

10%   Communications & Marketing

  • Coordinate the direct mail campaigns including working with planned giving vendors.
  • Collaborate with the donor communications team, assist in generating the messaging for newsletters, brochures, and ongoing email campaigns.

N/A   Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner; Adheres to all employer policies and procedures.\

N/A   Other duties as assigned.

Key Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of 5 years of direct experience in planned giving; additional relevant experience in estate planning, tax advising, or other legal experience welcome.
  • Track record of success in the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors and prospects in the planned giving and/or trust and estate gift management arena required.
  • Experience managing others, through effective goal-setting, prioritization, delegation, and team-building.
  • Ability to collaborate across a matrixed organization to leverage the expertise of other departments, work together to effect change and achieve shared goals.
  • Knowledge and training in planned giving and accounting principles, trends, and understanding of planned giving in a large cultural institution or non-profit environment is beneficial.
  • Experience developing and implementing specific fundraising strategies with timeliness and success while maintaining flexibility as the needs of donors and the priorities of the Kennedy Center changes.
  • Experience with Tessitura and PG Calc software preferred.
  • Careful attention to detail and knowledge of standard accounting procedures.

Skills & Knowledge Qualifications

  • Possession of these competencies would indicate strong potential for success in this role: growth mindset, self-aware, disciplined, results-driven and accountable.
  • Sensitive, inclusive of others.
  • Ability to foresee development needs, anticipate the needs of superiors, and multitask efficiently.
  • A clear understanding of the Kennedy Center mission, and a nuanced understanding of the ways in which a fundraising operation works within a large and complex institution.
  • Ability to deftly manage many relationships and personality types, both internal among staff members, and external among constituents.
  • Ability and confidence to work without close supervision.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to communicate in person and on the telephone.  The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel in order to operate computer keyboard, office equipment, and other essential tasks.  The employee is frequently required to sit, stand, walk, bend, stoop, crouch, and reach with hands and arms.  This position infrequently lifts, carries, or otherwise moves and positions objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is minimal.

A hybrid remote work schedule is possible.

Travel up to 15% may be required.


We offer a comprehensive range of benefits to all full-time employees including: Medical, Dental, Vision, Paid Time Off, Paid Sick Leave, and a matching 403(b) Retirement Plan (employees are eligible for organization match after 1 year of employment).

How To Apply


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