Washington, DC

Director, Legacy Giving, The Wilderness Society

The Organization
 The Wilderness Society is the leading American conservation organization working to protect our nation’s shared wildlands. Since 1935, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect nearly 110 million acres of wilderness in 44 states. We have been at the forefront of nearly every major public lands victory.

The Wilderness Society’s mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We contribute to better protection, stewardship and restoration of our public lands, preserving our rich natural legacy for current and future generations.

Position Overview

General Description

The Director of Legacy Giving is responsible for leading a dynamic Planned Giving Program to achieve established fundraising goals and expand the operation.  The Director is responsible for securing and documenting bequests, life income gifts and other forms of planned gifts from a portfolio of potential and qualified prospects.

The Director works in collaboration with the Philanthropy team and volunteers to ensure all potential planned giving prospects are contacted, cultivated, and appropriately solicited.  S/he works closely with the Stewardship team to ensure that donors are appropriately acknowledged and with the Finance team to ensure all instruments are understood and approved.

Working closely with donors and their advisors, the Director takes primary responsibility for marketing Planned Giving vehicles and working with professional, legal, tax and financial advisors to achieve donor goals.  The Director will work as a leader in a team environment to promote gift planning among all TWS constituencies.

The Director, Legacy Giving plays a critical role in establishing and reinforcing an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes.  TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization.  This leader will integrate these priorities throughout our Planned Giving work, from expanding our partnerships to bringing an equity lens to all facets of Planned Giving.  Across our team, we aspire to be campaign oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Directs and oversees programs and processes associated with the Planned Giving program; strategically markets the program to prospects and existing donors, as appropriate.
  • Manages the cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship for a portfolio of prospects.
  • Works closely with the other leaders of the Philanthropy team to first establish and subsequently manage an aggressive Planned Giving marketing program utilizing in-depth analytics to create customized marketing models for the TWS donor base.
  • Provides regular accounting to the senior leadership team regarding known gifts and expectancies.  Prepares regular progress reports and analysis on the status of the Planned Giving program.
  • Supervises the Gift Planning Program Specialist and Gift Planning Specialist, both based in Washington DC office.
  • Participates in prospect management meetings.  Develops and manages revenue goals and solicitation strategies.
  • Develops and fosters ongoing programs to educate staff and Board members about planned giving vehicles.
  • Participates in appropriate professional organizations and maintains an understanding of current tax codes as related to estate gifts.
  • Serves as a mentor and advisor to members of the Philanthropy Department.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.


Experience & Competencies

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience in development, preferably in major gifts and planned giving.
  • Demonstrated success in planned giving for a charitable organization, working with donors in complex gift planning programs, and a proven record of securing gift commitments.
  • Willingness to work with prospects and the ability to explain complex instruments in a clear, patient, and ethical manner.
  • Demonstrated strong management skills with the ability to mentor and motivate staff, to provide leadership and to build an effective, successful team.
  • Knowledge of current trends in the fundraising industry, particularly in Gift Planning.  Thorough knowledge of technical aspects of estate planning principles and all forms of outright and deferred charitable gifts including charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, retained life estates, charitable lead trusts, and bequests.
  • Experience leading and managing teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives.  This includes a track record of successful recruitment, cultivation, and retention of highly skilled staff across race and gender.
  • Extensive understanding of gift assets and gift implications including securities, real estate, and property.
  • Working knowledge of income tax and estate tax implications of giving.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills; ability to treat sensitive information in confidence and establish trust with donors.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite. 

Desired Characteristics

  • The necessary acumen, planning, management, and leadership skills to build effective relationships and exercise sound judgment.
  • Willingness and ability to travel both nationally and regionally to identify, cultivate, solicit, and steward individual donors on behalf of TWS.
  • A reputation for high ethical standards and integrity.
  • Team-focused and simultaneously able to roll up one’s sleeves and make things happen as an individual.

    The Wilderness Society offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; a sabbatical program; and a retirement plan.  TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair treatment of our employees and constituents across culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.

    As an organization, we aspire to being inclusive in the work that we do, and in the kind of organization we are.  Internally this means working as a team that listens to different points of view, recognizes the contributions of every employee and empowers each employee to bring their whole selves to work every day.  Externally this means ensuring that public lands are inclusive and welcoming, so that our shared wildlands can help people and nature to thrive.  We are committed to equity throughout our work, which we define as our commitment to realizing the promise of our public lands and ensuring that all can share in their universal benefits.

    To learn more about our commitment, please see http://wilderness.org/our-commitment-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-wilderness-society

How To Apply

For consideration, please submit your resume with cover letter through our online application system at https://wilderness.org/careers-and-internships

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