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Pepperdine University
  • Position Number: 3091954
  • Location: Malibu, CA
  • Position Type: Development and Fund Raising

Executive Director, Center for Estate and Gift Planning

Job No: 500564
Work Type: Regular
Location: Malibu Campus
Categories: Advancement

The Executive Director of the Center for Estate and Gift Planning (CEGP) provides strategic leadership for the University's planned giving efforts. This individual is responsible for securing legacy gifts to Pepperdine University and stewarding long-term relationships with planned giving donors. Planned giving provides critical support for Pepperdine students, faculty, schools, and programs, allowing Pepperdine to achieve and maintain the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values and to strengthen students for lives of purpose, service, and leadership. Planned giving fundraising is an essential component to meeting the University's fundraising goals and strategic plans.

  • Provide strategic planned giving leadership and oversee implementation of the University's planned giving strategies. Responsible for creating gift strategies and advising the University and other fundraisers on all relevant financial, tax, and legal aspects of fundraising. Draft gift agreements, trust and annuity documents, and estate planning documents. Supervise, lead, and mentor the CEGP team including the Associate Director, Planned Giving Officer, and Office Manager. Provide training, assign work, approve work product as necessary.
  • Develop and cultivate friendships and relationships that will lead to planned gifts. This includes working with existing donors, alumni networks, professional advisors, Heritage Society members, community members, and others. Manage a portfolio of assigned prospects and collaborate with other gift officers to secure new legacy commitments. Work with donors and their advisors to help them best understand the benefits of planned gifts.
  • Work with the advancement team members to cultivate and educate their donors on the benefits of planned giving, including hosting seminars for internal and external audiences and working with fundraisers and their donors to cultivate and close planned gifts. Work closely with legal and financial professionals in designing and executing planned giving instruments.
  • Host online and in-person Pepperdine Estate Planning Network (PEPNET) events to educate and empower professional advisors who wish to incorporate charitable gift planning services into their practices.
  • Present new gift opportunities to and collaborate with the University Gift Acceptance Committee to review, evaluate, discuss, and consider any planned gifts in the pipeline.
  • Interact with other University offices, including Trust & Estate Services, Real Estate, Finance, Accounting, and Investments to intake and process planned gifts and establish policies and procedures related to planned giving tools and strategies.
  • Participate in University, community, and professional events as an ambassador for the University.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Uphold University mission through work performed.

The above information has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, and qualifications required of employees assigned to this job.

Skills and Qualifications

Required: Advanced degree or professional certification with emphasis in estate planning, charitable planning, and/or taxation; 8-10 years experience in planned giving fundraising; Self-starter with ability to develop prospect leads and pursue gift plans for prospective donors; Specialty knowledge and experience in estate planning, charitable planning, taxation, accounting, and real estate; financial analysis; excellent oral and written communication; good listening skills; ability to work effectively with, sensitivity to, and empathy with many different personality types, and especially with the elderly; Superior interpersonal skills; Ability to assist in marketing and implementation of planned giving processes; Crescendo gift planning software; Superior communication with writing and presentation skills; Ability to clearly articulate the fundraising priorities of the University in supporting the mission of Pepperdine; Ability to articulate the Pepperdine mission and incorporate it into daily work; Ability to learn and articulate the strategic plan to donors, prospects, and friends of the University.

Preferred: Juris Doctor, LLM, and/or CPA certification; 10 plus years experience practicing in the fields of estate planning, tax, financial planning, and/or gift planning; Knowledge of charitable tax strategies, real estate and investment vehicles, and complex financial planning tools preferred; Prior experience leading a planned giving team; Advanced knowledge of non-profit operations and fundraising; Proven record of managing a planned giving portfolio and leading a planned giving team.

Candidates with significant experience may be considered for an Associate Vice Chancellor/Vice Chancellor role.

Qualified individuals should be able to articulate a strong commitment to diversity, and have the ability to work effectively with individuals from different backgrounds.

Offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal, education, and employment screening. Qualified individuals with criminal histories will be considered for employment in compliance with applicable laws.

This is a Regular, Exempt, 40 hour per week position.

Salary: Commensurate with experience.

To Apply: To apply, visit:

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