Senior Director of Gift Planning

Positioned in the heartland of central Illinois, Bradley University seeks a Senior Director of Gift Planning. The Senior Director implements and oversees a comprehensive gift planning program aimed at generating a robust pipeline of deferred support for the University. This includes organizing efforts to secure gifts through estates, charitable trusts, gift annuities, retirement plans, real estate, life insurance, and other non-cash assets. This position is responsible for developing and implementing strategic marketing plans for the gift planning program and collaborating with development colleagues to fully leverage outright and deferred giving to Bradley. The Senior Director will actively manage a portfolio of donors and prospects located throughout the United States and identify, cultivate, and solicit prospects, and steward existing donors. Travel is required. The position reports to the Vice President for Advancement, and works closely with members of the advancement staff and University leadership.

The Senior Director of gift planning will maintain working knowledge of life-income gift vehicles and applicable tax law and IRS rulings, including current trends in taxation and philanthropy. Candidates must be proficient in the use of gift planning software, including ability to provide up-to-date life income calculations to donors and development colleagues. This role will foster relationships with estate-planning attorneys and financial professionals.

The Senior Director will be responsible for analyzing existing programs and developing strategies to market gift planning opportunities throughout the University to increase awareness and opportunities for outright and deferred gift discussions.  The Senior Director of gift planning will participate as an active member of the advancement office, sharing information and collaborating with colleagues in a respectful and professional manner and contributing to a healthy and positive work environment.

With a proven record of campaign success, in 2011 Bradley concluded the Campaign for a Bradley Renaissance, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history, with gifts and commitments in excess of $161 million. In addition to four major facility additions and renovations, the campaign included resulting recognition for the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology, the Robert and Carolyn Turner School for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, and the Mund-Lagowski Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.  Student support also increased dramatically with more than $15 million earmarked for scholarships. A strategic capital campaign is currently being planned to further strengthen Bradley’s entrepreneurial spirit.  Plans for a new facility are underway to create a new home for the Foster College of Business Administration and the Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology.  A highly collaborative and distinctive convergence educational model will serve as the cornerstone of the dynamic learning environment between the Foster and Caterpillar Colleges.

To receive full consideration for the position, a bachelor’s degree is required with preference given to those with outright and deferred giving experience.  A good working knowledge of the principles of philanthropic planning, including fundamental understanding of the impact of estate and income tax issues on charitable gift vehicles is necessary. Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential, as is the ability to quickly build rapport with donors from diverse backgrounds. Candidates must demonstrate the ability to work in a collaborative environment and demonstrate professional and personal maturity, positive attitude, strong energy level, high ethical standards and outstanding interpersonal skills.


  • Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Minimum of five years professional experience.
  • Preference given to candidates with gift planning experience and a proven ability to secure outright and deferred gifts.
  • Experience in higher education or other non-profit institutions is highly desirable. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.
  • Demonstrated record of professional achievement.
  • Valid driver's license and ability to travel as needed.

Founded in 1897, Bradley University is a distinctive, medium-size comprehensive, private institution of higher learning.  The University is located on an 85-acre campus in Peoria, the largest metropolitan area in central Illinois.  With approximately 5,000 undergraduates and 800 graduate students, Bradley offers the opportunities and choices of a larger university and the quality, personal attention and challenge of small private college.  With over 60,000 alumni, Bradley is rich in tradition and full of promise to become one of the nation’s best comprehensive universities.  Visit to learn more about the University.

Send letter of interest with resume and complete contact information for three professional references to:

Senior Director of Gift Planning

Search Coordinator
Bradley University
Hayden-Clark Alumni Center
Peoria, IL 61625 

Applications will also be accepted electronically by email to:  

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.  Employment with Bradley University is contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check.

Bradley University is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. The administration, faculty and staff are committed to attracting qualified candidates from underrepresented groups.