Gift Planning Manager

Development Washington, District Of Columbia





JOB TITLE:  Gift Planning Manager  

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 3  

SALARY: $73,000 - $81,000 

FLSA:  Exempt 

DEPARTMENT:  Development 

LOCATION: Headquarters, Washington, DC 

REPORTS TO:  Director of Planned Giving 


LAST REVISED:  May 2023 



The Gift Planning Manager works to attract significant support for Defenders of Wildlife priorities through the implementation of a strategic and effective planned giving program. This includes actively managing a portfolio of planned gift prospects and donors, growing relationships through frequent travel for in-person visits; working with the Director of Planned Giving to help donors with their estate planning needs and responding to specific questions in the areas of philanthropic gift planning; overseeing and innovating the planned giving marketing plan; and directing stewardship efforts to ensure long-term commitment of donors to Defenders of Wildlife. This position also oversees and collaborates with the Planned Giving Associate in day-to-day marketing efforts to ensure they are following the production calendar and that the materials are of a high-quality for our donors. 



  • Manage a portfolio of planned gift donors and prospects, sending frequent program updates; conduct prospect identification, cultivation, solicitation and closure of gifts.  
  • Identify best prospects for cultivation activities like personal visits and phone calls, and travel throughout the year to meet with these key donors across the country. 
  • Oversee and manage annual planned giving marketing strategy and production calendar, including drafting fresh content when needed and testing new strategies, channels, packages, etc. Work with Planned Giving Associate to regularly analyze production performance and adjust strategy as necessary. 
  • Lead the relationship with FreeWill, implementing new tools they provide into the planned giving program. Connect with all donors who leave bequests through FreeWill and serve as their primary contact. 
  • Edit content drafted for newsletters, acquisition letters, donor profiles and other marketing materials as needed. Oversee the production process of all materials. 
  • Walk donors through the charitable gift annuity (CGA) creation process from generating the initial gift illustration to executing the final calculations and agreement. Also, coordinate regularly with the bank that handles Defenders’ CGA program. 
  • Assist with IRA beneficiary gifts, coordinating with the financial institutions, completing the paperwork, and ensuring receipt of the funds in a timely manner. 
  • Apply knowledge of planned gift vehicles and asset types to structure planned gifts with maximum benefit to donors and Defenders of Wildlife.  
  • Develop extensive knowledge of Defenders’ programs and initiatives which can be matched to donor interest.  
  • Oversee the planned giving section of Defenders’ website, updating it frequently in order to keep the content current. Also, manage and grow the Wildlife Legacy Society Facebook group, posting relevant content multiple times per week and increasing engagement. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with Wildlife Legacy Society members and actively work to engage members to increase participation. Also, brainstorm and carry out new methods of reaching planned giving prospects. 
  • Oversee and implement the collection and input of planned giving donor data and the subsequent analysis and reporting of that data. 
  • Plan and oversee logistics of planned giving webinars and work collaboratively with other development colleagues to include planned giving donors and prospects in other Defenders events or online activities.  
  • Oversee contract renewal process at the end of the fiscal year with each of the vendors planned giving works with. 
  • Work with planned giving team to create annual budget based on the past years expenses and new ideas for growth. 
  • Collaborate effectively with Major Gifts and Research colleagues within the development department to maximize the potential of current donors for blended gift opportunities and identify planned giving prospects.  
  • Serve as resource to the development department in understanding, marketing and stewarding gifts of non-cash assets. 
  • Oversee the legacy inbox to ensure all inquiries are responded to in a timely manner. 
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned. 




Education: Bachelors (B.A./B.S.) degree or equivalent  

Experience: 4 years of relevant experience 

An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above. 


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for All Defenders 

KSAs for all Defenders will be linked back to the website 


Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Professional 3 



  1. Ability to accurately maintain electronic and physical records 
  1. Anticipate and meet the needs of internal and/or external stakeholders delivering excellent service  


  1. Ability to clearly and accurately communicate with internal and external stakeholders 
  1. Ability to articulate complex ideas clearly, accurately and concisely 
  1. Ability to convey effective messages to broad and diverse constituencies 
  1. Ability and willingness to effectively represent Defenders’ interests in external environments 
  1. Ability to exert influence and build consensus with internal and external stakeholders 

Critical Thinking 

  1. Ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters with discretion 
  1. Strong research and data analysis skills, including ability to gather and synthesize information from multiple sources to produce high quality work products in a consistent, efficient, accurate, and timely manner 
  1. Creative problem-solving and troubleshooting skills with willingness to experiment and innovate new methods.  
  1. Facilitate and promote the integration of diversity, equity and inclusion strategies into Defenders’ work 
  1. Ability to independently exercise appropriate judgment in response to complex and/or fluid environments 
  1. Strategic thinker with the ability to take high-level strategy and translate into relatable points and action steps.  

Project Management 

  1. Ability to work well under pressure and tight deadlines while balancing competing assignments 
  1. Ability to remain flexible and adaptable to shifting priorities while remaining responsive to urgent requests 
  1. Ability to take ownership of a project or process and to use problem solving skills to resolve issues 
  1. Ability to manage deadlines on multiple cross-functional projects in a dynamic environment  
  1. Demonstrated ability in managing competing interests on complex issues 
  1. Ability to independently initiate project and initiative ideas; managing projects and initiatives through to completion  

Coalition and Community Engagement 

  1. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to form effective working relationships with diverse constituencies including federal/state agencies; elected officials and their staff; Defenders’ members and donors; private landowners; hunters and anglers; community leaders; religious, scientific, and academic communities; and /or the general public. 
  1. Ability to lead diverse stakeholders in collaborative activities, to anticipate policy issues impacting wildlife and make recommendations within Defenders, other organizations, and coalitions. 
  1. Networking skills to engage with leaders in the conservation community, federal and state agencies, NGOs, and other organizations. 

Conservation Knowledge (if applicable) 

  1. Expert-level knowledge of Defenders’ legal, scientific, and/or political issues 
  1. Expert-level knowledge of national and regional social, political, and ecological landscapes 

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities for Planned Giving Manager  

  • Previous experience in creating and editing marketing materials for planned giving  
  • Strong technological aptitude, including advanced skills using Microsoft Word and Excel with willingness to learn specialized software such as Revolution Online database and PG Calc Planned Giving program  
  • Detail-oriented with strong organizational skills 
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to interact with both management and support staff as well as our broad base of donors via written communication, phone calls and in person meetings 
  • Excellent writing and proofreading skills and knowledge of grammar 
  • Ability to take ownership of a process and to use problem-solving skills to resolve issues 
  • Strong professionalism with the ability to function efficiently in a busy environment 
  • Expected to work independently and/or as a team member with initiative, motivation, flexibility, organization, and attention to accuracy of projects and tasks 



Physical Activities 

Check all that apply 


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly 

Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like. 


Moving self in different positions to accomplish tasks in various environments including tight and confined spaces. 


Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods. 


Moving about to accomplish tasks or moving from one worksite to another. 


Adjusting or moving objects up to __ pounds in all directions. 


Communicating with others to exchange information. 


Repeating motions that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers. 


Operating machinery and/or power tools. 


Operating motor vehicles or heavy equipment. 


Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned. 



Environmental Conditions 

Check all that apply 


(N)Never, (O)Occasionally or (C)Constantly 

Low temperatures. 


High temperatures. 


Outdoor elements such as precipitation and wind. 


Noisy environments. 


Hazardous conditions. 


Poor ventilation. 


Small and/or enclosed spaces. 


No adverse environmental conditions expected.  



Physical Demands 

Check only one 


Sedentary work that primarily involves sitting/standing. 


Light work that includes moving objects up to 20 pounds. 


Medium work that includes moving objects up to 50 pounds. 


Heavy work that includes moving objects up to 100 pounds or more. 



Visit to apply. 

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job. 


Defenders of Wildlife requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws. 


Defenders of Wildlife provides equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions. 


Please be advised this position is union-eligible.