Director of Gift Planning

Job Posted On: August 14, 2018

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Foundation seeks a Director of Gift Planning.

The Director of Gift Planning is primarily responsible, through the direct supervision of the national staff of regional gift planners, to lead and manage a robust fund-raising program to identify, cultivate, solicit and steward prospective donors of current and planned gifts.

Another key role involves managing the business relationships with ministry partner organizations through on-site visits.

Reporting to the Executive Vice President, ELCA Foundation, this position requires about 30% travel, visiting regional gift planners, donors, and ministry partnerships. The position is located in Chicago at the ELCA Churchwide Offices.


Application Process

Application, resume and cover letter should be submitted through the ELCA job board.

Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc., the consultant assisting with this search (; 651-490-9550).


THE ELCA at a Glance

The ELCA is one church with three expressions – a churchwide organization in Chicago, 65 synods throughout the country, and a network of 9,300 congregations.  The three interdependent parts work together to form the ELCA.  In addition, the ELCA works with a number of partner institutions including 285 social ministry organizations and other entities that address human needs, 26 colleges and universities, 7 seminaries, 2 theological education extension courses, and a variety of camps, retreat centers, schools and early childhood education centers.

The ELCA Foundation

The ELCA Foundation is a separately incorporated ministry of the ELCA. It provides comprehensive giving opportunities for individuals, and educational and support services in current gifts and deferred giving programs to congregations, synods and institutions of this church. Its goal is to increase resources for all the ministries of the ELCA.

The Foundation also offers opportunities for congregations and institutions of the ELCA to invest in the Endowment Fund Pooled Trust; provides oversight of the assets including the Endowment Fund, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Trusts; and cares for the accounting, administration and financial reporting of assets and activities.

The Foundation is governed by a board of trustees with separate committees for Investments, Audit, Resource Development and Finance.

The Planned Giving team works with individuals, congregations, synods and Lutheran institutions in exploring the different ways legacy goals can be fulfilled.  Examples include the giving of assets, bequests, life income gifts, charitable gift annuities, and memorial endowments.

Foundation Parameters:

Assets Under Management – $854 million

Annual Budget – $7.5 million

Foundation Staff Size – 36


Principal Accountabilities: Director of Gift Planning

  1. Manage the day to day activities of the regional gift planning staff to ensure appropriate acceptance and completion of current and deferred gifts. Conduct regular performance reviews and coordinate semi-annual staff meetings to guarantee goals and objectives are being met.
  2. Execute a comprehensive development program designed to increase the overall number of ELCA donors and the total amount of their gifts. Enhance recognition and solicitation opportunities of donors who have included ELCA churchwide programs in their estate plans.
  3. Accompany regional gift planners on donor calls to coach and provide support as needed.
  4. Expand current partnership program to grow relationships with the church, synods, and other ELCA related entities.
  5. Work with the Foundation management team to set the strategic direction of the gift planning program. Enhance and expand the supporting relationships with synods and partnerships.
  6. Work with the Manager of Prospect Planning and Analysis to develop criteria and identify prospective donors that the Regional Gift Planners will cultivate, solicit and steward prospective donors.
  7. Performs other duties as required.



  1. Seven years professional fund-raising experience developing gifts, managing teams and setting strategy. College degree required.
  2. Demonstrated proficiency in computer technology including applications for project and data management and electronic calendars (CRM, Windows, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook preferred). Ability to quickly learn software specific to the department or institution.
  3. Demonstrated experience in planning, leading and managing projects, including coordinating with peers to achieve desired outcomes, and tracking progress to senior staff and partnership members.
  4. Demonstrated ability to relate well to, and inspire the confidence of, donors, their families and their legal and financial advisors, as well as internal colleagues and regional gift planners.
  5. Familiarity with, appreciation of, and a commitment to the mission and vision of the ELCA.
  6. CFRE preferred but not required.


Physical Requirements

Must be willing and able to travel by air and automobile; about 30% of the time.


Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Application Process

Application, resume and cover letter should be submitted through the ELCA job board.

Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc., the consultant assisting with this search (; 651-490-9550).