Individual Philanthropy & Planned Giving Officer

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Individual Philanthropy and Planned Giving Officer


The Cleveland Museum of Natural History (CMNH), founded in 1920, is located in the heart of University Circle, five miles east of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. Considered among the top 10 institutions of its kind in North America, the Museum offers an incredible visitor experience, attracting roughly 275,000 visitors a year. There are more than 140 public education programs and over 80,000 students served annually. The Museum employs approximately 160 people.

Building on its strong foundation of excellence in education and research, the Museum is poised to transform itself. CMNH will invite and engage a broader audience in the exploration of science and the natural world by revolutionizing the way it presents natural history. The Museum has currently launched a comprehensive campaign to support a dramatic renovation and expansion of its facilities and exhibits. This ambitious plan will position the Museum to play a leading role in regional and national efforts to improve science education and increase scientific literacy.



Reporting to the Campaign Director, the Individual Philanthropy and Planned Giving Officer is expected to be a highly energetic professional with the ability to engage campaign donors, work with high-level volunteers and implement planned giving strategies. Job duties include identification, cultivation, solicitation and closure of six and seven figure major gifts to meet the fundraising goals and objectives established for the Museum. S/he will work closely and collaboratively with the CEO, CPO and others on the Museum team to assure that fundraising opportunities are maximized.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Works closely with key internal constituencies to match potential donors’ interests with funding opportunities and implement a strategic series of interactions that will lead to successful solicitations.

2. Provide strategic direction for and management of a branded planned giving program, including but not limited to, bequests, gift annuities, remainder trusts, and gifts of real estate. Collaborate with Campaign Director on identifying, cultivating, and securing planned gifts and expanding the Legacy Society in addition to the stewardship of donors who have already announced a planned giving commitment.

3. Identifies, cultivates and manages a defined portfolio of 200 major gift and planned giving prospects and donors with high giving capacity.

4. Offers planned giving educational opportunities and materials to fellow staff and prospects and donors.

5. Conducts a minimum of 120 personal visits annually to cultivate and solicit prospects and close gifts.

6. Creates proposals and reports, and writes materials and communications for the planned giving program.

7. Presents necessary planned giving updates and materials to the Board of Directors and other organization leaders.

8. Contributes ideas and strategies for overall Philanthropy program and other duties as assigned.

Education and/or Experience:

Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred (J.D., MBA). Preferably 5-8 years of fundraising experience is required with a minimum of two years planned giving

Detailed and in-depth knowledge of planned giving and its complexities: estate planning, including wills, trusts, and estate and gift tax laws. Proven success in closing complex planned gifts.

Knowledge of fundraising and fundraising laws and regulations, including fundraising best practices.

Knowledge of the legal recordkeeping requirements for fundraising and documenting major and planned gifts.

Knowledge and understanding of how to implement department strategy and managing through growth and change.

Excellent verbal and written communication aptitude.

Capable of handling numerous tasks at once and still meeting deadlines.

Comfort in researching and analyzing large groups of data to uncover planned giving prospects.

Knowledge of CRM software such as Altru, Tableau, MailChimp, and other donor database software.

Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Office products to include Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Other Qualifications:

Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Excellent organizational, analytical and problem solving skills.

A passion for science, nature and conservation.

Self-motivated and self-directed.

Must have a demonstrated success in achieving fundraising goals and managing high-level donor relationships.

Possessing a proven ability to present complex information in a clear and compelling manner is essential.

The capacity to clearly comprehend and communicate the Museum’s mission, goals and ongoing initiatives is required.

Ability and comfort in researching and analyzing large groups of data to uncover major giving prospects.

Ability to work with an interdisciplinary professional team.

Ability to exercise initiative and good judgment in anticipating problems before they arise.

Ability to effectively coordinate and track multiple projects simultaneously, prioritize, work well under pressure with a high degree of accuracy, and meet stringent and overlapping deadlines.

The successful candidate must be a strategic thinker, effective in moving strategic agendas, politically savvy, ensure the utmost discretion in all matters, as well as possess an ability to work well with all levels of management, both internally and externally, be flexible in nature, have sound judgment with a collaborative style that fosters teamwork and cooperation beyond the immediate team to the broader organization.

Ability to work evenings and weekends, and travel required.

The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, ADA EMPLOYER and a SUBSTANCE-FREE WORKPLACE

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