Job Openings >> Director of Legacy Giving
Director of Legacy Giving
Title:Director of Legacy Giving
Organization:Sigma Chi Foundation
Location:Evanston, IL

Sigma Chi Foundation

Director of Legacy Giving

Opportunity Guide


Vision: To be the preeminent leadership and character development brotherhood benefiting our members throughout life.

Development Mission: To secure financial resources and provide faithful stewardship in support of Sigma Chi.

The Sigma Chi Foundation supports the transformative work accomplished by one of North America’s largest and oldest fraternities, Sigma Chi. Sigma Chi is a brotherhood with roots in the collegiate experience that engenders a lifelong commitment to strive to achieve friendship, justice and the fulfillment of learning as part of our overall responsibilities to the broader communities in which its members live.

With 242 undergraduate and 132 alumni chapters across North America and comprising 242,000 living members, the fundamental purpose of the Sigma Chi Fraternity is the cultivation, maintenance and accomplishment of its mission within its membership.


The Fraternity best serves that purpose by developing, implementing and monitoring programs that foster leadership, build character and promote positive relationship skills, which in turn enables its members to become productive and caring participants in their families, colleges and communities.

Sigma Chi’s leadership programs, all funded by Sigma Chi Foundation, represent industry-best efforts to teach values-based leadership. Including initiatives such as the largest annual gathering of Greek-affiliated students (Leadership Training Workshop), a sophomore-level training institute recognized by many business leaders as the premier academy for undergraduates, and an online training system that provides relevant curriculum to a broad range of Sigma Chi’s 17,000 undergraduate members.

Both the Fraternity and the Foundation are headquartered in suburban Chicago (Evanston), IL.

The Opportunity: Director of Legacy Giving

The Foundation’s first Director of Legacy Giving will play an integral role in the success of Sigma Chi Foundation’s fundraising efforts, specifically in creating and cultivating relationships, linking donors to the missional work of the Fraternity and the Foundation, and securing planned gifts of all forms (revocable and irrevocable). The successful candidate will be responsible for planning and implementing estate planning programs to promote deferred giving and will work in tandem with other Gift Officers to identify, position and close legacy gifts. The Director of Legacy Giving will report directly to the Foundation’s President & CEO.

The Director of Legacy Giving will manage a portfolio of relationships from the pool of existing donors to the Foundation. The Director will also cultivate new relationships with Brothers who have shown a propensity to support the long-term mission of Sigma Chi and the Sigma Chi Foundation. The Director will be tasked with raising $50M in planned giving commitments over a multi-year period to support and expand upon Sigma Chi’s success as the preeminent developer of character and leadership for its members.

Sigma Chi member/alumni status is strongly preferred for the successful candidate. Candidates with a strong development background, or other candidates with financial planning, estate planning or related relationship-based experience working with donors or clients with high net worth are encouraged to apply.

Performance Objectives


  • Serve as a values-driven externally facing fundraiser for the Sigma Chi Foundation, embodying Sigma Chi’s motto of Friendship, Justice, and Leadership.
  • Envision, create, and execute a planned giving strategy (including identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of donors) in collaboration with the President & CEO, elected volunteers, Gift Officers, peers and other professional staff.
  • Support the President & CEO, board members and Gift Officers with strategy and management of their portfolios containing any planned giving prospects and donors.
  • Ensure that the planned giving program is mission driven, in line with strategic plan goals, and supports the needs and purpose of Sigma Chi and its Brothers.
  • Serve, by example, as a leader who continually learns and grows, staying abreast of industry trends and elements of the development process that integrate various development disciplines along the relationship continuum.
  • Work closely with other Gift Officers and board members to provide guidance and leadership in industry best practices. Serve as a resource for those peers who desire technical expertise and assistance in introducing or closing a planned giving commitment.
  • Develop and maintain respectful, positive, collaborative and impactful relationships with Board of Directors, donors, and colleagues.
  • In consultation with the President & CEO, create and monitor program and personal goals that lead to annual gift production goals; regularly measure and report on progress.
  • Ensure donors have current information and up to date resources to make effective decisions about gifts, timing, and benefits.
  • Serve as a resource, trainer and advisor to colleagues and Board regarding their ambassador role in promoting planned giving.
  • Maintain expert-level knowledge of planned giving topics, including giving vehicles and tax implications, and assist donors in structuring their gifts.
  • Develop and conduct ongoing professional staff trainings and consultation with other Gift Officers, and maintain own professional knowledge in planned giving, asset transfer, and estate and financial planning laws and regulations.
  • Develop and maintain planned giving program accountability and reporting structure including reporting mechanisms and metrics. Report regularly to the President & CEO, Board of Directors and other leadership.
  • Maintain a positive and productive working relationship with the CFO and other members of the Finance team.

Gift Development

  • Manage a dynamic portfolio of individual planned giving donors and prospects; Cultivate donors and increase planned gifts (all types) through effective engagement, solicitation and stewardship activity.
  • Deepen relationships with existing and potential donors, seeking to explore their overall philanthropic relationship with Sigma Chi. Secure a minimum number of annual donor visits and close a minimum number of planned or life income gifts annually.
  • Grow both the number of James Park Caldwell (Planned Giving) Society members and the number of documented gifts, securing gift agreements and collateral documenting such gift commitments or intentions to commit.
  • Develop gifts from individuals in face-to-face meetings, through a respectful donor-centered presentation, that may occur in homes, offices or other private places to discuss donor intention.
  • Ensure, at all times, the donor is advised of Sigma Chi Foundation procedures governing the distribution of unrestricted gifts and of all options by which the donor may designate their gift. Present giving options that will satisfy both donor intent and the best interests of the Foundation by finding intersecting opportunities/programs that will be a “win” for both.
  • Ensure that donor intent is fully understood and carried out.

Marketing and Outreach

  • Create new and innovative marketing and outreach strategies using communications technology, social media, and presence at educational sessions, chapter and alumni events, industry meetings, etc. in order to increase visibility of opportunities for legacy giving.
  • Form and serve as a staff liaison to a Planned Giving Advisory Committee of Brothers and others who have areas of expertise in the planned giving arena and who might offer advice, contacts, knowledge and pro bono work related to the success of the planned giving program.
  • Participate in appropriate professional associations.


  • Work closely with the President & CEO and all relevant stakeholders to develop and implement annual operational plans and ensure production goals are met. Ensure program growth year after year, achieving targeted growth metrics specified within the plan and opportunities that align with the Foundation and Fraternity’s strategic plans.
  • Collaborate with Foundation donor data management staff to ensure robust and effective use of database and other technology, e.g. wealth prospecting software.
  • Monitor and evaluate program progress against goals.
  • Develop an annual program budget and ensure that the program operates within budget guidelines.
  • Work with finance and legal experts both within and external to the Foundation to ensure compliance related to all policies and laws.

The Qualified Candidate

Sigma Chi Foundation is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to serve as its first Director of Legacy Giving. The successful candidate will be a seasoned and values-focused planned giving expert with both the ability to engage donors and implement the operations of a successful Planned Giving program. The Director will be energized by building the structure of a successful program while simultaneously serving as the Foundation’s expert and active Planned Giving fundraiser. The Foundation seeks a relationship-oriented executive with impeccable written and oral communication skills, accustomed to interacting with accomplished and influential individuals with high philanthropic capacity. The successful candidate will be a subject matter expert on the technical aspects of planned giving, including giving vehicles, tax implications and estate planning matters. The Director of Legacy Giving will be responsible for assisting donors in structuring their gifts and for educating the board and professional staff regarding planned giving strategies.

Specific Requirements Include:

  • A minimum of five years of executive-level experience in financial, legal, sales, development or other fields closely related to planned giving.
  • Expert-level technical knowledge of planned giving process and the instruments used.
  • Membership/Alumni status in good standing of the Sigma Chi Fraternity is strongly preferred.
  • Highly effective interpersonal, conversational and presentation skills, demonstrating emotional intelligence and situational awareness in tandem with excellent writing abilities.
  • Track record of success in negotiating and closing commitments at the six and seven figure level or above.
  • Strong analytic and strategic-thinking skills with demonstrated ability to create, implement and monitor complex plans and translate those plans into goals and concrete strategies with an inherent ability to influence and build trust.
  • Ability to audit, monitor, and evaluate and promote efficiency and effectiveness of ongoing projects and budgets.
  • Demonstrated ability to set, achieve or exceed goals and meet deadlines with a natural capability of handling and controlling multiple projects and people. Ability to analyze data and forecast future market trends and develop 3-5 year plans.
  • Career track record that shows stability with an organization and capacity to develop and strengthen relationships, culminating in overall success.
  • Willingness to travel nationally approximately 50-75%. A valid driver’s license is required.
  • Ability to be based in suburban Chicago (Evanston) IL headquarters strongly preferred; other locations will be considered.
  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in Economics, Business, Marketing or Communications is required. Advanced degree in Law, Business and/or CFRE or other fundraising or planned giving certifications are preferred.

This position offers a competitive salary with robust benefits. Relocation assistance may be offered. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence.

It is the policy of the Sigma Chi Foundation to provide equal opportunity employment to all employees and applicants for employment. No person shall be discriminated against in employment because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, or handicap or any other classification protected by law.


To Apply

Candidates may apply by clicking the APPLY NOW button below.

To assure confidential tracking of all applicants, no applications will be accepted via email. ALL INQUIRIES WILL BE HELD IN STRICT CONFIDENCE.

This search is being managed by Laura Weinman, Assistant Vice President, and Alison Lewin, Project Manager of KEES. Questions may be addressed to

KEES is a retained search and nonprofit consulting firm that builds transformative teams and leaders. For more information, please visit

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