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Senior Development Officer, Planned Gifts

San Francisco, California

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and people to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC, today Earthjustice is a $80 million national nonprofit with 350 employees.

The Planned Gifts team is responsible for securing gift commitments through wills, trusts, retirement and other estate plans, charitable gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and gifts of complex assets to provide Earthjustice with a source of long-term financial support.  In coordination with other fundraising teams, the Planned Gifts team provides education about planned gift opportunities, identifies and qualifies prospects, and cultivates, solicits, administers and stewards planned gifts.

The Senior Development Officer, Planned Gifts, is responsible for serving as a lead fundraiser and point of contact for over 1,700 legacy donors and 6,000 prospects, and for cultivating relationships and soliciting substantial planned gifts from a targeted portfolio of 150 donors and prospects, resulting in a pipeline of support producing $5-10 million in revenue annually. Working in coordination with the Director of Planned Gifts, Major Gifts officers, and other fundraisers, the Senior Development Officer is responsible for the identification, evaluation, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of high-value and long-term planned gift donors and prospects.

This position is based in Earthjustice’s headquarters office in San Francisco, CA.


Leadership and Training (10%)

  • In coordination with the Director of Planned Gifts, develop and co-lead trainings for fundraising staff on a variety of planned gift arrangements, including gifts through wills and living trusts, retirement accounts, life insurance policies, charitable remainder trusts, and charitable gift annuities.
  • Serve as a technical resource and provide expert guidance to fundraising staff, donors, and advisors regarding bequests, charitable gift annuities, and other deferred gift arrangements involving gifts of complex assets such as real estate, stock, mutual funds, personal property, and other non-cash assets.
  • Develop training resources and case studies that demonstrate best practices and share with Planned and Major Gifts staff in weekly meetings and special trainings.
  • Serve as a mentor and trainer to Planned Gifts staff.
  • Serve as a member of non-fundraising organizational or departmental working group or planning committees, as appropriate.

Fundraising (70%)

  • Responsible for the identification, cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of individual planned gift donors and prospects.
  • Working in close partnership with Major Gifts staff and other fundraisers and program staff, develop individualized short- and long-term strategies to deepen relationships with donors and maximize lifetime giving via outright, split-interest, and deferred gifts.
  • Personally solicit donors and prospects for deferred gift commitments, campaign gifts, outright gifts of $35,000 or more, and blended outright-deferred gift arrangements.
  • Develop an annual plan for the donor portfolio including regional giving opportunities; monitor results and, when necessary, modify the annual plan.
  • Establish and maintain regular personalized contact with donors, through in-person visits, phone calls, email, and written materials, meeting activity goals for the portfolio.
  • In coordination with the Individual Gifts Officer, Planned Gifts, manage a robust pipeline of qualified new planned gift donors, ensuring they are appropriately stewarded and cultivated for additional gifts.
  • With the support of the Estates and Planned Gifts Officer, serve as the lead in cultivating, soliciting, and closing new charitable gift annuities through personalized contact and detailed proposals and reports.
  • Guide the creation of gift proposals and split-interest gift agreements to meet the donors’ needs, ensuring alignment with Earthjustice gift acceptance policies and guidelines.
  • Work with donors, their advisors, and financial institutions to explore, evaluate and facilitate acceptable giving opportunities, providing specific, accurate information about benefits and tax & legal implications, as appropriate.
  • Draft personalized correspondence, reports, proposals, and other collateral as needed.
  • Working with event staff, develop and implement donor cultivation and stewardship events.
  • Working with the Director of Planned Gifts, develop strategies, themes, and audiences for mass cultivation, stewardship and marketing efforts, including direct mail, in-house mailings, and e-mail.
  • Provide donors with accurate and timely gift, payment, and taxation information through written correspondence and personal contact.
  • Acknowledge all deferred and significant outright gifts in an appropriate and timely fashion.

Planning, Research and Analysis (20%)

  • Develop and maintain a strong working knowledge of Earthjustice’s programs and issues related to assigned regions; key regional developments as they occur; and national programmatic priorities in order to educate and inform donors and prospects about our mission and work/impact.
  • Analyze donor data to inform the development and review of fundraising portfolios.  
  • In the context of the Planned Gifts team work plan, develop an annual plan for the donor portfolio. Monitor and modify as necessary.
  • Manage all information relating to current planned giving donors and prospects in a manner that emphasizes the highest standards of accuracy, timeliness, and confidentiality.
  • Implement Moves Management strategies for donors and adapt strategies as necessary.
  • Research legacy donors and prospects to qualify and inform donor engagement strategies.
  • Work with the Development Research team to identify high-value prospects and inform cultivation and solicitation strategies.
  • Query and analyze data to measure success of marketing efforts and work plan goals.
  • Keep up to date on tax law, planned giving trends, and advances through attendance at conferences and seminars, active reading of journals and newspapers, and consulting with advisors and other gift planning professionals.
  • Ensure that all aspects of planned gift creation and administration honor the interests of the donor and align with Earthjustice’s policies.
  • Ensure that all aspects of the gift process meet IRS regulations and ethical planned giving standards.
  • Participate in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and program trainings and informational sessions to develop a deeper understanding of Earthjustice’s values and program work.

Essential Qualifications and Attributes

  • Demonstrated successful experience in fundraising required with a minimum of 10 years planned giving experience.
  • Direct experience with prospect identification, portfolio management, relationship building, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship required.
  • Detailed and in-depth knowledge of planned giving and its complexities, including estate planning, tax laws, wills, trusts, and personal finance.
  • Experience using effective interpersonal skills, listening, diplomacy and tact to build strong relationships with donors, financial advisors, donor representatives, volunteers, and all levels of staff.
  • Superior written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex financial and program information clearly and concisely.
  • Capability to manage complex issues creatively, strategically, and effectively.
  • Strong initiative and self-motivation; ability to make sound judgments and independent decisions.
  • Ability to lead, work collaboratively as a member of a team, and work independently.
  • Aptitude for researching and analyzing large groups of data to uncover planned giving prospects.
  • Excellent attention to detail required.
  • Strong research skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple deadlines for a wide variety of projects and to work with grace under pressure.
  • Ability to handle confidential information with discretion.
  • Computer literate - proficient with donor databases (Blackbaud CRM preferred), planned giving software (such as PG Calc Planned Giving Manager), and MS Office Suite. Outlook, Word, Excel required.
  • Interest in environmental and conservation issues desirable.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

Education and/or Experience

Bachelor’s degree required.  JD/CFP or additional course or degree work in the areas of planned giving, financial planning, estate planning, tax planning, legal studies or management would be helpful.

Salary and Benefits

We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive salary package including excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive.  We also offer an extremely congenial work environment and a casual dress code. 

To Apply

Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search.  Please submit your resume and expression of interest to Chris Spagnola, Recruiter at and Jessica Martinez, Recruiter at

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.  As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles: We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.


If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at

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About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.