University of Chicago - Director, Gift Acceptance & Agreements

  • 09/06/2017 1:21 PM
    Message # 5066181

    The University of Chicago Campaign: Inquiry and Impact (, the most ambitious and comprehensive campaign in the University's history, will raise $5 billion to support faculty and researchers, practitioners and patients, and students and programs across the University. Launched in October 2014, the campaign supports priorities in every division, school, department, and institute, and aims to engage 125,000 alumni and friends over its five-year duration.

    Please note: This role is located in Harper Court at 5235 S Harper Court - the corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park. For more information:

    Director, Gift Acceptance & Agreements:

    Serve as the University's primary resource in maintaining gift acceptance policy, drafting gift agreements including letters of gift or pledges, letters of intention, letters of direction and amendments. Ensure gift acceptance is compliant with University policy, federal law, state laws and IRS regulations.  

    Unit Job Summary

    Produce, review and approve gift agreements university-wide. Draft clear and concise documents that balance the interests of donors and the University and memorialize the mutual commitments and obligations of both parties. Consult, negotiate and collaborate with fundraisers, donors and their advisors to ensure gifts are successful and compliant. Advise fundraisers and Alumni Relations & Development (ARD) leadership. Provide strategic recommendations on matters of exceptions and unique cases. Maintain a deep understanding of a wide range of technical, legal and operational issues surrounding gift agreements, including gift administration, accounting, federal laws, financial and tax regulations plus University policies and procedures. Maintain a holistic approach with organizational and institutional priorities.

    Manage and oversee the gift agreement process from beginning to end, which includes intake of pledge information. Manage Vice President and leadership review and approval processes. Route gift documentation for Vice President's and President's signatures as applicable. Distribute documents to internal and University partners. Ensure gift agreements are recorded properly and reflected in the University's alumni and donor management system. Ensure proper filing and archiving of all documentation.

    Develop, manage and maintain a comprehensive database of templates, sample language and exceptions. Preserve drafts and correspondence relevant to important gift agreements. Maintain confidentiality and discretion with respect to sensitive gift-related matters including anonymity requests. Research, access and analyze historical gift documents and files to interpret and evaluate donor intent and advise key University stakeholders on use of the gift. Interact with Office of Legal Counsel, Financial Services and other departments outside ARD appropriately and effectively.

    Participate and lead cross-department committees within ARD and across the University to address difficult questions, spot issues, benchmark and develop best practices. Participate and consult on recording process into alumni and donor management system. Analyze and report on data relating to gift agreement management to demonstrate value added, efficiency and client satisfaction. Research and keep apprised of best practices, peer practice, industry trends, legal rules and economic conditions that affect gift agreements. Identify opportunities and make recommendations to improve gift consultation and documentation services.

    Serve as an expert on ARD gift acceptance and counting policies, in particular those that pertain to pledge acceptance and gift documentation requirements, as well as industry counting and documentation standards (CASE). Respond to questions, requests for policy determinations and requests for policy exceptions. Update and amend the policy when needed. Summarize, prepare and present policy questions to University leadership, including the Board of Trustees, when leadership or Board-level consideration or approval is needed. Advise and make recommendations to ARD leadership on policy questions.

    Understand the requirements for the acceptance of gifts from international donors as it relates to gift documentation and guide fundraisers in fulfilling requirements.

    May hire, manage, evaluate, develop and terminate staff as needed and as assigned. Monitor and manage budget items. Address budget variances as they occur.

    Perform other duties as assigned. Seek opportunities for professional development that will enhance job performance, including building networks within the University and with colleagues at peer institutions.  


    Bachelor's degree or higher required.  


    A minimum of five years of professional work experience in law, legal writing, tax, accounting, finance, gift administration, nonprofit operations or similar professional work experience required.
    A minimum of three years of leading a project team or managing staff required.

    A minimum of one year of experience developing and monitoring budgets preferred.  

    Last modified: 09/06/2017 1:22 PM | Denise Gans

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