Employment Opportunity

Director of Individual and Planned Giving

Cambridge, MA

Reporting to the Chief Advancement Officer, the Director of Individual and Planned Giving plays a significant role in meeting the goal of increasing the number of major and planned gifts for the Academy.  A newly-envisioned role, the Director will bear primary responsibility for developing a new planned giving program within an established development department.  This will include setting program goals and objectives, developing working relationships with relevant planned giving organizations, and integrating a planned giving effort with the existing goals and business practices of the Academy.  The Director will cultivate a portfolio of planned gift prospects, and help to develop strategies for presidential development work.

The Director of Individual and Planned Giving upholds and advances the mission and values of the American Academy. The Academy is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion and looks to all its staff members to foster and promote its values. 

Due to COVID-19, the Academy is currently operating remotely through June 2021, after which time, the position will be based at the Academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts


  • Work with CAO to set annual goals, objectives, operating plan, and budget for major and planned giving areas.
  • Identify, cultivate and solicit major and planned giving prospects.
  • Prepare Academy president and other volunteers for success in development-focused relationships.
  • Serve as a trusted resource to donors regarding multiple planned giving vehicles.
  • Working with back-end partners, manage planned giving products and estate settlement issues; act as a resource and liaison with the Academy’s COO and legal counsel where rights are in question.
  • Manage highly confidential financial disclosures and ensure discretion for all prospects and donors.
  • Working with Membership Engagement team, leverage Academy events for effective cultivation and stewardship of prospects and donors.
  • Serve as a strategic resource for Academy colleagues, the CAO and the President. Provide technical expertise, trainings on planned giving vehicles, talking points and proposals to generate more legacy giving;
  • This position will benefit from the assistance of the department’s development associate; assist with education and mentorship of that role.


  • Bachelor’s degree, 8 years of experience in philanthropy;
  • Planned Giving experience a must, legal and financial experience preferred.
  • Proven ability to generate gifts up to $1,000,000+, and deep knowledge of planned giving vehicles, IRS regulations, estate planning and investment strategies.
  • Demonstrated success in donor relations;
  • Strong organizational skills and detail management;
  • Excellent oral presentation and written communication skills;
  • Ability to work with a variety of constituencies and Academy staff.
  • Ability to handle sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to work closely with legal professionals and with complicated instruments.

Commitment to Diversity

The American Academy is committed to the diversity of its staff and membership. As a scholarly organization and research center, the Academy recognizes that diversity of thought, class, experience, sex, gender, race, physical or mental ability, age, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation is a value to uphold and is central to the mission and work of the organization. A more pluralistic staff embracing diversity of thought, approach and life experience fosters a more nuanced understanding of contemporary issues facing the nation and the world. Working together in a climate of respect and openness models the civil discourse that is fundamental to the work of the Academy.

About the Academy:

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious scholarly organizations, founded during the American Revolution by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other leaders who contributed prominently to the establishment of the new nation.

The Academy membership encompasses over 5,600 members and reflects the full range of disciplines and professions: math and physical sciences, biological sciences, the social sciences, humanities and the arts, journalism, business and philanthropic leaders, educational, scientific, and cultural administrators as well as public affairs and public policy.

In its third century, the Academy continues to mobilize the intellectual resources needed to anticipate, examine, and confront the critical challenges facing our society. Recent projects have focused on such challenges to America as the changing nature and needs of higher education, the federal funding of science, the well-being of the humanities in the United States and their central role in the vitality of our cultural life, and the global nuclear future.