Department: Alumni Relations & Development Salary/Grade: EXS/6
The Gift Acceptance and Fund Management team, within Alumni Relations and Development (ARD), develops, implements, and directs many aspects of gift acceptance and fund management necessary to honor our donors’ intentions and further Northwestern’s mission. In our work, we manage all aspects of the gift agreement lifecycle and oversee key processes related to fund utilization and the compliant spending of private gifts to the University.
The Assistant Director position will work closely with development colleagues within ARD and will be directly involved in drafting and negotiating gift agreements to support the goals of the University. This position will help evaluate proposed gift terms, research complex questions, identify potential risks, and ensure compliance with University policies, procedures, and regulatory requirements. Through their work, the Assistant Director will maintain consistency in the University’s processes related to gift agreements, and work to improve the overall quality and efficiency of our review, tracking, and reporting practices. This position will also support key aspects of the management of restricted and designated funds to ensure donor intent is honored now, and over time.
Administers current business policies and practices related to Gift Acceptance and Fund Management’s work.
Identifies opportunities to apply efficient and effective business practices to improve our workflow management, streamline the gift agreement approval processes, and capture, report on, and analyze related data.
Recommends changes and improvements to strategies to better meet client needs and leadership objectives.
Develops and maintains strong and collaborative relationships with internal ARD colleagues and campus partners to support and optimize fundraising strategies, including:
Fundraisers for Schools/Units and Central Teams
Gift and Record Services
Office of General Counsel
Budget and Planning
Prospects & Gifts
Directly supports all aspects of the gift agreement process, including reviewing gift proposals, drafting gift agreements, collecting input from key University stakeholders, troubleshooting complex gifts, and developing reference materials.
Assists with continuous improvement projects within ARD related to the development and maintenance of standard gift agreement terms and templates, as well as related tools and processes.
Manages key aspects related to the new fund setup workflow, including facilitating steps to initiate the process and follow up.
Researches and examines historical gift documents and files to evaluate donor intent and advise key stakeholders on the viability of proposed alternate or expanded uses, and associated risk factors.
Serves as a knowledge partner for development colleagues to support an understanding of policies and regulations related to charitable gifts, and ensures clear guidance regarding the same.
Recognizes competing legal and business interests in agreement negotiations and provides thoughtful, risk-balanced solutions.
Develops and implements strategies and processes to ensure donor fund integrity by monitoring various aspects of restricted funds and analyzing systems and reports to confirm fund usage aligns with donor intent.
Benchmarks best practices across the industry.
Manages/organizes agreements within the document management system (OnBase).
Collaborates with internal ARD partners on system/resource/application development and enhancements related to gift agreements and/or fund management.
Responds to inquiries regarding the agreement review and signature execution process (DocuSign), and work with team members to develop and implement trainings and/or resources on related best practices and procedures.
Ensures gift agreement and fund management related policies and processes are documented and that such documentation is kept current.
Develops plans and arranges meetings and workshops, etc. designed to exchange information about gift agreement and fund management processes.
Develops and implement process changes as needed to improve workflow, productivity, and quality of work product.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
2+ years of professional experience in business, law, fundraising, or a related field, leading to superior writing, drafting, proofreading, and analytical skills, and a working knowledge of financial operations, internal controls, and legal/business drafting
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
Track record of professionalism, with strong communication skills and an ability to work with and support a wide range of constituents, e.g., clients, customers, teams, and donors.
Ability to analyze data, identify trends, and support with setting priorities, and developing and implementing strategies with increasing complexity.
Ability to manage and deliver on a diverse and complex workload while maintaining priorities and proactively anticipating issues; particularly in a fast-paced setting.
Evidence as a self-starter who can work independently, as well as be a team contributor in a complex and fast-paced organization.
Demonstrated ability to perform complex electronic research, legal, or otherwise.
Takes practical action to deal with a problem or situation.
Writes and speaks clearly and concisely, taking into consideration different audiences and attention spans to achieve specific objectives.
Always looks for ways to improve process; gain efficiencies; and better serve partners, clients, and colleagues.
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing excellent customer service.
Identifies when there may be a problem and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and recommend solutions.
Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Expert in using technology to streamline processes, with a specific experience in Microsoft products, document management systems, and CRMs.
Very detail-oriented, organized, and highly motivated.
Manages confidential information with professionalism and unquestionable integrity
Experience or graduate-level coursework in any of the following fields: law, tax, accounting, library studies, nonprofit administration, and/ or finance.
Proven ability to interact and build positive relationships with team members, clients, donors, staff at all levels.
Capacity to figure out how to do something rather than be told the answer.
Knowledge, or interest in gaining knowledge, of charitable giving techniques and vehicles.
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
Ability to work independently to implement initiatives.
Ability to collaborate appropriately and respectfully.
Commitment to the highest ethical standards.
Comfortable with shifting priorities and switching gears frequently.
Deep technical and business knowledge on a wide range of topics, including, but not limited to: the administration of gifts and endowments, federal laws and financial and tax regulations impacting gift agreements (e.g., Title VI, Title IX, UPMIFA, FASB), University policies and procedures, and related topics.
Strong reporting and modeling skills to analyze statistical data to identify and report on trends and operating metrics central to the gift agreement and endowment processes.
Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.
Internal Number: 40201
About Northwestern University
Northwestern University is a major private research university with 12 academic divisions located on three campuses in Evanston, Chicago, and Education City in Doha, Qatar. We have approximately 2,500 full-time faculty members, 17,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and over 5,700 full and part-time staff. Northwestern University combines innovative teaching and pioneering research in a highly collaborative environment. It provides students and faculty exceptional opportunities for intellectual, personal and professional growth.