General Description: This position serves as an internal legal expert and resource to Foundation in the areas of planned giving, trusts and estates, complex charitable gifts, donor and funder agreements and general legal contracts. This is a senior and highly skilled position that operates in a highly collaborative environment, and the individual in this position is expected to lead efforts with unit based and central development professionals, the University of Minnesota’s Office of General Counsel, and UMF leadership. The Director of legal affairs is expected to have an understanding of regulatory rules for charitable giving and the ability to balance honoring donor intent with such regulations as well as University and Foundation policies for charitable gifts.
Areas of Responsibilities:
Gift Law and Related Expertise
Provide guidance to development staff and Foundation leadership for charitable gift law issues, including estate planning, tax law and legal developments affecting charitable giving.
Guide planned giving and University development staff on complex gift issues, including real estate, tangible personal property, closely held business interests, insurance and other non-cash gifts. Manage gift acceptance process, including oversight of due diligence in consultation with outside counsel, and guide communications with donors, advisors, development and other University staff, Gift Acceptance Committee and Office of General Counsel.
Serve as a resource to planned giving and development staff on non-routine gift designation issues, and to finance team on gift and fund agreements, and fund administration issues.
In collaboration with planned giving and finance teams, oversight of life income gift agreements and administration, and decisions on Foundation-owned life insurance policies.
Assist with donor-centered responses to non-routine planned and gift issues.
Serve as liaison with University’s Office of General Counsel on gift issues.
Lead or participate in special development initiatives as assigned.
Estate Gift Administration
Supervise tracking, receipt and administration of all gifts from estates and trusts for all University campuses, colleges and programs, including oversight of communications with estate and trust representatives, and review and response to estate administration documents, including filing of claim forms. In collaboration with planned giving, oversight of communication and reporting to Foundation and University constituents on estate administration issues.
Collaborate with UMF Chief Financial Officer to determine Foundation’s role in estate and trust disputed matters, including selection and oversight of outside counsel.
Collaborate with finance team and University staff to ensure compliance with donor gift designations, including assessment of gift restrictions and guidance on any modification
UMF Trust Administration and Development Legal Services
Collaborate with UMF Chief Financial Officer and UMF’s trust agent, to ensure compliance with trustee fiduciary obligations, including reporting to beneficiaries, recordkeeping, and oversight of investment allocation and performance.
In collaboration with planned giving, responsible for trust agreement and related document preparation, in consultation with outside counsel and trust agent, and for managing communications with trust donors and their advisors in creating and funding trusts.
In collaboration with planned giving, responsible for trust donor and beneficiary relations, including response to all questions and concerns regarding trust administration and investment.
Support of Planned Giving and Development Staff
Support planned giving and other development staff on gift strategies involving estate planning, tax or complex issues, including donor and advisor visits. Consult on principal and other gift strategies including guidance on gift proposals, including principal, planned and complex gifts.
Assist with the Foundation’s professional advisor engagement effort, including review of communications with advisors to share University initiatives and priorities, and participation in advisor meetings.
Collaborate with planned giving on presentations to donors on estate and gift strategies.
General Donor Agreement and Contract Review
Review and advise on various legal documents, including, but not limited to, Memoranda of Understanding (Fund Agreements), gift agreements, grant agreements with funders, confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and vendor agreements including reviewing for cyber security and other concerns, and other UMF Contracts.
Demonstrate commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an equitable and inclusive working and learning environment (exhibit 100% of the time)
Continuous learning in diversity, equity and inclusion for oneself and team via training, podcasts, articles, etc.
Seek to explore and understand cultural differences and create a culture of belonging.
Develop and employ anti-racist practices and principles to accomplish work.
Advocate for employees of all ethnicities, genders, ages and backgrounds
Cultivate and develop inclusive and equitable working relationships with employees, colleagues, stakeholders, etc.
Strive to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace when hiring, promoting, and offering career advancement opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree and ten years of professional experience in planned giving, estate and trust administration, and/or estate planning, and a successful record of performance in the chosen field.
Demonstrated staff and/or leadership experience.
Demonstrated technical expertise in planned giving
Demonstrated relationship management skills; evidence of strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively with groups and organizations
Demonstrated service-orientation; sensitive and responsive to the unique needs and expectations of the audience, using effective follow through to sustain relationships
Demonstrated ability to work on teams, and with a diverse constituency of donors, alumni, non-alumni friends, faculty, corporate and foundation executives, and education leaders
Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in writing and verbally
Demonstrated strong organizational skills, scheduling time and activities effectively and assuming responsibility for necessary actions
Demonstrated excellent writing, editing, research and presentation skills. Excellent attention to detail and demonstrated analytical and problem-solving skills. Demonstrated intermediate level experience using Microsoft Office software, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint and gift planning software, e.g. PG Calc
Law Degree (J.D.)
Management experience including the selection, performance management, and development of staff.
Demonstrated technical expertise in planned giving within higher education
American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Requirements:
Office environment including standing and sitting at desk, use of PC, occasional lifting of approximately 10#.
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.