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Director of Planned Giving

Director of Planned Giving

The Cato Institute is seeking applications for a full-time position located in DC as a Director of Planned Giving to grow its already established and thriving estate giving program. The Director will oversee all aspects of Cato’s “Legacy Society” program of Sponsors who name Cato in their estates. This is a tremendous opportunity to work with extremely successful people on one of the largest and most impactful philanthropic decision of their lives: what legacy do they wish to leave to future generations? Estate giving represents approximately 10 percent of Cato’s annual revenues.

Company Overview:

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization—a think tank—dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.

Founded in 1977, Cato owes its name to Cato’s Letters, a series of essays published in 18th- century England that presented a vision of society free from excessive government power. Those essays inspired the architects of the American Revolution. And the simple, timeless principles of that revolution — individual liberty, limited government, and free markets – turn out to be even more powerful in today’s world of global markets and unprecedented access to information than Jefferson or Madison could have imagined. Social and economic freedom is not just the best policy for a free people, it is the indispensable framework for the future. Cato Institute is an EOE.


  • Actively manage a portfolio of current and potential Legacy Society members.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to grow Cato’s Legacy Society program, including adding tiers of recognition within the program.
  • Collaborate with other Cato fundraisers to ask for estate gifts, when appropriate for the relationship.
  • Provide technical support to Cato Sponsors and Sponsors' professional advisors to formulate and implement gift plans consistent with donors' overall tax, estate planning, and financial goals.
  • Serve as a principal contact with administrators, personal representatives, executors, trustees, professional advisors, and service providers with respect to estates and trusts.  
  • Lead all planned giving marketing efforts, in coordination with Cato’s marketing and communications departments.


  • A minimal five years of successful fundraising or equivalent experience in estate planning, trust and estate management, charitable giving tax law, or other directly related fields
  • A strong understanding of planned giving vehicles and estate planning, outstanding communication and interpersonal skills
  • An entrepreneurial spirit
  • Strong writing capability
  • The ability to balance shifting and competing priorities
  • A willingness to travel to visit with current and potential Legacy Society members
  • The discipline to keep meticulous records
  • Candidates must have a strong affinity for public policy and Cato’s mission
  • Knowledge of “moves management” is a plus
  • Compensation package will be competitive for a director-level nonprofit position in the Washington, DC area and commensurate with experience.

We will invite strong candidates to complete a series of challenges before we schedule interviews. No phone calls, please.


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