OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU Foundation hires veteran VP for principal gifts, gift planning

11/28/2012

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jeff Comfort, executive director of principal and planned gifts at Georgetown University, has been named the vice president of principal gifts and gift planning at the Oregon State University Foundation, effective Jan. 1.

Comfort will provide strategic leadership to the OSU Foundation’s gift planning program and oversee the staff that assists donors in making deferred, assets-based or complex gifts to the university, according to Shawn L. Scoville, senior vice president of development and campaign director. 

“Oregon State is a great fit for me and my family,” said Comfort. “OSU is so clearly an amazing place. My wife, Paula, and I could not be more excited about joining the OSU community and development team.

“Oregon State enjoys tremendous support from a generous donor community that understands the value of gift planning,” Comfort added. “I am eager to help donors find their passion and assist them in developing meaningful and financially sound giving opportunities.”

Comfort spent 17 years at Georgetown, where he oversaw university-wide gift planning efforts resulting in approximately $500 million of gift commitments and receipts in his tenure. Before arriving at Georgetown in 1995, he spent 11 years in Denver directing the gift planning program for the National Jewish Medical and Research Center.

Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the OSU Foundation, stressed the significance of bringing someone of Comfort’s experience to the foundation in the final years of the $1 billion Campaign for OSU.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to have Jeff joining our team,” said Goodwin, who, with Scoville, worked alongside Comfort at Georgetown eight years ago. “Jeff is an accomplished and dynamic leader who does a remarkable job of matching donor interests with an institution’s greatest needs.

“As we prepare for the campaign’s conclusion and the years that follow, Jeff’s track record in securing high-value naming gifts will help us continue to build the momentum that is advancing Oregon State’s research and teaching mission in ways that once seemed impossible.”

As a volunteer leader of the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning), Comfort served as president and chair of the 10th National Conference on Planned Giving and was a member of the NCPG board of directors for five years. Additionally, he was a member of the ethics committee and chaired the task force on gift valuation.

Comfort is replacing Dan Peterson who recently, after more than four years of service, accepted a position as vice chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the University of Illinois. Comfort earned his bachelor’s degree in non-profit development administration from Metropolitan State College of Denver.