In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the CGP Board of Directors unanimously voted to present the 2020 CGP Conference entirely online. The safety of our members must be our top priority. Plans are already underway to present a premier online conference using industry-leading technology and the very latest best practices in successful online meetings.

Donor Engagement

We say we're "donor-centric," but would donors agree that their goals are at the heart of our practice? In this track, speakers help you ask better questions, listen more carefully and build relationships that grow into gifts. 

Donor Engagement

Listen Up

Jessie Pridie

In recent years, listening has been called a lost art. While we spend an average of 45 percent of our time listening, it is estimated that less than five percent of the worlds’ population has been trained in listening. I can attest that in my 10-year fundraising career I have received dozens of trainings on storytelling and never a single training on listening. It led me to consider if there is anything to learn on the topic beyond what is commonly practiced. My research has provided a resounding YES. Listening, like any other skill, can be learned and improved through deliberate instruction and practice. In the fundraising profession, especially gift planning, it is our job to draw out our donor’s stories, passions, dreams and financial capabilities. It can be argued that we do this not by crafting the perfect questions, but by listening. In this session I hope to share what I have learned about using active and thoughtful listening to assist our donors in clarifying their own thoughts, ideas and interests about our organization and their philanthropy

Learning Objectives

  • Learn how to circumvent common listening barriers and tricks for staying engaged in long conversations.
  • Learn tricks for increasing retention of important information.
  • Learn ways to practice listening and grow your skills over time.

 

Jessie Pridie

Jessie J. Pridie is a gift planning administrator in the Department of Development at Mayo Clinic, where she helps benefactors achieve their philanthropic goals by identifying strategic, creative and tax-advantaged gift solutions. She also serves as a consultant and educator on complex gift arrangements, coordinates planned giving communications and serves as co-chair of The Mayo Legacy. As a senior member of the team, Jessie provides oversight and analytics for the gift planning program in an effort to maximize efficiency and prepare for long-term growth. Jessie joined Mayo Clinic in 2008 and moved into the Office of Gift Planning in October 2013. She earned her BA in philosophy and theology at the University of Sioux Falls in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and completed her MA in philanthropy and development at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota.

Donor Engagement

Conducting Successful Planned Giving Conversations with Donors and Their Professional Advisors

Steven Schwartz

Fundamental to conducting successful planned gift conversations with donors and their professional advisors is your understanding of the business needs, interests and cultures that influence donor/professional advisor relationships. This session will teach valuable perspectives critical to credibly shaping your interactions and integrating yourself as sustaining member in those relationships. We will, together, illuminate the personal and professional dynamics at play that can create conflict as well as build common ground to achieve opportunities for mutually beneficial philanthropic investments. You will leave this session with a practical template for assessing these dynamics, a framework for preparing your communication approach and alternative solutions for converting difficult conversations into positive feelings and outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  • Delve into the roles of donor, development officer and professional advisor and learn how these perspectives differ and converge and are driven by needs, interests and cultural frameworks unique to each role.
  • Learn how to speak credibly to professional advisors about the philanthropic organization's mission and value to the donor's personal goals and interests while addressing the advisor's concerns.
  • Receive an investigative and communication template that will guide successful planned giving solicitation outcomes with donors and their professional advisors

 

Steven Schwartz

Steve Schwartz's passion for working in the philanthropic arena arises from his commitment to improve individual quality of life and building engaged communities. Learning lessons from his roles as a lawyer, mediator, university law and business school professor, fundraising professional, donor, parent, husband and sailor, his life’s latest iteration is as a nonprofit strategist. In this capacity, he helps nonprofits build their fundraising programs and strategies to achieve sustainable success. He helps organizations to hone their understanding of donor and professional advisor roles and perspectives and to communicate the organization’s mission more successfully. He also works with their boards to become strong mission advocates and fundraising champions. Steve is often called upon to work directly with donors and their professional advisors in selecting techniques that fulfill their desire to do good in the world while doing well for themselves.

Donor Engagement

Solicitation Preparation: The Keys to a Successful Ask

Anne Melvin

Solicitation is like painting: success or failure hinges on the prep work you do in advance of the all-critical ask conversation. You’ll learn common traps fundraisers tend to fall into based on hundreds of solicitations and be able to recognize and avoid them. We’ll explore the different paths an ask can take so you’ll know how to handle each one, and we’ll teach you multiple ways to handle prospect resistance, so you can help turn a prospect into a donor. Learn how to target key leverage points in your prospect that will allow them to say ‘yes’ more easily. When you’re prepared properly, you will have done everything you can to set up a successful ask.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn common psychological traps a fundraiser may tend to fall into so you can sidestep them in upcoming solicitation conversations.
  • Understand the different ‘vectors’ or ways a solicitation can go so you can prepare for them in advance
  • Learn how to overcome objections to the ask.

 

Anne Melvin

Anne Melvin has worked as both a volunteer and a professional in the field of development for the past 26 years. At Harvard University, she has run the gamut of development teams in various Harvard entities since 1994, including the annual fund, major gifts, stewardship and gift planning. For the past six years, Anne has directed learning and development at Harvard’s central fundraising office. Anne speaks regularly around the country to professional development organizations specializing in donor motivation, gift solicitation and other topics critical for successful frontline work. She trains nonprofit development staff nationwide through her private practice, Dynamic Fundraising Training, LLC. Anne currently serves on the board of Ethiopia Education Initiatives, Inc., and the Columbus Beach Club, and she enjoys a ‘busman's holiday’ fundraising for her alma mater in Massachusetts and Little Traverse Conservancy in Michigan. Prior to joining Harvard, Anne practiced real estate law in the Boston area. She is a cum laude graduate of Williams College and holds a JD from the Boston University School of Law.

Donor Engagement

7 Keys to Donor-Centric Relationships

Elizabeth Ayers and Cathy Sheffield

We should never forget the basic rules of life, how to treat people in a kind, caring way and how to live our lives with integrity. This highly engaging presentation based on Robert Fulghum's best-selling book, a chance meeting with Jim Lehrer, and the relationships we have built with our donors will take a funny, insightful and heartwarming look at donor-centric stewardship best practices. Using stories and engaging the audience, the presenters, who have over 40 years’ combined gift planning experience, will share 7 Keys to being the best possible donor-centered gift planner ever!

Learning Objectives

  • Understand that being donor-centric and organizational-centric are not mutually exclusive and a win-win balance is possible.
  • Focus on the needs of donors regardless of the internal noise and challenges within the organization.
  • Through the use of stories, become better equipped to navigate minefields and recognize and evaluate donor experiences to ensure a more satisfying donor experience.

 

Elizabeth Ayers

Elizabeth Ayers is the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She served on the Board of National Association of Charitable Gift Planners from 2015 through 2017 and was the Conference Chair for NCPP 2017 in Baltimore. An enthusiastic advocate for gift planning metrics and standards, she has served on the national task force for gift planning metrics. She is also a member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council and served on its Board from 2013 through 2016. Elizabeth has presented on various charitable topics at local and national conferences including PPP, NCPGC, AAMC, Wealth Counsel, the North Carolina Community College Fundraisers’ state conference and AFP North Carolina state conference. She also served as one of the keynote speakers at Crescendo’s annual Practical Planned Giving Conference in Orlando. She has practiced law in the areas of estate and charitable planning and civil litigation. She holds a JD from Capital University, MM from Ohio University, and a BM from Wittenberg University.

Cathy Sheffield

Cathy R. Sheffield, CAP®, CFRE, CSPG, FCEP is on a mission to help nonprofits raise more planned and major gifts. Cathy is a nationally recognized planned giving thought leader with 25-years in healthcare and higher education. From the moment you meet Cathy, you will recognize her enthusiasm for her work, appreciate her collaborative method for achieving results for both donors and nonprofit organizations alike and welcome her sense of humor. Cathy serves on the American Council on Gift Annuities Board of Directors, is the current President of the Fort Worth Metro Chapter of AFP and was the 2017 Board Chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. Cathy is a faculty member of the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies, which administers the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving designation program. Cathy is a member of the Lone Star Council and the Dallas Council of Charitable Gift Planners. Cathy received her MBA from Texas Christian University and her undergraduate degree from North Dakota State University.

Donor Engagement

Long-Distance Relationships: What to Do When You Can’t Travel

Jennifer Winnett Denniston

Planned giving is a relationship business, and that doesn’t stop when a donor commits to a bequest intention. With an average of twenty years between the time a donor makes a revocable bequest commitment and the time the gift matures, there is a lot of opportunity for a donor to fall OUT of love with your charity if the relationship isn’t managed properly. At the same time, gift planners are under constant pressure to keep the budget under control and to dedicate what budget they have to acquiring new bequest intentions--all with very little staff! How do you maintain a connection with your committed bequest donors when you don’t have the budget to visit them or the time to call them regularly? This session will explain how to build a robust stewardship program that is low-cost and low-lift for your organization and high-impact for your donors.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify a planned giving stewardship cohort from the existing donor list.
  • Design a stewardship program that reaches all planned giving donors consistently with a base number of contacts per year.
  • Develop print and electronic materials to support a year-round planned giving stewardship program.

 

Jennifer Winnett Denniston

Jennifer Winnett Denniston has dedicated more than two decades to working with clients in the areas of banking, investment and retirement planning, and estate planning. Jennifer found her professional passion in philanthropy, though, when she became the Director of Gift Planning at her alma mater, Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, in 2012. She currently serves as the Director of Planned Giving at Plan International USA, a post she has held since 2015. She is blessed each day to work with individuals across the nation who share her commitment to empower girls to realize their full potential in communities where they are safe, educated and economically empowered. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in political science and mass communication from Saint Mary’s College and her master’s degree in business management from Indiana Wesleyan University. She received her law degree with a concentration in taxation from the Indiana University Mauer School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Indiana.

Donor Engagement

The Darker Side of Gift Planning: Dealing with Questions of Diminished Capacity, Undue Influence and Conflicts of Interest

Stacey McKinley

Gift planning professionals understand that high ethical standards are expected of us and our organizations. Unfortunately, we occasionally face situations that make us question the best course of action for ourselves as professionals, as well as for the donor and our charitable organization. These situations may involve a donor's diminished capacity, undue influence and conflicts of interest. Courts and professional organizations have provided some guidance on these issues. This session will encourage participants to discuss their experiences with these uncomfortable situations and share solutions and best practices.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify situations involving donors and diminished capacity and undue influence and learn to resolve these issues.
  • Learn what courts have stated about charities, development officers and accusations of undue influence.
  • Learn how gift planning peers have responded to issues relating to conflicts of interest, diministed capacity and undue influence.

 

Stacey McKinley

Stacey McKinley has served as Director, Gift Planning at Cleveland Clinic from April 2016 to present. She was previously Associate Director, Gift Planning, at Cleveland Clinic from May 2007 to July 2010. Past positions include Director of Planned Giving at Cleveland State University and Senior Manager of Strategic Gifts at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, teaching Non Profit Corporations. Stacey is a former board member and past president of the Northern Ohio Charitable Gift Planners. She graduated summa cum laude from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1997. She was inducted into the CM Law Hall of Fame in October 2019. Before her transition to a career in gift planning, Stacey practiced law for several years specializing in mergers and acquisitions, finance and real estate.

This conference teaches me how to talk to my donors and gives me the technical behind the scenes skills that give me the confidence in front of smart people who have smart goals for their philanthropy.
CGP Conference
October 7-9, 2020
Presented Online
Register Now