Program Administration and Management

Accepting Complex Gifts of Real Estate: A Builder's Guide

Jonelle Beck and Sheila Hard

Thursday, October 18, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Our Real Estate Gift Acceptance Procedure Manual was born out of necessity. This workshop will cover each phase of the acceptance process using examples from the recent gift of a retained estate for a term of years. We will take participants step by step from the beginning (initial donor interaction or proposal) through the “finish-line” (recording the deed and beyond). Phase one, the introduction, will cover how to have and document clear and consistent communication with the donor throughout the entire transaction; phase two will define due diligence and explain the importance of receiving conditional acceptance from leadership; and the final phase explains how to successfully close the real estate gift. Significant focus will be given to the importance of continuous donor communication, the gathering of key information and documents using templates, the importance of due diligence including utilizing real estate professionals such as brokers, title companies and appraisers, as well as how to create an organizational work-flow chart and template documents.

Learning Objectives

  1. Phase I – Participants will understand why consistent and clear communication with the donor regarding expectations and anticipated outcomes for real estate gift is critical.
  2. Phase II– Participants will learn the importance of vetting the potential gift of real estate, performing due diligence and obtaining the conditional acceptance from leadership.
  3. Phase III – Participants will learn how to successfully close a real estate gift and how to administer the post-acceptance process.


CFRE: Approved for 1 point  

CFP: Approved for 1 point  

CAP: Approved for 1 hour CE Credit

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Jonelle Beck


Jonelle serves as Executive Director of Estate & Gift Planning and Assistant General Counsel for Trusts and Estates at University of the Pacific. In her role as Executive Director, she oversees the planned giving department supporting three University campuses—Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. Her team uses complex trusts and real estate gift structures to secure long-term gifts for the University. In her role as Assistant General Counsel for Trusts and Estates, she manages open estate, trust and probate matters where the University is trustee and/or beneficiary.

Jonelle's previous experience includes 17 years in private practice handling estate planning, business and real estate matters. Jonelle has over 19 years of real estate experience and held a California Broker's License until 2013. In addition to the San Joaquin County Bar Association, Jonelle is a member of the State Bar of California, San Joaquin Estate Planning Council and the Planned Giving Forum of Greater Sacramento. She received her J.D. from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 2000 and was admitted to the Order of Barristers that same year. Originally from Stockton, Jonelle is enjoying being back in her hometown with her husband and two children.

Sheila Hard


Sheila A. Hard has over 30 years’ experience in charitable gift planning. She began her career in the University of California system-wide Office of Development Policy and Administration, where she edited a policy and procedures manual. Her fundraising positions have included Associate Director of Planned Giving for UC Berkeley; Executive Director of the Episcopal Foundation of Northern California; Director of Planned Giving at California State University, Sacramento; and Director of Gift Planning at the University of New Mexico Foundation. She currently serves part-time as Senior Planned Giving Officer at the University of the Pacific (UoP). Sheila received her J.D. from UoP’s McGeorge School of Law in 2009. While in law school she served as a consultant and wrote and produced an e-bulletin aimed primarily at professional advisors.