Collaboration Lab

If You Build It They Will Commit: Mining Your Loyal Donor Pool for Bequest Fundraising and More

Liz Thompson and Aleksandra Stankovic

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.

Intermediate

Donor loyalty is one of the highest indicators of planned gift likelihood, but rarely have organizations had an opportunity to test and quantify this at scale. What can face-to-face engagement look like for donors who have been supporting your organization for decades at $25 or $50 per year? The Nature Conservancy created the Loyal Donor Program in 2017 to realize opportunity in both outright and deferred giving by creating personal connections with long-time donors. This ground-breaking program uses a specific outreach framework and metrics to steward, cultivate and solicit loyal donors in order to raise bequests and identify complex gift leads. Join us as we share our methods, results and lessons learned along the way!

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the opportunity that lies with loyal donor stewardship, cultivation and solicitation.
  2. Envision how loyal donor outreach could be implemented for your own organization.
  3. Communicate about the urgency and value of investing in loyal donor engagement.

 

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Liz Thompson

Director, Loyal Donor Program - THE NATURE CONSERVANCY

Liz Thompson is the Director of The Loyal Donor Program at The Nature Conservancy and has been with the organization for 8 years. Liz’s previous experience at the Conservancy includes serving as Director of Planning & Operations and as a project manager, both in Gift Planning. Prior to coming to the Conservancy, Liz managed conservation land acquisition, event planning, and community relations as a project manager for Alachua Conservation Trust, a regional land trust in Gainesville, Florida. She has an MA and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Florida. Liz currently lives with her family in Olympia, Washington, and her team is located in more than 15 states across the U.S.

Aleksandra Stankovic

Associate Director, Loyal Donor Program - The Nature Conservancy

Aleksandra Stankovic is an Associate Director of the Loyal Donor Program at The Nature Conservancy. Aleks’ 18-year tenure with the Conservancy includes raising funds for Caribbean, Central America and Mexico conservation programs, leading the organization’s fundraising goal setting process, and providing guidelines, reports, and consulting to support management of fundraising teams and donor portfolios. Aleks' fundraising experience at the Conservancy and prior organizations includes major gift fundraising, capital campaigns, corporate/foundation relations, working with board members and direct mail. Aleks lives in Arlington, Virginia, and manages 8 fundraisers throughout the U.S.

 

Collaboration Lab

Best Practices: Support From the Top

Laura Dean

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.

Advanced

CALLING ALL EXPERIENCED CHARITABLE GIFT PLANNING PROGRAM MANAGERS AT CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS!! What do you want your current or next boss to understand about gift planning programs, officers and donors? For years we’ve heard that too many boards of directors, president/CEOs, VPs for development, and others to whom gift planning managers report just don’t understand what is needed for gift planning success in the long term. Let’s discuss the types of support and perspectives needed from those at the top of charitable organizations in a best practices workshop. The session will begin with an overview of issues and challenges and then will move to small group discussions to outline specific best practices. After the conference, all of the suggested best practices will be shared with the workshop attendees for review and ranking. The final product will be shared with CGP’s Leadership Institute for a future white paper on best practices.

Learning Objectives

  1. Best practices to share with your supervisor about essential support needed from the top of the organization  for a long-term successful program.
  2. Best practices to share with your supervisor about working with charitable gift planning donors.
  3. Best practices about how to keep your supervisor up-to-date on new research on philanthropy and charitable gift planning.

 

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Laura Dean

Laura Hansen Dean & Associates

An NACGP Hall of Fame inductee (2018) in her 39th year of gift planning, Laura Hansen Dean has led gift planning teams at the University of Texas/Austin and the University of Colorado and at community foundations and academic centers on philanthropy. She has served as chief executive officer of two publicly-supported foundations, and as consultant for multi-year grants funded by some of the country’s largest private foundations. As a national consultant, Laura helped a wide variety of charitable organizations including community foundations, cultural organizations, private and public institutions of higher education, historic preservation organizations, hospitals and healthcare organizations, human service organizations, religious orders and organizations, and retirement communities. She assisted these organizations in designing and implementing gift planning programs; structuring, soliciting, closing and managing complex gifts; and in the management of charitable organizations and foundations. Laura’s total complex and planned gifts closed now exceeds $1 billion.

Collaboration Lab

Drafting the Future: Applying Findings from the 2019 Summit on Philanthropy and Dementia

Robert Hofmann

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Intermediate

Nonprofit organizations are at risk of litigation and loss of reputation if they don’t have written policies and procedures for working with adults who are suffering cognitive impairment due the onset of dementia and its common form - Alzheimer's Disease. A panel of charitable gift planning professionals who led a summit on philanthropy and dementia will present findings from this summit. Together, we will explore issues that arise as dementia is increasing among a growing population of active elderly philanthropist who are retaining their wealth for philanthropic purposes. Attendees will form teams to review summit findings and draft policy statements that answer the question: How does our institution balance the risks and rewards of seeking philanthropic support from a population that is at risk of cognitive impairment?

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will learn from research that shows elderly Americans are retaining more wealth while engaging in active philanthropy well into their eighties and longer.  As dementia increasingly impacts this population, the dangers of unintended consequences that may result in litigation also increase.
  2. Attendees will understand the clear need for industry-wide policies, procedures and best practices to protect vulnerable adults as well as professional fundraisers and the institutions they represent
  3. Attendees will apply the findings a 2019 Summit on Philanthropy and Dementia for their institutions. Copies of the Summit draft policy, along with an example of an existing institutional policy, will provide a framework for the exercise.

 

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Robert Hofmann

Senior Development Officer, University of Minnesota Duluth School of Fine Arts

Robert Hofmann is a native of the Twin Cities. For the past twelve years, Mr. Hofmann has worked at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) as Senior Development Officer with the UMD School of Fine Arts. At UMD, he has helped to raise more than $20 M for student scholarships and programs. He is one of only 5,000 worldwide Certified Fund Raising Executives (CFRE), an internationally recognized credential within the fundraising profession. Mr. Hofmann serves on the board of directors of the Depot Foundation in Duluth, MN, a six million dollar grant making charitable organization, where he is immediate past chair. Before coming to UMD, Mr. Hofmann was involved in tall ships maritime education from 1997 through 2006 as executive director of the Providence Maritime Heritage Foundation that operated the tall ship Continental Sloop Providence. Hofmann was pivotal in spearheading the Foundations development and delivery of exceptional shipboard education programs that were recognized as a model partnership with Providence, RI, Public Schools by Cambridge, MA based Abt Associates in 2002. While executive director he successfully negotiated with the Walt Disney Co. to have his vessel and crew appear in two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hofmann worked in Boston, Minneapolis and elsewhere as a professional actor appearing on stage and screen. He remains a proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. He appeared as a guest Equity artist in Duluth Playhouse production of Good People in January of 2014.

Collaboration Lab

Talking About Death: Planned Giving & End of Life Planning

Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

Intermediate

Let’s be honest. We actively avoid talking about death. At the same time, most planned gifts are focused on unlocking charitable resources only after our donors’ lives end. Today, especially with our aging Baby-Boomer generation, death is moving out of the shadows as people take control in shaping the ending to their life story. In considering what to do with the resources they have built over a lifetime and how those resources can continue what they most care about, donors are inviting deeper conversations resulting in meaningful charitable legacies. But we need to do better at talking about death. This session will offer insights into the growing movement to support people in charting their own end-of-life journey. Good news: this session will be lively and mixed with humor as we learn skills and approaches then practice them with our peers in small group scenarios and open discussion.

Learning Objectives

  1. Increase skills and comfort level when planning gifts in the midst of conversations about death and dying.
  2. Better counsel donors, their families and their advisors in planning meaningful legacies that embody and empower donor values while supporting charity priorities.
  3. Deepen understanding of how planned giving integrates with the range of end-of-life planning considerations.

 

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Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

Planned Giving Advisor, Compassion & Choices

Kimberley Pittman-Schulz is stunned to realize she has 30+ years’ experience in charitable gift planning, nonprofit program leadership and advising individuals from all walks of life who want change the world through their philanthropy. She currently serves as Planned Giving Advisor for Compassion & Choices, a national nonprofit and advocacy organization that improves care, expands options and empowers everyone to chart their own end-of-life journey. She previously served as Executive Director of Philanthropy as well as Director of Planned Giving for Humboldt State University, where social justice and environmental responsibility are core to students’ learning. Prior to that appointment, she was a Development Team Leader and Philanthropy & Planned Giving Advisor for ChildFund International, working in 31 countries to help communities create better lives for vulnerable and impoverished children. She’s held additional roles as a community foundation CEO and helped donors make major and planned gifts in the fields of Alaska conservation, human services and veterinary medicine. She volunteers with Hospice of Humboldt, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Humboldt State University, CASA of Humboldt, the Humboldt Breast and GYN Program, the University of Washington Coastal Observation and Seabird Study Team (COASST), and is a member of WE Rotary, a virtual Rotary Club, with members around the country and the globe, focusing on peace-building initiatives. A poet and creative nonfiction writer, a hiker, and a sea-kayaker, she lives with her wildlife-biologist husband and calico along Northern California’s redwood coast.

Collaboration Lab

Comprehensive Capital Campaigns at a Small Shop: A Catalyst for Blended Gifts

Gordon Smith
Rebekah Gans

Friday, October 4, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Intermediate

Planning, implementing and completing a successful comprehensive capital campaign is a major undertaking for any nonprofit organization and especially for a smaller one. Strategically capitalizing on the significant time and resources invested in capital campaigns, this interactive session will explore the integration of blended giving into the traditional comprehensive campaign model. Identifying the impact your donors want to make, the type of assets they may be willing to give and the type of gift planning vehicle that will likely make the greatest financial sense for your donors is key to informing the integration of blended giving into your capital campaign plan. 

Learning Objectives

  1. Learn how donors want to support your capital campaign, which will inform blended giving strategies you may want to promote.
  2. Identify the key steps to integrating blended giving into a comprehensive campaign plan.
  3. Demonstrate effective language when shifting an organization's narrative from cash to wealth.

 

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Gordon Smith

Associate Vice President for Development, Planned Gifts, National Jewish Health

Gordon Smith was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Before going into planned giving, Gordon worked as a financial consultant, where he obtained experience in estate planning, business succession planning, insurance and investment management. This provided a wonderful springboard to planned giving and the work he does for National Jewish Health, where he has been since September of 1995. As the Associate Vice President for Development, Planned Gifts, Gordon is responsible for planned and major gifts. This includes cultivating relationships from marketing through stewardship with expertise in the areas of charitable trusts, gift annuities, bequests and gifts of complex assets. He works with supporters throughout the country. Gordon has spoken throughout the country on various gift planning topics. He completed two terms on the board of Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable and one term as a board member of The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, including serving as the Conference Chair in 2018. Gordon is also a member of the NACGP Leadership Institute.

Rebekah Gans

Development Director, Early Connections Learning Centers

Rebekah Gans is the Development Director for Early Connections Learning Centers. In her role, Rebekah leads the Community Engagement Department’s fundraising efforts and works to develop a clear plan to translate the organizations’ purpose into sustainable action and effective fund development. Rebekah has served on numerous community boards and committees and is currently the President of the Junior League of Colorado Springs. She has 7 years’ experience in nonprofit fund development, nonprofit leadership and public relations. Prior to joining Early Connections, Rebekah worked as the Development Director for Children’s Literacy Center and was part of the management team for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern Colorado. She holds a bachelor’s in Biological Anthropology from Colorado College.

Collaboration Lab

Allied Professional & Advisory Councils are Dead...Long Live the Rolodex

Eric Abramson
Paul Hansen

Friday, October 4, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Advanced

In today's ultra-competitive world, it's never been more critical to work with the right professionals and have the proper expectations of what they can and should be doing for you and your organization. They also have expectations about what you should be doing for them! When relationships with allied professionals are established, cultivated and structured properly, the results can be nothing short of incredible. They can and will provide exponential benefits to you and your organization. Drawing upon more than 60 years in the in the planned giving, philanthropic and allied professional fields, we offer our formula for developing a truly synergistic and mutually beneficial working relationship with allied professionals.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand why most allied professional advisory councils/committees don't work—and why most relationships with allied professionals aren't what they should and could be.
  2. Learn what allied professionals really can do for you and your organization, and what they cannot and should not do.
  3. Cultivate a truly collaborative "team" of professionals, resulting in a synergistic and mutually beneficial working relationship with allied professionals, to achieve amazing results.

 

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Eric Abramson

Certified Financial Services

Eric L. Abramson is a nationally known estate and charitable planning professional. He is associated with Certified Financial Services in Paramus, NJ. Eric specializes in estate and tax planning, wealth/asset transfer, charitable and philanthropic planning and creative life insurance strategies. His client roster is made up of athletes/entertainers, business owners, entrepreneurs, hedge fund managers, investment bankers, high-net-worth and high-income earners, and affluent, high-net-worth familes. He is also a leading expert on industry affairs and has contributed his knowledge and expertise to the industry. He has served on industry committees and boards, and has often been invited to contribute his knowledge to major financial institutions so that they can better serve their clients. Eric speeks, lectures and trains for industry organizations, families and individuals, law and accounting firms, family offices, nonprofits, insurance firms and producers, throughout the United Sates. He has appeared in national industry forums and in the national media many times.

Paul Hansen

Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley

As a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley, Paul has over 30 years experience in financial services. He received his MBA from Rutgers University prior to earning certificates including: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®), Charter Financial Consultant, (ChFC®), Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy, (CAP®), and Chartered Life Underwriter, (CLU®). Paul has a diverse background in financial and estate planning as he has worked at Lutheran Brotherhood, Fidelity Investments and Merrill Lynch Trust Company prior to coming to Morgan Stanley. At Merrill Lynch, he was a Senior Philanthropic Consultant assisting Financial Advisors design charitable strategies for their clients. Additionally, he spent 12 years as host and co-producer of a cable show he created, You and Your Money, which was broadcast throughout New Jersey. Paul is a member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals, the Estate Planning Council of New York City, the Society of Trust and Estate Practioners, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, New Jersey Association of Fundraising Professionals and the New York State Society of CPAs. He has been an Associate Trustee of the Sigma Pi Educational Foundation, and board member of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey. Paul has his BS in Civil Engineering from Valparaiso University.