Collaboration Lab

Gift Planners and Advisers: Partnering to Achieve Philanthropic Solutions

Elizabeth Ayers and Jean Carter

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.


Have you ever wondered what goes in on the mind of your donors' advisors? Are Planned Gift Officers (PGOs) and Major Gift Officers (MGOs) doing anything that concerns them? Do they really need so much detail or are they justifying fees? Why are they so hesitant to release their clients' money when their clients want to support our institutions? Do we fundraisers listen as well as we could or should to our clients and advisers? How do we create a mutually beneficial effective alliance with each other? A gift planner and an estate planning attorney whose strong working relationship has raised more than twenty million dollars will share their experiences through four donor stories, highlighting common issues encountered in our profession and demonstrating how they worked through the issues to arrive at successful outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees, whether gift planners, major gift officers or advisers, will gain a stronger awareness of the issues and traps in relationships between nonprofits and donor advisers.
  2. Attendees will gain insights, through the presentation and audience participation, on how effectively to work with each other to close gifts to their institutions.
  3. Gift Planners will be able to recognize warning signals with advisers and internal partners that can affect gift outcomes, thereby preventing the loss of gifts as well as dissatisfaction of donors.


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Elizabeth Ayers


Elizabeth Ayers is the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining UNC in 2008, she worked for The Ohio State University, where she served as Director of Planned Giving for the Medical Center and Associate Director of Planned Giving for the University. She has worked for the Columbus Foundation, served on nonprofit boards and committees and was president of Central Ohio Planned Giving Council in 2007.

Elizabeth served on the board of National Association of Charitable Gift Planners from 2015 through 2017 and chaired the 2017 national conference in Baltimore. She is also a member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council and served on its board from 2013 through 2016. She 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 has practiced law in the areas of estate and charitable planning and civil litigation. She holds a  J.D. from Capital University, M. M. from Ohio University, and a B. M. from Wittenberg University.

Jean Carter


Jean Gordon Carter is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh, North Carolin, where she serves as Co-Chair of its nationally recognized Private Wealth Services Group. Her principal area of practice is Tax and Estates. Jean is also a Certified Public Accountant, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She received her B.S. from Wake Forest University, magna cum laude, with Honors in Accountancy in 1977, and her law degree from Duke University School of Law with High Honors in 1983. She is a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and Wake County Estate Planning Council. Mrs. Carter has also lectured and written extensively on various tax, tax-exempt and estates topics.


Collaboration Lab

Impact Investing: Friend or Foe of Fundraisers?

Phil Cubeta

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.


Impact investing is all the rage on both coasts, with business people, women, and Millennials. Obama and the Pope endorsed it. The Ford Foundation committed $1 billion to it. While still relatively small, impact investingis growing far faster than traditional giving. Some say it will supplement traditional giving; some say it will replace giving. Some even say that new online platforms will disintermediate nonprofits altogether. And then there are advisors. With impact investing they can keep the money in-house. With philanthropy, not so much. Yet, the best way to raise money is to accept gifts in the form donors prefer. So, in this conversation, the speaker will tee up the topic, and then poll the audience to see what our joint experiences have been.

Learning Objectives

  1. Be able to say what impact investing is, and the various forms it takes
  2. Be able to indentify donor populations that are likely to embrace impact investing
  3. Be able to judge for yourself whether impact investing will steal your nonprofit mojo or help you raise much needed funds


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Phil Cubeta


As the Sallie B. and William B. Wallace Chair in Philanthropy at The American College, Phil Cubeta, CLU®, ChFC®, CAP® is responsible for the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® curriculum. Prior to joining The American College, Phil served as Chief of Staff for The Nautilus Group, an elite unit of New York Life serving wealthy clients. Phil has an MA in Literature from Yale, an MA in Philosophy and Psychology from Oxford, and a Masters in Financial Services from the American College. He is a past President of the North Texas Council of Charitable Gift Planners.

Collaboration Lab

When Boomer Bosses Meet the Millennial Mindset

Kelly Taylor and Robert Mueller

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.


How does a 30 -year hospice fundraising veteran learn to navigate the challenges that come with shifting generations and changing perspectives on living, giving, death and dying? This session will explore this question and related concepts in an interactive session centered on the application of trend data through real world case study discussion. A Boomer vice president and Gen-X consultant will present facts, figures, and fictions relevant to the discussion then turn to "ask the audience" for their advice and feedback through a facilitated exercise. Attendees will experience different perspectives, be exposed to new concepts, and learn to be open in talking about how to find benefit in the subtleties of generational dynamics in the context of charitable gift planning.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees will experience diverse perspectives regarding the dynamics that come with generational shifts in the workplace, in the community and in the family.
  2. Attendees will be exposed to new concepts and perspectices with time for discussion and application through real world case studies.
  3. Attendees will demonstrate openness to generational subtleties and how they can be used as a benefit to donor engagement with charitable gift planning.


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Kelly Taylor


Clients often hear Kelly say “You can do it! Now let’s get started!” She lives to energize others into action. Kelly is an activator. She wants to understand the context of a situation, explain why it happened, in order to find solutions to nuanced problems. She has a gift for making the complex seem simple and works best as a hands-on trainer. Kelly also has a strong sense of commitment and is highly motivated to see things carried through to completion. Her work is a way of life, not just a job. In search of significance Kelly strives for what’s exceptional, what’s excellent and what’s authentic. Mediocrity is her nemesis. Kelly takes risks and gladly meets new challenges. She believes that philanthropy is an expression of our human connectedness.

In her efforts to design a life well lived, Kelly co-founded Trek Advancement in 2009. Trek’s guiding philosophies of good governance, solid leadership, donor-centered fundraising and mission focused action help clients build sustainable fundraising efforts. Kelly is a planned giving nerd and uses this passion to navigate comprehensive fundraising campaigns. A talented strategic thinker and influencer, Kelly enjoys working with clients to define their strategic goals and help them create their unique roadmap for success. Kelly likes to engage in conversations either one or one or with an audience of hundreds.

Robert Mueller


Robert J. "Bob" Mueller is Vice President of Development for Hosparus Health, the nonprofit Community Hospices of Louisville, southern Indiana, and central and southern Kentucky. Bob has over 40 years of experience in fundraising, public relations, public speaking, promotional activities and counseling. As a bishop of the United Catholic Church and a member of the Federation of Christian Ministries, Bob brings a rich understanding of the spiritual and emotional dimensions of life. In his presentations, Bob offers ways to renew the spirit and mind as well as the body.

A regular contributing author to Today's Woman and Today's Transitions magazines and a weekly columnist in The Oldham Era, Bob has been recognized for his series "Positive Living" and integrates these concepts and illustrations in his presentations. Bob's three books, Look Forward HopefullyThe Gentle Art of Caring and Create a Better World are available through amazon. For more information about Bob, visit his website:


Collaboration Lab

How Major Gift Officers Become "Super Sleuth" Partners with Gift Planning Professionals to Uncover Bigger Gifts, Blended Gifts and Current Gifts

Craig Smith and R. Daniel (Dan) Shephard

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.


If major gift officer colleagues avoid gift planning conversations with capable donors because they think they must know all the ins and outs of gift planning, then this session is for them AND for you. Experience an interactive session that demonstrates how major gift officers become "super sleuths" eager to partner with their gift planning colleagues to uncover bigger gifts, blended gifts and current support gifts using appreciated assets.

Learning Objectives

  1. Participants will learn how major gift officers learn to intentionally and deftly lead donors through inquisitive gift conversations.
  2. Participants will learn how to guide donors through four key decisions that lead to significant gifts via purposeful two-part conversations.
  3. Participants will learn how using the four decisions approach leads to active involvement of gift planning colleagues in partnership with major gift officers, donors and advisors.


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Craig Smith


Craig Smith is best known for his leadership, personal solicitation skills, and gift planning know-how. His work as Senior Consultant with John Brown Limited spans more than 25 years. He has directed client relations in higher education, the arts, healthcare, and cultural organizations nationwide, including the National Geographic Society, the University of Michigan, all of the campuses of the University of North Carolina and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He has helped to develop and manage campaigns from as small at $6 million to as large as $2.5 billion. He currently leads JBL’s work with Columbia University and with The Smithsonian Institution.

In addition to many years as a dedicated consultant with JBL, he has served in leadership roles at the University of Rochester Medical Center during comprehensive and boutique campaigns, and most recently, at Rochester Institute of Technology where he helped to launch a $700M campaign. Craig is dedicated to creatively bringing together philanthropists and worthy charitable causes to assure maximum tax advantage for donors while assisting development officers in reaching their important goals.


R. Daniel (Dan) Shephard


Dan Shephard is Principal of The Shephard Group, which provides training and consulting services focusing on the skillsets most valuable to frontline fundraisers. Dan knows from personal experience the value to the major gift planner of being equipped with both the competence and the confidence to engage a potential donor in a discussion that will result in a significant gift commitment.

Dan has served as Planned Giving Director for the Florida State University Foundation, Director of Development for the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech, Director of Gift Planning for The Citadel Foundation, and Director of Development for the Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University. He is the author of Charitable Choices: How to Avoid Donor’s Remorse.

Collaboration Lab

Thousands or Millions? Fixing Mistakes that Diminish Gifts

Pamela Davidson and Winton Smith

Friday, October 19, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


The good news is, the board chair wants to make a lead gift to kick off the campaign. The bad news is, he thinks $100,000 is a lead gift. Everyone knows his capacity is greater. Should you accept the gift he offered, or try to raise his expectations? In this session, which is based on a real case, you’ll listen in on a conversation between the board chair and a major/planned gifts fundraiser. There’s room for improvement in the fundraiser’s approach. Working with other attendees, you’ll identify better ways to respond to the donor’s cues.

Learning Objectives

  1. Listen for facts and feelings and respond constructively.
  2. Keep giving options open so donor can make the largest possible gift.
  3. Advance the relationship with the donor without skipping important steps.


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Pamela Davidson

Consultant, Charitable Gift Planner, Davidson Gift Design

Pamela Jones Davidson, J.D., has been a nationally recognized speaker in charitable gift planning for over 29 years. She is President of Davidson Gift Design, in Bloomington, Indiana, a consulting firm specializing in gift planning, planned giving program design and implementation, and training. She is also a Senior Vice President for Thompson & Associates, offering estate planning services to nonprofits. From 1985 through 1996, she was with Indiana University Foundation, as its Executive Director of Planned Giving and Associate Counsel. Ms. Davidson received her undergraduate degree from Indiana University in 1975, and graduated magna cum laude from the Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis in 1979. She has been an examiner in the Estate and Gift Tax Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and practiced law with an Indianapolis law firm before joining the nonprofit sector in 1985. She is a past chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (then NCPG) board of directors and served on the board in various capacities for six years. She is also a past president of the Planned Giving Group of Indiana and serves on the Community Advisory Boards of both of her local public radio and television stations, and is among others, on the Board and past president of Middle Way House, her community’s nationally recognized women’s shelter.

Winton Smith

Planned giving consultant, Law Offices of Winton C. Smith, jr. 

Winton Smith, J.D. is a charitable gift planner whose clients include both philanthropists and charitable organizations. He helps charitable organizations build and conduct planned giving programs that encourage donors to learn how they can make both the smartest gift and also give more to their charitable interests than they ever dreamed possible. Winton is a practicing attorney who specializes in estate tax strategies and tax planning, financial development and planned giving for charitable organizations. His background includes 25 years of practical experience in structuring and marketing major gifts. He represents both individual philanthropists and charitable institutions, keeping them informed of the latest tax law changes affecting charitable gifts. Winton has been a frequent speaker at programs sponsored by the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the National Society of Fund Raising Executives (NSFRE) and the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP). He regularly presents charitable tax strategy seminars and workshops for bar associations, estate planning councils, colleges, universities, law schools and hospitals as well as natural resource and conservation, religious, social welfare and other charitable organizations. His programs on charitable gift planning have been approved for continuing education credit by State Bar Associations and State Accountancy Boards.


Collaboration Lab

The Ethical Gift Planner: Avoiding Mistakes of Undue Influence Among an Aging Donor Base

Marcia Inger Navrátil

Friday, October 19, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


The number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to more than double over the next four decades, from 48 million today to 98 million by 2060. For charities, the demographics of our aging population are reflected in a similarly aging donor base. In order for charitable gift planners and other fundraisers to maintain the highest ethical standards, we need to recognize the signs that indicate a donor may lack the required mental capacity to make a gift. Using case studies and both presenter and attendee examples, this session will explore the indicators that signal a potential lack of donor mental capacity, along with specific steps fundraisers can take to prevent issues of undue influence from arising in the first place. Additionally, we will discuss the critical role professional advisors can play in avoiding allegations of undue influence altogether, as well as how charities can respond when family members challenge a donor’s intent after the donor is no longer capable of providing input.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the characteristics that indicate a donor may lack mental capacity, as well as the signs of aging that are not relevant to legal capacity.
  2. Create collaborative relationships with professional advisors and development colleagues to prevent issues of undue influence and legal capacity from arising.
  3. Develop stewardship plans to work with donors and their families in case where incapacity arises AFTER the planned gift is already in place.


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Marcia Inger Navrátil


Marcia Inger Navratil has served as the Director of Gift Planning Services for University of Texas System since November 2015. In her current role, Marcia collaborates with, advises, and trains advancement and development colleagues across the 14 University of Texas academic and health institutions, in their work with donors and professional advisors on planned and complex gifts.

Marcia brings nearly 20 years of development experience to her current role. She previously held development positions at University of Virginia and Virginia Opera. She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and serves on the board of the Austin and Central Texas chapter. She has presented on topics related to charitable and estate planning at many organizations including the NACGP National Conference, NACGP chapters across the country, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the CASE District IV Conference, and the Big XII Development Conference, and has been a contributor to publications on philanthropy. Marcia earned both her law degree and her bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Virginia. She lives in Austin with her husband Paul, and when not working can be found running on trails in the woods with her two rescue dogs.