Title: More Lessons from the Field: Legacy Challenge Triumphs (and Trials) during the Pandemic and Beyond

Presenters: Mohammad Zaidi, Kara Barnes, J.J. van Haelewyn, and John Kendrick

Date: December 14, 2021

Time: 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST

Legacy Challenge programs (also known as Bequest Challenge programs) have continued to gain traction at non-profit organizations, despite the challenges of dealing with and recovering from a worldwide pandemic. Well-conceived Challenges are proving to be highly effective because they meet a variety of donor needs, offer attractive incentives that stimulate action, help meet multiple fundraising goals and strategies, and foster a stronger commitment to gift planning throughout non-profit organizations. 

This session shares learning and strategies from a large, multifaceted university that successfully launched a Legacy Challenge at the start of the pandemic (American University), a major cultural organization that launched their Challenge earlier this year (The Smithsonian Institution), a national advocacy organization that is planning a sixth Legacy Challenge after dramatically expanding their planned giving program with five successful previous Challenges (The ACLU), and a regional health care system that is wrapping up its inaugural Challenge. Webinar attendees will also have access to the October 2020 white paper on Legacy Challenges that featured strategies and strong results from Legacy Challenges conducted by the George Washington University, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Friends of the Earth.    

The panelists will describe how Legacy Challenges have proven to be effective in meeting multiple fundraising goals and strategies in a variety of settings. These include launching a new Planned Giving program, re-energizing an existing planned giving program, launching or wrapping up a campaign, increasing the average size of bequest commitments, stimulating constituents to reveal the value of previously existing bequests, and more.

Mohammad Zaidi

director of gift planning, american civil liberties union

Mohammad Zaidi has served as the Director of Gift Planning with the American Civil Liberties Union for the past 15 years. He led the $850 million planned gift component of the ACLU’s Centennial Campaign, which ended in March 2020. Mohammad was formerly a Lecturer on the adjunct faculty with Columbia University’s Master’s in Nonprofit Management Program. In his 30 year career in development he has served with the National Audubon Society, Boy Scouts of America Greater New York Councils, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and The New York Public Library. Mohammad is a past president of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York. He studied Economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University.

Kara Barnes

senior director, planned giving, american university

Kara Barnes is Senior Director of Planned Giving at American University in Washington, DC. In this capacity, she helps donors structure gift arrangements that create a meaningful legacy at AU, directs a multichannel planned giving marketing program, and facilitates collaboration with the university’s schools and units on planned gift strategies. She has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit fundraising with a focus on major gifts and planned giving and has served in development positions at WAMU 88.5 American University Radio, the Atlas Performing Arts Center, National Public Radio, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the National Gallery of Art. Kara has a MA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art and a BA from Creighton University. She has received the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy designation from the American College of Financial Services and the Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University. She is on the board of the National Capital Gift Planning Council.

J.J. van Haelewyn

director of Gift planning, smithsonian institution

With 30 years of fundraising, marketing and communications experience, JJ van Haelewyn currently works as Director of Gift Planning at the Smithsonian Institution, overseeing gift planning for 30 museums and research centers. Prior to that he worked for thirteen years at the National Geographic Society managing the planned giving program and annual giving. JJ also worked as a major gifts officer at the American Red Cross. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. JJ lived oversees in Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Thailand, Kuwait and Haiti.

John Kendrick

Senior consultant, Michael J. Worth & associates 

John Kendrick is a Senior Consultant with Michael J. Worth & Associates and leads his own consulting and coaching practice, helping organizations build high performing planned giving programs. His clients include organizations in higher education (University of Maryland, New England Conservatory), secondary education (Episcopal High School), and health care (Virginia Hospital Center Foundation). An experienced planned giving leader, John led planned giving programs for the George Washington University and Smithsonian Institution. Under John’s leadership, GW expanded staffing, instituted a real estate philanthropy program, and revamped marketing, raising more than $300 million in planned gifts during John’s tenure (2008-2020). Previously, John led planned giving for the Smithsonian's 19 museums and nine research centers and held development positions at the National Academy of Sciences and Hood College. His development work follows an 18-year career in advertising, publishing, and marketing, including positions as a Vice President at DDB and Senior Account Executive at Young & Rubicam. John has a BA from Cornell, MBA from Wharton Business School, and Masters from the Medill School of Journalism. He holds the CAP® designation from the American College and received the Distinguished Service Award from the National Capital Gift Planning Council in 2018 for service to the Council and gift planning profession.

Group webinars are intended for CGP affiliated councils or groups of up to 30 individuals.


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Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 01:00