DSA Award

Distinguished Service Award (DSA)

The Distinguished Service Award honors a planned giving, development or allied professional, or a volunteer leader in gift planning, with a distinguished record of service in gift planning. The award recipient exemplifies:

  • Demonstrated quality leadership in gift planning;
  • Longevity in gift planning (a minimum of five years);
  • Specific achievements in promoting and securing planned gifts;
  • Service to the gift planning profession, through participation in The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and/or NCGPC; and,
  • Adherence to the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner.

2024 Distinguished Service Award Honoree

Nikki Peters

Nikki Peters (Photo Credit Simon Williams/TNC)

The National Capital Gift Planning Council (NCGPC) is proud to announce Nikki Peters, Associate Director of Gift Planning and Regional Gift Strategist, The Nature Conservancy, as the 28th recipient of its Distinguished Service Award.

The Distinguished Service Award honors a planned giving, development, or allied services professional, or a volunteer leader with an exemplary record of service. Nominations are reviewed by a committee of experienced planned giving professionals.

Over the course of her 13+ year career with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Nikki has become one of TNC’s most productive planned giving fundraisers. Last fiscal year, Nikki closed more than $26 million in countable deferred gifts, representing an impressive percentage of the total $206 million that TNC raised in countable deferred gifts. In the current fiscal year, Nikki has already surpassed her previous best fundraising year, closing more than $32 million in countable deferred gifts YTD, including irrevocable and revocable gifts. Her nominators describe Nikki as proficient both from a technical standpoint in promoting tax-wise gifts funded with noncash assets (including real estate) and in navigating the complexity of structuring these arrangements in strategy development and solicitation techniques, with in-depth knowledge of current and evolving trends in charitable gift planning. In addition to building excellent relationships with donors and their advisors, Nikki has been particularly inclusive in building cross-cutting teams at TNC, by coaching, training, and collaborating with major gifts fundraisers and colleagues.

“Nikki embodies the qualities of an exceptional leader, for her adaptability, compassion, and commitment to excellence. Her emotional intelligence and self-awareness really place her at the head of the pack.”

In addition to her record of achievements, Nikki has been a longtime member of both NCGPC and CGP, with demonstrated leadership and service to the profession. She served for seven years on NCGPC’s Board of Directors (2016-2023), serving as Council President (2020-2022), VP of Membership (2018-2020), and Planned Giving Days Conference Chair (2017). Additionally, she has participated as a volunteer on every NCGPC Standing Committee throughout her years as an active member, Officer, and Director.

Crediting the efforts of her hardworking fellow Directors, dedicated volunteers, and management company staff, under Nikki’s leadership as President: NCGPC began offering CFRE credits for educational sessions; gained several new corporate sponsors, realizing a 38% increase in sponsor revenue; reported a 34% year-over-year growth in total assets on its balance sheet; was selected to present the concept of its new and innovative Program Excellence Fund at the CGP Leadership Summit; and successfully applied for and received a $2,500 grant from the Hibel Family Foundation to advance the Council’s DEI goals.

Nikki is remembered for her ability to navigate uncertainty and lead with compassion in adapting NCGPC programming and membership benefits during the most challenging of times, the pandemic years.

“When the world came to a standstill in 2020, Nikki demonstrated foresight and resilience as President providing clarity, reassurance, and a strategic vision for the Council to stay focused on achieving its mission.

Her proactive approach in spearheading the transition to virtual platforms and initiatives ensured that NCGPC continued to deliver high-quality education and networking opportunities designed to foster connection, sustain programming, and expand reach. Her nominators describe Nikki’s outstanding contributions as having made the Council stronger, more resilient, and better equipped to face any future challenges.

We look forward to celebrating Nikki’s well-deserved Distinguished Service Award selection on Thursday, June 6th, at Planned Giving Day 2024, where she will be recognized during lunch. Please join us in congratulating Nikki for having earned this distinguished honor and in offering our deepest thanks for her immeasurable impact on TNC, NCGPC, and the planned giving profession!

Past Distinguished Service Award Winners

  • Brenden Haggerty (1996)
  • Ron Sapp (1997)
  • Jerry McCoy (Deceased) (1998)
  • Jim Potter (Deceased) (1999)
  • Jerry Anderson (Deceased) (2000)
  • Phil Melberg (2001)
  • Doug White (2002)
  • Jeffrey W. Comfort (2003)
  • Robert J. Brennan (2004)
  • Arthur T. Keefe III (2005)
  • Angela W. Sosdian (2006)
  • Kathryn L. Ward, CFRE (2007)
  • Mary Todd Hardeman (2008)
  • Gayle S. Union, CFRE (2009)
  • Anne Coppola (2010)
  • Karen Gallardo, CFRE (2011)
  • Carla Rosati, CFRE (2012)
  • Ann Wrenshall Worley (2013)
  • John Jensen, CFP (2014)
  • Chris McGurn (2015)
  • Edward Alexander Cadogan (2016)
  • Phyllis Freedman (2017)
  • John B. Kendrick, CAP (2018)
  • Patricia G.Wang (2019)
  • Jane Kolson (2020)
  • E. John McKee (2021)
  • Rosalyn “Missy” Ham-Cross (2022)
  • None awarded in 2023