2019 Tracks

Fundamentals Track

Introduction of planned giving fundamentals for professionals with 0-2 years of experience

Sponsored by: BNY Mellon Wealth Management

Dean: Jenny Questell, Assistant Manager, Planned Giving, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Session 1:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 1:30 – 2:30 pm
What Words Work Best with Donors in Planned Giving Marketing?
Claudine A. Donikian, JD, MBA | President & CEO – Pentera, Inc.

With email engagement data, we know what percentage, how many, and exactly who is opening emails and clicking through on headlines. But what is it about the email subject line or headline that is driving donors to want to click and read more? Alternatively, what keeps them from clicking to read more? The findings to be presented will answer these questions and are based on a Pentera research study of client data spanning several years that looks at thousands of clients, thousands of emails, and tens of thousands of headlines, words, and phrases. We will delve into planned giving marketing messages and discover what factors increase or decrease engagement — that is, what marketing messages make donors want to read more. We will also propose how to use engagement metrics to boost your cultivation efforts.

Level: Beginner


Session 2:
Thursday, May 23, 2019  • 2:45 – 3:45 pm
The Relevance of Probate for Charitable Beneficiaries
Fredrick Weber, Sr. | Vice President, Estate Settlement Services – Northern Trust Company

The process of death-related administration can be daunting for charitable beneficiaries of estates and trusts. Expanding on the topic of death-related administration for charitable beneficiaries, this presentation will focus primarily on probate when charitable beneficiaries are in the mix. Specifically, we will touch on the history of probate, the probate process, and probate “avoidance,” and what these concepts can mean for charitable beneficiaries. We will look at how probate can be both a sword and a shield for charitable beneficiaries, examine some real-life situations involving the probate of wills that include charitable beneficiaries, and discuss some of the pros and cons of probate.

Level: Beginner


Session 3:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Our Best Donor are Aging: Communicating to and Working With Seniors
John W. Jensen, CFP | Senior Vice President/Senior Consultant – Sharpe Group

This session addresses how to work with seniors, special issues, and techniques to be aware of to address physical and practical concerns of aging. Learn how to increase the odds of getting the visit, how to address those declining a visit, and why they often say no. Understand what can make a visit successful, how and what to document, and what never to document. This will show (with examples) common marketing mistakes, why they occur, and what approaches or standards should be put in place. It discusses print vs electronic marketing approaches, how/ when/why to use or not use various approaches, and when it is too late to talk with a prospect about a planned gift. It will address dealing with family members and advisors, when to make a special point to bring them into the discussion, and how to discuss them with prospects. Attendees are encouraged to bring samples of letters or marketing materials for the speaker to critique for senior-appropriateness on a one-to-one basis before or after the session.

Level: Beginner


Session 4:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 10:45 – 11:45 am
Your Next Planned Gift is just a Phone Call Away
Anthony R. Alonso | President – Catapult Fundraising

This session will explore current statistics and trends in planned giving and look at ways to enhance your organization’s planned giving efforts. Discover new techniques for identifying planned giving prospects, soliciting potential donors, and closing the gift over the phone. Learn how to make the ask using the mass communication instruments of mail, email, and telephone solicitation. This session will also provide strategy on the selection of donors for a planned giving direct marketing campaign. Most planned giving donors say “they were simply never asked” for a gift. Learn how your organization can avoid this common pitfall and develop a thriving and profitable planned giving marketing and solicitation plan.

Level: Beginner, Intermediate


Session 5:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Navigating the White Waters of Donor Meetings
Julie Carter | President – Carter Consulting Group LLC

Sometimes donor conversations can be daunting. How can you prepare for a conversational visit with donors who are older than your grandparents, wealthier than anyone you’ve ever known, and wiser than your boss? This session will present tools, background preparation, and a path of questions and listening to navigate the donor discovery visit. Many of our investors have a clear idea of what they want to accomplish and how they want to do it, while others need to be led through the process of exploration and decision by a trusted guide. Learn how to distinguish the role you can best play for the relationship and the equipment you should bring along for the adventure. Following an overview of ground rules, navigational tips, and safety precautions, participants will have an opportunity to apply these tools and insights in breakout group role playing.

Level: Beginner


Blended & Major Gifts Track

Best practices in prospect identification, cultivation, and solicitation for a donor-centered, holistic giving experience
Sponsored by: Crescendo Interactive, Inc.
Dean: Amanda Das, CAP, Associate Director, Planned & Major Gifts, Consumer Reports

Session 1:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 1:30 – 2:30 pm
The Five Types of Blended Gifts: The What, Why, and How of Closing Blended Gifts
Lani Starkey, JD, LLM, CPA | Founder – Fifty Rock Consulting

Blended gifts are “trending” in the fundraising world. While the practice of asking for blended gifts has been occurring with varying degrees of consistency for years, there is more interest today than ever before. Blended gift advocates promise better gift results for your organization and greater satisfaction and impact for your donor. So, is it all too good to be true? Are there no downsides to blended gifts? In this session, we will look closely at the donor dynamics, risk factors, and “case” for a blended gift ask. Also, with the use of real-life case studies, we will identify the best donor profiles and segments for new blended gift activity. Finally, we will focus on solicitation planning and donor relationship status as key due diligence factors. One important note: this session will “not” substantially focus on planned giving vehicles, their mechanics, or their tax benefits.

Level: All


Session 2:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 2:45 – 3:45 pm
Now Now, I’m too Busy: Redefining the Visit
Joe Tumolo, CAP | CEO – Gift Planning Development

In this session, we’ll break apart the old fundraising model and discuss how we can adapt to the way today’s donors want to give. Joe will teach his tested and proven methodology for spending more time with better qualified donors. The result is a more productive and effective fundraising team and more gifts in the door.

Level: All


Session 3:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Major Donors vs. Planned Giving Donors
Sarah Tedesco | Executive Vice President – DonorSearch

Major Gift Officers and Planned Giving Officers may work side by side and use the same list of prospects, but the prospects they’re seeking are very different. This presentation will highlight the philanthropic and wealth factors that best identify planned giving prospects, and how those factors differ from major donors.

Level: All


Session 4:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 10:45 – 11:45 am
Qualifying Planned and Major Gift Donors in One Easy Visit
Melanie J. Norton, CFRE, MBA | Founder & CEO – Norton Philanthropic Counsel

Do you want to quickly get to know the capacity and interests of your prospective donors? This presentation focuses on employing the structured interview process to efficiently determine who may be a major gift prospect for your organization. Learn how to use this intentional question format to get your foot in the door with a new prospect, capture information about what prospects like or dislike about your organization, uncover issues that may affect giving decisions, and identify the pertinent donor information fundraisers need to know.

Level: All


Session 5:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm
The Keys to a Successful Blended Gift Program
Eddie Thompson, PhD | CEO & Founder – Thompson & Associates

Fundraising professionals have been helping donors with blended gifts for many years, while not realizing that they have been doing so. Imagine the power of a focused effort to thoughtfully work with donors in creating a strategic giving plan. By helping benefactors create a blended gifts plan, major gift donors will feel more comfortable and excited about their philanthropy. This presentation will explore the keys to a successful blended gifts program for major gift donors.

Level: All


Marketing Track

From tried and true to cutting-edge, ideas that work for every size organization
Sponsored by: PG Calc
Dean: Beth Posniak Fiencke, Director, Gift Planning Strategy & Stewardship, The Nature Conservancy

Session 1:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Manna From Heaven Isn’t Really from Heaven: Measuring Success in a Dollars-Now World
Meg Roberts | Vice President, Gift Planning – Impact Communications
Nicole Engdahl, CAP | Vice President, Planned & Annual Giving – National Park Foundation

Building and running a planned giving program takes money — money that isn’t easily allocated for such a long wait for a return. How do we make the case for an increased budget in a way that will be heard and understood? How do we compete with our direct marketing colleagues for program investment? Join us to hear how we have successfully advocated for increased investment in planned giving and provided measurable results to justify the investment. We will show you how to create meaningful measures of success you can share with leadership, how to predict results, and how to take your planned giving marketing to a new level. Leave with some concrete tools to help you promote planned giving marketing within your own organization.

Level: Intermediate


Session 2:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 2:45 – 3:45 pm
You’ve Got Mail! Timely Email Insights and Trends
Nathan Stelter | Vice President – The Stelter Company
Zach Christensen | Creative Director – The Stelter Company

Find out how to reach and resonate with your donors through email. Get your emails to your donor’s inbox, instead of ending up in their trash/spam folder, and then convince them to take action with our top tips. Our digital, editorial, and creative email insights — gathered by working with over 1,500 nonprofits and following industry trends and best practices — will help ensure your emails reach an audience that cares with a message they’ll act on.

Level: Beginner


Session 3:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm
Communicating Personal Commitment from your Leadership: Fundraising by Example
Elissa Leif | CEO – MiniMatters Video + Marketing
Samuel Young, Esq | Leadership Gift & Planned Giving Officer – Compassion & Choices

Learn how to implement a unique, cutting edge, powerful method to connect prospects and supporters to the leadership of your organization as a modeling tool for them to join your leaders in making planned gifts. See how these leadership personal stories can be integrated into an overall campaign to maximize your ROI.

Level: Beginner


Session 4:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 10:45 – 11:45 am

Beyond the Survey Mailing: Using Integrated Marketing to Find Leads, Convert Donors AND Close Gifts
Tracy Malloy-Curtis | Legacy, Giving Director – Mal Warwick
Sabrina Naylor | Creative Services Executive – DonorDigital

Learn the basics of direct response fundraising and marketing and understand how to measure the success of a direct response campaign. You will come away with samples from successful integrated campaigns, which you can re-create and implement to build your planned giving pipeline.

Level: All


Session 5:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm
To Get More Gifts, Think like Disney, Toyota and the United States Navy
Wayne Olson | Author, Consultant

This session will explore tried and tested principles by major corporations such as Disney and Toyota and from successful leaders in the U.S. Navy. We will show how you can adjust your efforts and vastly improve your fundraising (and career trajectory) by following their examples. Based on research and more than two decades of fundraising experience, we will explore how record-setting gifts happen when you employ these lessons. Participants will leave with ideas they can use the same day as the session!

Level: Intermediate


Advanced Track

Challenging the status quo with fresh ideas for seasoned professionals with 10+ years of experience
Sponsored by: Campbell & Company
Dean: Ann E. Kolakowski, CAP | Senior Director, Planned Gifts – The Humane Society of The United States

Session 1:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 1:30 – 2:30 pm
The Soul of Charitable Gift Planning: People and Events that Shaped our Profession and Made Us Who We Are
Ronald A. Brown | Director of Planned Giving – Pratt Institute

Achievements in gift planning strategy, marketing, and public policy have a long history. When planners understand the major events that shaped the values and practices of our profession, they will meet the needs of donors and nonprofit organizations more effectively. By attending this session, participants will learn how major legislation affects gift planners today, how to unlock the treasure chest of successful past practices, and gain a better sense of who we are and what gift planners do.

Level: Advanced


Session 2:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 2:45 – 3:45 pm
Protecting Your Gift Annuity Program From “Underwater” Gifts
David K. Hohler, CFA | Director of Investments, Planned Giving – BNY Mellon

A 2017 review of gift annuity programs conducted by BNY Mellon Wealth Management found that nearly 50% of issuing organizations had at least one gift annuity that was “underwater” — that is, where the gift assets were exhausted before the death of the final income beneficiary. Over 90% of organizations had at least one gift projected to be underwater before its expected termination date, based on current mortality assumptions.

Underwater gift annuities are common for charities of all types and sizes. Effective identification and management of current underwater gifts — and gifts that are projected to go underwater — is vital for charities to manage the financial risks inherent with issuing gift annuities, to protect their reputations as responsible stewards, and to cultivate future gifts from their donors. Participants will be able to understand the risks and causes of underwater gift annuities, identify at-risk gift annuities, and learn techniques and strategies for mitigating the impact of underwater annuities.

Level: Advanced


Session 3:
Thursday, May 23, 2019 • 4:00 – 5:00 pm
The Fourth Industrial Revolution & Philanthropy: What AI Means for Fundraising
Lindsey Athanasiou | Vice President of Sales – Gravyty

Often overlooked by artificial intelligence (AI) professionals, the nonprofit industry boasts a wealth of data that can be used to build resources for missions, improve social accountability, and expand the reach of world-changing nonprofits. Software and more specifically AI and Machine Learning can replicate the cognitive functions of fundraisers and operators at scale. AI doesn’t replace the jobs of fundraisers and those in Advancement but rather frees people up to do things that are entirely human. Technology can analyze data sets, prioritize which donors to talk to, prescribe action such as how to craft communicate — taking on 99% of the repetitive/data work — and allow fundraisers to go out and build relationships. Software that combines CRM data with public and behavioral data can supercharge this and drastically improve fundraising outcomes by retaining donors and bringing in new supporters.

Level: Advanced


Session 4:
Friday, May 24, 2019 • 10:45 – 11:45 pm
A Shared Understanding of Effective Fundraising
Jason Lewis | Consultant – Jason Lewis Fundraising

Does your organization have a shared understanding of how effective fundraising really works? In this session, participants will explore The Three Lanes Approach — one of the four planning models introduced in The War for Fundraising Talent. In addition to providing a framework for planning and evaluating fundraising performance, this model addresses many of the all-too familiar roadblocks that organizations encounter as they cultivate their donors towards greater levels of support. The Three Lanes Approach clarifies roles and responsibilities, where and how everyone can make the greatest contribution, and how they complement others.

Level: Advanced


Session 5:
Friday, May 23, 2019 • 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Better Together: Building a Partnership between Planned Gift and Major Gift Officers
Jay Steenhuysen | Principal – Steenhuysen Associates

Major Gift Officers (MGOs) need Planned Giving Officers (PGOs) to qualify, cultivate, and close the largest and best gifts. The PGO needs to persuade the MGO, and development leadership, that this is the case and offer a plan to work together. This session will present the case for partnership, roles and responsibilities for each partner, foundations for working together, and first steps in the partnership. If your leadership has embraced Russell James’ conclusion that gifts of assets are the key to growth, this is the session you need to secure those gifts.

Level: Advanced