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E-Newsletter

Click on the links below to access the full articles from our council e-newsletter.  The e-newsletter is distributed three times a year (March, June and September).  If you are interested in providing an article for future issues, please email info@pgcgp.org.

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  • Wednesday, December 06, 2023 2:51 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written by Delia G. Perez, CFRE, CAP®

    As year-end approaches, I am thankful for my past three years serving as the President for the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia. Whether it has been collaborating with the Board, sponsor partners, volunteer speakers, or our members, I am indeed fortunate to be in the company of such compassionate and knowledgeable colleagues.

    Even more inspiring is the energy each of you share as we recovered from the limitations imposed by Covid’s many challenges. During my tenure, we gradually returned to our in-person gatherings and celebrated reconnecting with colleagues and friends at PGCGP educational events. I am encouraged by the positive potential 2024 will bring for the PGCGP and the members we serve. My enthusiasm is bolstered by the life-changing work we do daily in service to our respective organizations.

    Now is a perfect time to celebrate the achievements of the Council. We have worked tirelessly to best steward PGCGP’s financial resources and improve our revenue base, after enduring budget cutbacks due to Covid. We are committed to working on behalf of our members while striving to pique the interest of new members with topical and relevant educational offerings. We also urge you to take advantage of our PGCGP educational curriculum to improve your overall efforts and philanthropic results on behalf of the nonprofits we serve.

    During the past three years, PGCCP successfully achieved many of its initiatives, including the following:

    • Relaunched the Planned Giving Course in partnership with The American College as an introductory two-day program for colleagues new to the planned giving field.
    • Exceeded expectations for the annual Planned Giving Day conference as PGCGP’s premier educational venue.
    • Strengthened our partnership with the Association of Fundraising Executives for the Greater Philadelphia Chapter with our participation in the annual National Philanthropy Day award event, while also supporting each other’s annual conference.
    • Strategized a collaborative presentation with the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council focused on philanthropy for our combined membership in 2024 or 2025.
    • Cultivated high-level member engagement driven by PGCGP’s efforts to communicate via various online and social media platforms
    • Focused membership recruitment efforts to increase awareness of member benefits such as educational opportunities, collegial networking, volunteer activities, scholarship support, and mentoring assistance.
    • Enhanced PGCGP’s website as a robust hub of information along with our LinkedIn page as a strong conduit for connectivity.
    • Ensured quality educational programs, offered three-times-a-year, for PGCGP members and guests about planned giving trends of interest.

    As the new year approaches, we will look to our current members along with new and diverse members, to help us collectively build and strengthen the PGCGP. We will strive to better engage our philanthropic partners and sponsors to effectively enhance planned giving resources for our members and our professional community.  

    In the meantime, as we take our respective respites and enjoy the holidays, please remember those who are near, far, and no longer with us. Celebrate life, recharge, and consider joining us in 2024 at an exceptional PGCGP educational event.

    Wishing you joy, laughter and the warmth of cherished moments with family and friends!

  • Wednesday, December 06, 2023 2:16 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written by Adrienne Webb Schulman, MPA, CAP® 

    Lynn Malzone Ierardi, J.D. has been in the estate and gift planning field for more than 30 years. She is the author of Storytelling: The Secret Sauce of Fundraising Success (available on Amazon). Lynn recently moved on from her nearly 20-year career at University of Pennsylvania to NYU Langone Health where she serves as Senior Director of Gift Planning. 

    She served as Board Chair of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners in 2019. She is also a past board member and past President of the New Jersey Council of Charitable Gift Planners and former board member of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia (PGCGP). We interviewed Lynn to get her takeaways from her decades of work at Penn and leadership on the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia.

    You’ve achieved a lot during your time at Penn. What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment?

    I really see the success of my work at Penn as part of the broader gift planning team. I’m most proud of our progress in breaking down silos in collaboration with the different schools, centers, and teams. I am proud of the work we did to strengthen gift planning across the University. From large-scale parts of the institution like the Wharton School of Business to our smaller centers like the Morris Arboretum, we built up planned giving programs. Over the years, building internal relationships was something the gift planning team focused on. This kind of collaboration eliminated silos, made us all much more effective, and we raised more money!

    What makes a gift-planning program successful? If you were giving advice to someone leading a gift planning program for the first time, what would you say to them?

    Start with the basics: bequests and beneficiary designations, and don’t be intimidated by the more complex gift vehicles. One of the first things I do to initiate or build out a planned giving program - whether I’m in my new role at NYU Langone or when I’ve worked with my consulting clients - is to take a look at integrating planned giving into the organization’s current activities. Where can you sprinkle in Planned Giving? Look for opportunities to include gift planning in activities, publications, mailings, digital tools, events, and perhaps most importantly, conversations. If the activity already exists at the organization, add to it instead of creating all new and separate channels.

    What do you feel was the biggest macro-policy shift (legislative change, tax change) that impacted your planned giving program during your time at Penn?

    I think the biggest shift is the move away from gifts of cash to gifts of assets. Non-cash assets have gone up in value making them a more desirable asset for donations. People are more concerned about capital gains than they are about estate taxes now. As people age, they are more likely to say, “I don’t need these particular assets anymore.” The continued shift of focus on gifts of assets touches on a number of the changes you mentioned – demographic, income and estate tax, and legislative changes.

    You’ve been at Penn for 18 years and built many successful relationships. Are there any donors that you plan to keep in touch with?

    Certainly, if a donor reached out to me, I would respond. But I am not a fan of keeping in touch with donors after leaving an institution because I view these donors Penn’s donors, not my donors. There are certainly donors that I will miss! Over the course of 18 years, you build relationships. In some ways, it becomes personal and it’s sad to lose those relationships whether it’s because a donor dies or because we leave the organization. But, it comes with the job!  

    As a longtime leader in our community – what do you think it will take for us to keep the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia thriving for years to come?

    I think it’s a tough time for any of the planned giving councils because the world changed with COVID and technology advances. We have so many online opportunities to engage in gift planning education. As a result, the councils are struggling to be relevant and provide value. Work from home means people don’t want to travel for meetings. But the networking and camaraderie fostered by the council is invaluable. I started with the Princeton Gift Planning Council in 1993, joined the Philadelphia Council when I started at Penn in 2005, and have been involved with local councils for 30 years. I can tell you it is priceless to have colleagues from the Council to learn from and share ideas and experiences. I may not stay in touch with donors after leaving Penn, but I will absolutely keep in touch with colleagues!

    Lastly, how can we stay in touch with you?

    Yes, I’m happy to stay in touch! You can always email me at: Lynn.Ierardi@nyulangone.org.

    You can also follow my work through my consultancy, giftplanningadvisor.com, and, of course, follow my work on Linked In.

  • Tuesday, October 10, 2023 3:01 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written by Delia G. Perez, CFRE, CAP®

    As we welcome refreshing autumn weather, we look forward to harvesting more opportunities to meet and network with our colleagues. We also urge you to take advantage of our PGCGP educational curriculum to improve your overall philanthropic results on behalf of the nonprofits we serve.

    We strongly encourage you to take advantage of our PGCGP educational and professional development offerings to learn from our expert presenters.

    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, on October 25th 2023 at the Inn at Villanova in Wayne, PA.
    • Register for the upcoming two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2024 as a good introduction to our philanthropic field.
    • Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved with our PGCGP committees to ensure the success of our PGCGP program offerings while strengthening your professional skills and networking with your colleagues.
    • Get acquainted with our sponsors and take advantage of their quality services and products to better serve our planned giving community. We remain deeply grateful for our ongoing partnerships with our sponsors.

    Please consider partnering with PGCGP to cultivate connections with our constituents and colleagues. Our educational sessions offer useful venues to interact with fellow practitioners who can share their insights and advice to achieve positive results within the planned giving field. Together we can share our success stories and best practices while benefiting both the causes we serve and the benefactors who support them with their philanthropic legacies.

    We hope to see you soon and extend all good wishes for an abundant autumn!

  • Monday, September 25, 2023 3:23 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written by Julie Karavan, MS, CFRE

    Many of the institutions we serve welcome donors to our Legacy Societies on what is sometimes called an “inclusive” basis. That is, a donor shares that they have included the institution in their estate planning, and the donor is then included in the Legacy Society. Once a donor is a member of a Legacy Society, we have a commitment to stewardship which can often span decades. This relationship, by virtue of both prospect assignment as well as staff turnover, will often include many different development officers throughout the donor’s relationship with your institution.

    When you join a new institution, you will likely find Legacy Society members without a booked estate commitment. The gold standard for documenting an estate commitment includes a copy of a legally valid will, a trust document, or a beneficiary designation form for assets like life insurance policies or retirement accounts. However, many institutions will book the gift for advancement purposes using something else in writing; be it a signed form, agreement or memorandum affirming the commitment; a letter or email affirming the commitment from the donor to the institution or even a letter from the institution  to the donor, confirming the institutions understanding of the commitment. Review your institution’s gift acceptance policy to understand what is acceptable for booking for advancement purposes.

    For a gift officer to book an estate commitment, the donor must specify the amount they plan to give. Let’s explore tactics for arriving at a dollar amount for estate gifts, highlighting the importance of asset identification, income considerations, and techniques like anchoring, recognition, and designation.

    Identifying the Asset

    A crucial starting point in determining a dollar amount is identifying the asset your donor wishes to use in making their gift plan. Often, this involves assets that stand outside the scope of a will, such as beneficiary designations on life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or other financial instruments. Understanding which assets, the donor plans to allocate can significantly influence the size of the gift.

    For example, a donor might designate a percentage of their retirement account to your organization. In this case, calculating the approximate value of the account can provide a starting point for discussions. Ensuring that the donor has a clear understanding of the financial implications of their choice and the potential tax benefits can be a valuable part of the conversation.

    Consideration for Lifetime Income

    While donors may be eager to create a lasting legacy, they may hesitate to name an amount if they fear outliving their assets. If a donor expresses interest or concern about lifetime income for themselves or their loved ones, it may be a good time to discuss a charitable gift annuity or trust. These planned gifts can provide donors or their beneficiaries with a stream of income while supporting your institution's mission.

    Emphasizing the revocable nature of estate gifts and beneficiary designations is another opportunity to help your donor become comfortable with citing an amount and exploring with you the potential impact of a deferred gift.

    Additional Strategies

    1.      Anchoring Against Averages: One effective technique is to anchor the donor's gift against the average size of estate gifts received by your organization or in the charitable sector. By providing this benchmark, the donor may become more comfortable citing the expected amount of their deferred gift.

    2.      Recognition and Impact Levels: Another approach is to share information about specific recognition or naming opportunities at designated gift levels. When donors understand that a particular gift amount will establish a scholarship in honor of a loved one, fund research which addresses a family concern, or contribute to a significant project which will carry their name, they may be more likely to share the expected amount of their commitment.

    3.      Creating Funds with Specific Goals: Encourage donors to consider the impact they wish to achieve with their gift. Share with them a limited number, three to five levels of funding necessary to make a difference in a particular area of your institution's work. By limiting choices and asking donors to align with a level, you can pursue a conversation which encourages your donor to cite a specific level of contribution that aligns with their philanthropic vision.

    Securing estate gifts is a vital component of fundraising for many charitable organizations. These transformative gifts can have a lasting impact, but arriving at an articulated dollar amount can be a delicate and nuanced process. While the ABCs of sales is “always be closing;” the ABCs of stewardship is “always be communicating”.  Legacy Society Members require active and ongoing stewardship and communication. Part of this communication can include identifying the amount of their commitment to your institution. Tactics such as anchoring, recognition, and creating funds with specific goals can inspire donors to share their plans with you and the causes you champion.

  • Monday, September 25, 2023 3:15 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Stelter Client Strategist Jana Cobb shares her experience and teaches us that patience is a virtue--in life--and planned giving.

    Times Patience (Literally)Paid Off in Planned Giving 

  • Thursday, June 08, 2023 3:09 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Delia G. Perez, CFRE, CAP®

    As we welcome the summer season, we hope you can make the time to enjoy the good weather and engage in your favorite pursuits with family and friends. We also urge you to take advantage of our PGCGP educational curriculum to improve your overall philanthropic results on behalf of the nonprofits we serve.

    We encourage you to take advantage of our PGCGP educational and professional development offerings to learn from our expert presenters.

    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, on October 25, 2023 at the Inn at Villanova in Wayne, PA.
    • Register for the upcoming two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2024 as a good introduction to our philanthropic field.
    • Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved with our PGCGP committees to ensure the success of our PGCGP program offerings while strengthening your professional skills and networking with your colleagues.
    • Get acquainted with our sponsors and take advantage of the quality services and products they provide to better serve our planned giving community. We remain deeply grateful for our ongoing partnerships with our sponsors.

    Please consider partnering with PGCGP to cultivate connections with our constituents and colleagues. Our educational sessions offer useful venues to interact with fellow practitioners who can share their insights and advice to achieve positive results within the planned giving field. Together we can share our success stories and best practices while benefiting both the causes we serve and the benefactors who support them with their philanthropic legacies.

    We hope to see you soon and extend all good wishes for a wonderful summer!

  • Thursday, June 08, 2023 3:03 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Mary Fischer Nassib, President and Co-Founder of Sow Good Now

    Sow Good Now (SGN) is an innovative youth philanthropy organization that masterfully integrates activity-based philanthropic education and active volunteerism into the well-organized, diverse, and expansive network of youth athletics. Over 45 million youths in the United States participate in organized sporting activity annually. SGN meets our young people where they are: gyms, pools, fields, rinks, and links and puts forth a new model of philanthropy that is both inclusive and engaging. 

    Traditional philanthropy is often siloed and practiced in a grantor to grantee process. Yet, SGN GiveBack programs embrace diversity and challenge communities to collaborate in sharing their unique gifts. SGN leadership guides youth and their mentors through participatory grantmaking exercises where participants are both givers and receivers. During this process, youth, communities, and philanthropy are transformed.

    Examples of SGN’s network of activities and philanthropical experiences are numerous as the mission is actualized among the participants and athlete mentors. Within the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area, SGN created a network between the Philadelphia Baseball Training Academy (PBTA) and Sunrise of Philadelphia for events focusing on the importance of introducing philanthropy at a young age. To facilitate participation, transportation and food were also provided. Arriving from an underserved area, the elementary school participants were exposed to basic baseball skills and community-centric grantmaking.

    The high school mentors opened their community and shared their time, talent, and treasure with a group of students that may not have had the opportunity to see a high-level training facility and learn how to play baseball. Fifty (50) elementary school age students were provided dry training and fundamental baseball skills over a five-hour training period with the purpose of giving them confidence and encouraging them to “yes” to the programs offered in their geographic area. 

    During the Giveback, there were 350 athletic items distributed by SGN volunteers to the eager participants including gloves, baseballs, hats, sunglasses, and backpacks.  According to the Director of Sunrise, “the kids did not want to take their gloves off and sat with them at their desks for days after the event.” Multiple positive outcomes were actualized including:  100% of the children served were from an underserved area that has a median household income in 2020 of $30,495* with roughly one third of the population living in poverty.  Further, 100% of middle and high school baseball players expressed feeling good about sharing their skills to help children in need and would do it again if asked. 

    The middle- and high- school age baseball players provided hands on 1:1 ratio coaching and mentoring. This peer instruction from the mentors was highly effective as they built trust and shared skills.  During the camp they had access to state-of-the-art training facilities including batting cages and two full-size baseball diamonds.

    A short video at https://youtu.be/SOEvz5711OQ capturing perspectives from coaches and mentors spreads awareness of SGN’s mission.  The success of this initiative will see another GiveBack offered in 2023. To prepare for future programs, PBTA players and coaches visited the schools that Sunrise services to get to know them and their community better and plan for ways to best collaborate in the future.

    Another example of SGN’s outreach includes the Jefferson University Softball Team who was matched up with Phillies MLB Urban Youth Academy (UYA) for direct and caring service. The video https://youtu.be/qOfRi9sS27 depicts the activities of the day as mentors and youth participants intersect to teach and learn skills, relationship building, and youth philanthropy education. Members from the SGN Team guided the coaches and college players through the steps to engage with UYA girls in relationship building and conversations around college life, athletics at the next level, and challenges faced by young women today. Additionally, SGN collaborated with the B&A Foundation and used this opportunity to bring good nutritional choices education into the folds of the conversation.  As food insecurity plagues high school and college students in the Philadelphia area, the Farm Fresh Market provided healthy foods for the participants to take home.  Again, numerous athletic items and transportation were provided as Team Jefferson raised $1,000 for mental health awareness which was an expressed concern for the softball team and UYA. The softball GiveBack provided an engaging platform, and the college athletes mentored the UYA players not only in softball but in seeking ways to find help when they face dark days. The 1:1 skill training facilitated bonding that will continue again next year in another GiveBack.  

    While it is hard to believe that there are some children in our area who may never experience owning their own baseball glove or have a caring person engage them in a catch, this is only one symptom of the gap in resources in our society. The SGN GiveBack model moves our youth from beneficiaries to active agents and takes the first step in system change. 

    In 2022, athlete volunteers from the Philadelphia five-county areas raised over $14,000, selected causes that were important to them, and issued grants.  Such causes chosen by the athletes include but are not limited to pediatric cancer, mobile showers for the homeless, suicide prevention, youth and family empowerment in high need areas, boys and girls club teen room remodel, and mental health awareness.  These youth-led grant-making opportunities are critical in the training of a sustainable cycle of philanthropy. Looking ahead, SGN remains committed to its mission to serve and teach youth philanthropy. After all, the focus is not about merely donating money or grants when there is extra; it is about learning how to participate in making the world a better place through our youth. Until there is a level playing field for every child, SGN will continue its work to create a network of support linking community resources, athletes, and underserved communities by offering an alternative to top-down philanthropy by elevating resources in communities from the ground up.

  • Sunday, February 05, 2023 5:38 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Delia G. Perez, CFRE, CAP®


    Chinese New Year 2023 began on January 22nd 2023, ushering in The Year of the Water Rabbit. The new year is expected to be more relaxed and peaceful, with less anger and frustration, and generally seen as being less dramatic or tumultuous than the previous Year of the Tiger.

    According to Chinese Astrology, the Rabbit symbolizes patience, luck, and new beginnings along with some big world-wide changes. Rabbit years support qualities that may have been lacking in the previous year, such as peace and harmony. Intellectual activity will be rich and durable. Justice is everywhere and nobody escapes the long arm of the law in Rabbit years.

    During the Year of the Rabbit, those who are prone to impulsiveness or who have a tendency to be unrealistic will be more level-headed and practical. It is advisable to think carefully before acting to have the best chance of achieving your goals and realizing your plans. It is also predicted that financial success will come more easily during this year.

    The new year and swiftly approaching springtime, represent a time to reflect and recalibrate, review your accomplishments and determine if you achieved your goals, fell short or exceeded your own expectations. Only you know for sure if you did your best. 

    We encourage you to take advantage of the PGCGP educational curriculum and improve your results. We scheduled our usual in-person meetings at the Union League in Philadelphia on March 23rd, June 22nd and September 14th 2023, and please join us for our educational sessions to learn from our expert presenters. 

    • Exceeding your expectations? Then consider presenting a topic relevant to planned giving at one of our educational programs. 
    • Register for our two-day Planned Giving Course in May 2023 as a good introduction to our field.
    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, held at the Union League in Philadelphia on October 25th 2023.
    • Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved with PGCGP committees to ensure the success of PGCGP program offerings while also strengthening your own professional skills while networking with your colleagues.
    • Get acquainted with our sponsors and take advantage of the quality services and products they provide to better serve our planned giving community. Thanks to our ongoing partnerships with our sponsors, we hope you enjoy their timely articles in our newsletter as they share their expertise.

    PGCGP offers a mentoring program for newcomers in the planned giving field and assigns seasoned professionals to help grow a budding career. We offer multiple opportunities for volunteer assignments supporting our council activities and invite you to consider joining your colleagues in service for our profession. We need your help to support PGCGP initiatives. One of the benefits of volunteering is a great networking connection with your colleagues to discuss important facets of your work and exchange ideas to improve effectiveness and efficiency. 

    Make the most of your PGCGP membership and re-energize your work life this year. Wow your donors with excellent stewardship and let them know they are appreciated. Discuss the impact of their generosity, thank them often, ask their advice, and extend an invitation to visit without always soliciting donations. Phone frequently and let your donors know they are important and matter to the mission of your organization. And whenever possible, go visit your donors.

    Be sure to invest in you! Take a course, attend a conference, and strengthen your skill set. Be a better professional by taking better care of you. Get a good night’s sleep, take walks and exercise, and whenever possible, spend time with your loved ones and the important people in your life. Always remember, our donors and the missions we serve deserve us at our very best; don’t skimp on yourself or them.

    We hope the Year of the Rabbit will surprise you as one of your best years ever, and as they say for the Chinese New Year: "Gong xi fa cai," which means “wishing you great happiness and prosperity.”

  • Sunday, February 05, 2023 5:37 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written by: Lynn M. Gaumer, J.D. 

    Best Planned Gift for 2023: the CGA

    (Reprint with permission from Stelter blog)

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P.O. Box 579
Moorestown, NJ 08057-0579

Phone: (267) 597-3817
Fax: (856) 727-9504
E-mail: info@pgcgp.org

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