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Philadelphia’s Leadership in American Charitable Gift Planning

Thursday, May 28, 2020 9:48 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

Written by: Ronald A. Brown, Author, “A History of Charitable Gift Planning” (Amazon 2017)

I am excited to bring this presentation to Philadelphia, home for so much American history! It is not surprising that your fair city is important in shaping gift planning today.

This will not be like any other webinar. A few years ago, I realized something is missing in the way America trains its charitable gift planners. Something important.

Where do gift planners turn for knowledge about our rich history? Seminars rarely venture beyond the last few years. No one else is teaching or writing about the fundamentally important charitable bequests, trusts, annuities, and gifts of complex assets by colonists and by citizens of the newborn United States. Even recent events, like the national crisis that led to the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, have disappeared from our agendas.

I lead a campaign to own what came before us. The goal of my campaign is to enable you to recognize new facets of yourself through true stories and well-documented historical facts. Enlightened gift planners have clearer vision and are empowered to recover our proud American heritage.

My campaign is based on thousands of hours of scholarly research and writing. I make the results available through my book A History of Charitable Gift Planning (Amazon 2017), my free website at www.giftplanninghistory.org and my presentations for planned giving councils and conferences across America.

On June 18 my session for PGCGP has four chapters.

1) We begin the story of charitable bequests and trusts where America began. That is the best way to understand what comes later. Our early history is not told this way anywhere else. You don’t want to miss it!

2) You will see the important roles Philadelphia plays in the history of gift planning. Some of these roles include:

Bequests, trusts, and gifts of complex assets provided vital support for the Pennsylvania Hospital, founded in 1751 by Dr. Thomas Bond and Benjamin Franklin.    

America’s first known gift annuity in 1831 was funded by John Trumbull’s best paintings of the American Revolution, including a 1776 scene in Independence Hall and a portrait of Philadelphia hero Dr. Benjamin Rush.

Stephen Girard’s bequest to found Girard College, the largest gift to that point in American history, was challenged by greedy distant relatives. A Supreme Court decision in Vidal v. Girard’s Executors (1844) changed national policy on charitable trusts.

A Philadelphia actuary named George Augustus Huggins introduced data-based decision making into American fundraising at the first ACGA conference in 1927. Huggins created a risk-management system for gift annuity programs based on business practices of life insurance and commercial annuity firms. His actuarial model is now enshrined in federal law governing all life-income gifts.

3) We revisit the crisis created by a class-action lawsuit that threatened 1,900 charities with triple damages, and that led to the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995. This far-reaching law affects the work of gift planners and investment firms every day.     

4) We end with tax reforms in 1969 and 1986 that caused a great wave of planned gifts but opened a door to self-dealing abuses. A group of volunteers, including me, responded by founding the National Committee on Planned Giving, now known as the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

What will you gain from participating in this unique webinar? You will see yourself and your work in a fresh new light. A world of gift planning stories and ideas will be opened for you. I can’t wait to get started!

Click here to register for the June 18th webinar.

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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