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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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  • Monday, March 14, 2022 12:43 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

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

    Chinese New Year 2022 began on February 1st 2022, ushering in The Year of the Water Tiger along with its power, passion, and daring. Now is the time to pounce, take a risk, and start new endeavors. Courage, bravery and bold actions are rewarded and maybe we will finally banish COVID in 2022.

    According to Chinese astrology, Tiger years set the stage for creativity, innovation and deep insights. It’s a time of extremes when all of life’s activities will be experienced on a grand scale. Tempers flare, drama and excitement reign, and dreams can become reality while social change, political unrest and economic uncertainty abound.  

    There is no middle ground in a Tiger year with its much-needed dynamism and energy. This is the time to be bold and tackle new projects, and learn new things. Pursue a new job or career, keep progressing and working towards a better future, because you will have the wind at your back during the Year of the Water Tiger!

    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 plan to return to our usual in-person meetings at the Racquet Club in Philadelphia in June 2022 as COVID rates continue to decrease. Please join us for our virtual March 25th and April 1st 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. 
    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, held at the Union League in Philadelphia on October 12, 2022.
    • Register for the preview program in early December (or November) 2022 highlighting our two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2023 as a good introduction to our field.
    • 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.
    • 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 the timely articles submitted by State Street Global Advisors and Northern Trust as they share their expertise in this issue.

    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 Tiger 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.”

  • Monday, March 14, 2022 12:00 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)



    Written by: Katrina M. Pipasts, CSPG,  Director of Planned Giving Services Foundation & Institutional Advisors


    It's Time to Revisit Your Gift Acceptance and Windfall Gift Policies

  • Monday, March 14, 2022 11:55 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Renée P. Atkinson
    Director, Gift Planning
    Swarthmore College
    PGCGP member since 1996







    How did you become involved in the area of gift planning?

    I was lured away from my job at PNC Bank to work for a private gift administration business. I learned most of what I know about Gift Planning from the late Peter Hemmenway. The business is now a part of PGCalc.

    What responsibilities do you have in your current role?

    My primary responsibility is to support the mission of Swarthmore College by assisting donors who want to make an impact on the college using their time, talent, treasure and testimony. Planned giving is the tool I use to assist alumni fulfill their philanthropic goals at Swarthmore.  I am also responsible for tracking and handling estates that come to the college, compliance for our gift planning program, work with our communications team on planned giving marketing and collaborate with colleagues to handle reunion giving for the 50 plus milestone reunion years.

    What part of your job do you find most enjoyable?

    Each time I meet with donors, I am reminded why I do this job. It is uplifting to listen to the stories of why they love the college and the reason for their desire to give back to an institution that means so much to them. I’ve met incredible people.

    What has been the most impactful gift you have worked on in your career?

    I would have to say the most impactful gift I’ve worked on is not the largest, but meant so much to the donor. She is an older alumna of, in her words, “modest means” and was not very connected to the college. However, as she contemplated her mortality she knew she wanted to help a Swarthmore College student.  As a recent immigrant to the U.S. when she matriculated, she had a difficult time adjusting to the point of contemplating taking her life. She felt if her six-figure gift could in anyway help a student from experiencing what she did, then it was worth it. 

    What are you hearing from donors and prospects at this point in time?

    Right now, I am hearing a mixture of hope with the lifting of the pandemic and despair with the start of the Russia/Ukraine war.  Our donors continue to be generous and are giving through IRAs and Donor Advised Funds.  It is prudent of us as gift planners to forge relationships with financial advisors and vice versa. We should all want the same thing – to assist our donor/clients in the way that makes most sense for them.

    How do planned gifts make a difference to your organization?

    Planned gifts insure the future of the college. I like to say that while outright giving is king, planned giving rules.

    How do you benefit from your PGCGP membership?

    I’ve benefited from my 18 plus years of membership in the council in many ways. I’ve been able to increase my knowledge about more complex gifts through the quarterly education sessions and Planned Giving Day, I’ve met peers who’ve become mentors and friends and I’ve taken advantage of the council’s mentorship program to become a mentor myself.

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 12:03 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

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

    As the year’s end swiftly approaches, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their efforts throughout the year. The success of the Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia relies on the contributions of our members and this past year, we enjoyed much success in spite of the lingering impact of the pandemic. On behalf of PGCGP, thank you for your dedicated support of the council throughout the year.

    We’ve come through a year filled with both challenges and opportunities, and it’s been reassuring to know that we can count on your endorsement of our council to provide an informative and educational curriculum focused on best practices in planned giving. On behalf of the council, we extend our genuine appreciation to each and every one you for your invaluable support of PGCGP.

    We encourage you to explore ways to get the most from your PGCGP membership: 

    • Regularly attend PGCGP’s Educational Programs offered in-person at the Racquet Club in Philadelphia to stay current in our field.
    • Register for the two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2022 as an informative overview of planned giving’s role in our field of philanthropy. 
    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, on October 27th 2022 at the Union League in Philadelphia to improve overall philanthropic results on behalf of the causes we serve.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    As we reflect on events on the past year, be sure to cherish time with family and friends, and also resolve to make 2022 the best of years. With all good wishes and happiness to you and your families for a wonderful holiday season.

    Wishing you healthy and happy holidays!

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 11:58 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)


    Written By: Kristen Jaarda, J.D., LL.M., CAP

    In April 2020, shortly after the world shut down, Martha’s Village & Kitchen, a homeless shelter, food pantry and childcare provider in Indio, California, hired George Nasci-Sinatra as its major gifts officer. While the limited personal contact with donors posed initial challenges, George found new ways to reach and motivate supporters to give, making 2020 one of the best fundraising years in the organization’s history.

    George says, “It was scary because the world was shutting down while Martha’s Village & Kitchen was gearing up.” Because people were out of work and children who normally received school lunches were forced to stay home, the organization was seeing three times the normal number of people needing meals from the daily food pantry and the number was regularly doubling for the daily public lunch the nonprofit served. The organization also had to hire more staff to meet new social distancing protocols. “The pressure was on to raise money,” George said.

    How did George meet and exceed Martha’s Village and Kitchen’s fundraising goals in the midst of the pandemic? George tried two new ideas. First, he sent a mailing to supporters with the goal of obtaining bequest acknowledgements. The organization sent a letter with a remittance card and reply envelope to 432 individuals not directly asking for money, but encouraging them to “share our spirit.” The results were astounding! George received 19 replies from supporters confirming unknown bequests and 23 requests for information on how to proceed with naming the organization as the beneficiary of a will or other planned gift. While there was no fundraising appeal in the letter, 66 recipients sent the nonprofit the return envelope and many enclosed cash and check donations totaling over $11,000.

    Who were the donors that responded? George says that 95% of the people who responded were known supporters in their database. However, 5% were completely new donors to Martha’s Village. Out of the 66 recipients who responded, 13 were supporters who had never given to the organization.

    George’s second strategy was to send a donor survey on September 7, 2020 to 2,111 contacts. The survey asked questions about the recipients' familiarity with the organization, communication methods and ease of giving. The email had a 35% open rate and 12% click-through rate, generating 91 responses. Three recipients acknowledged new bequests to the organization, while 11 recipients requested additional information on ways to give.

    George said that there was a spike in estate planning guide web downloads from their planned giving website immediately after the survey was sent. One of the more surprising results was that some of the respondents acknowledged that they were not sure who to contact at the organization when they had a need or a question. While not all responses to a survey will be positive, survey responses are nonetheless valuable in helping nonprofits respond to supporters’ needs and plan for future communications.

    What have you done during COVID to reach out to your supporters? What strategy has worked best for encouraging donors to support your cause during this time? Please email me at kristen@cresmail.come about how you have seen success in the midst of COVID-19.

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 11:48 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)


    Written By:  Anthony R. Alonso, President, Catapult Fundraising, Inc.

    Thirty years ago, when I began working on phone programs for annual fund and capital campaign programs, I always stumbled upon the same questions from nonprofits; Will calling our constituents really generate better results than direct mail? Will donors be put-off by a call? Can we use an outside vendor to call our loyal donors?

    Since then, these questions have been emphatically answered. An annual fund phone program has become a major component in almost every non-profit’s arsenal. It generates revenue that otherwise would be unavailable and provides an opportunity to upgrade donors in a way that direct mail cannot. When done properly, such calls also engender goodwill and enhance the relationships between the donor and the nonprofit.

    Now, the same questions are being asked once again, this time about planned-giving phone calls. Surely, we cannot call our loyal donors to ask them for a planned gift? The question I always ask in return has remained the same over the years; What’s the alternative? Ask your very best prospects and ignore the rest?

    Chances are, you have hundreds of planned gifts that are just a phone call away, but your donors simply have not been asked. This is not surprising. Among U.S. residents over age 30, only 22 percent say they have been approached by a nonprofit organization to consider a planned gift, according to a national survey.

    As with all appeals, the question is not Should I do it? Rather, it is about how to do it in a way that leaves your donors feeling good about your mission and reinvested in your cause.

    As fundraisers, you are inherently taught that face-to-face solicitation is the best means of soliciting donors. So what do you do? You cannot reach everyone through a face-to-face solicitation for a planned gift any more than you can for an annual fund contribution.

    As fundraising professionals, it is our job to look at every solicitation methodology with an eye toward personalization. How do you make a planned-gift phone solicitation mimic the basic principles of face-to-face solicitation? Here is one effective method:

    STEP 1: Prospect identification. First, analyze your donor database and identify your best planned giving prospects based on loyalty. Look at how many consecutive years a donor has made a gift. Remove those already assigned to a major-gift officer or who should be assigned to one. Studies have shown your best planned-giving prospects are those with modest but consistent giving patterns. Also, look for other loyalty indicators such as volunteerism, attendance at special programs, such as estate-planning seminars, etc.

    STEP 2: Pre-call introductory letter. Next, a pre-call introductory letter from a loyal volunteer should be sent to the selected donors a few days in advance of the calls. The letter should thank the recipients for their loyal support over the years. The letter should go on to tell a story of why the volunteer has chosen to make a planned gift and the resulting impact of that gift. Finally, the letter should indicate that the prospects can expect a call to discuss interest in learning more about making a planned gift to your foundation.

    STEP 3: Prospect qualification calls. Then, a well-trained caller should phone and thank the donors for their loyal support over the years. In an informal yet structured conversation, the callers should explore and record the reasons for the donors’ loyal support and ask if they would like to explore ways in which they could include the foundation in their long-term plans.

    STEP 4: Referral and follow-up. The trained callers should refer expressions of interest to specially designated gift-planning specialists for professional planned giving discussions and follow-up in accordance with your organization’s pre-approved criteria. The foundation should then confirm bequests and other revocable commitments by means of a confidential confirmation form.

    Case Study

    A private hospital located in southern New Jersey recently embarked on a planned-giving calling program, and the results exceeded their expectations.

    Background: Due to the hospital’s high volume of loyal donors, the planned giving team needed assistance in cultivating relationships with those donors with the highest planned-giving potential.

    The Goals: The planned giving calling program had four broad goals:

    1.      Thoroughly thank the donors for their years of loyal support

    2.      Determine interest in including the hospital in their estate plans

    3.      Confirm and quantify gifts already completed and thank/recognize these donors

    4.      Educate and assist donors about planned gift options

    The Program: The hospital implemented a highly personalized planned giving telephone outreach program and selected 1,000 of their most loyal donors to contact. Donors were initially called by a Tier 1 caller who thanked prospects for their years of loyal support and determined each prospect’s interest in making a planned gift. Depending on the prospect’s level of interest, an additional phone call was made by a Tier 2 caller, a planned giving specialist with more than 20 years of planned giving experience. Tier 2 callers informed prospects of planned gift options, confirming, and when possible, quantifying planned-gift values.

    Results and Outcomes: Of the 1,000 prospects called, 770 were reached. Of these, 30% expressed a current interest in planned giving or had already competed a planned gift.

    Tier 2 callers followed up with each of these individuals to secure the gift. An additional 68 prospects expressed interest in exploring options for a planned gift in the future. The hospital will follow up with these prospects in years to come.

    Tier 2 callers secured and received written/verbal confirmation of 18 planned gifts, totaling $1,023,000.

    Going Forward: Based on the success of this program, and many others that have explored the calling option, either with their own paid/volunteer callers or with an outside vendor, it is clear that your next planned gift may just be a phone call away! 

    Anthony Alonso, President of Catapult Fundraising, Inc., has over 30 years of experience in direct marketing. Anthony’s expertise has led his clients to successfully raise over $250 million within the last five years from the lower end of the donor pyramid. Anthony has had the honor of working with prestigious organizations including Cleveland Clinic, Anne Arundel Medical Center, NYU Winthrop Hospital, and Caron Treatment Centers.

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 11:39 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)
    Written By: Janis Harlow, CEO of Paper Tigress Personal Finance Care, LLC

    In my world, assisted banking is commonplace.  My clients range from busy professionals who have no time to deal with the minutia behind their financial status, to elders who need protection and help in our increasingly complex, automated world.  I am a Daily Money Manager.  If you have never heard the term, it’s not surprising.  The
    American Association of Daily Money Managers is a rapidly growing organization of professionals and currently boasts a membership of only about 750 people in the US.  AADMM members are held to a high standard of ethics and professionalism, and are criminally background checked bi-annually.  We exist to ease the financial stress and fear that many people experience; to keep an eye on their affairs for their own protection.

    In the retail banking and financial industries, protection and security are paramount.  Banking software is becoming increasingly sophisticated at identifying just who is accessing an account and inventing new ways to provide security to clients.  Therein lies the rub.  For technically unsophisticated clients, it can be a nightmare to jump through the hoops to allow a third party to assist them with tasks such as paying bills, accessing statements and reconciling accounts.  I have had clients change banks because of the frequent re-verification and lock-out issues.  I understand that problems are often browser or user error, but reality is that frustration can be very high. 

    Issues

    As a professional who provides assisted banking, there are some recurring issues I see:

    • Account owners must share their user id, password, and password reset information in order for a family member, employee, or professional to help.  This is not a good practice because passwords and security answers are often used across many accounts.
    • “Agent” access is permitted by a few banks but is usually too limited to be of use on personal accounts.  View-only access does not ensure that the bills get paid.
    • There is no user accessible audit trail of who did what on the account.  Along with multiple users comes the need to prove who did what.
    • Although I am often a client’s best defense against ‘family and trusted other’ fraud, it is increasingly difficult to work with certain banks.

    Of course, this is a general assessment and may not apply to every bank.  In fact, I would love to hear from any financial institution that has addressed these issues!

    Changes Needed

    I would like to see retail banks be proactive in this regard purely in light of the fact that the number of people over the age of 85 is expected to roughly quadruple over the next 30 years.  We are living longer but age-associated cognitive decline is often the companion to our longevity.  I believe that a secure team approach is a needed option for personal banking and related accounts. 

    1.    Allow account owners to set up sub-users on their accounts with grantable access options like

    a.    full access

    b.    read-only

    c.     bill pay but no transfers

    d.    statement access

    e.    audit trail review

    2.   Sub-users would have their own passwords and security questions with their own 2FA

    3.    Account owner or another set of eyes could see activity of sub-users via an audit trail

    4.    Sub-users could be required to pass a fiduciary test to be sure they at least understand their role.

    I hear too many people say that they have added a son or daughter to their account to provide assisted banking should the need arise.  While this is sometimes ok, it can also impact inheritance plans, student financial aid, debt liability, and promote entitlement fraud.  It makes more sense in most cases to allow monitored access to an account rather than ownership.

    Obviously, these changes cannot occur overnight and much more thought, and hopefully collaboration, will have to be put into it.  I encourage the banking industry to consider that AADMM is a professional group that is willing to provide insight and work cooperatively for the greater good of mutual clients.

    Janis Harlow provides Daily Money Management services to those who need a calm, patient financial partner to assist with bill paying, document organization, budgeting, and computer needs, to improve clarity and reduce financial stress.  She is an author and CEO of Paper Tigress Personal Finance Care, LLC, a member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers.  Her company is focused on serving Seniors, Caregivers, and the non-financial Spouse.  Janis is a Paul Harris Fellow(Rotary) and has served as a Treasurer of her church.   She received both her BS and MBA from the University of Delaware.  www.PaperTigressPFC.com

  • Friday, December 10, 2021 11:14 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)


    Aruna Pappu, Esq.

    Associate Director of Planned Giving 

    American Association for Cancer Research

    PGCGP member since 2018



    Tell us how you shifted your career focus to the area of gift planning.

    As an attorney, over the years I worked in law and accounting firms helping clients with estate and wealth planning. These were high-net wealth individuals with strong philanthropic intentions. So on the client advisory side I was working with clients on how to achieve their goals and then coordinating with non-profit development people to ensure those intentions could be met. David Toll brought me to Drexel where I transitioned into charitable gift planning. Now I’m on the other side, representing the non-profit to clients/donors and solely focus on the philanthropic component instead of estate planning across the board and I love it, because to me, that is the most meaningful part.

    What responsibilities do you have in your current role?

    I started at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in June because they, like so many non-profits, didn’t have a dedicated planned giving team and could only work ad hoc on estate gifts. They needed a dedicated planned giving officer to build up a program and proactively develop a pipeline of donors while stewarding donors with legacy gift intentions. As the planned giving lead, I work in tandem with a major gift officer. We have an amazing membership of 47,000 cancer researchers, Ph.D.s, medical doctors, and more across the world who we hope to engage with messaging about the impact of planned gifts on our organization.

    What part of your job do you find most enjoyable?

    Our organization is working to cure cancer through research, education, and outreach. I am personally connected to and passionate about AACR’s mission because I lost my husband to Stage 4 colorectal cancer. With more testing and research, like AACR is doing, things could have been different. I want to see that mission accomplished so one day families will be spared this kind of pain and loss.

    The most rewarding part of what I do is meeting with our members and prospects and listening to what they want to accomplish through philanthropy; learning their stories and how they want to make an impact with their planned gifts. When I hear how they want to help, it’s so reassuring -- heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I am so honored that they trust me to help them achieve their philanthropic and personal goals.

    What are you hearing from donors at this point in time?

    Concerns about potential changes in tax laws – the same thing everyone is hearing. They wonder, “should I give now, should I liquidate, should I not?”. The uncertainty is causing a lot of questions. Those who have something in mind are pulling the plug and are scrambling to get things done this month (December) before things might change – so I’ve been busy! Those still in the planning stages are on the fence, waiting to see how their retirement and their heirs could be impacted by tax laws.

    How do planned gifts make a difference to your organization?

    As all of us in the PG community know, the most significant, substantial, and impactful gifts are planned gifts. The positive and sometimes life-changing effects can be far reaching. Planned gifts = greater funding = more research = cures.

    How do you benefit from your PGCGP membership?

    I benefit in so many ways, professionally and personally. I can email or pick up the phone and call another member for insight or just talk shop. It’s so nice to have a personal network; there’s a real camaraderie. In PGCGP you can tap leaders who’ve worked in this philanthropic space for years. They are beacons of knowledge and great mentors. It’s a great group where you can get help and also become part of a greater collective of people you can also call friends. It’s a cross section of folks at this interesting juncture of planned giving and offers a nice meeting place for all these different areas – law, tax, non-profit - to come together. 

  • Friday, September 10, 2021 11:11 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

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

    At long last we welcome autumn after a seemingly endless hot and humid summer! Hopefully, you took advantage of some much-needed down time to reconnect with family and friends. As students return to in-person classes, we also urge you to take advantage of the PGCGP educational curriculum and apply your efforts to improve overall philanthropic results on behalf of the causes we serve.

    We applaud everyone’s collective efforts to hasten a return to “normal” with diligent vaccination measures and mask-wearing protocol as needed. We are optimistic about resuming in-person networking activities and learning opportunities in Philadelphia, and hope to host our premier educational experience, the Planned Giving Day Conference at the Union League on October 27th 2021. In the interim, please join us for upcoming virtual educational sessions to learn from our expert presenters.

    I also encourage you to explore ways to get the most from your PGCGP membership: 

    • Attend our annual premier educational event, the Planned Giving Day Conference, on October 27th 2021 at the Union League in Philadelphia.
    • Register for the two-day Planned Giving Course in April 2022 as a good introduction to our field and the half-day summary program on October 26th 2021.
    • Volunteer your time and expertise. Get involved with PGCGP committees to ensure the success of PGCGP program offerings while also strengthening your professional skills.
    • 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.

    Have a healthy and productive autumn!

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