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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.

  • 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!

  • Friday, September 10, 2021 11:07 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Colleen Becht-Folz, CFRE®, CAP®

    Cases such as William Robertson, et. al v. Princeton University, et al., Tennessee Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy v. Vanderbilt, and locally, The Barnes Foundation’s Petition to the Orphan’s Court to Change Settlor’s Intent have all acted as cautionary tales to nonprofit organizations and donors, alike. The outcomes have defined donor intent in the nonprofit sector and changed the discourse between charity and donor to ensure that gifts are used to both benefit the charitable mission and remain true to the intent of the gift.


    These conversations have brought wealth/estate planning advisors and gift planning officers to the table to help establish complex, blended gifts when working with high-net-worth donors. When these gifts come to fruition, mission activities - whether it is research, education, or community programs - will be eternally transformed for the betterment of society.

    But, these conversations are few and far between for most fundraising professionals responsible for gift planning, particularly in organizations where programs rely on the vast number of previously-unknown bequests that are realized each year or are a low priority compared to more immediate gifts. Instead of these wonderful, proactive conversations regarding an ultimate gift at the end of life, difficult conversations between nonprofit estate administration offices and estate personal representatives (PR) occur on a more regular basis.

    When a PR calls to inform an organization of a bequest and expresses how the decedent would have liked the gift used, too often, organizational staff must respond with the dreaded phrases “I am sorry, but that is not how it is written in the will,” or “I am sorry, but our organization does not accept these types of gifts.”  When a bequest cannot be accepted as written, the organization may need to take legal action to change the use of that gift, leading to a smaller gift than intended or no gift at all.

    In many cases, a slight change in the bequest language before the will is finalized can make all the difference. Simple steps can be taken in both nonprofit organizations and estate planning firms that will allow gift planning officers and advisors to better serve shared clients/donors, as both have a vested interest in ensuring the integrity of Legacy Gifts.

    For example, fundraising staff responsible for gift planning programs can get involved in local and regional estate planning councils; network with area wealth management advisors and estate planning attorneys; and provide accurate and concise bequest language to advisors to ensure that legacy gifts can be used by the organization and follow the true intent of the gift.

    Estate planning advisors can ask more probing questions of their clients when charity is included in estate plans to determine the true intent of the legacy gift; compile a list of the most common charities that clients have named as beneficiaries and get to know the local gift planning officers for those organizations; and use gift planning officers as a resource, reach out to obtain the appropriate bequest language for clients from the organizations chosen as beneficiaries. (Of course, the conversation can remain anonymous).  

    When estate planning advisors and gift planning officers work together, no matter the size or timing of the gift, the ongoing legacy of shared clients/donors is preserved.

  • Friday, September 10, 2021 10:51 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Liz Hefner


    Association of Fundraising Professionals – Greater Philadelphia Chapter. Original blog post Sept 2020. Used with permission.

    Great storytelling motivates. It should make audiences feel something powerful and want to take action. As fundraisers, we are often the storyteller as we shape narratives to demonstrate impact, need, and heart to our donors and volunteers. Often, this shaping process maximizes fundraising impact without intentionally considering the sources of the story - the people or community served. As fundraisers, there is an opportunity to create narratives, which engage donors and prevents objectification of people and communities. Communities and people served by our organizations can invite audiences to share a moment with them and inspire the audience to action rather than becoming a token of your organization's brand.

    This process eases tensions between program officers, who want to convey impact without dehumanizing anyone, and fundraisers who want to inspire donors. It is important that fundraisers develop the tools needed to = create opportunities to empower and equip the people at the center of your organization's story to own, craft, and develop their narrative. In this process, they find their voice and discover how their own narrative intersects with your organization.

    One of the most important tools you can develop is your interview process.

    Before Interview Checklist:

    1. Check your assumptions

    o   Will the interview create harm, trauma, or delay progress related to a person’s reason for being apart of your organization

    o   What assets/values/gifts do you already see, know about, what to learn more

       2. Introduce yourself and check-in

    o   Are there any questions or concerns you can answer ahead of the interview

    o   Share your role in the org and the goal of the interview

        3.  Confirm that they are comfortable with their story being shared on   
              a variety of platforms

    During Interview Checklist:

    1. Check-In with your interview and confirm that the scheduled time still works for them
      2. Re-Introduce Yourself

    o   Ask what their interview goals are for the interview

    o   Shift the power back to the interviewee

    o   Acknowledge your privilege, position, and power as the author/recorder of the interview

    o   Empower them to own their narrative.  Let them know your intent to be a pathway for your audience to hear from them in their words with their voice and mean it.

    o   Let them know they will get to approve the final product(s)

      3. Confirm pronouns, and preferred name  4. Check body language as you continue through the interview to gauge
           comfort and determine if you should continue.

    Post Interview Checklist:

    1. Provide the final product to the interview before

    2. Check your bias, filter, and language shifts that don’t honor the interviewee’s goals or that reinforce systemic racism and stereotypes.

    As you begin telling stories orient every narrative around value, assets, and opportunity for the teller not simply your fundraising objective.

  • Friday, September 10, 2021 10:26 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)
  • Friday, September 10, 2021 10:16 AM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Mary Fischer-Nassib, CAP®
    Co-Founder and President
    Sow Good Now
    PGCGP member since 2021

    Tell us about the work of Sow Good Now.

    Founded in July of 2018, Sow Good Now utilizes organized youth sporting activities as a platform for philanthropic education and inspiration, as we partner with sports teams and other nonprofits to increase community collaboration and intentional giving. Sow Good Now aligns each team of athletes with a youth group to teach the fundamentals of philanthropy and engage them in active volunteerism and participatory grantmaking. This is done through Giveback clinics where the athletes act as coaches and mentors spreading the joys of giving their time, talent, and treasure.  The outcome is the mentors encourage the next generation of philanthropists at their rudimentary levels.

    Roughly 45 million children participate in sports in the U.S. annually and there are less than 500 youth philanthropy programs nationwide. By bringing diverse community members together through the sports they love, and by integrating a spirit of generosity with active volunteerism and participatory grantmaking, a new and sustainable ecosystem of philanthropic giving can be established. Sow Good Now’s model transforms the individual athlete by inspiring passion, providing philanthropic education, and developing leadership skills. Those who donate to the organization are collectively lifting youth voices and applying innovation to address social issues for a better tomorrow.

    What responsibilities do you have in your role?

    As the co-founder and president of a start-up impact organization, I wear a lot of hats. I am a program director, cheerleader, recruiter, educator, student, researcher, coach, fundraiser, communication specialist, evangelist, and operations specialist. However, my main responsibility is to empower young athletes to share their gifts with others in meaningful ways and grow philanthropy through the sports we love.

    What part of your role is most enjoyable?

    It thrills me when young people experience an “aha moment” and realize how powerful they are, as they start to fully recognize their potential to make a positive impact on the world. I am moved when our work changes the trajectory of an athlete’s life and the focus shifts from achievement to service. I am inspired when teams come together and collectively share their time, talent, treasures, and ties with others. Their joy inspires our volunteers to continue to achieve our mission.

    What is the most impactful gift your organization has received?

    At Sow Good Now, we believe every gift is impactful. In effective philanthropy, we need to work as a team, and we believe that the person who holds the key to the gym is equally as important as the person who builds it. Without the whole community’s commitment to service and generosity, we cannot maximize the good that is possible.

    What are  donors saying about why they choose to support your organization?

    When we first started in 2018 and took to the fields, courts, and gyms to teach philanthropy, many donors and volunteers commented that the word “philanthropy” was too hard to use with young players. They suggested we replace it with “community service.”  We held fast to our conviction that philanthropy is the love of mankind and that if that was too difficult for them, then maybe they were in the wrong place. Now we commonly hear comments such as “we need more philanthropy!”

    How do planned gifts make a difference to your organization?

    Since we are a fairly new entity, we are still building our efforts in integrating planned gifts into our fundraising, but we expect them to become a big part of our organization. By educating younger people in philanthropy, we hope to raise generations of givers who have ample time to learn about and understand the tools available to leaving a legacy. They will be better prepared to talk to their families, advisors, and planners about charitable strategies in the future.

    How do you benefit from PGCGP membership?

    The PGCGP membership provides the Sow Good Now leadership team with a great network of giving experts and a community of diverse philanthropists. We have met so many great people with whom I can share ideas and issues as they arise.

    Learn more about Sow Good Now by visiting sowgoodnow.org.

  • Wednesday, June 09, 2021 4:43 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Delia Perez, CFRE

    As we head into the summer season, we hope you can enjoy the good weather and engage in your favorite outdoor recreational pursuits with family and friends. We also urge you to take advantage of the PGCGP educational curriculum to improve your overall philanthropic results on behalf of the causes we serve.

    As we play our collective role in getting things back to “normal” with vaccine rates increasing and COVID cases decreasing, we are optimistic that Philadelphia will keep easing indoor capacity restrictions, allowing us to resume in-person networking activities and learning opportunities in Center City. Until that time, please considering joining us for upcoming virtual educational sessionsto 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 safe summer!

  • Wednesday, June 09, 2021 4:27 PM | Anna Matheson (Administrator)

    Written By: Jessica Brookstein, MBA, CAP®, Divisional Director of Gift Planning at The Salvation Army

              

    The Planned Giving Council of Greater Philadelphia offers a Mentoring Program to further the Council’s mission to provide meaningful professional resources to our membership. Read how two of our members have benefitted from this mutually beneficial experience.

    Mentor Background: John Schlesinger has more than 35 years of advancement experience, primarily in higher education, as well as healthcare, horticultural and human services organizations. His career has allowed him to develop a unique perspective into every aspect a fundraising program. In his tenure, he has directly served in every area of a traditional fundraising program including strategic planning, prospect research, annual giving programs, stewardship, major gifts, planned giving events and executive management. His focus in every program served has been building and enhancing relationships, promoting engagement and affinity to each organization’s mission and vision, and developing strategic approaches to encouraging growth and leadership support. His current credentials include the CFRE and CAP®.  John is currently directing the planned giving program at Einstein Healthcare Network and has been a member of PGGCP since 1997. 

    Mentee Background: Steve Ardinger, CAP®, CLTC, has more 20 years’ experience as an Independent Financial Advisor specializing in retirement income planning, long-term care and philanthropic giving. As an independent advisor he built strong relationships with his clients based upon mutual respect and trust. In 2018, he witnessed the power of philanthropic giving in the months following the tragic loss of two close friends and decided to refocus his career. Steve is currently the divisional gift planner for The Salvation Army Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware Division and has been a member of GPPGC since 2020.

    What led you to sign up to be a Mentor/Mentee?

    John: Participation in PGCGP committees has always been difficult for me to juggle with work, but I have always enjoyed helping another professional seeking to expand their understanding of our work and felt it would be the best way for me to give back to the organization as well as the profession. Throughout my career I have benefitted greatly from the advice and guidance of more seasoned professionals and know it is the best way to help someone else grow in their profession. 

    Steve: I have, in my past career as a financial planner, enjoyed helping other professionals expand their understanding of the work and responsibilities of the position. As I embarked on my path into gift planning/development, I felt that it would be the perfect opportunity to reach out and try to find a seasoned professional for the same type of help I had provided in the past. There is no better resource than someone that has already been there. I wanted to listen and learn as much as possible to help me in my transition.

    What do you hope to get out of being a Mentor/Mentee?

    John: Mostly the satisfaction of helping another professional expand their knowledge and understanding, as well as being a source of support at times when dealing with specific issues. It is also a great way to get to network and get to know others in nonprofit fund raising. Often, it will provide me with understanding new approaches to my work.

    Steve: Knowledge and the support of a trusted professional to lean on if times get hard or I find myself in a situation with answers that are difficult to find. I also am looking at the role as a networking tool helpful to expand my contacts in the field. 

    What is one piece of advice you would give to new professionals entering this field?

    John: I would say, be open, listen and learn about the mentee. Sometimes he or she knows more than they realize, (and) just needs encouragement in what they are doing already.  Along with this, be mindful of where you have come from and how the well-placed advice of a colleague in the field has helped. 

    SA: FIND A MENTOR. Someone you can lean on, bend their ear when needed. No one wants to go it alone! Though I will openly admit I have underutilized my mentor over the past few months, I plan to take my own advice and build the relationship moving forward. 

    Mentors in PGCGP’s program are gift planning professionals who want to “give back” to the profession. To discover the options that are available to you, please email us at info@pgcgp.org.

    Please note: to participate in this program, you must be a current member of our local council.


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E-mail: info@pgcgp.org

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