USM Foundation

Keynote & Breakout Sessions – USM Gift Planning Summit

Click here to access speaker biographies


The Intersection Between Planned Giving and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives

Non-profit development staff—including major gift and planned giving teams—are increasingly being tasked with promoting their organizations’ DEI objectives. However, the intersection between planned giving and DEI work is not always apparent or easy. The simplest, most obvious change that many planned giving departments have implemented is to update the images used in their marketing materials to represent a broader, more inclusive cross-section of people. While increasing representation in the photos used in marketing materials is essential, it is not enough.

How can planned giving professionals move beyond simply diversifying the images used in planned giving marketing and develop a deeper understanding of ways to make planned giving more inclusive for diverse communities? In this session, we will:
• Examine ways to build the cultural competencies necessary to work effectively with diverse communities
• Understand the legal barriers to estate planning faced by minority and historically underserved communities
• Learn ways to make your planned giving program more inclusive and accessible for all donors
• Find out what other organizations are doing to incorporate DEI into their planned giving programs

Jade Bristol, JD
Chief Development Officer, Giving Docs



All Together Now: Giving Circles

Giving circles (also known as collective philanthropy) are gaining in popularity as organizations discover the many benefits when donors pool their funds around a common interest and can directly impact the use of those funds. Learn how Towson University implemented this model to create the Tall-Wiedefeld Society, a giving circle to build community and create a permanent legacy that will address the needs of women at TU.

Sarah Metzgar
Director of Major Gifts, Jess and Mildred Fisher College of Science and Mathematics
Towson University
Linda Roush
Senior Director of Development; Director of Major Gifts, College of Health Professions
Towson University

A Blueprint for Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) are one of the oldest and most popular forms of gift planning, dating back to 1831. In simplest terms, a CGA is a contract between a donor and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers a partial tax deduction and lifetime payments to one or two people in exchange for a gift of cash, appreciated securities, or (sometimes) real estate. It’s a win for the donor, and a win for the organization! This session will equip you with the knowledge you need to identify your best prospects and to comfortably and confidently incorporate the CGA into your gift planning toolkit.

Chip Giese
Senior Relationship Manager, Planned Giving Group
PNC Institutional Asset Management®

The Dynamic Dance of Major and Planned Gifts

The traditional donor life cycle shows planned gifts as the pinnacle of giving following annual and major gifts. In reality, donor journeys are less a straight line and more a series of dance steps, with gift planning opportunities changing the tune or tempo throughout the donor’s dance with your organization. This session will help you learn how to incorporate gift planning steps at any stage to help your donors and your organization reach a dazzling philanthropic finale! Topics covered will also include portfolio prioritization and management, stewardship, metrics, and a review of gifts of non-cash assets.

Jennifer Stitely, CFRE, CAP®
Associate Vice President of Advancement
Chautauqua Institution

Fear-Free Donor Conversations (Offered Twice)

Don’t know your Flip CRUT from your QCD? (Good news: it’s okay.) Although the process of gift planning can be complicated, gift planning conversations don’t have to be. In this interactive session, you’ll learn to advance the gift discussion by prompting donors with the right open-ended questions, listening for clues in their answers, and responding with gift planning solutions in plain language. Then, set your next meeting and bring in the experts!

Maya Weil, CAP®
Consultant, Easy Planned Giving and Gift Planning Specialist, Arena Stage

Now Is the Time: Marketing Legacies

While some planned gifts require complex legal and financial planning, the vast majority come in the forms of bequests (gifts that are made in wills or trusts) or by naming the organization as the beneficiary of a retirement plan, life insurance policy, or other financial account. Aging Baby Boomers, the Great Wealth Transfer, a global pandemic, and volatile stock markets all combine to make now the best time to market these types of planned gifts. This session will address recent trends, offer insight on how to identify your best prospects, and equip you with steps you can take now to attract more members to your legacy society.

Ann Kolakowski, CAP®, CFRE
Director of Gift Planning Services
University System of Maryland
Skip to toolbar