USM Foundation

Keynote & Breakout Sessions – USM Gift Planning Summit 2023

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Tales from Both Sides of the Table:
Demystifying Planned Giving Solicitation and Administration

Planned gifts can be some of the largest gifts that a nonprofit organization receives, yet they are often some of the hardest to solicit and close. For most fundraisers, the processes of estate planning and estate administration are shielded in mystery, leading to a reluctance to engage in planned giving conversations. Administration, too, can be confusing at best for those not steeped in legal processes.

In this lively keynote session, seasoned practitioner Shari Fleming will offer insights gleaned from her experience on both sides of the table – as estate planning attorney and planned giving professional. She’ll discuss the estate planning process and the estate administration process in the State of Maryland, examine barriers to securing planned gifts, and offer suggestions on how to introduce and navigate planned giving discussions with donors and their trusted advisors.

Shari Fleming, JD, AEP®, Planned Giving Officer, Bowie State University


Jeopardy! The Unplanned Giving Edition

How does your tangential planned giving knowledge stack up? Find out in a friendly round of Jeopardy!, featuring topics related to charitable giving, video clues, and of course, Daily Doubles. Participants will play along and keep track of their earnings in this fun and lively game with their fundraising peers.

E. John McKee, Acting Associate Vice President of Philanthropy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore


The Cade Case Study: Philanthropic Planning in the African American Community

In this presentation, we’ll unpack a myriad of topics that fundraisers should be aware of and discuss how to address them to assist the Cade family. The Cade family information touches on planning challenges and the need for creative thinking. Aquanetta will guide participants working in small groups as they address the following questions as they relate addressing the Cades’ legal, tax, financial, business, and charitable giving needs:
• As a fundraiser – what is the first thing you would do?
• What concerns and issues do they have that you can assist them with?
• Do you have ideas to help them achieve their goals today and in the future?

The case study will show case philanthropic, estate and financial planning concepts – with the focus on philanthropic planning. The purpose is for you as fundraisers to use this beginning case study as a tool to learn, share, and practice with others in your organizations (or anywhere!). Note: you do not need high levels of gift planning training and experience to benefit from this session – all are welcome!

Aquanetta Betts, JD, CAP ®, AEP ®, CFRE, Director of Planned Giving, George Mason University

Understanding Community Foundations

It’s happened to every major gift officer. A check arrives. It’s a $10,000 grant – from a donor-advised fund (DAF). The fund has a name, but nothing to identify the donor. There is no way to steward the donor. ARGH.

Wait – there’s good news! Not all DAFs are the same, nor are the organizations that offer them. Yes, while community foundations offer DAFs, they also offer much more. This session will provide an overview of community foundations. Rebecca will share the multiple ways community foundations help donors achieve their philanthropic objectives and provide examples of ways a community foundation has helped complete gifts to organizations, including members of University System of Maryland.

Rebecca Rothey, CFRE, CAP®, AEP®, Senior Advisor to the Executive Office, Greater Washington Community Foundation

Doing More With Less: Simple Ways to Incorporate Gift Planning Donor Stewardship

Industry research indicates that donor stewardship and engagement is an important aspect of realizing bequest revenue from donors, but many small fundraising shops struggle with how to incorporate this work into their programs. Beth will discuss Legacy Club stewardship and gift planning marketing at The Nature Conservancy and how some of these strategies can be efficiently replicated in programs of any size.

Beth Fiencke, Director, Gift Planning Strategy & Stewardship at The Nature Conservancy

Put Away the Checkbook: Three Smart Gifts Your Donors Need to Know

There’s nothing more exciting than receiving a big check from a donor. Or is there? Only 7 percent of household wealth is held as cash, yet 85 percent of charitable gifts are made in that form. Research shows that encouraging donors to make gifts of wealth (using non-cash assets) results in larger gifts to charities with greater benefits for the donor. In this session, we’ll look at three methods that leverage the power of shifting from disposable income: gifts of appreciated securities, IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions, and Donor Advised Funds. Even small shops can benefit from incorporating these approaches into their work to help their donors make larger outright gifts than might otherwise be possible.

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