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Development Day - June 5, 2024 -- SAVE THE DATE!

Planned giving and other sources of development continue to evolve and, if used correctly, can make a positive difference to organizations and donors. To be successful, you need access to:
* New Trends *Perspective *Best Practices

Invest one day and get a year's worth of the insight and advice you need to create your plan for success. You'll hear from top national and regional experts about "what works" and how that will benefit your organization, your donors/clients, and your career. You and your staff will not want to miss this!!

Location: VisTaTech Center, Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Rd, Livonia, MI

2023 Conference Agenda

Opening Plenary: 8:00 am - 9:00am

  • Raymond C. Odom, CFP®, SVP & Director of Wealth Transfer Strategies, Northern Trust

    The traditional default planning for many older generation wealth owners is to avoid or restrict lifetime cash gifts that encourage consumer spending by younger generation beneficiaries. The problem is that the stored wealth of affluent clients often loses any measurable purpose. Stored wealth is then left to “heirs” in dynastic trusts as a default plan for money that has no goal.

    Decades of new psychological, sociological and consumer spending research spurred by Positive Psychology reverses the traditional “keep-away” theory of estate planning. Science can now accurately measure the permanent advantages of gifted wealth to individual beneficiaries. However, as wealthy goal-driven donors become energized to prove-up their final wealth “success” the savvy planned giving professional becomes virtually assured of obtaining a much, much larger planned gift. Why? All because of the ancient concept of “bene-volence” that is behind every gratuitous wealth transfer. This presentation will unlock the science and secret behind the “Bene-Volence” way to larger planned gifts.

Breakout Track 1: 9:15 am - 10:15 am (Choose 1 of 3)

  • Frederick Weber, Attorney, Arent Fox Schiff
    Andrew Fussner, VP Estate Settlement, American Heart Association

    This presentation will take the form of a conversation between a practicing attorney who primarily represents fiduciaries responsible for post-death administration, and a planned giving professional who administers bequests on behalf of a public charity. The presenters will share real-life examples from the post-death administration of estates and trusts that include charitable bequests and distributions. The dialogue is designed to help charitable gift planners and bequest administrators better understand their rights and responsibilities after an estate or trust gift they have been cultivating for years has “matured” due to the donor's death

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  • Brittany Kienker, PhD, Co-Director, Donor Advised Fund Research Collaborative

    Donor advised funds are the fastest growing vehicle for U.S. philanthropy and they are changing the way that Americans give to charity! In this session, national DAF expert Dr. Brittany Kienker will help participants better understand how DAFs work and how to use this tool as part of your nonprofit’s fundraising toolbox. She will address many of the field’s most frequently asked questions about DAFs and offer insights on the legal and financial parameters of donors’ DAF accounts. Additionally, attendees will learn about recent and emerging research that is informing the sector’s understanding of DAFs, including findings about Michigan-based DAFs. You’ll come away with new strategies and actionable resources to more effectively engage with DAFs as part of your fundraising and planned giving programs.

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  • Klementina (Tina) X. Sula, Philanthropic Advisor, Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit

    Life is a relationship business and the world is our work. I learned that big idea connecting with over 1,500 University of Michigan alumni in my first eight years as a fundraiser. I took that idea and many lessons from my conversations and introduced them to my students taking my “Network Your Way to an International Internship” course at the University of Michigan. What I have learned from teaching has made me a better fundraiser and leader.
    This session will introduce three big networking ideas that have transformed the way I show up as a fundraiser:

    1. Networking is not about what you know or who you know. Networking is about who knows you.

    2. Before others can know you, you have to first know yourself – you have to be clear about your purpose. What would you like to accomplish (that you require the support of others) and why is this important to you?

    3. Once you are clear on your purpose and the opportunity you seek, you can pursue strategic networking – the alignment between clarity of purpose and clarity of opportunity.

    In this session, participants will learn:

    • The definition of networking (and it’s not a dirty word!);
    • How to cultivate a networking mindset;
    • The networking process and the four steps to take to network with a purpose;
    • How to connect the dots between networking, leadership and purpose; and,
    • What strategic networking looks like in practice so it can be applied right away.

Breakout Track 2: 10:30 am - 11:30 pm (Chose 1 of 3)

  • Rick Kress, ACFRE, President & CEO, Kress Consulting,
    Paul Miller, CFRE, President, Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation

    80% of all planned gifts come via wills, but how do you talk with someone about naming your nonprofit in their will? After reviewing some estate planning basics regarding wills, the presentation will focus on how to have a conversation with a prospect and how to market and promote charitable giving by wills.

  • ________________________________
  • Craig Wruck, Senior Advisor, PG Calc

    A retained life estate allows a donor to continue to live in her home even after she has contributed it to charity and taken an income tax deduction. For the charity, a retained life estate can be an excellent way to firm up a bequest intention or acquire property for future use. Yet, the retained life estate is an underutilized gift planning tool. In this session we will review the structure of the retained life estate, consider some of the risks for the organization, and illuminate with case studies.

  • _______________________________
  • Heidi Boyd, MA, Planned Giving Officer, Michigan Humane

    Everyone knows the statistics: turnover is high and resources are scarce, causing many front-line fundraisers and development directors to look elsewhere to grow their careers. How can Executive Directors and Board Chairs leverage their shared leadership of their organizations to offer pathways for growth and development of their staff? This session is based on recent graduate research and features actionable steps that can improve staff retention, engagement, and satisfaction, while preparing organizations for succession planning and successful implementation of the shared leadership model between EDs and Board Chairs.

11:30 - 12:30 pm Buffet Lunch 

Breakout Track 3: 12:30 - 1:30 pm (Choose 1 of 3)

  • Kristin A. Hughes, JD, Schluter & Hughes Law Firm
    Nicole Gopoian Wirick, JD, CFP, President, Prosperity Wealth Strategies

    Kristin and Nicole will explore best practices for coordinating your charitable giving strategy with your estate plan. Three out of five affluent donors give cash to charity. This presentation will explore smarter ways to do your lifetime gift-giving and how to integrate those strategies with a thoughtful legacy plan.

  • ________________________________
  • Laura Brownfield, General Counsel, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan

    Research suggests that discussing philanthropy with clients is good for business, relationships, and community, yet many advisors are reluctant to begin the conversation. Laura will lead a discussion on the importance of philanthropic discussions with clients, and the who, how, and when to initiate the conversation. She will explore how to have a productive conversation to understand and assess your clients’ needs with the goal of defining a charitable gift plan that accomplishes the clients’ objectives and maximizes personal, charitable, and tax benefits. Laura will also talk about recent legislation that ushered in changes to certain charitable giving strategies which may provide incentives for clients to make charitable gifts in 2023 and beyond.

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  • Melissa Goodson, Chief Development Officer, Jewish Family Services of Washtenaw County
    George Westerman, Director - Donor Relations & Gift Planning, Children's Foundation

    Are you a fundraising staff member looking to incorporate gift planning into your work? Or new to advancement and unsure of how to navigate gift planning yourself or new talent? Look no further! We'll discuss the best practices for planned giving, specifically tailored for those new to the field. PS- Planned giving isn't just for lawyers...

Closing Plenary: 1:45 - 3:15 pm

  • Craig Wruck, Senior Advisor, PG Calc

    Someone says, “This may be a dumb question, but…” and the presenter replies, “There’s no such thing as a dumb question” before providing the obvious answer. And then, sometimes, you have to admit to yourself you were wondering about the same thing. Our donors and clients have plenty of dumb questions, but they may be too intimidated to ask. Rather than asking you, they’ll search the internet for answers … and sometimes, they’ll even happen upon good information. In this session we’ll consider some of those big dumb questions and explore how we can do a better job of serving our donors by anticipating their questions.

2023 Conference Sponsors & Exhibitors

Silver Sponsor

25th Anniversary - PGRT President's Sponsorship

Maxine B. Niemeyer '98 (posthumously)

Sandra Kirtley Vanover '01

Dennis M. Mitzel '04

Thomas P. Scholler '06

Denise A. Fleckenstein '08

Christopher L. Kelly '10

Rob R. MacGregor '14

William Winkler '16

Donna J. Snyder '18

Rick Kress '20

Terry O. Lang '22

Stephen D. Moore '22

Bronze Sponsors