Last week, we hosted the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning (NCPP) in Baltimore where over 800 charitable gift planners from across the country came together to learn, network and collaborate. I loved the buzz and good energy throughout the three days of the conference.
We kicked off the first night with the annual CGP Awards and an exciting keynote speaker. The first award honored the late Terry Simmons and his induction into the CGP Hall of Fame. We also honored Tiffanie Purvis as the first ever CGP Rising Star. And lastly, the Greater Cincinnati Planned Giving Council was awarded Council of the Year.
The keynote speaker, Jim Lehrer, electrified the audience with his speech. He began with a loud “bus call” to pull the audience in as he began to tell the story of his early life. Lehrer is known best for his 36 years of nightly news reporting on PBS, but what Jim chose to touch on in his keynote speech were his younger years working for his father, a bus station manager, and his time in the United States Marine Corps after he was drafted. He spoke to how these greatly influenced his life and his dedication to service. Jim Lehrer's view on service as philanthropy was very appropriately timed. And he was such an amazing speaker! There was great value and relevant lessons from his stories.
The second day kicked off with Affinity Session small groups to help tackle real issues in each of the different industries. Attendees then shuffled their way to exciting breakout sessions in the various education tracks and enjoyed networking with exhibitors in the conference exhibit hall. The Luncheon Keynote speaker was former Senator Byron Dorgan. Senator Dorgan introduced the original Public Good IRA Rollover Act in 2005. He spoke to the audience about his time working in the senate. Dorgan made an excellent point about working together, and haven't we gift planners learned that collaboration makes a gift impactful for all?
|CGP Board Chair Cathy Sheffield, Jim Lehrer and Conference Chair Elizabeth Ayers.||Elizabeth, former Senator Byron Dorgan and Cathy.|
Speaking of collaboration, I would like to extend my grateful thank you to the CGP staff, conference committee, Summit chairman Robert Sharpe, conference speakers, sponsors and exhibitors for pulling together to make this a terrific conference. It was truly a team effort to come together and make this the best NCPP yet!
The third and final day of NCPP began with engaging IGNITE! talks followed by more breakout sessions and networking in the exhibit hall. Our closing luncheon was a panel on tax reform that consisted of Robert Sharpe, Sandra Swirski, Steven Woolf and Jeff Comfort. The panelists were able to share their views and answer questions from the audience. This was wonderfully timed as CGP headed to Washington, D.C. the following day to advocate for a universal charitable tax deduction.
In a stressful time in our country, NCPP was able to fulfill the need to hear our speakers' comments that reinforce our beliefs that what we gift planners do is necessary and valuable. And keep some humor in our daily lives.
See you in Vegas and don't forget your baggage!
Elizabeth Ayers is the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She currently serves as Secretary on the Board of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council and has been named to the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Board, with her term beginning in January 2015.
Prior to joining UNC in 2008 she worked at The Ohio State University, where she served as Director of Planned Giving for the Medical Center and Associate Director of Planned Giving for the University. She has worked for the Columbus Foundation, served on non-profit boards and committees and was president of Central Ohio Planned Giving Council in 2007.
Ayers has presented on various charitable topics at local and national conferences including AAMC, NCPG and Wealth Counsel. She has practiced law in the areas of estate planning and civil litigation. She holds a JD from Capital University, M. M. from Ohio University, and a B. M. from Wittenberg University.