NACPG stands for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners — a smart rebranding of the former Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, which has represented the charitable gift planning industry for nearly 30 years. Last week, I met up with hundreds of gift planners from across the country at the group’s national conference in Dallas. Here are three of my favorite takeaways:
- Planned giving has come of age! I remember my first conference 16 years ago (am I aging myself?). The agenda was deeply grounded in the technicalities of CRTs, CGAs and tax code. Important stuff for sure, but it was refreshing this year to sponsor a marketing track packed with speakers who offered innovative and practical application for fundraisers. From Anne Melvin, director of training and education at Harvard University, who talked about handling donor objections, to industry stalwart Jay Steenhuysen discussing how to create a better philanthropic experience; author and gift planning consultant Brian Sagrestano walking thru a case study on legacy challenges; Russell James sharing even more data points for us to noodle on; and Stelter’s own Cheryl Sturm and Zach Christensen showcasing how to use the latest research to inform marketing. If you missed their presentation, you can catch it again in their upcoming webinar.
- Storytelling is the #1 business skill of the next five years. John Trybus, deputy director of the Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC) at Georgetown University, captivated the crowd by describing how to use stories to drive donor action. According to CSIC research, stories are the number one motivator for the 50 percent of respondents who made the leap from supporting a cause online to also supporting it offline. Access the CSIC’s best practice research here.
- Café Momentum is an awe-inspiring nonprofit. Talk about stories. This local nonprofit restaurant was awarded a charitable contribution by the conference organizers and also thrilled us with amazing food and service at our Stelter client event. Founded by Chad Houser in 2012, the Café transforms the lives of young men and women coming out of juvenile facilities by ushering them through a 12-month paid, post-release internship program. Interns rotate through all aspects of the restaurant and upon graduation are not only equipped to serve the most sophisticated of diners, but have acquired an ecosystem of support and life skills. We were all so moved by Chad’s story. One of our clients, Pamela Milller of the MidAmerican Planned Giving Council, was so moved that she announced a generous donation to Café on the spot! What a great industry we have of people that live and breathe philanthropy and practice what they preach.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again next year at the 2017 NCPP Conference in Baltimore!