14th Annual Planned Giving Conference – May 15, 2006

I attended the 14th Annual Planned Giving Conference today presented by the Northern California Planned Giving Council.  After attending last year’s Conference, I made it one of my few must attend events.  Currently, I advise charities on limited issues involving development of their planned giving programs.  However, for the past couple of years, I have been preparing to expand my practice to include the representation of donors with respect to their charitable inclinations and estate planning.  I expect to offer this service later this year.

The Conference offered attendees an opportunity to choose among seminars offered on six different tracks:  Technical, Marketing, Administration, Masters, Fundamentals and CFO Section.  Among the 24 seminars were the following:  Practical Applications in Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts, Mining Your Donor Database, Issues in the Operation of a Gift Annuity Program, Do You Really Want That Piece of Real Estate, Understanding and Designing Charitable Gifts, and Legal Issues in Planned Giving: What Every CFO Should Know.

The keynote speaker was Kavita N. Ramdas, President & CEO of the Global Fund for Women.  Kavita spoke about her extraordinary organization, which advocates and defends women’s human rights by making grants to support women’s groups around the world.  Since 1987, the Global Fund for Women has granted over $47 million to 3,000 women’s groups in 162 countries.  Kavita stressed the importance of the organization’s inclusive philanthropy in which donors and grantees are treated as equal partners.  She is an extraordinary woman leading an amazing organization.