Welcome to the LACGP Newsletter. This e-newsletter is sent out on a monthly basis. The newsletter provides links to this page. Please see below for the items that appeared in the September 2021 issue.

A New LACGP Year Has Begun

By Patience Boudreaux, CSPG, CFRE

September feels like the traditional start of the LACGP year for me. Our first general meeting took place this month on September 15 with programming designed to help us all start the new year off with “new” tools in our tool chests. I use the phrase “new” because while data, networking, and lead trusts have always served a role in our work, these sessions were designed to help us look at them with fresh eyes and renewed purpose. The other reason this feels like the start of a new year is because the LACGP has added new board members as of July and, after a summer spent planning and strategizing, these folks are ready to serve this professional community.

We made some changes to the board structure to address areas of our offerings we wanted to strengthen or deepen. If you explore the board profile page, you’ll see that we now have two board members dedicated to our mentorship program, Rob Woolley (LA Zoo) and Tanya Lopez (Cedar Sinai). These two are passionate about helping to connect members to each other in mutually beneficial partnerships – PLEASE reach out to them if you are interested in being a mentor or mentee so they can pair you with your gift planning soulmate.

Another change to the board you’ll notice to the board structure is the renewing of the member-at-large role, now held by Debbie Bills (City of Hope) and Tony Truong (University of Redlands). We brought back this role because the last year taught all of us the benefits of having some flexibility built into our organizations. Whether it is stepping up to help when efforts with our conference or partnership teams need it or engaging members to identify volunteer opportunities within teams or (since both have been former presidents of planned giving councils) providing guidance to those new to the board, the members-at-large of the board provide LACGP the opportunity to pivot quickly in response to changing circumstances. I hope, when you see Tony and Debbie at meetings this year, you take a moment to connect with them and see how you might get more involved since they’ll have some of the best access to efforts across working teams in LACGP.

I look forward to sharing more news about what is in store of the year ahead. The board and I are committed to moving back into an in-person setting and have plans in place for our November, January, and March general meetings to be in person at our NEW VENUE, the University Club in Pasadena, and the 2022 Western Regional Planned Giving Conference will be May 25-27 at the Westin South Coast Plaza. If health guidance as we get closer to these events dictates an alternative plan, we will update you, but we want to see your smiling faces again.

PG 101: The Fundamentals of Gift Planning

Wednesdays, October 13, 20, and 27, 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM (PDT)

As a part of our commitment to providing a solid introduction to gift planning for those new to the field, LACGP is offering “PG101: The Fundamentals of Gift Planning” as a series in the month of October. 

Our goals for the course are simple: Invest in your professional development and value. Strengthen your practical knowledge and planned giving skill set at this “roll up your sleeves,” hands-on workshop. Join highly regarded instructors for a workshop focused on providing you with valuable knowledge that can be immediately applied in your daily work. Taught over three consecutive weeks to enable you to put what you learn into practice between sessions and share your experiences with your cohort, this course will increase your capacity to advise donors on basic and more complex gift planning topics and opportunities.


  • Provide an understanding of planned giving fundamentals
  • Develop familiarity with the income, estate, and gift tax structures that affect gift-giving and the transfer of wealth
  • Explore outright and deferred methods of charitable giving
  • Provides an overview of charitable gift substantiation rules for maximum tax benefits
  • Suggestions for planned giving in economically challenging times


  • Anyone new to the field of planned giving who desires a solid, basic foundation in the planned giving fundamentals.
  • Those who are in small fundraising shops who want to improve their ability to share planned giving options with their donors.
  • Those who would like to attend our new PG201 session in early 2022 with Claudia Sangster and Steven Chidester (PG101 or the Primer offered during the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference should be considered prerequisites for PG201).

Why Is a Marketing Funnel Important

Creating web traffic plays an important role when marketing for both current and future gifts. However, generating interest and providing education is only one of the many commitment steps in a donor’s journey with you and your organization. Knowing each commitment step and creating a simple visual representation of the whole process of a typical donor journey can be very helpful. This visual representation, otherwise known as a marketing funnel, will provide you with a clearer picture of where each donor is in your marketing funnel as well as help you identify what next reasonable steps can be taken to move your donor forward.

What is a Marketing Funnel?
When I mention the term marketing funnel,I am talking about your back-end moves management process that is designed to move ‘the slightly interested’ towards becoming ‘fully devoted supporters’ of your cause - one small commitment step at a time. Using strategic messaging and targeted calls to action, a well-defined marketing funnel can help move an increasingly interested group of donors along a series of incremental commitment steps, creating a funnel-like approach.

At the top of your funnel, broader marketing touches are used in email, print, or social media posts to create interest. More detailed content could then be made available through calls to action and landing pages located on your website. The funnel becomes narrower with increased interest, meaning that fewer people will respond as the commitment steps become more involved. Those who continue to journey with you by positively responding to your more focused and segmented offerings are likely to show the most interest in giving a gift at some later point.

Calls to Action
What does this mean for fundraisers? It means that marketing messages and calls to action should be based upon how warm or cold your prospects are in the marketing funnel. You will not want to ask for huge commitments from cold or even lukewarm prospects. For many reasons, they may not be ready for a heavy commitment step just yet.

Whatever the reason, people want to process incrementally. Using many smaller commitment steps may help gradually move them towards greater levels of interest. We build trust and knowledge one positive interaction at a time.

A marketing funnel should help you identify how much a donor Knows, Likes, and Trusts (KLT) you and your organization. When we assess the KLT stage of our donors, and this needs to be an honest appraisal, we may then figure out the appropriate next message or call to action that will incentivize them to journey further with us. By offering the right incentivizing messages at each phase of a donor’s journey with you, a marketing funnel allows you to scale your processes while remaining personable and relevant each step of the way.

A marketing funnel will help you bring the right message to the right audience at the right time and allow your donors to take reasonable next steps based on their current commitment levels.