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 April 2022 issue.

Five More Reasons to Attend WRPCG

By Jill Rode

I am excited to attend WRPGC this year. In fact, it will be the first time I will attend this conference in person since I joined the planned giving field full time. Since my new job started only three weeks before the pandemic, I have ONLY been participating in virtual events until this month, when I attended the LACGP in-person meeting.

To that end, I thought I would share with you my top five reasons that I am attending the conference. I think it may persuade you to join me there!

  1. South Coast Plaza shopping! Yes, I realize it should be the conference at top of the list, however, I grew up in the OC and can’t wait to get back to my old high school mall and search for The Gap and other ‘80s stores!
  2. Conference Presenters I know I am a presenter, so I probably shouldn’t put this second. I also think our other presenters are going to be amazing! So you should come for me and all the others too.
  3. Staying in a hotel I haven’t done this except for visiting family during the holidays, so I look forward to a mini-vacay and perhaps something from the minibar – at least an in-room coffee sitch would be good.
  4. Seeing people in person It was so nice to see people I had only met virtually at LACGP, I can’t wait to meet ALL of you in person at the conference.
  5. Learning something new As someone who is now employed full time in the field, I know there is always something new to learn and I look forward to gaining knowledge from the sessions, the affinity tables, and my colleagues.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Donor “CPR”

By Lindsey Jacobs, Assistant Director, Legacy Planning, Chapman University

As we all know from hospital shows, CPR can save your life. In our world of planned giving, CPR can save your nonprofit. Of course, I am not talking about pumping on our donors’ chests and breathing into their mouths. In fact, that would probably put a quick end to their interest in giving. I’m talking about Donor “CPR” – Cultivation, Planting, Reaping.

We all know that planned gifts provide the foundation for the future of our organizations, and CPR is the process that brings us to a realized legacy. CPR looks different for every gift, for every donor, so rather than try to provide an exact road map, I want to share a story.

In 2012, before I began my role at Chapman University, alumna Mary Anne began conversations about a planned gift with the university. The result was a $50,000 charitable gift annuity. A few years later, when I had joined the legacy planning team at Chapman, she shared that she had included us as a 25% beneficiary of her trust. The process of documenting her second gift brought to light that she wanted her gift annuity to support the same scholarship that her bequest would be benefitting, providing us the opportunity to amend the gift annuity designation and better understand her wishes.

It was a joy and an honor to know and steward her until she passed in 2020. Then, over the last two years, it has been a joy and an honor to work with her trustee and bring her legacy to life. Mary Anne ended up providing more than $500,000 in scholarships to future generations of Chapman students. Through thoughtful cultivation and planting the idea of what her legacy could be, we were able to reap a generous gift to support our mission, our students. Because of Donor “CPR,” her legacy will live on forever in the lives of Chapman students that she has helped change for the better.

Why Mentorship?

LACGP had the opportunity to interview Jim Jacobs, Associate Director, Planned Giving, Claremont McKenna College and LACGP Board Member, on the subject of mentoring and why having a mentor is important. Let’s get right into the interview!

LACGP: What makes a good mentor?

Jim: I think one of the most important things is to be able to make time to either meet in person or talk on the phone with their mentee. While it is great if someone agrees to serve in a mentoring role the partnership quickly loses steam if the mentor is too busy to share their thoughts and wisdom with a mentee. So in the first conversation between a mentor and mentee it is important to set expectations as to how often each one would like to be in touch. It also helps, of course, to have a genuine interest in working with a mentee and to showing interest in their career and to helping them with any issues or challenges they may face.

LACGP: Is there someone who mentored you early in your career who was especially helpful to you and one who you have used to shape your own model of mentoring?

Jim: While I never had a formal mentor assigned to me (I sort of wish I had) I have benefited from having a number of people who have served in a mentoring-type role for me in the field of planned giving. These include both those with whom I have worked and those at other organizations that I have met through LACGP, the WRPGC, seminars, etc. Because most of us serve different constituencies (we are not selling cars!) I have found that anyone I have ever asked for help has been gracious and generous in doing so. But you do need to ask to benefit from the knowledge so many have in the planned giving field.

LACGP: How about today? With such experience, do you still see the need for a mentor at this stage in your career?

Jim: Oh, yes, for sure. This question made me think of the weekly column in the Wall Street Journal that showcases a senior business executive and profiles four or five people who serve as their mentors or form what I would call a ‘kitchen cabinet.’ And if those people lean on mentors . . . there is no reason that I should not do the same. Even if not in a formal mentoring role anyone can benefit from having someone they can call and ask “So, what would you do here?!”

LACGP: What should someone seeking a mentor bring to the relationship? How can they ensure that it’s a successful partnership?

Jim: Lots of questions and a willingness to learn! Also, it is important that both parties be committed to making a mentoring partnership work. Once a partnership is formed expectations should be set especially regarding how often to meet and/or talk. Now that Covid-19 is receding and meeting in person is possible the first meeting would, ideally, be in person. And I have learned that setting a time frame is also important. While some people may want to talk on a regular basis others may want to only do so on an ‘on call’ kind of arrangement, I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do it. But I do suggest that, after one year, both agree to take stock of how things are going and decide if there is merit in continuing or if it makes sense to stop as most mentoring partnerships do not last forever.

LACGP: Anything you would like to add to this interview?

Jim: Mentoring is great and I have heard from some mentors that they get as much out of it as do their mentees. And the best sign of a successful mentoring partnership might be a mentee who one day serves in a mentoring role!