Thursday, November 19, 2020
9:00 a.m. - 11:15 a.m.

The Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners holds four General Meetings each year. Our General Meetings are like attending a one-day conference on gift planning. Attendees benefit from hearing three different presentations at either the beginner or advanced level. Come learn the latest concepts and techniques to help your donors or clients make planned gifts that meet their financial and philanthropic goals. Sessions include facilitated breakouts so you can engage with your fellow attendees!

Members: $35.00
Guests: $45.00

Morning Session

Presented by Patrick Schmitt, Co-CEO, FreeWill

QCDs: The fastest-growing gift of the 2020s

Starting in 2018, Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) have seen explosive growth among older donors, and are poised to become a dominant form of giving in the coming decade.

This session will:

1. Help nonprofit leaders understand the macro-trends influencing the rise in this type of giving
2. Show original data from 200+ nonprofits to give insight into what’s happening at other organizations
3. Share best practices from the highest performing nonprofits in order to help the entire sector improve its marketing.

Patrick Schmitt, Co-CEO, FreeWill
Patrick is the co-founder of FreeWill, a social venture which has helped organizations raise nearly $2B in new planned gifts and qualified charitable distributions. Patrick and his co-founder Jenny were recently named two of the Top 50 Philanthropists in the World by Town & Country.

From 2009-2010, Patrick ran email fundraising for President Obama, where his team invented many of the existing best practices in digital fundraising. He served as Head of Innovation at, helping to grow that organization to 200 million members in just four years.

Patrick received his BS from Georgetown University and MBA from Stanford University.

Advanced Case Study

Presented by Andy Ragone and Bree Ermey

Session Title: “This is a Football”: Getting Back to the Basics of the Game

“Gentlemen, this is a football.” Whether you are a coach or a fundraiser, it is imperative to keep the fundamentals in mind. In their session “This is a Football”: Getting Back to the Basics of the Game, Crescendo’s Bree Ermey and Andy Ragone will discuss the strategies of marketing for IRA charitable rollovers (QCDs). More than ever, an IRA giving ‘game plan’ is needed for organizational sustainability, and this Advanced Case Study is designed to offer suggestions and scenarios to help your planned giving program take advantage of this often underused gift vehicle.

Andy Ragone
Making connections and building trust best describes Andy’s passion as a writer, speaker, leader, husband and father.

Andy came to Crescendo with a church executive and digital-marketing background in the nonprofit arena. Having worked with three larger churches over the past 20+ years, Andy has appreciated the challenges of growing organizations—including the development of staff and culture, fund raising, volunteer coordination and marketing systems. Andy brings a big-picture perspective to his role as an Integrated Marketing Representative that combines vision, volunteerism and fund development together.

Upon earning his M.Div. (Master of Divinity) from Phoenix Seminary, Andy ventured out to learn the ins and outs of pastoring—leading people forward in their connection with God and helping them develop in their capacity to care. This required finding the right people for the right roles, creating pathways to greater involvement and volunteerism, and developing future leaders for future expansion.

Andy loves spending his downtime with family, writing and is ever in search of the ultimate espresso shot.

Bree Ermey
Bree is Crescendo Interactive’s marketing specialist for the Southeast. She loves helping nonprofits refine and enhance their branding, messaging and overall marketing strategies for major, planned and blended gifts.

Bree has extensive experience in marketing, education and training. Bree started off her career teaching at a private college-preparatory school. Subsequently, she joined the entertainment industry and worked in marketing and event planning for a sought-after production company. Just prior to working at Crescendo, Bree worked as a marketing manager at the largest tour operator company in the United States.

Bree graduated from California State University, Channel Islands with a bachelor’s degree in teaching. She enjoys traveling, playing music, and going to Disneyland.

Mini Round Table

Moderated by Jay Harvill

Session Title: The Tensions around Documenting Donor Conversations

Gift planning is reliant on relationship building and trust. So, when donors share sensitive information in confidence, how should you handle it? Do you document it completely, filter it, or exclude from the record? In light of the recent Blackbaud/Raiser's Edge data breach, this question is particularly relevant to our current work. We will also touch on issues around how to handle donor requests for their files and how appropriate documentation can help support your organization in legal matters.

Jay A. Harvill
Director of Gift Planning, Methodist Hospital
Jay is the director of gift planning at Methodist Hospital Foundation and has been leading the organization's gift and estates program since 2005. He came to the non-profit world from a career in banking and has been enjoying his service in the charitable field for the past 20 years. Prior to his current role, Jay was director of gift planning at Braille Institute, where he served for seven years. Jay has been an active member with PPP-LA since 1996. Jay has served on the board, and later as president. Over the years, Jay continued to participate in his field through various committees in both the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference and National Philanthropy Day. Jay has also served on the boards of Arcadia Rotary Club, San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity, and as a member of the Fiduciary Round Table and the San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council. He particularly enjoyed joining Habitat on a mission trip to Nepal to build homes for the underprivileged in Pokhara. When not working, Jay enjoys peak bagging in the California mountains and woodworking in his man cave with his son, but his greatest joy is his faith and family. 


Thursday, November 19, 2020
9:00 am - 11:15 am 

Zoom Webinar

9:00 am – 10:00 am, Morning Session
10:00 am - 10:15 am, Break
10:15 am - 11:15 am, Advanced Case Study
10:15 am – 11:15 am, Mini-Roundtable
11:15 pm - Adjournment

$35.00 Members
$45.00 Guests

This event is sponsored by the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners, which is approved as a continuing education provider for CFRE, CPE, CSPG, and MCLE credit by the State of California. An application for continuing education credits for CFP® is submitted when the course content is within the CFP® Board guidelines.