Fall 2017
Issue 7 |Vol. 4

The Source is published quarterly by the Minnesota Planned Giving Council

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Thank you to MPGC Benefiting Sponsor, Crescendo Interactive, and Supporting Sponsor, US Bank Charitable Services Group

Message from the Communications Committee Chair

Fall is in full swing. Students are back to school and our development offices are humming. We are in the busiest quarter of the year for most fundraising teams. Here at MPGC we know how valuable your time is, and strive to provide resources to help you work smarter, not harder. This month our newsletter explores the value of collaborating with other internal teams to elevate the work of the development office. We also have an article about utilizing your time at the November annual conference effectively so you can go back to the office with new ideas and strategies to help reach your fundraising goals.

The MPGC board would like to thank everyone who completed our membership survey earlier this summer. We were able to glean important insights into your preferences for education opportunities and professional development. Read the article below for survey highlights. If you’re interested in sharing your gift planning knowledge with new members of MPGC or are a new member looking to gain knowledge from one of our seasoned veterans, please consider joining our Hargroves Mentorship Program. The program was created last year as a tribute to the late Gary Hargroves, a pioneer in the gift planning field and consummate mentor for many in the MPGC community.
Thank you for your membership with MPGC and I look forward to seeing you at the conference in November!

Alison Roberts, MPGC Board Member and Communications Committee Chair

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2017 MPGC Membership Survey Highlights

By: Alison Roberts, CFRE
Chair, Communications Committee

General Membership

  • Only 10% of our members indicated that they spend 100% of their job on planned giving. The largest percentage of survey respondents (23%) said they only spend 10-24% of their time on planned giving.
  • Again in 2017, as in 2016, our members indicated that they highly value the current benefits offered by their MPGC membership including networking opportunities, educational offerings, the MPGC website, the e-newsletter, opportunities to refine their skills and advance their career, and discounted registration for the conference and education seminars.

Breakfast Meetings/Education

  • When we asked members who had attended fewer than 3 breakfast/education seminars in the past year why they were unable to join us, the top responses included:
    • Location too far
    • Too busy/could not afford time away from the office
    • Schedule conflicts
    • Noticeably members did not select that a barrier to attend the seminars was the length of the meeting, time of the meeting, or cost of attendance.
  • When asked how important continuing education credits are to members’ decision to attend MPGC events and programs, 51% responded that they are “not important.”
  • If members were unable to attend a future education seminar in-person, 60% of members said they would be “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to sign-up to watch the presentations online for a small fee.


  • When asked what length of conference members prefer, 63% prefer a 2-day conference, while only 30% would prefer a 1-day conference.

Website/Electronic Media

  • When asked how frequently members use the MPGC website, members responded in the 2017 survey that they are using the website “often,” an increase of 6% over the 2016 survey. The majority of members, however, responded that they only use the website “occasionally (once every few months).”
  • 87% of our members use LinkedIn

Congratulations to our 2017 MPGC Membership Survey winner Heidi Fischer from the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota! Heidi was randomly selected from the members who completed our survey in August and won a $25 Target gift card. Thank you to everyone who submitted feedback in our survey. Your opinions will help shape MPGC programming and planning for 2017-18.

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Strong Mentorship Cohort Completes Inaugural Year of Hargroves Mentorship Program

This past January, MPGC launched the Hargroves Mentorship Program in memory of Gary G. Hargroves, past MPGC President and Clinton A. Schroeder Award recipient - and consummate mentor to many in the planned giving profession. Seven mentor/mentee pairs comprised the first cohort, completing the program in June.

One mentor wrote about the program, “I liked connecting with someone relatively new to planned giving. As someone who’s done this for 40 years, I can also learn from [my mentee] and see things from a different perspective.”

This year, program participants took advantage of a number of ways to connect with all members of the cohort through formal meetings, networking opportunities, and MPGC educational programs.

A mentee wrote, “I really enjoyed this experience and think it’s a great benefit to membership. I look forward to continuing my relationship with my mentor because I know I can contact him with any questions or issues I am having.”

The Hargroves Mentorship Program is now seeking participants for our second cohort, January through June 2018. Participants commit to at least two face-to-face meetings and two phone calls over the six-month period. Additional opportunities will be offered to connect with other program participants, past and present, throughout the year.

We welcome your participation as a mentor or mentee. To learn more or get involved, email info@mnpgc.org and include “Hargroves” in the subject line. You can also contact committee chair Jane Townsend at jane@nativegov.org.

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By: Lynn Praska
Communications Committee, Minnesota Planned Giving Council

When the MPGC Communications team met to start planning this newsletter, one theme that came up continually was the importance of collaboration.  Big and little shops collaborate - whether it is within the organization or with others outside the organization.  The more we collaborate, the more likely we are to succeed.  

I also once learned from an esteemed colleague that CASE stands for "copy and steal everything."  Thus, I am sharing with you an article that Jenny Mitchell, fundraising consultant, repeated from a Gift Planning in Canada newsletter she had read.  The article, "How to collaborate with your Major Gifts Officer to Raise More Money" is appropriate for large or small shops and shares two charts: one on the mindset of the major gift officer and planned giving officer, and another on the mindset of a major gift donor and a planned giving donor.  While we know many donors make both outright and planned gifts, the chart does provide helpful information and perhaps a few takeaways as we approach our planned giving work.  

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July 25th Minnesota Planned Giving Council Education Seminar Recap

By: Amanda Scherer
Communications Committee, Minnesota Planned Giving Council

Paul Pribbenow, Ph.D., and CFRE, President of Augsburg University shared “Called to Serve: A Vision of Philanthropic Leadership and Work,” at the July 2017 MPGC Education Seminar. 

As a Speaker, Pribbenow makes clear what motivates him as a leader and a philanthropist.  He asked the participants of the morning seminar to reflect on several key aspects that he retains in his work as a President of a higher-education institution, and as a fundraiser and pastor. He asked the crowd to think about four core questions: 1) What do you listen for and/or to?, 2) What is a word or concept that centers you?, 3) How do you think about your call to philanthropic leadership?, and 4) What is your philanthropic curriculum?

This conversation with Pres. Pribbenow raised themes such as radical hospitality, coaching and teaching others to be generous, and working toward a shared mission or goal.  Pribbenow shared his value of personal authenticity and explained that in his view it is integral to the work of a fundraiser to be vulnerable and authentic with constituents.  He drew on Henry Nouwen to emphasize, “Hospitality is the creation of free space where a stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy.”  This work has helped him see “Hope…despite the evidence,” and continue to focus on thanksgiving and stewardship as a way of life.  He left the audience with this positive theme; “Abundance is the promise of enough in a world of scarcity.”

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The Program Committee Welcomes New Leadership and Members.

Chris Fahey, Development Officer, Major Gifts, at the University of St. Thomas, joined MPGC Board Member Anne Walters, Chief Development Officer at Girl Scouts River Valleys, as Co-Chair of the Program Committee in July. New committee members also include Kathy Grochow, Senior Development Officer at the College of Saint Benedict and Stephanie Donley, Senior Major Gifts Officer at the Minneapolis Institute of Art.  A special thank you to Lisa Barton and Rachel Dahl for their past leadership as co-chairs of the Program Committee.

For additional information on the Program Committee, please contact MPGC Board Member and Program Committee Co-Chair Anne Walters at anne.walters@girlscoutsrv.org or Program Committee Co-Chair Chris Fahey at chris.fahey@stthomas.edu.

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MPGC Annual Conference: An Opportunity!

By: Sheri Stratterstom
Communications Committee, Minnesota Planned Giving Council

For those of you who have taken part in the Annual MPGC Conference – you have experienced the numerous benefits this gathering has to offer. Not only are there countless ways to learn and add to your library of resources, but there are also ample opportunities to network and connect with colleagues across the field of Philanthropy.

At the conference you will find fellow professionals with extensive experience to share, as well as those who have just begun their journey. I don’t think I have to tell you how valuable it is to connect with others who share in the same type of work you do every day. I have found the Annual Conference to be a gold mine of opportunities to meet people and discuss ways to help enrich each other’s careers. When you are going around filling up your vendor card, or just waiting for the next session to begin – start up a conversation. At mealtime and in sessions, switch up where you sit and find some new faces. You never know who you will meet, or in this world of six degrees of separation (or LESS in my opinion), what connections you might find with those around you. It is a small, but vast community that we are a part of and we should be taking full advantage of every chance to meet and greet each other. So, go, meet, mingle!

Read more about the upcoming conference on the MPGC website.

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The 41st Annual Conference, November 15-16, 2017

Register Now for Philanthropy in Practice

We invite you to join us as we look forward, building on the skills we have, whether you are new to your field or want to enhance your expertise.  Here are some useful tips several of our speakers shared to help you put philanthropy into practice.

  • There often is not a single tool that makes a gift transformational - but a combination of tools can do wonders – Mary Ellis Peterson
  • Cash is nearly always the worst way to make a charitable gift.  Cash bad…everything else good – Bryan Clontz
  • Adding legacy giving efforts and opportunities is doable, and you don’t have to do it on your own – Scott Nelson
  • You can help your donors leverage their own philanthropic experiences to educate and equip current and future generations – Nathan Dungan
  • You can do more prospect research than you think, and your colleagues in Research are some of your most important allies – Mark Egge

As an attendee, you will gain knowledge and insight from our plenary speakers.  You may also invite board members, leadership and colleagues to join you at any plenary for $50. Click here to learn how.

  • Bryan Clontz, CFP, CAP, President, Charitable Solutions, LLC
  • Nathan Dungan, Founder and President, Share Save Spend
  • Danielle Oristian York, Director, 21/64
  • Jim Hodge, Associate Vice Chancellor, University of Colorado
  • Robert Sharpe, Chairman, Sharpe Group
  • David Schultz, Professor, Hamline University; Political Analyst

Discount group and retiree registrations available. Click here for more information.

Read more about the upcoming conference on the MPGC website.

National Philanthropy Day® To Celebrate Minnesota’s Extraordinary Philanthropic Community

Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Minn. – Minnesotans who inspire us as leaders, nonprofit professionals, philanthropists and volunteers will be celebrated at the National Philanthropy Day luncheon at 11:00 am on Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at the JW Marriot Mall of America Bloomington by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Minnesota Chapter (AFP Minnesota). Angela Davis, WCCO anchor, will emcee the event, where over 500 community members and nonprofit professionals are estimated to attend.

"This year we celebrate 100 years of the United States congress supporting philanthropy. Clearly, people have responded, as more than $390 Billion was donated from across the country last year alone,” says AFP Minnesota President Carolyn M. Egeberg. "During National Philanthropy Day in Minnesota, we lift up the impressive and inspirational work of eight individuals and one organization. The work of these honorees truly represents the spirit of philanthropy, the love of mankind.”

Congratulations and many thanks to our 2017 honorees!

Katherine B. Andersen, Legacy Award
Securian Foundation, Outstanding Philanthropic Organization
Frank Molek, Outstanding Professional Fundraiser
Bert and Suzie Colianni, Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers
Jim and Carmen Campbell, Outstanding Individual Philanthropists
Dick and Joyce McFarland, Outstanding Individual Philanthropists

The full listing of National Philanthropy Day celebration events, including education session topics and moderators, is available here. To register for the awards luncheon, please also visit the website.

Thank you to Gold Event sponsors:

AFP Minnesota works to create and foster extraordinary fundraising professionals for an extraordinary philanthropic community. To learn more about AFP Minnesota go to www.afpminnesota.org.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, an association of fundraising professionals throughout the world, advances philanthropy by enabling people and organizations to practice ethical and effective fundraising. The core activities through which AFP fulfills this mission include education, training, mentoring, research, credentialing, and advocacy.

National Philanthropy Day was created by the national Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) www.afpnet.org as a special day to recognize and pay tribute to the contributions that philanthropy – and those people active in the philanthropic community – have made to our lives, our communities and our world.

Welcome, New Members!

Mary Adair

Kathy McHenry, Lutheran Planned Giving of South Dakota

Rebekah Berlin, Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Sandy Nadeau, Anna Marie's Alliance

Erin Bursch, Children's Hospital Association

Erik Rogers, Minnesota Historical Society

Alan Christenson, Concordia College

Aileen Seoane, Women's Foundation of Minnesota

Janine Haidar, St. Olaf College

Michael Sims, Minnesota Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Thomas Harding, Infinity Direct, Inc.

Beth Skwira, Neighbors, Inc.

Glen Hill, Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center

Tyler Steer, Children's Cancer Research Fund

Cindy Jokela, Winona State University

Alene Sussman, Jewish Community Foundation

Christopher Knopf, Blue Green Solutions LLC

Mary Ann Ulishney, Wells Fargo Private Bank

Scott Larson, Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools

Leigh Wilson-Mattson, Northern Star Council, Boy Scouts of America

Lori Lonergan Brennan, Mayo Clinic Health System

Mark Zastrow, Bridging

Michael Matson, Augsburg University


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Other Opportunities

Education Opportunity

Crescendo is offering a special education opportunity for MPGC membership.  On October 16, Charles Schultz and the Crescendo team will be in Minneapolis, conducting a BoomerTrillion! marketing seminar.  Crescendo would like to invite MPGC members to attend this training free of charge ($250 value). 

This seminar will teach attendees how to develop an effective multichannel marketing strategy to share in the boomer wealth transfer.  Attendees will discover the secrets of messaging, branding and segmentation for planned gifts lead generation. This seminar covers marketing best practices for websites, enewsletters and eblasts, literature, social media, video and more.

For complimentary registration, contact Holly Omlor at holly@cresmail.com or 800-858-9154.

The Source Is Looking for a Few Good Contributors

Now, more than ever, it is important for MPGC members to keep current and share trends and valuable techniques with others. The Source e-newsletter is a great way to get published while helping inform members and friends about MPGC.

Whether it is a unique donor experience, an article regarding a proven giving strategy, or a web link to a planned giving resource of interest to our members, we want to hear from you.

If you have an expertise or experience in the area that you want to share with the MPGC membership, contact one of our MPGC Communications Committee members:

Alison E. Roberts, CFRE | Chair | aroberts@childrenscancer.org
Kristine Hanson |kristine.hansen@metrostate.edu
Anna Haugo | anna.haugo@childrensmn.org
Karla Healey | khealey@neighb.org
Kelly Mulleady | kelly.mulleady@ridgeviewmedical.org
Lynn Praska | lpraska@umn.edu
Sheri Satterstrom | ssatterstrom@catholicunited.org
Amanda Scherer | scherera@augsburg.edu
Jennifer White | whit0559@umn.edu

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The ideas expressed in articles are solely the opinions of the authors and do not represent any position taken or advice given by MPGC. Any calculations are for illustration purposes only and should not be considered legal, accounting, or other professional advice.

Copyright ©2017 Minnesota Planned Giving Council. All rights reserved.