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Fall 2019
Issue 10 |Vol. 3

The Source is published quarterly by the Minnesota Planned Giving Council

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Save the Dates:
January 8, 2020
March 18, 2020
May 13, 2020
July 8, 2020
September 9, 2020

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Message from the Chair

Tom Glass

Dear MPGC Membership,

The MPGC Conference Committee has done a wonderful job securing top-notch speakers for this year’s annual conference. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on planning and executing our annual conference. This year’s conference will be the best one yet!

Here are the plenary speakers for the 43rd annual Minnesota Planned Giving Conference:

Walter Bond Walter Bond – Former NBA basketball player, entrepreneur, business coach, author, and motivational speaker.
Gasby Brown Gasby Brown – CEO and Executive Consultant of The Gasby Group, Inc. and faculty member of The Fund Raising School at Indiana University’s Center on Philanthropy.
Pamela Davidson Pamela Davidson, JD – President of Davidson Gift Design specializing in gift planning, planned giving program design and implementation, and training. Nationally recognized speaker in charitable gift planning for over 30 years.
Andrew Dayton Andrew Dayton – Founder and CEO of the Constellation Fund, a Minneapolis-based grantmaking organization created to fight poverty.
Shanna Hocking Shanna Hocking, CFRE – Associate Vice President, Individual Giving at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Ross Levin Ross Levin, CFP – CEO and Founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management and past chair, University of Minnesota Foundation Board of Trustees. Regular speaker and columnist for the Star Tribune and Financial Advisor Magazine.

We hope you are able to join us on October 23 and 24, 2019 to hear these incredible speakers!

Details and registration are on the MPGC Website. Please join us!!

Thank you for making Minnesota a great Philanthropy community!

Tom Glass
Chair, Minnesota Planned Giving Council

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The conference committee is excited to see you at the 2019 Philanthropy in Practice Minnesota Planned Giving Conference. A colleague of mine once told me that MPGC is like homecoming. On reflection of the many conferences I’ve attended over the years, I believe this to be true! At each conference, we network with friends and associates, welcome new colleagues, learn from national experts and share ideas or challenges. We look forward to this fulfilling tradition with you once again October 22-24. Thank you to our friends at Metropolitan State University for hosting us again.

Our philanthropic landscape is changing and so is our conference! We hope that you will enjoy some of the new highlights we have to offer this year. We received requests from members for workshops to learn new ideas and hone skills. In response, we are instituting two new working sessions during the lunch hour. Please be sure to pre-register for one or both sessions.

The other special educational opportunity is an advanced working session on the afternoon of Tuesday, October 22nd. Crescendo has kindly offered to lead this session on complex gift planning and marketing. If you’ve already registered for the conference and would like to add the working session(s) to your conference itinerary, please email me at

I look forward to seeing you at the conference. If you’re planning to attend and haven’t yet registered, please register soon. Space is limited at this location.

Thank you,
Juliana Sellers, MPGC Conference Committee Co-Chair

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Save the Dates for MPGC 2020 Breakfast Meetings and Education Programs

Plan to join MPGC at the Town and Country Club for the 2020 Breakfast Meetings and Education Programs! Registration and more information about the January program will be available soon.



Town and Country Club
300 N Mississippi River Blvd
St Paul, MN 55104
View on Google Map

We are delighted to welcome the following new members to the Program Committee. Thank you for your service!

Annette Roth, St. Mary’s University
Laura Kelly Lovdahl, Life Source
Anita Miller-Rieder, Mayo
Thomas Wesely, CPA Wesely & Wesely

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From the MPGC Development Committee

Support MPGC through Sponsorships! MPGC relies on support from generous sponsors to continue the work it does in educating and providing networking opportunities to its members and other supporters. Sponsorships can be tailored to meet your objectives for the level of desired exposure to MPGC’s membership at its events and in its publications.

See the many ways you can support MPGC and its mission here. There is still time to be a sponsor or exhibitor at the annual conference October 23 and 24th, 2019. There is also always time to be an annual sponsor or to sponsor particular initiatives of MPGC.

Please contact Development Committee Co-Chairs (Inez Bergquist at and Sheryl Morrison at to support the great work MPGC is doing in the philanthropic community.

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The Brisk Walk Committee Wants More Members!

Due to a greatly increased demand for Brisk Walk presentations, we are recruiting more committee members. Would YOU like to join our team of experts? Your expertise is needed on many levels. If you are at all curious about joining the committee, please contact committee chair, Dana Holt, at or 612.297.1144. She looks forward to hearing from YOU ASAP!

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Knowledge is Power Planned Gifts!

Are you or your office in need of planned giving 101? If so, the Minnesota Planned Giving Council’s A Brisk Walk Through the Basics of Planned Giving © was made for you. This enriching, one-day offering leads participants through the nuts and bolts of planned gift instruments. Each participant receives Craig Wruck's Planned Giving in a Nutshell to complement course instruction.

Participants will leave this seminar:

  • Understanding basic planned giving methods and their tax implications
  • Learning to identify which gift vehicle(s) work best for a particular donor
  • Hearing “best practices” from experienced planned gift officers and fellow participants

Choose the offering that works best for you, your schedule and your budget:

Brisk Walk Offering When Cost
Brisk Walk at the MPGC Annual Conference October 22, 2019 Early Registration: $200
Standard: $225
Brisk Walk at Your Location Flexible $1,200; covers up to 20 participants (additional $45/person over 20)
Brisk Walk Online Flexible Members: $295
Non-members: $325

To learn more about Brisk Walk or to sign up for a course, please visit the MPGC website at:

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Update from the Leave a Legacy Minnesota committee

Leave a Legacy Minnesota Winona chapter closed and made a gift of just over $7,000 to Leave a Legacy Minnesota (our committee) to continue educating and enabling nonprofit organizations in greater Minnesota to seek and receive planned gifts to support their mission.

A new Leave a Legacy Minnesota chapter is forming in New Ulm, Minnesota. Led by MPGC's own Missy Dreckman, the chapter will officially celebrate its formation on November 7th at the New Ulm Country Club. Scott Nelson, Leave a Legacy Minnesota committee chair, will say a few words.

The committee will produce and host three new and free Legacy Giving at Lunch webinars this autumn. Registration and more details and at

Upcoming webinars:

November 5, Noon to 1:00 pm: Passing Recovery to the Next Generation – Addiction Trust Planning & Planned Giving

Rachel Schromen, Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney
John Magneson, Executive Director of Minnesota Association of Resources for Recovery and Chemical Health

Addiction and Mental Health Trusts do more than protect and pass on assets. Planning of this nature can encompass and capture the recovery values and practices of a family, and function to pass them on to the next generation. So too is the power and possibility of partnering with non-profits in the addiction space who are shaping a better approach to addiction care and community connection. This session will introduce and discuss the important steps to take in planning for the next generation…and the power and possibility of what grateful giving means for both.

November 13, Noon to 1:00 pm: Estate Planning Basics

Laura Halferty, Partner, Stinson LLP
John Stone, Vice President, Wealth Advisor Bremer Bank

A look at the foundation of estate planning including key strategies and tools for wealth management, planned giving, legacy protection and tax efficiency

  • How advisors work with families on charitable and estate planning goals
  • Legal and financial considerations of charitable and estate planning goals
  • How nonprofit and fundraising professionals can engage with and add to charitable and estate planning process

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Frankly Speaking – Introducing a new guest column for The Source

By: Frank Robertson, MPGC member



Be prepared for surprises. After a donor attended one of our estate and gift planning seminars, I met with him because he requested a follow-up visit on the seminar evaluation form. He was a recent widower who was interested in establishing a scholarship fund in his late wife’s memory – I assumed that it would be a gift from his estate. However, after a discussion of various “future gift” opportunities including bequests, beneficiary designations, gift annuities, and CRT options, it soon became clear that he wanted the fund to start right away. He planned to make a six-figure stock transfer as soon as possible. This story has several lessons, one – don’t assume that attendees at an estate planning seminar are only interested in making gifts from their estates, and another – listen to what the donor or prospective donor is telling you about what they want to accomplish with their gift. It is our job to help them achieve that goal, not to shoehorn them into something WE think is right for them.


Some development officers in the profession (and some prospect researchers) often fall into the trap of dividing their prospect list into annual, major and planned gift donors, based on things like wealth screening, age, frequency of giving or other factors. While intuition tells us this is a good plan, development (as with any undertaking where human beings are involved) is not an exact science. When we try to lump donors or prospects into certain buckets for ease of management and cultivation, we run the risk of making too many false assumptions. While it does make sense to segment prospects to a certain extent, especially where a limited budget or small staff constraints apply, it is important to remember that every prospect is a planned gift prospect – maybe not at the moment, but that time will come.


It helps to look at every prospect and donor as a potential planned gift donor – everyone has an estate, and if there is a passion for your organization, don’t be content with categorizing prospects and donors as annual, major or planned. Make estate gifts, and possibly life income gifts, a part of the conversation. The only caveat to this approach is that not all donors are capable of making a “major” gift during their lifetimes (although “major” is in the eye of the beholder). You may be surprised at the annual gift prospect who, at death, leaves a $5 million gift to your organization – I have seen this happen! Some wrongly believe that donors may elect a revocable estate gift over a major outright gift or annual support if given the option. Your goal should be to make estate gift donors into annual and major gift donors, and vice versa – these are not mutually exclusive types of gifts (or donors). Taking a holistic approach to your prospect list can pay big dividends!

About the Author

Frank Robertson

Frank Robertson is an MPGC member and the 2018 recipient of the Clinton A. Schroeder Distinguished Service Award. He is also a mentor through MPGC’s Gary G. Hargroves Mentorship Program. Frank began his 22-year career at the University of Minnesota as alumni relations director and development officer in the College of Science and Engineering. He joined the planned giving staff at the University of Minnesota Foundation in 1997, and became director in 2005. He retired as senior director of planned giving in January 2015. Before entering the development world, Frank served 25 years on active duty as a U.S. Army officer, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

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Welcome, New Members!

Nancy Baldrica, Fraser Michael McMahon, Land Stewardship Project
Brittany Barber, College of Education and Human Development, Ext. Rel. Jennifer Pogatchnik, Minnesota Historical Society
Drew Coursin, Greater Twin Cities United Way Trina Reski, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Sara Gabrielson, Country Manor Foundation Brian Stephenson, Macalester College
Tharan Leopold, ELCA Foundation  

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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:

Karla Healy | Chair |
Alison E. Roberts, CFRE |
Jennifer White | Editor |
Lynn Praska |
Helene Benitez |
Andrew Tiebert |
Katrina Siebels |
Nadia Johnson Lisk |
Jennifer Scholl |

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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 ©2019 Minnesota Planned Giving Council. All rights reserved.