Donor Insights: Why Planned Gifts Remain Secret
We’ve all had it happen: a committed supporter tells you about the generous estate gift they plan to provide your institution. When you pursue the conversation, or ask the donor to provide some additional information or documentation, they decline. You’ve hit a wall, and you don’t know if, when, or how you should proceed. If you’ve ever wanted to ask your donors why they hesitate to share details of their estate gift with a charity, now is your chance. Join a real live donor who’s willing to talk to us about his planned gift journey. He’ll give his own perspective, as well as share findings from donor interviews conducted in collaboration with a gift planner from the University of Colorado. We’ll talk about why folks may not share their estate plans with you, and how these (anonymous) donors hope you will respond.
- Understand the reasons why some donors prefer not to share information about their estate gift with their favorite charity.
- Discuss how planned gift documentation is viewed from a donor’s versus charity perspective.
- Learn how donors would like a charity to respond when they express hesitations in sharing information about their planned gift.
Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk
Department Head and Senior Director
Office of Gift Planning, University of Colorado
Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk is the department head and senior director of Gift Planning at the University of Colorado, a four-campus system spanning the state. Katy’s previous CU experience includes serving as the head gift planner for the CU Boulder campus and as a major gifts officer for the Leeds School of Business.
Prior to coming to the University of Colorado, Katy led a scholarship program at Georgetown University that supported first-generation, low-income, and diverse undergraduate students. She also served as a fundraising and strategy consultant for nonprofit organizations in Washington, D.C.
Katy is currently serving as a board member and the vice president for the Colorado Planned Giving Roundtable. She completed her MBA at the Kellstadt School of Business at DePaul University. She has both an undergraduate and Master’s degree from Stanford University, where she served as captain of the women’s gymnastics team and earned All-American honors on the balance beam. She enjoys living in Colorado with her husband and their three children.
Board Member, CU Boulder Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado
Director, Canadian Pacific Limited
Gordon Trafton graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder Leeds School of Business with a Bachelor of Science degree in Transportation Management. He enjoyed a lengthy and successful career in the railroad industry before retiring in 2010. Prior to his retirement, Gordon's extensive railroad resume included leading a team of 6,800 employees in delivering transportation services that generated annual revenues of $2.5 billion.
A firm believer in the importance of education and “paying it forward,” Gordon's "retirement" activities currently include his role as Chairman of the Leeds School of Business Board of Alumni and Friends, and serving as a director of Canadian Pacific Railway Limited. It's no surprise that he was recently awarded the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (District VI).
In 2012, the Trafton family translated one of their primary philanthropic interests into action, making an investment that established the Leeds Mentoring Office and significantly expanding the Leeds School’s Professional Mentorship Program (PMP). Today, Leeds mentoring programs partner more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students with over 1,000 professional, alumni, and student mentors. In addition, Gordon dedicates countless hours to his many mentees, including his ever-grateful co-presenter, Katy Herbert Kotlarczyk.
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