29th Annual Summer Symposium – August 28 & 29, 2017

The 29th Annual Summer Symposium was held August 28th and 29th at Hilton Inverness Hotel in Englewood to a sold-out crowd of more than 320 professionals from throughout Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas! This total includes 140 first time Symposium attendees!

The Summer Symposium is known as one of the best regional Planned Giving conferences in the country with the industry’s top philanthropic speakers, valuable networking, customized breakout sessions and industry sponsors to share new insights, ideas and trends.

The Symposium began Monday morning with Phil Purcell presenting a full day workshop: Understanding the Basics for Success in Planned Giving, attended by 100 professionals. The interactive session provided essential ideas for success in fundraising planned gifts. One attendee wrote, “I came away with an enhanced understanding of the various planned giving vehicles, the pros and cons of each, and – best of all – a vetted list of resources to which I can turn when I need guidance.”

On Monday afternoon, Craig Wruck, Vice President for University Advancement, Humboldt State University, presented an advanced session on Charitable Gift Annuities… exotic ways to use them. The session expanded on the opportunities nonprofits have to take Charitable Gift Annuities to a new level, including Retained Life Estates, Flexible Deferred Annuities, and even commuting payments to pay college tuition for grandchildren.

Craig’s duties doubled for the Plenary Session Monday evening, presenting Government Relations Update: Philanthropy in the Time of Trump. Craig reviewed historic data to understand the impact of past elections, the economy, taxes, and Federal regulations on charitable giving. Using this data Craig suggested economy is the primary predicator of charitable giving, and encouraged nonprofits to advocate for protecting the charitable tax deduction.

Lynne Wester, the Donor Relations Guru, was originally scheduled for the Plenary session but was unable to travel from Texas because of flight restrictions during Hurricane Harvey. Our thoughts are with Lynne and everyone in Texas affected by the devastating storm. Extra thanks to Craig Wruck for stepping in on such late notice.

The Keynote presentation was given by Summer Symposium and CPGR veteran Lani Starkey of Fifty Rock Consulting. Lani is well known for being able to speak on any topic, and this presentation lived up to his high standard of excellence. This session, The 8 Ways to Ask for Gifts: Expanding the Art and Science of the Solicitation, provided an in depth strategy for identifying which types of donors respond best to specific methods of making the ask.

Immediately following the Keynote, CPGR honored Vickie M. Wilson with the Betsy A. Mangone Lifetime Achievement Award. Scott Lumpkin, who received this prestigious award in 2011, was on hand to highlight Vickie’s many contributions to CPGR over her many years of involvement. A few highlights of Vickie’s CPGR career include:
• CPGR Member since May 2004
• Board Member – January 2006 through December 2011
• Served on the Symposium Committee 2006, 2007 & 2008 (co-Chair)
• CPGR Volunteer of the Year 2010
• Instrumental in starting CPGR Fellowship Program which is now the CPGR Mentor Program

Breakout sessions kept the popular ski-slope theme with color codes for the level of expertise presented by each speaker: The Copper Mountain and Loveland Basin tracks were mostly filled with “Green Run” sessions, best suited to early-in-their-career gift planners and the Breckenridge and Keystone tracks featured some more complex “Blue Runs” and “Black Runs” for the more experienced gift officers. Returning for the second year, Loveland Basin track included Small Shop instruction for those attendees with interest in starting a planned giving operation in their non-profit. As always, this Symposium featured nationally-known speakers who generously gave of their knowledge and time to provide quality planned giving education to our attendees.

During the networking luncheon, Krista Boscoe, CPGR Board member and Chair of the Development Committee, was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year” award for all of her hard work throughout the year in building solid programs for CPGR and providing service to the gift planning community! Tyler Drum addressed the crowd to announce his generous planned gift to CPGR, and becoming a charter member of CPGR Legacy Partners. Tyler shared details of the first Paul Jonas Scholarship Award, and encouraged attendees to contribute to scholarship funds for the 2018 Summer Symposium. This year, CPGR was able to award 15 scholarships thanks to donations received at last year’s Symposium, and through the support of Community First Foundation.

The Symposium’s generous sponsors deserve special recognition for their time and commitment to the Planned Giving industry in Colorado! Without their support, this successful symposium would not have occurred. This year’s Platinum Sponsor was State Street Global Advisors; the 2017 Gold Sponsors were BNY Mellon Wealth Management and The Stelter Company; our Silver Sponsors were ANB Financial Services, CCS, Crescendo Interactive, MidFirst Bank, and the Rose Community Foundation; and our Bronze Sponsors were AFP – Colorado Chapter, Colorado State University, Endowment Development Services, Holland & Hart LLP, National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, Pentera, PG Calc, PNC Institutional Advisory Solutions, Realty Gift Fund, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, Sharpe Group, TIAA Kaspick, Thompson & Associates, University of Colorado, University of Denver, and Zia Trust, Inc. And many thanks again to Community First Foundation, as sponsor of this year’s highly successful Symposium Scholarship program.

We are always looking to improve the Summer Symposium and appreciate your feedback and suggestions for future programs. We also would like to encourage your involvement as a Symposium committee member. If you’d like to participate in next year’s planning, please contact Tina Drum at cpgr@q.com.

Save the Dates!
The 2018 Summer Symposium will take place on August 22 & 23 at the Hilton Denver Inverness in Englewood. Don’t forget we’ll be back to Wednesday and Thursday in 2018.