2018-2019 Upcoming Events

September 6, 2018 – “Cash Is Not King-How Asset Gifts Create Fundraising Success”, Speaker: Russell James

October 4, 2018 – “Overcoming Donor Objections”, Speakers: Laura Hansen Dean and Pam Davidson

November 1, 2018 – “A Very Significant Donor Just Died.  Now What?!

December 6, 2018 – Discovery-how to learn about a donor’s assets”, Speaker: Cathy Sheffield

February 7, 2019 – “Best Strategies for Gifts of Real Estate”

March 7, 2019 – “Best Strategies for Gifts of Closely-held Business Interests”

April 4, 2019 – “Black, White and Shades of Gray: How to Avoid or Resolve Ethical Dilemmas”

If you wish to request a refund for an event registration, please contact



November 1, 2018 – A Very Significant Donor Just Died. Now What?! @ The Willows on Westfield
Nov 1 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Your organization has spent years, perhaps decades, cultivating a large estate gift from a generous and reliable donor who has recently died.  You attended the funeral, comforted the family and expressed your gratitude along with your condolences.  Several weeks have now passed and you have heard nothing from the executor, the trustee or the attorney.  Now what?  Estate and trust gifts come in all shapes, sizes and degrees of difficulty.  Executors, trustees, and the attorneys who represent them come with a wide range of fiduciary expertise, work ethic, level of transparency, attention to detail, commitment to the job, and independence.  Charities, while typically very worthy of a deceased donor’s support, are sometimes viewed by the donor’s family with indifference, suspicion and on occasion, outright hostility.  Circumstances can be made even more challenging when an indifferent or hostile family member also happens to be the fiduciary responsible for the delivery of a charitable bequest.  This presentation will explore some “ripped-from-the-headlines” case studies designed to illustrate some of the obstacles to productive working relationships among charitable beneficiaries and fiduciaries following the death of a donor, and how to avoid those obstacles, work around them and ultimately overcome them.

What you’ll learn:

  • An overview of death-related administration of estates and trusts for planned giving and development professionals.
  • Tips and tricks for developing and maintaining productive working relationships with fiduciaries responsible for the administration of estates or trusts that include gifts to your organization.
  • A better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of charities during death-related administration and how best to exercise those responsibilities and assert those rights as necessary to protect the interest of your organization.


About the Speaker:  Fredrick Weber, Sr. Vice President and Estate Settlement Services Practice Lead, Northern Trust Company

Fred Weber leads the Estate Settlement Service Practices for Northern Trust Company’s Central Region.  Fred’s team handles death-related administration of estates and trusts when Northern Trust acts as a fiduciary for clients who have died.  Fred previously worked for another corporate fiduciary, and before that, spent several years in private law practice as a trust, estate and probate attorney.  Fred also worked as a planned giving officer for a large public charity, and before law school, he worked in Washington, DC, as an aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul D. Wellstone (D-MN).  Fred has presented to the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE), the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the Chicago Estate Planning Council and the Minnesota Planned Giving Council.  Fred is an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School, where he teaches a course on death-related administration of estates and trusts.  Fred is a board member and past president of Shalva: A Response to Domestic Abuse in Jewish Homes.  Fred received his B.A. from the University of Minnesota and his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law.  He is licensed to practice law in Illinois.

December 6, 2018 – Discovery—how to learn about a donor’s assets @ The Willows on Westfield
Dec 6 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

Speaker:  Cathy Sheffield

What do you own? Is it valuable (and how do you know)? Has the value appreciated? Do your kids want it? Do you owe anything on it? Are you thinking about selling it? Wouldn’t it be great to just straight up ask the questions that will help you identify assets that might be ripe for charitable giving? When you can’t be that blunt, Greg Sharkey helps you ease into conversations that yield the information you need to develop gift options.

February 7, 2019 – Best Strategies for Gifts of Real Estate @ The Willows on Westfield
Feb 7 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

More Americans own real estate than any other asset, and Russel James’s research demonstrates that impact that real estate gifts have on development income.

You don’t need to be an expert in real estate to help donors consider plans that include their home or investment property. At this meeting, you’ll build a working knowledge of real estate opportunities and challenges so that you can participate in discussions with donors, advisors and your own managers. You’ll leave the meeting ready to respond to questions from donors, manager and advisors. Your answers can lead everyone to more meaningful gifts.

March 7, 2019 – Best Strategies for Gifts of Closely-held Business Interests @ The Willows on Westfield
Mar 7 @ 11:30 am – 1:00 pm

The millionaire next door is retiring soon, and his kids don’t want to run the business. This is the wealth transfer in action, and gift planners need to recognize opportunities that are much more lucrative than a gift from proceeds after the sale. In a further exploration of the donor case introduced in February, this session begins with the simplest possible options that are within the reach even of small nonprofits and progresses to several more complex options that require specialized planning counsel.

April 4, 2019 – Black, White and Shades of Gray: How to Avoid or Resolve Ethical Dilemmas @ The Willows on Westfield
Apr 4 @ 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Ethical practice crosses disciplines in the gift planning world. Undue influence, unauthorized practice, diminished capacity, negligence in drafting agreements or in honoring donor intent are hazards for advisors and attorneys. In the session, consider how you’d respond to a variety of common ethical dilemmas before hearing from experienced panelists.