May 2, 2022 – CGPH 2022 Spring Conference

May 2, 2022 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
The Health Museum
1515 Hermann Drive
Texas 77004
Rhonda Patterson
May 2, 2022 - CGPH 2022 Spring Conference @ The Health Museum

CGPH 2022 Spring Conference

From Pandemic to Powerful

May 2, 2022


The Charitable Gift Planners of Houston are reconvening on May 2, 2022, to bring the community of development professionals back together again!

The CGPH Annual Conference, From Pandemic to Powerful, offers a variety of speaker sessions and workshops across topics related to development, marketing, stewardship, planned giving case studies, tax updates, and current and future trends in giving and outreach to diverse communities.

This year, we will also be offering a special breakfast session for those new to planned giving or those who want an introduction to the topics of the conference. The Planned Giving 101 breakfast will be a unique and fun opportunity to get a quick overview of the basics of gift planning.

Whether you are new to industry or a seasoned professional, and support an institution that is public or private, large or small, secondary, college or post-graduate – you’ll find the perfect track to learn from your peers, share insights and ideas, and take your development program to the next level.

After two long years, the CGHP Conference is back, live, and in a new dynamic space. Come joins us – in person – at The Health Museum – where you can learn about us, mingle with friends, or make new ones, as well as tour the museum exhibits and enjoy a day of fantastic food and drinks catered by Hungry’s. Together we’ll continue to innovate, collaborate, and build partnerships to build resilience and bounce back from pandemic to powerful!



8:00am – Gift Planning 101 – Breakfast for newcomers to the planned giving profession. Come early to enjoy breakfast and hear a preview of some key conference topics, including basics of planned giving, key vocabulary, and ways to put some of your learnings into practice.

Presenters: Jeff McLain, President Charitable Gift Planners of Houston, Sr. Director of Gift Planning, Texas A&M Kingsville; David Starnes, Sr. Director, Estate and Gift Planning, UTHealth

9:00am – Welcome Remarks and Keynote Speaker.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas: How some of Texas’ Early Philanthropists Shaped the Lonestar State. Hon. Ken Wise will share stories about the history of Texas philanthropy and some key families that helped shape the early history of giving across the state.

Presenter: Hon. Ken Wise, host of podcast Wise about Texas

9:40am – Session 1

1A: All Aboard: How to make the case for Planned Giving. This session will focus on how to get buy-in from your leadership team on investing in a planned giving program. With limited resources, organizations often face challenges building support from their leadership teams to invest in a program that may not see immediate results. Hear from Amanda Brown Irving, Executive Director of Gift Planning at the University of Texas at Austin, about how the UT began to invest in planned giving what resulted from that investment. She will share some metrics and insights that could help you consider how to make the case for investing in planned giving at your organization.

Presenter: Amanda Brown Irving, Executive Director of Gift Planning at the University of Texas at Austin

1B: Keeping the Spark Alive: How to steward legacy donors. What happens after you secure your legacy gift? How do you keep your donors happy and your organization in the will? Hear from Rachel Davis, CDO at Jewish Family Services, about their strategies to keep donors excited and invested in their organization for the long-term.

Presenter: Rachel Davis, Chief Development Officer, Jewish Family Services

10:45am – Session 2

2A:  Opportunity Abounds: How Planned Giving will Change Philanthropy as We Know It. In the next few decades, the Baby Boomer generation will pass on an estimated $30 to $68 trillion in wealth. And as Americans have rushed to make their wills during the Coronavirus pandemic, they’ve gotten considerably more charitable. For nonprofits, this marks an unprecedented opportunity to raise crucial funds for their mission for decades to come through the biggest gifts they’ll ever receive: bequests, or gifts made in a will. You’ll get insights into industry trends analyzed from more than 150,000 wills, and the next steps that you can take now to get more legacy donors.

Presenter: Patrick Schmitt, Co-CEO of FreeWill

2B: A New Frontier: Updates on tax and legislative changes.    

Presenter: Michelle L. Melnar, Tax Managing Director – Private Client Services, BDO


12noon – Lunch and Keynote Speaker Crstyal Thompkins, CAP, CSPG, Head of Philanthropic Solutions, BNY Mellon Wealth Management. Ms. Thompkins will focus on the trends impacting wealth transfer across the US, between generations and within diverse communities. She will also focus on donors of color who are building wealth and engaging in transformative philanthropy in unique ways.


1pm Power Sessions (30 Minute Brief Presentations and Dynamic Q&A Sessions on Key Topics)

Power Session A: Portfolio Management. What does a good, planned giving prospect look like? How do you mine your list for success? Learn tips, tricks and how to build your strategy for prospecting the most likely donors for planned gift success.

Presenter: Brittani Williams, Manager of Development and Research Operations, Houston Zoo

Power Session B: Found in Translation: Building Bridges between Your Donors and Professional Advisors. Talking with legal and financial professionals can often be a communication challenge for development officers. But, doing it well is a critical part of a creating a successful gift planning program. Come learn about how to speak the right language and build a collaborative approach with key professionals that are part of the gift planning ecosystem. 

Speaker: Cindy Anapolsky, Director of Philanthropy at Houston Jewish Community Foundation

Power Session C: Planned Giving Fundamentals: Laying the Foundation for A Successful PG Program Launch. How can you know if you are ready for a planned giving program launch? Do you have the right donors? What about the forms and policies to actually structure the gifts? This session will help you determine if you are ready to start a planned giving program and what key items you need to begin soliciting and closing gifts.

Speaker: Steve Covington, Director of Estates and Gift Planning at New Mexico State University

2pm Roundtable Discussion: The Future of Philanthropy: How to talk to Diverse Communities about Wealth. Do you feel confident in your abilities to engage with a diverse group of wealthy donors? Could you use some additional insight into how to build an inclusive culture of philanthropy across your donor base? This panel will share some knowledge about how different communities give, perceive fundraising, and discuss their wealth. Speakers will engage in honest dialogue and open discussion to help you better understand different donor communities and how you can build effective strategies to approach diverse groups of donors in a culturally appropriate manner.

Presenters: Crystal Thompkins, Moderator, Head of Philanthropic Solutions, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
Roundtable Participants: Robin Shah, Regional Director of Development, Pratham USA; Emmett Schelling, Executive Director, Transgender Education Network of Texas; and Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO, Latino Community Foundation.

3:25pm Power Sessions Part 2

Power Session A: Speed Session: Get it in Writing – how to work with lawyers to get donors to the finish line. Getting a donor from an excited to a signed agreement can often be a challenge. Learn some strategies to work with legal counsel that help move the gift forward. This session will help you understand the different role a lawyer plays in gift planning, how they work with the clients and development officers, and how to avoid pitfalls that could derail your organization’s philanthropic goals.

Presenter: Arron Dobbs, Counsel, Gray Reed

Power Session B: Myths and Legends: Stories and Insights from a Lifetime of Planned Giving. Join David Starnes and Tom Moore as they share some funny stories, key successes, big failures, and how they bounced back towards a successful career in gift planning. They will share their love of the field and tips for how newcomers can get joy and satisfaction from their work with legacy donors.

Presenters: David Starnes, Sr. Director, Estate and Gift Planning, UTHealth and Tom Moore, Director of Advancement, The Kinkaid School

4pm – Reception and Museum Tours. Join us for complimentary wine/beer and delicious bites from Hungry’s as you mix and mingle with friends and colleagues. The Health Museum galleries will be open and docents will be available to provide tours of the exhibits. Sip and stroll through the museum and celebrate this vibrant community of gift planners and others dedicating their professional careers to building philanthropic impact in Texas and beyond.


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