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General Session Highlights

PeachWe are excited about the upcoming conference in Atlanta, April 20-22, 2020.  Registration will open in mid-July along with access to discounted hotel reservations, airfares, and rental car options.

If you need to pay for your registration before July 15th to fit it into a different budget year, contact the ACGA Executive Office and they will be able to assist you in that process.

Below you will find information on our general sessions.  We have a great conference program planned and will share more details about the sessions in the next couple of weeks.  We hope to see you in Atlanta!


Symposium #1

Making Metrics Work for Gift Planners

HighGround Advisors Logo RGBA Discussion with
Bruce E. Bigelow & Joshua M. Birkholz
Facilitated by Christy Butler Eckoff, J.D., LL.M., CFRE, CAP®

With the advent of advanced computation and “big data”, metrics to measure fundraising activities are prevalent throughout all types of organizations. When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of a gift planning program, what are the best measures? When it comes to measuring the work of an individual gift planner, how does that differ from measuring the work of a major gift officer? Although not all “planned” gifts are deferred, much of the work of individual gift planners will pay off in the future—often, long after the original fundraiser has left the organization and the donor relationship has changed hands, perhaps several times. Three members of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners’ Metrics Task Force will discuss their work which examines and defines the connections between metrics and gift planning success. 

Symposium #2

Marketing 2020:  Creative Case Studies 

A Discussion with
Jeff Hesseltine, J.D. & Kimberley Valentine
Facilitated by Dianne Armstrong, CFRE

From traditional print marketing to targeted emails, gift planners are using a variety of approaches to generate leads and help identify the best prospects.  In this seminar, learn from several seasoned colleagues who have blended an entrepreneurial approach into their marketing programs.  What is their mix of outreach to donors by age and giving?  How much emphasis do they place on generating new prospects versus retention and increased commitments from known planned giving donors?  What electronic screening or data enhancements are worthy of reinvestment?  What portion of their marketing focuses on bequests, charitable gift annuities, and IRAs?  Does telemarketing or email outproduce print?  Use this session to check your thinking, compare your results, and take a few ideas back to your office.

Opening Keynote

Transformational Giving – How One Gift Changed Three Atlanta Institutions

ssga black rgb rA Discussion with

  • Raymond King, CEO, Zoo Atlanta
  • Sheffield Hale, President & CEO, Atlanta History Center
  • David Moore, Executive Director, Historic Oakland Foundation

Facilitated by Christy Butler Eckoff, J.D., LL.M., CFRE, CAP®

Can a planned gift really transform 3 institutions?  It happened here in Atlanta.  Three institutions will tell the story of a philanthropic couple who read in the paper about the disrepair and pending destruction of the Cyclorama.  The couple wanted to do something to keep a piece of history thriving in Atlanta.  Their passion led to the establishment of a planned gift and a ripple effect started in the city.  At the end, three cultural institutions were transformed and the city kept a piece of its history. 

Closing Keynote

Helping Donors Get the Most Out of Their Giving: A Conversation with Two Philanthropic Advisors

CornerstoneA Discussion with
Alasdair H. Halliday & Greg Sharkey
Facilitated by Bill Laskin

There’s much more to a good gift than just the dollars transferred to charity. A philanthropic advisor helps donors think broadly about their philanthropy by reflecting on their values, their family, and their philanthropic, financial, and estate planning goals so that they can get the most out of their giving. In this plenary session, two of the country’s foremost philanthropic advisors, Alasdair Halliday, Philanthropic Advisor and Director of Principal Gifts at Harvard University, and Greg Sharkey, Senior Philanthropy Advisor at The Nature Conservancy will talk about their approach to philanthropic advising and why it has been an effective fundraising strategy for their respective institutions – and could be for yours, too.