Planned Giving Coach

About the Coach

Jeff Woods

With 20 years of experience as a major gifts officer and director of development in educational and medical fundraising, Jeff Woods provides tailored consulting services and support to nonprofits wanting to start, grow and sustain successful planned or legacy giving programs.

Jeff emphasizes the importance of personally engaging prospects to overall program performance and effectiveness. Having developed online constituent surveys for many Planned Giving Coach clients, Jeff has distributed more than 25,000 survey invitations that have allowed clients to discover new gifts, generate fundraising leads and gain both valuable insight and demographic data from donors and prospects.

An experienced presenter, Jeff enjoys teaching diverse audiences about legacy giving, legacy giving programs and legacy gift options through estate planning & charitable giving seminars, and professional development webinars and classes.

Jeff received his BA degree from Guilford College and his Masters from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed professional development programs in fundraising and nonprofit management from The Fundraising School and Duke University. He was a co-founder of the Cape Lookout Environmental Education Center, where he served as a volunteer and trustee from 1995-2005. Jeff lives in Sonoma, CA.

About Planned Giving Coach, LLC

Phillip Murphy

Planned Giving Coach was founded by Phil Murphy in 1985. Phil will be remembered by the nonprofit community for a career spanning three decades in which he served a wide variety of nonprofit organizations as a planned giving specialist and consultant.

Phil received his Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a fellowship in Journalism and Behavioral Science from Columbia University. He provided planned giving consultation to nonprofit organizations including health organizations, social service agencies, the arts, environmental groups, high schools, private colleges, residential programs for youth and the elderly, scouting, religious congregations and dioceses, community radio, the developmentally disabled, low-income housing, United Way, and YMCAs.

Phil was Past-President of the Northern California Planned Giving Council and past-president of the Board of the Multicultural Institute in Berkeley, California. Concerned with growing inequality, Phil made the 12-minute documentary Arizmendi's Secret offering an alternative business model.

Phil’s professional legacy - to help nonprofits start, grow and sustain effective planned giving programs – is continued by his business partner and friend, Jeff Woods, principal of Planned Giving Coach, LLC.

PLANNED GIVING COACH’S MISSION & APPROACH

Planned Giving Coach exists to provide effective and affordable consulting services and support that enable nonprofit organizations to start, grow and sustain successful legacy giving programs. Our approach to working with clients starts with the belief that legacy giving programs should:

  1. be case-centered;
  2. build on existing organizational capacity;
  3. involve volunteer legacy giving advocates, where possible;
  4. effectively identify, engage and steward legacy gift prospects and donors;
  5. focus on gifts in will and living trusts;
  6. facilitate personal asks for legacy gifts;
  7. regularly communicate donor stories and legacy giving information in clear and compelling ways;
  8. not rely on “tax benefits” to “sell” legacy giving;
  9. be informed by relevant research;
  10. minimize the need for in-house technical expertise;
  11. employ a strategic plan that identifies program milestones to be achieved, actions to be taken and deadlines;
  12. become capable of securing legacy gift commitments sufficient in size and number to meet long-term endowment and/or other organizational goals.

Clients

Planned Giving Coach has provided effective and affordable legacy giving consultation to a wide range of nonprofit organizations including health organizations, social service agencies, land trusts, environmental nonprofits, independent high schools, senior living communities, residential and mentoring programs for young people, religious orders, and low-income housing advocates.

Partial List of Current Clients

Contracts

Head Coach:

A “Head Coach” contract represents comprehensive support for nonprofits and their legacy giving programs. If you’re starting a legacy giving program for the first time, trying to restart a stalled program and/or have few staff resources to commit at this time, the Head Coach contract can provide you with the services and support you’ll need to succeed. To quickly discover new legacy gifts and generate fundraising leads, Planned Giving Coach will design, distribute, and prioritize results from an online engagement survey tailored for your organization and constituents. An action plan identifying program milestones, actions to be taken and timelines will help you chart your course and track your progress. In-person planning and training sessions are available to staff, board members and volunteers, as well as ongoing guidance and support to all parties involved with your legacy giving program. You’ll receive customized communications and promotional materials, and legacy giving content for your website. Personal consultations, by phone or in-person (where feasible), are included to provide your prospects and donors with educational information about legacy giving and the tax and income consequences of specific legacy gifts. Broad technical support will enable you to promptly and accurately respond to questions, notifications and inquiries related to legacy giving. Your contract will be tailored for your organization with services and support designed to meet your needs. Fees and services to be included in the contract are negotiated.

Assistant Coach:

If you have some organizational resources already committed to legacy giving and/or you do not need comprehensive services and support to achieve your program goals, the “Assistant Coach” contract may be the right choice. This contract includes some of the services and support listed under “Head Coach”, above, including the development of an action plan for your program and regular consultant-staff planning sessions. Training sessions are available to staff, board members and volunteers, by phone, webinar or in-person (where feasible). You’ll receive customized communications and promotional materials, and legacy giving content for your website. Personal phone consultations are included to provide your prospects and donors with educational information about legacy giving and the tax and income consequences of specific legacy gifts. Broad technical support and ongoing guidance to staff, board members and volunteers will enable you to promptly and accurately respond to questions, notifications and inquiries related to legacy giving. Your contract will be tailored for your organization with services and support designed to meet your needs. Fees and services to be included in the contract are negotiated.

Technical Coach:

If your program is established and/or you don’t need help promoting legacy giving or engaging donors, the “Technical Coach” contract may be the right choice. This contract includes broad technical support and ongoing guidance to staff, board members and volunteers that will enable you to promptly and accurately respond to questions, notifications and inquiries related to legacy giving. Personal phone consultations are included to provide your prospects and donors with educational information about legacy giving and the tax and income consequences of specific legacy gifts. Your contract will be tailored for your organization with support designed to meet your needs. Fees are negotiated.

MODEL STANDARDS OF PRACTICE FOR THE CHARITABLE GIFT PLANNER

PREAMBLE

The purpose of this statement is to encourage responsible gift planning by urging the adoption of the following Standards of Practice by all individuals who work in the charitable gift planning process, gift planning officers, fund raising consultants, attorneys, accountants, financial planners, life insurance agents and other financial services professionals (collectively referred to hereafter as "Gift Planners"), and by the institutions that these persons represent.

This statement recognizes that the solicitation, planning and administration of a charitable gift is a complex process involving philanthropic, personal, financial, and tax considerations, and as such often involves professionals from various disciplines whose goals should include working together to structure a gift that achieves a fair and proper balance between the interests of the donor and the purposes of the charitable institution.

I. PRIMACY OF PHILANTHROPIC MOTIVATION
The principal basis for making a charitable gift should be a desire on the part of the donor to support the work of charitable institutions.
II. EXPLANATION OF TAX IMPLICATIONS
Congress has provided tax incentives for charitable giving, and the emphasis in this statement on philanthropic motivation in no way minimizes the necessity and appropriateness of a full and accurate explanation by the Gift Planner of those incentives and their implications.
III. FULL DISCLOSURE
It is essential to the gift planning process that the role and relationships of all parties involved, including how and by whom each is compensated, be fully disclosed to the donor. A Gift Planner shall not act or purport to act as a representative of any charity without the express knowledge and approval of the charity, and shall not, while employed by the charity, act or purport to act as a representative of the donor, without the express consent of both the charity and the donor.
IV. COMPENSATION
Compensation paid to Gift Planners shall be reasonable and proportionate to the services provided. Payment of finders fees, commissions or other fees by a done organization to an independent Gift Planner as a condition for the delivery of a gift are never appropriate. Such payments lead to abusive practices and may violate certain state and federal regulations. Likewise, commission-based compensation for Gift Planners who are employed by a charitable institution is never appropriate.
V. COMPETENCE AND PROFESSIONALISM
The Gift Planner should strive to achieve and maintain a high degree of competence in his or her chosen area, and shall advise donors only in areas in which he or she is professionally qualified. It is a hallmark of professionalism for Gift Planners that they realize when they have reached the limits of their knowledge and expertise, and as a result, should include other professionals in the process. Such relationships should be characterized by courtesy, tact and mutual respect.
VI. CONSULTATION WITH INDEPENDENT ADVISORS
A Gift Planner acting on behalf of a charity shall in all cases strongly encourage the donor to discuss the proposed gift with competent independent legal and tax advisors of the donor's choice.
VII. CONSULTATION WITH CHARITIES
Although Gift Planners frequently and properly counsel donors concerning specific charitable gifts without the prior knowledge or approval of the donee organization, the Gift Planners, in order to insure that the gift will accomplish the donor's objectives, should encourage the donor, early in the gift planning process, to discuss the proposed gift with the charity to whom the gift is to be made. In cases where the donor desires anonymity, the Gift Planners shall endeavor, on behalf of the undisclosed donor, to obtain the charity's input in the gift planning process.
VIII. DESCRIPTION AND REPRESENTATION OF GIFT
The Gift Planner shall make every effort to assure that the donor receives a full description and an accurate representation of all aspects of any proposed charitable gift plan. The consequences for the charity, the donor and, where applicable, the donor's family, should be apparent, and the assumptions underlying any financial illustrations should be realistic.
IX. FULL COMPLIANCE
A Gift Planner shall fully comply with and shall encourage other parties in the gift planning process to fully comply with both the letter and spirit of all applicable federal and state laws and regulations.
X. PUBLIC TRUST
Gift Planners shall, in all dealings with donors, institutions and other professionals, act with fairness, honesty, integrity and openness. Except for compensation received for services, the terms of which have been disclosed to the donor, they shall have no vested interest that could result in personal gain.
Adopted and subscribed to by the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning) and the American Council on Gift Annuities, May 7, 1991. Revised April 1999.