NCPG President's Corner
The Journal of Gift Planning®, Vol. 6, No. 4, 4th Quarter 2002

BY JONATHAN D. ACKERMAN

A new day has dawned for LEAVE A LEGACY™. The strategic planning task force, chaired by Kathryn Miree, unveiled its board approved "Strategies for Increasing the Effectiveness of LEAVE A LEGACY™" at both the LEAVE A LEGACY™ Workshop and the Assembly of Delegates in Indianapolis.

The keystone of these strategies is the initiation by NCPG of a national media campaign to establish a LEAVE A LEGACY™ brand. On the local level, NCPG will support a public education campaign by an NCPG council to complement the national message. Since the local LEAVE A LEGACY™ will focus solely on public education, its limited activities will complement, rather than compete with, other council activities. Strong, active councils ensure that a network of competent and ethical local gift planners is readily available to donors who respond to the LEAVE A LEGACY™ message.

Implementation of such an ambitious plan will likely take several years, but LEAVE A LEGACY™ Task Force, NCPG Board and staff remain committed to these strategies; will forge ahead with the construction of an implementation plan; and have already funded the initial stages of the plan. With these commitments, the NCPG LEAVE A LEGACY™ logo truly reflects a rising sun radiating to its full potential.

For gift planners, the two days of NCPG's Assembly of Delegates are like a having seat at the 50-yard line of the Super Bowl or at center court for the NCAA Final Four.

The Assembly, and Council Leaders Workshop that is part of the Assembly, are simply the most under rated and valuable experiences that NCPG offers. We all know that we should attend our local council presentations, the NCPG National Conference, NCPG's virtual seminars and, if appropriate, the NCPG Masters Forum. The Council Leaders Workshop, however, provides significant time in roundtable settings with peers and NCPG Board and staff. You have problems-air them. You have great ideas-share them. The workshop provides a relaxed setting for networking and sharing, and culminates in an evening event to continue conversations. In attempting to moderate these sessions this year, I consistently had a difficult time ending them, indicating an invaluable interchange among roundtable participants. The Assembly of Delegates, on the other hand, is a business meeting in which the local councils vote on certain items within their purview, and extensive committee reports are presented by NCPG committee chairs.

What always amazes me about these two days is the consistent display of commitment, professionalism, excitement and sincere concern for our industry by both those presenting and those participating at the sessions. Attendees have the opportunity to network with peers; be engaged by the imagination and creativity of other local council leaders and NCPG Board, staff and committee members; be updated on the imminent national happenings of substance in our industry; be rejuvenated in spirit and walk away with practical solutions to their local councils' most troubling problems. Many of your peers have "been there, done that" or are just thinking outside of the box.

You won't get the best seats attempting to scalp tickets on the day of the event, so make plans early to attend next year's festivities and continue your path to Learn, Lead and Serve!

At this year's conference, NCPG will honor Craig C. Wruck as a member who exemplifies the qualities of learning, leadership and service. Craig will be given the Distinguished Service Award, NCPG's highest honor. Craig has been involved with NCPG since its beginnings. He has been a president of the organization, chaired many of NCPG's committees and initiated new NCPG programs. In the last several years, Craig has quietly and efficiently gained the respect and confidence of Congressional and regulatory leaders in the nation's capitol. He has established NCPG as a significant resource to these influential individuals. I can think of no one who deserves the honor more than Craig C. Wruck, one the gentle giants of gift planning. Congratulations, Craig!

As 2002 NCPG President, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you, and it has been my distinct honor and privilege to do so.

Jonathan Ackerman, 2002 President of NCPG (now known as Partnership for Philanthropic Planning), represents donors and tax-exempt organizations on a national basis. His advice is often sought by charities in their creation and operation, especially with respect to contributions and other funding opportunities, as well as by families (and their advisors) who desire to integrate philanthropy into their estate plans.