Sharpe Seminars

For decades, the nation’s top major and planned gift professionals have relied on Sharpe seminars to build and manage successful programs.

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An Introduction to Planned Giving

Upcoming Dates and Locations

Memphis, TN • Feb 6-7, 2020
Washington, DC • Jun 11-12, 2020
Chicago, IL • Jul 13-14, 2020
Chicago, IL • Nov 5-6, 2020
Hotel and Travel Information
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What Attendees Are Saying

The seminar is $795 for the first registration and $695 for additional registrations.

Each Sharpe 2-day seminar is approved for 12 hours of CFRE Continuing Education points.

This seminar provides an introduction to encouraging planned gifts in today’s environment. Beginning with an examination of the lifecycle of typical donors and personal priorities at different stages in life, the seminar emphasizes how effective gift planning can help donors make larger gifts today, as well as plan for future gifts through bequests, trusts, gift annuities and other popular gift planning techniques.

Who Should Attend

This seminar is designed for professionals who are seeking to gain a basic understanding of planned giving and how proper gift planning can lead to larger gifts now and in the future. Whether you are brand new to fundraising or are looking for a basic overview, you will benefit from this introduction to gift planning. Board members and senior management may also benefit from this seminar.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll discover the keys to effective communications with prospective planned givers; learn how to effectively serve those 65+ who are the key to success in fundraising over the next 20 years; and learn ways to communicate the benefits of planned gifts through broad-based communication efforts, individualized correspondence, telephone calls and personal visits.

Structuring Blended Gifts

Upcoming Dates and Locations

Chicago, IL • Oct 3-4, 2019
Washington, DC • Mar 23-24, 2020
Hotel and Travel Information
View the Agenda
What Attendees Are Saying

The seminar is $795 for the first registration and $695 for additional registrations.

Each Sharpe 2-day seminar is approved for 12 hours of CFRE Continuing Education points.

Sharpe Group coined the term “blended gifts” in the early 1990s to help explain the complex ways Baby Boomers and others would ultimately decide to make larger gifts in the 21st century. But is a “blended gift” a “planned gift” or a “major gift”? Correct answer: both.

Who Should Attend

This seminar is designed for those who are sensitive to the changing makeup of their major donor population or would like to offer their donors more attractive options than they thought possible. Chief development officers, senior management leaders, board members and those responsible for planned gifts, major gifts or both will benefit.

What You’ll Learn

This seminar explains how carefully structured combinations of current and deferred gifts can make it feasible for those balancing multiple financial priorities to make gifts larger than they may have thought possible. In the days ahead, donors, nonprofits and advisors will increasingly turn to blended gifts to reap both current and future benefits. Make sure you’re informed so your organization doesn’t miss out on this growing trend. Note that proposed tax law changes will be incorporated throughout the presentation.

Integrating Major & Planned Gifts

Upcoming Dates and Locations

Washington, DC • NOV 6-7, 2019
Chicago, IL • Apr 30-May 1, 2020
Washington, DC • Aug 27-28, 2020
Hotel and Travel Information
View the Agenda
What Attendees Are Saying

The seminar is $795 for the first registration and $695 for additional registrations.

Each Sharpe 2-day seminar is approved for 12 hours of CFRE Continuing Education points.

Fundraising strategies have become increasingly formulated on the age and wealth of donors, rather than the size, timing and use of gifts. The next round of capital campaigns will depend heavily on aging Baby Boomers with complex financial and family responsibilities that may impact their capability to make larger gifts. This seminar is designed for the benefit of those responsible for major gifts, planned gifts or both.

Who Should Attend

This seminar is designed for professionals who are part of an organization that has separate major and planned gift programs and would like to bring everyone together to most effectively serve the needs of their donors and their organization, or for those who are a “one-person development department” and therefore have responsibility for both major and planned gifts. Those with more experience in the gift planning field will benefit most.

What You’ll Learn

You’ll learn practical ways to assist donors in making gifts that are most appropriate in light of their age, wealth and other factors, while meeting current, capital and endowment funding needs, along with how to interpret a donor’s clues to determine which giving option is the best fit for a major gift or a planned gift.

5-Day Comprehensive Planned Giving

January 13-17, 2020

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort

The nation’s finest week-long comprehensive planned giving seminar featuring some of the most respected experts in the field. This seminar offers the groundwork for those who are new to gift planning while presenting an interactive “refresher” for more experienced fundraisers. The seminar will cover the basics of gift and estate planning, the tax considerations of giving, the advantages of giving cash and non-cash gifts, how to market planned giving and more.





Early Bird Registration (Available through December 11, 2019): First registration – $1295.00 Each additional registration – $1195.00

Regular Registration (After 12/11/19): First registration – $1495.00 Each additional registration – $1395.00 Special hotel and theme park rates are available to all seminar attendees.



Barlow T. Mann, J.D., SHARPE newkirk Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Barlow Mann was formerly director of development for the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He has authored articles on planned giving for Fund Raising Management, Planned Giving Today and Trusts & Estates magazine, and his commentaries have been featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The NonProfit Times. He has also been a speaker for local and national fundraising groups for more than 30 years, including the AHP, AFP, CGP, ACGA, AHA and others.

Aviva Shiff Boedecker, J.D., SHARPE newkirk Senior Consultant

Aviva Shiff Boedecker is based in San Francisco, California and has more than 30 years of gift planning experience. She frequently authors planned giving articles and has served for more than a decade each as a director of planned giving at the University of California, Berkeley and the Marin Community Foundation. She has also served on the boards of the CGP and is a past president of both the Northern California Planned Giving Council and the Marin County Estate Planning Council.

John W. Jensen, CFP®, SHARPE newkirk Senior Vice President & Senior Consultant

John Jensen is based in Washington, DC and has worked with many nonprofits to improve their planned giving performance. He regularly conducts Planned Giving Program Audit and Assessments, in addition to a wide range of gift planning consulting services. He is a frequent speaker at local and national fundraising conferences and has served on the board of CGP as well as the National Capital Gift Planning Council. Prior to joining Sharpe, John served as vice president of development for The Nature Conservancy and the National Wildlife Federation.

Laura Knitt, J.D., SHARPE newkirk Senior Consultant

Laura Knitt joined SHARPE newkirk in 2018. Previously, Laura worked with a large national nonprofit, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where she served in progressive roles as associate director for planned giving, director for legal and regulatory compliance and assistant general counsel. She brings valuable experience in donor stewardship, planned giving and major gifts, endowments and donor advised funds, real estate and securities, regulatory compliance and nonprofit governance. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin Law School and currently serves on the board, and as corporate secretary, of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving.



Day One

Opening Remarks

Overview of the Seminar

Introduction to Planned Giving Opportunities

Essentials of Federal Tax System for Individuals

Essentials of Federal Tax Treatment of Charitable Gifts

Essentials of Federal/State Gift and Estate Taxes

Day Two

Overview of Outright Noncash Gifts

Outright Gifts of Real Estate

Workshop on Outright Gifts

Building and Maintaining the Testamentary Gifts Pipeline

Deferred Gifts: Gifts by Wills and Simple Remainders

Gifts of Retirement Plans and Life Estates 

Day Three

Charitable Gift Annuities

Charitable Remainder Trusts

Workshop on Life Income Gifts

Charitable Lead Trusts

Charitable Endowments, Private Foundations and Donor Advised Funds

Day Four

Blending Major and Planned Gifts

Charitable Estate Planning Techniques

Marketing Planned Giving Parts 1 and 2

Helping Your Donors Make Gifts

Workshop on Ethical Standards in Charitable Gift Planning

Day Five

Planned Giving Program and Administration

Estate Settlement Issues

2019 Overview and Outlook for the Future


*** Download a more detailed agenda.


Hotel Information

Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort

12205 S Apopka Vineland Rd

Orlando, FL 32836

If you need hotel accommodations, please call Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort reservations office at (800)423-3297 and ask for the “Sharpe Newkirk” rate or use this link. We have negotiated a group rate of $199 per night, which will be in effect through December 11, 2019, subject to availability. This special rate will be available January 9 through January 20. Please be aware that if the reserved block of rooms sells out before this date, your rate may be higher. Also, parking charges may apply on the hotel premises. Seminar attendees will also have access to special theme park rates while in Orlando. You will receive a web link regarding these rates when you register for the seminar.