It was a year of firsts: the first disco, “Whiskey-a-Go-Go” in Los Angeles; first flight of the Boeing 727 jet; the first airing of Julia Child’s “The French Chef” and the introduction of ZIP codes. It was also the year that Robert F. Sharpe Sr. drew on his background in estate and financial planning and fundraising to establish Robert F. Sharpe and Company, a consulting firm to help nonprofits achieve long-range financial security and provide for solid future support.The first Sharpe publication was the original “Charted Giving Plans,” an overview brochure that has been regularly updated since that time and is still widely used by gift planners.
As the Sharpe Group begins its celebration of a half-century of providing consulting, training and creative services exclusively for America’s nonprofits, take a look with us at five decades of events that have influenced the field of planned giving as we know it today.
1960 – Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) founded as the National Society of Fund Raisers.
1963 – Robert F. Sharpe and Company founded.
1964 – Sharpe adds titles to its growing collection of marketing materials for donors and advisors.
1965 – Sharpe relocates from its original base in St. Louis to Memphis.
1966 – The Chronicle of Higher Education founded.
1967 – First Sharpe seminars held.
The Association for Healthcare Philanthropy is founded.
1968 – Sharpe began publishing Give & Take for development executives. The lead article of Give & Take’s inaugural issue addressed the risk associated with suspending efforts while awaiting tax law revision. The December issue included advice on segmenting donor lists and the first published use of the term “planned giving.”
National Catholic Development Conference founded.
1969 – Tax Reform Act of 1969 signed into law. The legislation represented a turning point in planned giving. To explain the effect of the tax changes on charitable giving plans, Sharpe immediately developed and conducted workshops in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.