April 2021

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Letter from the President

Greetings and Happy Spring!

Now that I am four months into my term as president of the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council (CPGC), I’ve had some time to think through where CPGC stands, and where we are headed. My goals are to grow membership, expand CPGC’s outreach - with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and continue providing high quality programs for gift planning professionals.

Before going any further, I must take some time to thank CPGC’s Board for their commitment to the mission of this organization. Also, we thank Rosemary Calderalo, Senior National Philanthropy & Foundation Officer, the Boys and Girls Club of America, for her time on the board. In particular, her diligent service as Vice President of CPGC. We will miss her leadership and contributions to the board.


At our Coffee Chat in February, we had a great group of CPGC members and non-members as well. We are grateful for our supportive membership. Many in attendance were looking to learn more about planned giving fundamentals, and they thought our council would be a great place to meet experienced professionals in the industry.

Recently, I have had several conversations with fundraisers, gift planners, and advisors from various organizations. Here are a few of the questions that surfaced during these calls: Have there been staff changes at your organization? In your role have you taken on more responsibility? Are you struggling with remote work?

Those are tough questions. The pandemic has presented us with unprecedented changes at home, work, and in our communities. CPGC’s goal is to provide a community where you can share ideas, give feedback, and provide suggestions. To contact a member of the CPGC Team email us at info@chesapeakePlannedGiving.org.

Topnotch Programs

Last month, on March 17th, CPGC had a fantastic program, “What’s Next? A Panel Discussion on Certification for Planned Giving Professionals” - a panel of planned giving and fundraising professionals discussed the certifications that helped them along their career paths:

•    Immediate Past President Richard J. Letocha, J.D., CFP®, Johns Hopkins University
•    Board Secretary John A. Gilpin, J.D., CAP®, AEP®, Baltimore Community Foundation
•    Ellen Torres, CFRE, Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Maryland
•    Board member Rock Schuler, CFRE, (Moderator), Holy Trinity Catholic Church and School

Mark your calendar for CPGC’s program on May 19th. Panelists will examine the critical relationships that we all need to cultivate in the planned giving community. What are best practices when working with: financial planners, insurance agents, attorneys, and other professionals?

CPGC is pleased to continue our bi-monthly series of lunchtime educational programs this year. The Board has decided to keep these programs virtual for now and looks forward to when we can return to in-person programs.

In closing, I am grateful for the dedication of the Membership Committee and the Programs Committee. It is with their assistance that the mission and vision of CPGC continues to move forward. Additionally, CPGC thanks our sponsors for their support, and Association Matters, Inc. for their service.

For more information and to join CPGC visit https://www.chesapeakeplannedgiving.org/. I hope you join us on May 19th. We’d be delighted to have you attend our Spring program.

All the best,
Aquanetta Betts
CPGC, President
Linkedin @AquanettaBetts 

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The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners [NACGP] manages the membership process for new and existing members. Please click here to join or renew your membership with CPGC, NACGP or both associations.

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  • Network with your peers and connect with new colleagues
  • Learn best practices and gain a different perspective
  • Connect to the regional philanthropic community
  • Enhance your leadership skills as a chapter volunteer
  • Access to complimentary career posting on our website
  • Gain insights to issues affecting gift planning from local and nationally recognized experts
  • Reinforce skills and become more proficient in practices
  • Share ideas with professionals who serve the needs of donors and clients
  • Maximize your time by attending convenient and concise in-person events

Stress Management Strategies for Business Owners

By: Julie Morris, Career and Life Coach

If you’re an entrepreneur, you face many potential stressors in any given year. But COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges. It’s important to stay on top of your stress management so that you’re able to think clearly, act decisively, and still enjoy life while navigating new territory. If you’re wondering how you can reduce your stress level while still achieving business goals, read on for helpful strategies.

Give back
If your business struggled in the last year, you may be more concerned with your own survival than helping others. However, giving back to your community can help you break out of the stress cycle. Consider volunteering your time, practicing random acts of kindness, or getting involved with a charitable organization such as the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council. The act of giving can also help keep you out of a scarcity mindset and allow you to find creative ways to move your business forward.

Create new systems
When your business is under pressure to adapt to the changes caused by COVID-19, it’s important to be flexible. If there are complicated or time-consuming aspects of your business, consider streamlining and implementing new systems. This will not only help your business but also give you more mental bandwidth. For example, making your business a limited liability company (LLC) can save you time, energy, and paperwork. It is an efficient choice for entrepreneurs in Maryland because you can file it yourself or use an online formation service that takes your state’s requirements into account.  

Take frequent breaks
As tempting as it can be to keep forging ahead when you’re exhausted but there is work to be done, you still need regular breaks. Imagine a weightlifter — they don’t lift set after set with no time in between. Rest is essential to keep up with the heavy lifting that your mind is doing every day. When you take a break, do something calming that allows you to go mentally ‘off duty,’ such as a walk in nature, a coffee date with a friend, a massage, or a nap.

Be sure to check in with your breathing on your breaks. When we’re stressed, we often take short, shallow breaths (or even hold our breath). Try to take slow, full breaths that make your belly and ribs expand with each inhalation. When you exhale, try to empty the lungs fully, getting rid of any stale air from the bottom of your lungs. This should help you feel more relaxed, refreshed, and focused when you return to work.

Make your home a sanctuary
We all need a nurturing place that restores our energy. When you’re busy and focused on your business, it can be easy to neglect your home. However, a clean and welcoming space can help you escape the stress cycle. If you work from home, try to create some physical or mental boundaries that help to separate your business from your personal life. If there are any issues in your home that are causing additional stress, address them directly so that you have a more positive and healthy environment.

As exciting and fulfilling as it is to own a business, it’s also a path with some potential challenges. Long hours, changes in your industry, cash flow fluctuations, and being responsible for employees can all leave you feeling stressed and exhausted. However, learning to effectively manage stress will help you keep up your quality of life while still growing your business. Start with the strategies above and you’ll be able to stay relaxed and focused, no matter what challenges come your way.

Are you interested in connecting with your local philanthropic community and networking with fellow professionals? Check out the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council and consider becoming a sponsor.

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About the Author

Julie Morris

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. She thrives on helping others live their best lives. It’s easy for her to relate to clients who feel run over by life because she’s been there. After years in a successful (but unfulfilling) career in finance, Julie busted out of the corner office that had become her prison.

Today, she is fulfilled by helping busy professionals like her past self get the clarity they need in order to live inspired lives that fill more than just their bank accounts. When Julie isn’t working with clients, she enjoys writing and is currently working on her first book. She also loves spending time outdoors and getting lost in a good book.

Thank You to Our Sponsors For Your Continued Support

How to Make Inclusion a Priority in Planned Giving

By: Eve Longlade, Philanthropy Innovation Director, National Aquarium

As the National Aquarium enters its fortieth year of operation’s we are preparing to re-introduce our planned giving program. What does this mean? Our goal is to set forth a renewed planned giving program that is first and foremost inclusive of all giving levels, approachable and simple. We want to make the decision to participate in future giving easy. And we feel that part of being inclusive is tying legacy giving to our milestone anniversary.

Our plan is to emphasize three primary ways to participate in planned giving. First, through a life insurance policy, enabling the Aquarium to be either a partial or full beneficiary. Second is through a bequest, once again allowing the donor to determine the amount or percentage of their estate that would pass to the Aquarium. And third is through a donor advised fund by recommending the Aquarium as a recipient of future funds. All three of these vehicles are accessible to most folks and that makes a great start for an inclusive planned gift program.

The National Aquarium now calls our planned giving program – The 1981 Legacy Circle.

Our logo was thoughtfully designed to signify the year the Aquarium opened to guests in Baltimore – 1981- and a circle to represent the continuous mission of the Aquarium’s work in animal welfare, conservation, and education. Our planned giving members are inside of that circle as treasured and valued friends, connected by their engagement with us now and their legacy plans for impacting our work in the future.
Equity, inclusion, and accessibility are all extremely important in the everyday operations of the Aquarium as a trusted community partner and membership organization. We believe these values should transcend into our planned giving program, so in that sense our planned giving is also value-based. As a no-cost entry program our members and donors are invited to consider participating in planned giving. This invitation is an extension of our desire to enrich our donor relationships by connecting their current voice to our mutual future impact. And once again all are invited to be a part of this discussion!

In tying our future giving initiatives to our mission, our operational values, and promoting the use of giving vehicles that are easily accessible and invite a diverse audience to participate we hope that planned giving becomes a form of giving that is even more widely contemplated and embraced.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about what the National Aquarium is doing and our desire to spark a larger conversation on inclusion in the planned giving space.

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About the Author

Eve Longlade

I am Eve Longlade, Philanthropy Innovation Director for the National Aquarium. I manage the planned giving program, fundraise, and seek alternative revenue streams for the Aquarium. I am the former Chief Development Officer of the B&O Railroad Museum and a long-time faculty member of University of Maryland Global Campus. I can be reached at 410-576-1153 or elonglade@aqua.org.

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