NPT’s 2019 Heckerling Institute Recap

Author Amy Gianficaro, Director of Marketing

February 14, 2019

NPT’s development team had the pleasure of spending time at the Heckerling Institute for Estate Planning last month in Orlando, Florida. The “Super Bowl of Estate Planning Conferences” draws thousands of CPAs, financial advisors and tax attorneys from across the country to share new insights and best practices.

Heckerling is a chance to educate our colleagues about charitable planning, but we learn a thing or two ourselves. For this blog post, we asked the members of our development team what they learned.

A recurring theme is that people continue to underestimate how powerful our donor-advised funds are as tools for charitable planning.

I continue to be surprised at the opportunity to educate advisors on donor-advised funds and their myriad applications. Heckerling taught me that our work isn’t done, as there are still advisors and their clients who are missing the opportunity to give more and pay less tax.
—Jeff Gerold, CFP, Senior Director of Development, Southwest

My biggest takeaway from Heckerling was around how much I felt as though I had to dispel myths about DAFs. The DAF Report was extremely helpful for that, and it helped me make some intriguing contacts.
—Fernando Gonzalez, Regional Director of Development, Mid-Atlantic

Some of our team felt they had the opportunity to educate attendees on the specific ways that DAFs can not only provide a philanthropic platform, but also optimize and augment the charitable efforts donors are already making:

The fact that DAFs can complement a donor’s foundation, provide a gateway to philanthropy for their children and can provide a robust platform to support charities domestically and abroad was of great interest to many attendees.
—Andrew Hastings, Chief Development Officer

We also learned how many attendees were interested in contributions of complex assets, and our team relished the opportunity to tell them how NPT is uniquely positioned to help:

We got repeat visitors to learn about our illiquid gift capabilities, especially alternative investments, and gifting a privately held interest before their business sale.
—Ellen Galluccio, Regional Director of Development, Northeast

I learned that a lot of attorneys want to explore how to help donors contribute complex assets like private stock to charity. I had fun telling them how NPT is unique in that space with our ability to accept—and in some cases, hold—those assets longer term.
—Eric P. Joranson, Senior Director of Development, Midwest

Our team got to learn about how people are already using their DAFs—and how they’d be interested in doing so. More tax attorneys and CPAs than we thought were advising their clients to use “bunching” as a strategy with their DAFs to help mitigate their long-term tax liability. And we’re seeing increasing curiosity about impact investments.

The most heartening thing we learned, however, was how driven attendees were not just to safeguard tax savings, but to maximize charitable impact. A steady stream of advisors visited NPT’s booth to talk about a particular client with a particular charitable intention. It was inspiring to hear their commitment to finding the best opportunity for their clients to give the most to the causes they care about.

Finally, more attendees than ever before entered into our Grant Giveaway raffle. We were proud to offer Bridget Handke, CFP of Edina, MN the chance to give $500 to her favorite charity, the Eastview Community Foundation to support students and teachers at schools in her community.

We look forward to learning even more at next year’s Heckerling Institute—and continuing to be your partner in giving!