GiftCollege Testimonials

GiftCollege is helping thousands of planned giving professionals increase their gift planning skills. Many have received indirect gifts for their organization as a result of their study. Here is a sampling of what people are saying about GiftCollege.

As I began working full time in Gift Planning, after working in annual giving, major gifts, and alumni relations prior, I needed more knowledge and expertise to offer our donors when it came to more complex planned and deferred gifts. Gift College was the right fit for me to enhance my knowledge and skills of Gift Planning, working at my own pace. I was motivated to complete the course to be as prepared as possible to serve our donors.

I loved that GiftCollege gave me the ability to work on my certificate remotely at my own pace. The flexibility fit well with my busy life and day to day duties of my job.

As SPU's chief gift planning officer I am realizing more and more that the institution and our donors are looking to me to provide accurate, competent, and helpful information about the various types of gift vehicles and assets that might be considered. I certainly don't have all the answers, but thanks to my GiftCollege training I have a much better idea of what the answers are or where to look to find the answers – (CresPro GiftLaw for starters!)

Bryan Jones, CGPP
Director of Endowments and Gift Planning
Seattle Pacific University

Because I saw the potential your education system offered for marketing Planned Giving and your program was less expensive, required less travel and is more focused than other programs, I chose Crescendo’s GiftCollege certification program. At the end of our conference season in October 2009, I began completing the 50 classes necessary for the CGPA certification. Because of the flexibility of taking the online classes on demand, I was able to complete the 50 classes in 7 months with very little interruption to my schedule. Then I completed the certification exam. Our first week, we had a CGA, an agreement to review a large plan and a large IRA rollover (if Congress passes the law).

Howard C. Leach, CGPA
Vice President of Advancement
Word of Life Fellowship

As a planned giving officer for over 10 years, I am still learning! A recent GiftCollege session taught me how to plan a $1.2 million gift for this year rather than at the donor's death years from now. At that time we may not be in a capital campaign like we are now - impeccable timing Crescendo!

Stan Davis, J.D., CFP
Office of University Relations
Samford University

As a twenty year planned giving officer, I feel the GiftCollege certification program is a priceless gift to our profession. More than ever it is important that we keep ourselves current on the gift options we are offering to our donors and with time being such a precious commodity eLearning is the answer. Once again, Crescendo has set the standard for serving our charitable gift planning needs. Thanks to all involved in this program.

Rebecca Zimmer
Planned Giving Director
Westminster College

GiftCollege is another Home Run for Crescendo! Two people in our office do Gift Planning and both of us have signed up for GiftCollege. With our schedules and your flexibility it is possible for each of us to view the weekly session at our convenience. GiftCollege has given us the ability to learn and review options that we might have missed. This is better than time away from the office at school or seminars as each week we are in discussions about how can we use the current topic in our planning with donors. Once again Crescendo is providing a tool to help each person be more professional in their daily work. I have recommended GiftCollege and certification to many of my peers. Thank you for all the work you do to help us be better.

Ronald W. Smith, CFRE
Gift Planning Counselor
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Foundation

I am enjoying GiftCollege tremendously. I am a seasoned senior major gifts officer, who is assuming the role of planned giving officer for our organization. Since I have no plans to become a CPA or LLD, your program is just right for me—I’ve already learned so much about the benefits of various options, and the pitfalls that need to be avoided. You and the others who run the program have also been very responsive to any questions I have had.

Mary L. Chrastil
Director of Major and Planned Gifts
Manchester College

This was my first experience with GiftCollege and I found it to be excellent. The webcast was especially effective at imparting the material in an easy to understand and effective manner. I especially appreciated the question and answer section that helped to reinforce concepts and ideas. Thank you for providing this quality educational resource. I look forward to viewing and learning a great deal from GiftCollege.

Jill Johnson
Director of Development
Southwestern College

As a seasoned major gift officer making the switch to a planned giving officer, I knew the CGPA course would help broaden my understanding of the opportunities that exist for planned giving donors. GiftCollege has equipped me with the knowledge needed to help educate donors on planned giving opportunities best suited to meet their family and philanthropic goals.

Coupled with my development knowledge GiftCollege has allowed me to enhance my planned giving expertise while creating easier more natural gift giving conversations with donors as well as enhanced collaboration with development officers.

My favorite part of GiftCollege were the video sessions which did an excellent job of reinforcing the chapters/text portion of the course.

Kelsey Christian, CGPA
Gift Planning Officer
Texas A&M Foundation

As I was newer to the world of planned giving, I was looking for the most helpful resources that could provide education for the kind of work I would be doing. GiftCollege was that resource for me (and continues to be).

The content was approachable and compounded over time so after you understand basic concepts you can move into more complex topics and strategies. I also appreciated the ability to go at my own pace. Some weeks I had more time, others I had none. I appreciated and took advantage of that flexibility.

Ryan Johnson, CGPA
Gift Planning Counselor
Gift Planning Services LLC

I have found GiftCollege very helpful to have a broader context for the range of possibilities when it comes to planned giving. Put simply: knowing what is available makes me a better listener when hearing about a donor's concerns, needs, and philanthropic goals.

I was pleased to be able to close a significant flex-deferred CGA this year in large part because of GiftCollege (in combination with Crescendo illustrations)! GiftCollege taught me that FDCGAs are not one-size-fits-all, and that there were a number of "customizable" features of this instrument to meet the donor's needs.

I would say that GiftCollege, for all its strengths, will not make you an overnight expert on planned giving. Like anything, though, seeing the overall picture helps you to:

  1. recognize opportunities for planned gifts;
  2. have a common language and ability to be more conversant with experts in related fields (estate planning, financial planning, corporate/tax law, etc.);
  3. much improved ability to "find the answer" quickly. This is probably the one I rely on most—I don?t remember all the details of, for instance, non-grantor lead trusts? but I know they exist, generally what they're for, and I can quickly find the answers I need in GiftLaw or other resources.

Andy Behrmann, CGPP
Gift Planning Counselor
LCMS Foundation

GiftCollege gave me an incredible foundation in planned giving. I have more confidence now speaking with colleagues and donors on the various planned giving vehicles.

I wanted a promotion within my organization and I knew obtaining my CGPP would give me an edge over any competition. It certainly worked as I have recently been offered the Regional Director position for my area. I know that the knowledge I have gained from GiftCollege will help me tremendously in my new role.

Lisa Sahady, CGPP
Regional Director
Arizona Community Foundation