Program Administration and Management

Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Kent Weimer and Rebecca Watkins

Thursday, October 3, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.


Not all gifts are beneficial. To protect your organization, you need to fully understand what you're getting when offered a gift that doesn't come completely strings-free. Before accepting gifts with restrictions, or gifts that require further action from the organization, make sure that you're willing—and able—to do what it takes to maximize the gift. In this session, we’ll walk through some of the warning signals to watch for when offered gifts with restrictions or non-traditional gifts. We’ll share experiences that have been ripped from the headlines and discuss how to best handle difficult conversations. Attendees will leave with a better of understanding of what red flags to watch for—and why—and will be armed with tips on how to communicate with donors when you can’t say yes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Understand what red flags to look for when offered gifts with restrictions or noncash gifts.
  2. Learn about long-term and legal side effects your organization might experience if you accept a non-traditional gift or agree to a donor’s restrictions.
  3. Develop a library of helpful words and phrases to use in difficult conversations.


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Kent Weimer

Director of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning - Parkland Foundation

Kent is Director of Trusts, Estates & Gift Planning at Parkland Foundation where he works with donors and their advisors to make estate gifts, create endowments or make donations with assets other than cash. His extensive expertise in institutional advancement comes from 40 years of experience in community-based health care, higher education, cultural institutions, international healthcare, youth development and social service organizations. Kent has been actively involved in CGP for 17 years including leadership roles at the Chicago Council of Planned Giving and the Dallas Council of CGP, where he is a past president. He is currently chair-elect of the national CGP Board of Directors.

Rebecca Watkins

Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving, North Carolina Symphony

Rebecca Campbell Watkins is currently Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving at the North Carolina Symphony. After a brief career in the corporate world, she transitioned into the nonprofit field and hasn’t looked back. She earned a master’s degree in arts management from American University and has worked in individual giving for arts organizations for over ten years. Her career has included development positions at the Smithsonian Institution, the Dallas Museum of Art and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. A self-proclaimed “art nerd,” she also enjoys any activity that gets her outside, baseball, travel and puppies.