Collaboration Lab

The Ethical Gift Planner: Avoiding Mistakes of Undue Influence Among an Aging Donor Base

Marcia Inger Navrátil

Friday, October 19, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.


The number of Americans age 65 and older is projected to more than double over the next four decades, from 48 million today to 98 million by 2060. For charities, the demographics of our aging population are reflected in a similarly aging donor base. In order for charitable gift planners and other fundraisers to maintain the highest ethical standards, we need to recognize the signs that indicate a donor may lack the required mental capacity to make a gift. Using case studies and both presenter and attendee examples, this session will explore the indicators that signal a potential lack of donor mental capacity, along with specific steps fundraisers can take to prevent issues of undue influence from arising in the first place. Additionally, we will discuss the critical role professional advisors can play in avoiding allegations of undue influence altogether, as well as how charities can respond when family members challenge a donor’s intent after the donor is no longer capable of providing input.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the characteristics that indicate a donor may lack mental capacity, as well as the signs of aging that are not relevant to legal capacity.
  2. Create collaborative relationships with professional advisors and development colleagues to prevent issues of undue influence and legal capacity from arising.
  3. Develop stewardship plans to work with donors and their families in case where incapacity arises AFTER the planned gift is already in place.


CFRE: Approved for 1 point

CFP: Approved for 1 point  

CAP: Approved for 1 hour CE Credit

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Marcia Inger Navrátil


Marcia Inger Navratil has served as the Director of Gift Planning Services for University of Texas System since November 2015. In her current role, Marcia collaborates with, advises, and trains advancement and development colleagues across the 14 University of Texas academic and health institutions, in their work with donors and professional advisors on planned and complex gifts.

Marcia brings nearly 20 years of development experience to her current role. She previously held development positions at University of Virginia and Virginia Opera. She is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and serves on the board of the Austin and Central Texas chapter. She has presented on topics related to charitable and estate planning at many organizations including the NACGP National Conference, NACGP chapters across the country, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the CASE District IV Conference, and the Big XII Development Conference, and has been a contributor to publications on philanthropy. Marcia earned both her law degree and her bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Virginia. She lives in Austin with her husband Paul, and when not working can be found running on trails in the woods with her two rescue dogs.