Collaboration Lab

Gift Planners and Advisers: Partnering to Achieve Philanthropic Solutions

Elizabeth Ayers and Jean Carter

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 10:00 – 11:00 A.M.


Have you ever wondered what goes in on the mind of your donors' advisors? Are Planned Gift Officers (PGOs) and Major Gift Officers (MGOs) doing anything that concerns them? Do they really need so much detail or are they justifying fees? Why are they so hesitant to release their clients' money when their clients want to support our institutions? Do we fundraisers listen as well as we could or should to our clients and advisers? How do we create a mutually beneficial effective alliance with each other? A gift planner and an estate planning attorney whose strong working relationship has raised more than twenty million dollars will share their experiences through four donor stories, highlighting common issues encountered in our profession and demonstrating how they worked through the issues to arrive at successful outcomes.

Learning Objectives

  1. Attendees, whether gift planners, major gift officers or advisers, will gain a stronger awareness of the issues and traps in relationships between nonprofits and donor advisers.
  2. Attendees will gain insights, through the presentation and audience participation, on how effectively to work with each other to close gifts to their institutions.
  3. Gift Planners will be able to recognize warning signals with advisers and internal partners that can affect gift outcomes, thereby preventing the loss of gifts as well as dissatisfaction of donors.


CFRE: Approved for 1 point  

CFP: Approved for 1 point  

CAP: Approved for 1 hour CE Credit

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Elizabeth Ayers


Elizabeth Ayers is the Executive Director of Gift Planning at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining UNC in 2008, she worked for The Ohio State University, where she served as Director of Planned Giving for the Medical Center and Associate Director of Planned Giving for the University. She has worked for the Columbus Foundation, served on nonprofit boards and committees and was president of Central Ohio Planned Giving Council in 2007.

Elizabeth served on the board of National Association of Charitable Gift Planners from 2015 through 2017 and chaired the 2017 national conference in Baltimore. She is also a member of the North Carolina Planned Giving Council and served on its board from 2013 through 2016. She has presented on various charitable topics at local and national conferences including PPP, NCPGC, AAMC, Wealth Counsel, the North Carolina Community College Fundraisers’ state conference and AFP North Carolina state conference. She has practiced law in the areas of estate and charitable planning and civil litigation. She holds a  J.D. from Capital University, M. M. from Ohio University, and a B. M. from Wittenberg University.

Jean Carter


Jean Gordon Carter is a partner at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh, North Carolin, where she serves as Co-Chair of its nationally recognized Private Wealth Services Group. Her principal area of practice is Tax and Estates. Jean is also a Certified Public Accountant, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel, and a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law. She received her B.S. from Wake Forest University, magna cum laude, with Honors in Accountancy in 1977, and her law degree from Duke University School of Law with High Honors in 1983. She is a member of the American Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants and Wake County Estate Planning Council. Mrs. Carter has also lectured and written extensively on various tax, tax-exempt and estates topics.