Program Administration and Management

"Sorry, We Really Can't Accept Your Mouse Trap!"  Candidly Exploring the Acceptance and Counting of Unique, Complex and Special Planned Gifts

Philip Watson

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 11:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.


What makes for a good planned gift to your organization? It might surprise some donors what your gift planning shop can and cannot accept, and what you actually consider to be a planned gift. It’s often a tough conversation that charities must have with a donor and his/her advisor who simply want to support the organization with a “special” gift. Current or deferred gifts of cash and marketable securities are always welcome! But, what about all of those other special, complex or unique gifts—real estate, life estates, life income arrangements, artwork, coin collections, farm equipment, contingent gifts, bargain sales, shared interests, negligible future interests and much more? What do you really need to do before you can say yes to those gifts?

In this light-hearted, fast paced exploration of what makes for good gift acceptance and counting policies, you’ll see why they are so important to charitable organizations that want to be grateful and discerning in encouraging creative philanthropy. Learn what’s needed to accept and count the right planned gifts in the right way so that your donors’ creativity can pay off for your organization.

Learning Objectives

  1. Create a sound rationale for how special, complex, or unique gifts can be accepted by your charity.
  2. Clarify how and why good gift acceptance policies can guide the conduct of donors, advisors and charities.
  3. Identify best strategies for spotting red flags and responding to your donors' gift inquiries.


CFRE: Approved for 1 point  

CAP: Approved for 1 hour CE Credit

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Philip Watson


Phil is responsible for the management and leadership of the Gift Planning team as it builds and sustains a strong culture of gift planning for donors and friends of Children’s Mercy in creating blended, tax-advantaged and meaningful gift plans to support children and families served by the hospital. He has enjoyed more than 35 years of experience in charitable gift planning, financial and estate planning, trust and investment administration and sales, and advancement and endowment administration. Before coming to Children’s Mercy, Phil served as Director of Planned Giving/Major Gifts at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and as Vice President for Advancement at Avila University. He also enjoyed 17 years working with several trust departments, including serving in the position of Senior Vice President and Manager at BANK IV Kansas City.

Phil is a former President and is an active member of the Mid-America Planned Giving Council. He is a former Certified Financial Planner, holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from The University of Kansas, and has provided fundraising consulting services regionally. He has presented programs to the national Woodmark Summit conference of children's hospitals and local charitable gift planning professional groups on various subjects, including best ways toask for major/planned gifts, identifying great gift planning prospects, creating collaborative work environments, strengthening donors’ financial plans through charitable giving, making gift planning easy, and creatingeffective gift acceptance and counting policies.