Welcome to the LACGP Newsletter. This e-newsletter is sent out on a monthly basis. The newsletter provides links to this page. Please see below for the items that appeared in the October 2022 issue.

Welcome to Our New Year

By Michele Bignardi

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It’s about “new beginnings” and a nostalgia for the start of the new school year. (Yes, I was THAT kid!) Although technically our LACGP new year starts July 1st, for me it really starts for me with the first General Membership meeting in September. This year was no exception. On September 15 we had a fantastic program thanks to our Immediate Past President and Program Chair - Patience Boudreaux. But most important was the opportunity to network with our friends and colleagues, that is what makes our LACGP membership so valuable to me.

Following our meeting, I had the opportunity to meet with Western Regional PG Conference Co-Chairs, Nancy Baxter and Jill Rode. They shared updates of their conference planning. A focus of this year’s conference will be to remind conference participants that beyond all the technical skills we will learn, philanthropy really makes people feel good. As gift planners we have the privilege and opportunity to make people happier – and healthier. What a wonderful vocation we have chosen.

The Western Regional Planned Giving Conference is a week earlier this year – Wednesday, May 17 – Friday, May 19. Mark your calendars now!

Happy Fall Everyone! I look forward to seeing everyone at our next General Membership meeting November 17.

Eight Things You Should Know When Working with CGAs

LACGP recently interviewed William McMorran from Green Oak Consulting about CGA administration, and William was kind enough to provide us with some helpful responses pertaining to best practices used today. Let’s get right into the interview.

LACGP: What is needed from the donor and gift officer to complete a CGA contract?

William: Birthdates, driver’s license to prove age, and transfer of the gift. If it is an appreciated asset, the cost basis must be provided. Then, in CA, it must be reported to the CA Department of Insurance (DOI) with a filing fee. A good administrator can prepare all the necessary paperwork.

LACGP: Is there a minimum and a maximum amount you would recommend for CGA’s?

William: $10,000 minimum is the standard but more organizations are moving to $25,000. A ceiling depends on the size of the overall CGA Pool. For some, a $1M is doable, for others, impossible, too much risk. The key is to have a concise gift acceptance policy that protects specific risk and constantly monitor your gift pool.

LACGP: What is needed in the finance department to administer CGA’s appropriately? Do you use a software?

William: We use PG Calc for our clients. Yes, you need good software to constantly evaluate your risk. We generate quarterly summaries and discuss serious, potential problems with our clients. That includes making sure that they are in compliance with CA Department of Insurance (DOI) reserve requirements.

LACGP: Are there different administrative requirements for different assets used for the CGA?

William: Sometimes, not so much for assets if you are following the American Council of on Gift Annuity (ACGA) policies. But for example, if you are accepting real estate in CA, there are additional requirements that have to be met. If your charity is based in CA and you have CGA annuitants in other states, you need to meet those states’ requirements. For example, in NJ and WA, we need to have an actuary sign off on our annual report projections. The same is true if you are an out-of-state charity writing CGAs in CA.

LACGP: Are there different administrative requirements for a deferred CGA?

William: Not that I know of, you have your usual admin responsibilities. Of course, you need to initiate the payments on time. If you are managing a flex CGA, you do need to be in contact with the annuitant annually to determine when he/she wants the CGA to begin.

LACGP: What are the top three (3) things an organization should know and/or do when considering CGA Administration?

William: 1. Are there really donors breathlessly awaiting your license? I ask that for CA charities especially because getting a license is a serious commitment of time and budget. We had one charity take 9 years to finally get its CA license. 2. How committed is your board? Too often, a program gets started and then the Board shuts it down. The program becomes a major expense over many years as the projected insurance pool never materializes. 3. Maybe it’s better to outsource it, especially in CA where the DOI annual report is confusing at best.

LACGP: What are the most common challenges when administering a CGA?

William: Finding a continuing stream of donors and then figuring out when a donor has passed on.

LACGP: How should finance and the philanthropy departments account for the CGA gift?

William: Everybody’s different, what can I say!?!

PG 101: The Fundamentals of Gift Planning (October 20, October 27, and November 3)

As a part of our commitment to providing a solid introduction to gift planning for those new to the field, LACGP is offering “PG101: The Fundamentals of Gift Planning" as a virtual Zoom series this fall. Register today!

Meet Our Board of Directors!


Michele A. Bignardi, CFRE, CSPG
Senior Vice President
Netzel Grigsby Associates

Cris Lutz, CSPG, CAP
Assistant Vice President
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens


Immediate Past President
Patience Boudreaux, CSPG, CFRE
Director of Planned Giving
Loma Linda University Health


Christopher Cole, CSPG
Executive Director, Planned Giving
National Public Radio


Secretary & Membership Co-Chair
Jim Jacobs
Associate Director, Planned Giving
Claremont McKenna College


Sponsorship Chair
Steven Adamian, JD, CSPG
Assistant Senior Vice President, Planned Giving
Children's Hospital Los Angeles


Sponsorship Co-Chair
Grace L. Russak, CTFA
Senior Vice President, Regional Director
Northern Trust


Education Chair
Francine Lis
Development Director
American Jewish Committee


Marketing & Communications Chair
Andy Ragone
Integrated Marketing – West Coast Region U.S.A
Crescendo Interactive, Inc.


Marketing & Communications Co-Chair
Kimberly Jetton, MNM, CFRE
Pleiades Nonprofit Advisors


Inclusion Chair
Carí Jackson Lewis, JD, LL.M. (tax), CSPG, AEP, TEP
Director of Development, Gift Planning
Loyola Marymount University
Founder + Principal
California Philanthropic Consulting


Inclusion Co-Chair
Tony Truong
Asst. VP for Advancement
University of Redlands


Membership Chair
Barbara Turman, CSPG
Director, Gift Planning
Academy Museum of Motion Picture


Legislative Chair
Cynthia Hizami, JD
Director of Planned Giving, West Coast
Jewish National Fund


National Liaison
Janice Burrill, JD, CAP
Philanthropic Consultant
JB Consulting


Mentorship Chair
Robert W. Woolley
Senior Director of Development
Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association


Mentorship Co-Chair
Heidi Simpson-Sandoval
Director / Principal – Senior Client Strategist
BNY Mellon Wealth Management


Conference Chair
Nancy Baxter, CIMA®
Director of Planned Giving
Los Angeles Philharmonic


Conference Co-Chair
Jill Rode, CFRE
Director of Legacy Giving
Music Academy of the West


Barbara Gunning, CSPG
Director, Major and Planned Gifts
LA Opera

Deb Johnson
LACGP, Group Concepts