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Professional Education helps Community Foundation staff with charitable gift planning and philanthropy

How Well Do You Know Your Professional Education Acronyms?

Professional Education is important to the people who work at the Community Foundation. When you work in charitable gift planning and philanthropy and earn credentials related to that profession, the acronym is usually a bit of a mystery for most people.  We all know CPA, MD, Ph.D., JD and MBA, and most of us know CFA, MSW, CFP, CLU, and even RIA.  But what about SRA, LLM, MAI, ChFC, MSFS, AEP or CREA?  It’s a mystery!

Although we may not know what these initials mean, somehow, they are still impressive.  After working as a Director in the YMCA in San Diego and Los Angeles, I completed a course and rigorous testing to earn a CFRE, a Certified Fund Raising Executive.  To achieve this certification, one must have five years full-time fundraising experience and hit certain financial goals. I  must continue working to keep the designation.  As with all such certifications, completing the courses and the testing helps us broaden and fine-tune our professional skills.

In my third year at the Community Foundation, I realized that a significant amount of our work involves giving through estate plans.  I enrolled in a charitable gift planning program based in Southern California to become a CSPG, a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving.  The effort took six trips to attend courses and six exams followed by a practicum to complete in the company of attorneys, accountants, and financial planners. I learned the nitty gritty of incorporating charitable giving into current financial and estate plans for maximum tax benefits and to achieve personal and family charitable and financial goals.  Taking these courses gave me a strong knowledge foundation to work with donors and local professionals.

Recently Tracy Turner, Chief Philanthropy Officer who was already the “most” educated person on our staff because she is a Ph.D., completed the CAP program to become a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy.  This education is perfect for her position working with donors as a philanthropic advisor.  Offered through the American College, the CAP builds on knowledge and skills to help donors articulate and advance their highest aspirations for self, family, and society.  Courses provide an insight into the process of philanthropic planning, including but not limited to, tax, tools, and techniques.

I am proud to include our Controller, Melissa Tschanz, CPA.  It was a dream of mine to have our financials administered by a person who is a Certified Public Accountant, and Melissa does an extraordinary job.

As the Community Foundation grows, I believe we will have an attorney on staff as well in a few years.  A Community Foundation staffed by such qualified professionals ensures quality work for generous donors.

At the Community Foundation of Western Nevada, we connect people, like you, who care, with causes that matter.  Chris Askin, President, and CEO.  775-762-1932

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