Twenty-one years ago The Salvation Army teamed up with a nationally-renowned attorney in Minneapolis to create a webcast that offered professionals in the estate planning field a valuable continuing education opportunity. Fast forward to 2014 and this annual webcast is now beamed to 140 locations in over 30 states, reaching thousands of attorneys, CPAs, financial planners, bank trust officers and other estate planning professionals across the country.
“These professionals have clients who we may not know, and who want to do something with charities,” says Jo Ann Remender, Director of Planned Giving at The Salvation Army Indiana Division. “We educate these professionals about our ministry, our mission, and sometimes they have a heart for what we’re doing.”
The Salvation Army Indiana Division hosted almost 400 participants at eleven sites in Bloomington, Columbus, Evansville, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Madison, Marion, New Albany, Terre Haute, Warsaw and Indianapolis. Thanks to a generous donation from Al Elskus at Proforma, each participant at this day-long event received a binder filled with information about recent tax developments, plans for estates big and small, ethical considerations for representing families, and more.
Many locations also partnered with local community sponsors to provide additional materials, food and beverages for participants. Although the event only cost $35, participants earned around $400 worth of continuing education credits for their various professions.
“They see that here we are doing something very professional in a cost effective way,” explains Jo Ann, “and that is how we do our ministry, too. They get a glimpse into The Salvation Army and who we are.”
The 2014 Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute Webcast featured two distinguished presenters who led the participants through three sessions under the heading “New Paradigms in Estate and Charitable Planning.” Ann B. Burns is Principal, Trust, Estate & Charitable Planning Chair at law firm Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Samuel A. Donaldson is a law professor at Georgia State University College of Law in Atlanta, Georgia.
Although the presenters change from year to year, it isn’t unusual to see familiar faces at the webcast. Many attendees have been coming for years and look forward to the annual event. Steve Gould, owner of Promise Financial in Greenwood, Indiana, is one of these regular participants and has attended the webcast for the past four years.
“It’s a good opportunity to learn – certainly some of the technical information that we need from time to time.” Steve adds, “Also, since it’s bent a little bit toward charity, then there’s an opportunity to infuse that into our practice. I think it’s a good mix of CE [continuing education] and information and supporting some charitable works if we can.”
In fact, many participants have become personally involved with The Salvation Army after learning more about the services and programs offered throughout the state. Some have signed up as volunteers at their local Corps Community Center, while others have become donors or even advisory board members.
If you or your business would like to learn more about the annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute, contact Jo Ann Remender at (317) 224-1008 or visit The Salvation Army’s planned giving website www.MyPlan2Give.org.