Ronald A Brown

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Gift Planning
Job Title
Independent Scholar and Author
251 West 71st Street
Apt 5B
New York, NY 10023
United States
Email Address
Ron Brown is the author of A History of Charitable Gift Planning (available through Amazon). Ron is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Chicago. A retired commander in the US Navy Reserve, he was decorated for research and writing while serving with the US Naval Historical Center. Ron has been a professional fundraiser since 1979. He directed charitable gift planning programs at Princeton University, Columbia University, Fordham University, United Way of America, and the National Wildlife Federation. He was a member of the board and Rates Committee, and chair of the Research Committee for the American Council on Gift Annuities from 2008 to 2016. He wrote the national Gift Annuity Survey Reports in 2010 and 2014. He is a member of the Advisory Council for planned giving research with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He served on the board of the National Committee on Planned Giving (now the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners); chair of the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey; and a board member of the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY). Ron was selected for the Cloughy Distinguished Service Award from PPGGNY in 2019. He was a member of the CANARAS Planned Giving Council from 2000-2017. He was founding chair of LEAVE A LEGACY® New Jersey, and served on the board of the ALS Association of SE Pennsylvania. Ron wrote a chapter on family philanthropy for a book by CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) entitled From Donor to Philanthropist: The Value of Donor Education in Creating Confident, Joyful Givers (published October 2013), and has published many articles on gift planning. In April 2014 he was invited to become a Contributing Writer for the Planned Giving Design Center (PGDC). He was a member of the Editorial Board of Planned Giving Today and is a frequent speaker at professional conferences.
Past CGP Board, CGP Conference Speaker, Other - Write In
Other Position
From 2008-2016 I served as a member of the ACGA Board and Rates Committee, and chaired the ACGA Research Committee
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Title of Presentation 1
Points of Our Compass: Gift Planning in American History
Presentation Description
In a richly-illustrated presentation I will cover five important topics: Charitable gift planning began as America was born: bequests, trusts, and gifts of complex assets were common among the Pilgrims and other colonists. Creative giving is part of our national character. Gift planners explain life income gifts, charitable intent, and reliable valuation to donors and internal audiences. Charitable intent for life income gifts, and actuarial valuations, were not always best practices for nonprofits. We know their start date: they were first adopted in 1927, and affirmed by Congress in the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995. Widespread self-dealing abuses of charitable trusts and foundations in the 1950s nearly led to their demise. The Tax Reform Act of 1969 saved CRTs and other life-income gifts by enacting America’s first national policies on planned giving. In the 1980s, national leadership was in demand: 1) to provide more and better professional training for gift planners, and 2) to prevent abuse of CRTs as tax shelters. The National Committee on Planned Giving brought people together on professional ethics through Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner. Demographics is destiny: many millions more of right-aged prospects; increasing concentration of wealth; donors with cryptocurrencies and other noncash assets. What can statistical trends about Americans tell us about future giving?
Presentation Topic Areas
Gift Design, Current Events, Marketing/Cultivation, Ethics, Case Studies, Administration, Public Awareness Program
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If you are not a current CGP Board member, please include information about your fee.
No fees, reimbursement of travel expenses only
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