Thursday, July 20, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 1:30 PM PDT
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Northern California Planned Giving Council 
Heidi Strassburger Masters Program
July 20, 2023, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm PT

From Avocados to Opera: The Top 10 Lessons from a Complex Life Estate

Program Description:

Do you know what a retained life estate or life estate gift is? How to manage it before and after it matures? Learn from Jill Rode as she shares how the gift of an avocado ranch in Ventura County, California to the Music Academy taught her 10 key lessons about life estates as legacy gifts. Jill is joined by Andy Ragone of Pleiades Nonprofit Advisors who will share resources and guidelines for accepting life estate gifts. Whether you are a one-person planned giving office or part of a team, this session will give you the tools to determine if accepting a life estate gift is right for you!


Jill Rode, CFRE
Director of Legacy Giving 
Music Academy of the West 

Jill Rode, CFRE, has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management. She has raised millions of dollars for many organizations, including Girl Scouts, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Zoo, American Red Cross, and the YMCA. She currently serves as the Director of Legacy Giving at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, one of the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classically trained musicians. Jill has held her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) since 2000 and has been recognized as AFP’s Fundraiser of the Year. She has served as President of the Junior League of Santa Barbara and President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter. She has received many accolades for her volunteerism, including Junior League Sustainer of the Year in 2023 and Dream Foundation’s Flower Empower Volunteer of the Year in 2022. She currently serves on the board of the Goleta Depot and volunteers for Flower Empower as well as the Planned Parenthood book sale.

Andy Ragone, CGPP, MDiv
Pleiades Nonprofit Advisors

Andy Ragone is a national speaker, writer and recognized thought leader in marketing and gift planning strategies for Crescendo Interactive. Through his guidance and leadership, Andy advises on specialized marketing and moves-management techniques to secure complex and estate gifts. Through his efforts, nonprofits both large and small benefit from his insight and unique talent of bringing gift planners and their donors together to make a difference in the communities they serve. Andy has served as an executive pastor and has a marketing background in the nonprofit arena. Having worked with three larger churches over the past 20+ years, Andy has appreciated the challenges of growing organizations—including the development of staff and culture, fundraising, volunteer coordination and marketing systems. Andy brings a big-picture perspective that brings vision, volunteerism and fund development together.



Program Fees: Members - $35; Non-members - $50

Continuing Education Credit: Pending CFRE, CFP, CSPG, MCLE.

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