Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council
Learn. Lead. Serve.



On October 9, 1984, a group of 11 individuals met as a steering committee to plan the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, based on the meetings, speakers and policies of the Planned Giving Council of Greater New York. The committee asked practitioners in the area to respond to a short survey about the organization, receiving 60 responses. 

At the next meeting on November 27, 1984, the steering committee reviewed the responses to develop a loose organization of how the organization would function. Dues were set to $50/year, and Bill Mills would serve as the first president of the Council.  

The first full meeting of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council was held on January 30, 1985  with Alfred Wishart, the longtime president of the Pittsburgh Foundation, speaking to the group.

Cal Douglas was chosen to represent PPGC at the October 1985 meeting of NSFRE in Chicago, Illinois, where PPGC was invited to affiliate with other NSFRE councils across the country, and prompting a relationship with the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of NSFRE (Now AFP of Western Pennsylvania) which continues to this day.

The first PPGC Constitution was adopted in 1987.

Early Years

The first Planned Giving Day in Pittsburgh was October 10, 1987, when Conrad Teitell provided a special seminar on fund raising. Robert F. Sharpe spoke at the second Planned Giving Day on September 28, 1988, and by the third planned giving day on November 1, 1989, PPGC was coordinating with the Western PA chapter of NSFRE. The standalone Planned Giving Day would continue until 2002, but continues as a part of our annual "Emerging Philanthropy Conference." 

Affiliation with the national organization

By 1987, PPGC was one of only 14 planned giving councils identified by the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), a federation of local councils that facilitated effective communication among councils across the nation. In May 1988, Jane L. "Jhani" Laupus, NCPG Executive Director, visited the Council and encouraged PPGC's participation in these national efforts.

The Steering Committee agreed and, in October 1988, Bohdan "Bo" Durkacz and Sylvia J. Myers represented PPGC at the national conference of NCPG in Indianapolis. PPGC continued to send representatives to both the national conference and the NCPG Assembly of Delegates over the coming years, and was one of the founding councils of the NCPG.

In 1990, NCPG proposed a per capita membership charge to each council to cover its operations. Seeing the value of NCPG, the PPGC board approved an increase of annual dues on 1/1/1991 from $50/year to $65/year to cover the additional expenses, and to continue our affiliation with the national organization. 

By 1990, copies of the CANARAS Convention, a proposed set of ethical standards for the industry, were circulated among the PPGC Board and membership, prompting an internal discussion as to whether the Council should sign on in support of these principals. By March 1991, the NCPG Ethics Committee had distributed a draft of an expanded version, the "Model Standards of Practice for Charitable Gift Planners."

The Council agreed to the adoption of these principles, so at the 1991 NCPG Assembly of Delegates meeting in Seattle, WA, delegate Durkacz voted to approve the creation of the Model Standards of Practice for Charitable Gift Planners. PPGC later ratified these Model Standards, binding PPGC with the NCPG. 


In 1992, NCPG came to Pittsburgh as we hosted the Sixth National Conference of Planned Giving in October. PPGC Volunteers passed out complimentary bottles of Heinz mustard, ketchup, and pickle pins for over 600 attendees from across the country. 

Also in 1992, members of the PPGC, including Jack Miller, joined a statewide development issues task force that was instrumental in passing the Pennsylvania Charitable Gift Annuity Exemption Act, 10 P.S. ยง361 et. seq., that established parameters for Pennsylvania charities to issue gift annuities. The task force also helped to pass legislation that defined purely public charities in Pennsylvania.

PPGC Member and president Sylvia Maurin served a four year term on the NCPG board from 1996-1999, and served as the Conference Chair for the 11th National Conference on Planned Giving in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998.


In 2003, the Allied Professional Award was established.

In 2003, PPGC scheduled its Planned Giving Day to coincide with AFP's Fundraising Day as a special two day Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe. Both organizations enjoyed the benefits of the joint event and in 2004, the PPGC/AFP Summit formally replaced a standalone "Planned Giving Day" in Pittsburgh. In 2009, the name of the PPGC/AFP Summit was changed to the Emerging Philanthropy Conference. By 2012, the conference was reduced to a single one day conference, featuring both planned giving and general fundraising tracks.


2020 brought challenges for everyone, and PPGC was no different. We successfully hosted in-person meetings in January and March before COVID shut down all in-person events. We responded by going virtual, with either live speakers or hosted webinars. Even the Emerging Philanthropy Conference went virtual for the next two years! We would not host an in-person event again until September 2021.

40th Anniversary

As we celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the creation of the Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, we are thankful to the hundreds of board members and thousands of members who have done so much to make our organization a success. Here’s to the next 40 years!

PPGC Presidents

Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council
PO Box 14852
Pittsburgh, PA 15234

office@ppgc.net     *     412-206-1447

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