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Reader Testimonials


"Daily use, Post It Notes, and outline pens have nearly worn out my copy of The Complete Guide to Planned Giving. I know the new edition will look just like this one within a year, so keep writing!"

Margaret M. Holman, Holman Philanthropic Management, Inc.


"I own Debra's second edition, and have found it invaluable. My original copy literally fell apart from use, and try as I might, was unable to find a new copy anywhere. When I heard a new edition was in progress, I was elated.

This book paid for itself many times over, the first time being when the clarity of information enabled me to assist a donor regarding a remainder life estate, which she ultimately decided to enter into with Courage Foundation. I can tell you that gift would not have happened were it not for Debra's book. It is an indispensable part of my library, the first book I reach for when I have a question or need further clarification on a topic. I don't know how people can ply the planned giving profession without this book."

Walt Seibert, Gift Planning Officer, Courage Foundation


"When I first became "really" interested in planned giving about 10 years ago, The Complete Guide to Planned Giving became my bible. It sits to this day on a shelf in my office in an extremely dog-earred state."

Fran Crovetti, Executive Director of Development & Gift Planning, Keuka College, In the Beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country of Western New York


"This book is unusual in its combination of factual detail and clarity of thought. The author obviously understands the diversity of her readers' backgrounds and available resources, and she covers the waterfront for all of us.

Every gift planning and development effort can find in the pages of this book immensely valuable information and options to use. This book has it all . . . opportunities and pitfalls, encouragement and options, explanations and examples."

Nancy Berry, CFRE , President & CEO, GVH Foundation


"The first one was an outstanding work, filled with easy to understand data, case studies, examples, and hands-on experience from one who has labored so successfully in the field. While that was a classic, and so was the follow up, there is no question this new and expanded edition will be even better. I am sure it will also receive rave reviews from others, like me, who have spent many years in this work and who have also found Debra's Guides practical, refreshing, and essential to our office libraries and staff training."

Thomas J. Kolda, Ph.D., CFRE, Executive Director,
University Relations. Univ. of Wisconsin-Whitewater


"You don't know how much your book has helped me again and again in the last decade. This book is the one I reach for over and over. It's a one-stop reference guide with full discussions covering the range of issues that will need to be addressed to prepare and launch a program. Wonderfully clear and concise descriptions of each of the gift vehicles and, more importantly, how those vehicles "really" work. The detail is there when you need it: the first time or as a review. This book has excellent overviews but goes right down to the detail discussions. All are right there in one book.

I have lots of reference books but yours is the only one that is both concise and detailed enough to keep me focused on the right track without getting lost in too much information at the wrong time. It gives me the information I need quickly and clearly..more detailed then most "guides", particularly relating to the issues to be considered that will affect the management of the gift."

Deborah Lynn Leeson, President, Delynn Consulting, Mililani, Hawaii


"The previous person who had my position changed careers, so I inherited a well-worn copy of the second edition when I took the job at Iliff School of Theology. This book has so much more than tax law that I have used it since and, with so many other places to get answers, it is still the first place I look for information. Replacing my dog-eared book with a new one updated with current tax code is long overdue."

Lynda N. Wright, Director of Gift and Estate Planning, Iliff School of Theology


"I am a sub-committee member of NCPG's Education Committee and now past president of our local council so I have felt obligated to provide the most helpful information to all who seek it. I got permission from Debra for a colleague to photocopy certain portions, because it was out of print and was so much better than the competition for what they needed.

It has literally been nearly impossible to get my copy back when I have loaned it out. I have had to threaten "dire consequences, like invoking the Almighty's displeasure on their planned giving program," if they didn't give it back! And now, sadly, there is an empty space on my bookshelf, waiting for the new edition. A "thief in the night" made off with my battered and much loved copy. I know not who to blame or curse. I trust they and their program are doing well."

Paul Ditlevson, Director, Legacy Estate Programs, Ashland University


"The Complete Guide to Planned Giving got me my first job in Planned Giving. . . . . About ten years ago, in the midst of a job search, I received a "Position Available" notification for Director of Planned Giving. It was the right location and working environment, but "Director of What?". Next stop: the library.

A computer search for "Planned Giving" turned up Debra Ashton's first edition. I read, I learned, I laughed (wit and wisdom do combine nicely in the right hands). Thanks to Debra's ability to make planned giving understandable to me, I got the job. The headings, the basics, the examples, the tax information, all made sense to a beginner. I bought the book and it was my constant companion in the early years turning a novice into a true gift planning professional. Wherever I have gone in the gift planning world, Debra Ashton's current edition is near at hand, and always will be."

Dick Zinser, Director of Development, Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, University of Houston


"Debra's book is the ultimate resource manual - the Bible on planned giving. Her first edition held a special place on my desk. Her new edition promises even more for those learning right to the seasoned professional. It covers what every planned gifts officer should know: the basics, the technical, and the marketing aspects of planned giving. I recommend it without hesitation."

Jon Calder, Director of Annual and Planning Giving, Providence Alaska Foundation


"Shortly after coming to Gordon College as Director of Gift Planning and College Counsel, Debra Ashton's book, The Complete Guide to Planned Giving, was recommended to me. I found it a very helpful resource not only as a summary of relevant law, but as a guide for the practical "how to's" of planned giving. Debra has done a good job of making complex topics understandable, and of providing a practical resource of building and administering a successful gift planning program."

George B. Jewell, Vice President and Senior Fiduciary Officer, Wachovia Trust


"Since 1996 I have used the last edition of TCGTPG as a "bible" to get our planned giving program started, and to guide us in setting up several gift options. We also relied on it for information and guidance as we established our gift acceptance policies and procedures. I am eagerly awaiting the new edition because there is nothing else that covers the planned giving landscape like Debra's book."

Mary M. Temple, CFRE, Director of Development, Visiting Nurse Association of Erie County


"My second edition of 'The Complete Guide to Planned Giving' is underlined, dog-eared and tattered, having served me faithfully for many years. It was the first book I read on planned giving, and remains my favorite for being both comprehensive yet accessible. I especially have benefited from the way it took complex transactions and presented them clearly and concisely with good examples. It deserves a place on every gift planner's bookshelf -- no on every gift planner's desk. I'm anxiously awaiting the new edition."

Mike Patterson, Director of Planned Giving, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX



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