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Sylvia Brown, CAP®
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Breakout Session, Practice Management
Thursday, May 23, 2019 | 10:50 AM

Smarter Donors Make Happier Clients - The Case For Investing in Small and Mid-Level Donors

Sylvia Brown, CAP®, Sylvia Brown Smart Donors

Despite all the attention paid to ultra-high net worth donors, two thirds of charitable gifts are NOT made by the “One Percent.” Small and mid-level donors give over $200 billion annually yet three out of five are dissatisfied with their giving. Unable to qualify for the philanthropic advisory services of private banks or to justify hiring consultants, they want to be more effective but don’t know where to turn for practical advice geared to their needs.  Trusted advisors already know that discussing philanthropy is a powerful customer relations tool but often only discuss technical issues (taxes, giving vehicles, estate planning).  Sylvia will demonstrate how advisors can use a simple framework to guide their clients towards becoming smarter donors - and happier clients too.


Attendees will: 

  1. Learn a powerful customer relations tool that will increase client satisfaction and loyalty.
  2. Learn a new skill that will differentiate one advisor from most others. 
  3. Learn about philanthropic best practices - a topic of great importance to Millennials. 

Sylvia Brown, CAP®, Sylvia Brown Smart Donors

Leveraging her family’s 300-year philanthropic legacy and her own 35 years of experience in the charitable sector, Sylvia Brown is a passionate advocate of thoughtful and effective giving. After earning her BS and MA degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, Sylvia pursued a career in international development from Wall Street to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, from investment promotion campaigns in emerging markets to micro-finance initiatives on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In 2007, a course in strategic philanthropy at The Philanthropy Workshop (established by the Rockefeller and Hewlett Foundations) sparked her new mission to promote affordable donor education. For the past decade, she has helped donors with their giving strategies and non-profits with their sustainability, while becoming a Board Source Certified Governance Trainer and training with 21/64 (family dynamics) and For Impact/The Suddes Group (fundraising). In 2015, Sylvia launched Uplifting Journeys, “boot camps for smarter donors,” and now is developing a virtual version of her experiential curriculum. In 2017, she published “Grappling With Legacy – Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse”. In 2018, she was certified as a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy and is currently an Encore Public Voices Fellow at the OpEd Project, writing on effective giving practices for America’s retirees.

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