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by Mary Bort, Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation

Howard N. Epstein and Gary M. Gotsdiner are among 14 Omaha professional advisors to recently earn the Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) professional designation from the Richard D. Irwin Graduate School of The American College.

Howard N. Epstein

Howard N. Epstein

Epstein is the Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of Omaha Foundation. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.S. in business administration and earned his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law. Before becoming the Foundation’s Executive Director, Epstein was a full-time attorney and member of Marks Clare & Richards, LLC, law firm, with an emphasis on general business and civil legal matters, estate planning, real estate, and family law.

Gotsdiner is the Chairman, Shareholder and Director of the law firm McGill, Gotsdiner, Workman & Lepp, P.C., L.L.O. He represents closely held companies in a broad range of corporate matters, particularly mergers, acquisitions, real estate, finance, leasing and other transactional matters. Gotsdiner earned a B.S. in business administration from the University of Denver and his J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.

The yearlong CAP® program was organized by the Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) and led by OCF board member Mark Weber, a principal of SilverStone Group.

“I currently belong to the Suburban Rotary Club of Omaha,” said Epstein. “I first got to know Mark when we were both members. He was forming a study group to participate in the CAP® program. Mark knew I had practiced law and estate planning and that I had moved to the Foundation, so he invited me to apply for the CAP® program. The program addresses the need for a higher level of professionalism when dealing with people who are interested in sharing their wealth for charitable purposes, and it is exceptionally worthwhile when talking with donors about estate planning.”

Gary M. Gotsdiner

Gary M. Gotsdiner

Gotsdiner was motivated to participate in the CAP® program because it addressed issues associated with estate planning. According to Gotsdiner, “Our clients often wish to integrate their charitable intentions with their overall estate plan in order to accomplish family and philanthropic goals on a tax-wise basis.”

The CAP® Program provides professionals in the nonprofit and financial services fields who work with individuals and families in the development and implementation of philanthropic programs with the knowledge and tools needed to help clients reach their charitable giving objectives, while also helping them meet their estate planning and wealth management goals.

The candidates for the CAP® designation completed three rigorous graduate level courses in philanthropic studies: Planning for Philanthropic Impact, Charitable Strategies, and Gift Planning in a Non-Profit Context.  The curriculum addressed the advanced design, implementation and management of charitable gift techniques and strategies, as well as philanthropic tools including charitable trusts, private foundations, supporting organizations, donor-advised funds and charitable gift annuities. Gotsdiner and Epstein are two of only eight-hundred people in the entire country who have achieved the CAP® designation.

CAP® graduates are uniquely qualified to help charitable organizations achieve long-term financial success and help donors improve their communities by maximizing the effective application of their financial resources.

In his assessment of the CAP® program, Gotsdiner stated, “The substantive materials and discussions were very good; but, it was uniquely helpful to gain an enhanced understanding and appreciation of the intentions, goals and concerns of the donor families and the charitable recipients. Significant charitable gifts can be rather complex, but can truly facilitate the family legacy. The blending of the disciplines to address the family’s goals and concerns in major philanthropy was particularly insightful.”

“This program confirmed my feeling that charitable people are passionate about certain causes and projects and are usually willing to support a project that matches their passions,” noted Epstein. “So we need to ask, ‘How can we, as a charity, help you fulfill your charitable goals and passions?’ The CAP® program also reinforced my understanding that when we work with our donors in Omaha’s Jewish community, it’s important to bring in their financial, tax and legal advisors so we can help donors fulfill their goals and maximize their tax savings while maximizing the charitable gift we’ll receive.”

The American College, in Bryn Mawr, PA, is the nation’s largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others for over 86 years.