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Brisk Walk Through the Basics
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An overview of planned gift instruments, inspired by Bob Evenson's vision

A Brisk Walk Through the Basics of Planned Giving © is an enriching, one-day seminar that leads participants through the nuts and bolts of planned gift instruments. If you are new to planned giving, need a refresher, or are a development generalist, this seminar was made for you. Get an excellent overview of gift planning and the tools you need to make the most of it. Each participant receives Craig Wruck's Planned Giving in a Nutshell to complement course instruction.

The Brisk Walk Through the Basics seminar is offered annually in conjunction with the MPGC Annual Conference as well as upon request in various regions of the state.

In Their Own Words: Why Take the Brisk Walk Course?

Learning Objectives

Participants will leave this seminar with the following learning:

  • Gain a clear understanding of basic planned giving methods
  • Understand the tax implications for planned giving
  • Learn about the different gift vehicles available and when each is best

Created by Robert A. Evenson

Bob Evenson, one of the founders of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council, created A Brisk Walk Through the Basics seminars. Over the years, countless development officers, volunteers, and others who care about charitable organizations and the good works they accomplish received their introduction to planned giving at A Brisk Walk Through the Basics seminars. The Minnesota Planned Giving Council is proud to present A Brisk Walk Through the Basics seminars as a living memorial to Bob Evenson.

Brisk Walk at the MPGC Annual Conference

This in-person training is offered the day preceding the MPGC Annual Conference and is always the best-attended Brisk Walk session of the year. Take advantage of this opportunity to exchange ideas with your peers from organizations around the state and region.


8:00 - 8:30 am

8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Brisk Walk

Brisk Walk at Your Location

On behalf of MPGC, a leading planned giving professional will present this comprehensive workshop, at the location of your choice providing expert instruction at a time and place most convenient for your group.

Brisk Walk Onsite Course Request Form (online) | Download Request Form (.pdf)

Brisk Walk Online

Register for the Brisk Walk eLearning Series

The eLearning Series consists of three parts:

Webinar Part 1: Core practices of a successful planned giving program
Presenter: Joe Thiegs, Minnesota Public Radio | American Public Media

Webinar Part 2: Overview of the different gift vehicles available and when each is best
Presenter: Jay Kautt, University of Minnesota Foundation

Webinar Part 3: Advanced practices and opportunities to go deeper
Presenter: Tricia Bunten, University of Minnesota Duluth

Click here for more information.


Members: $295
Non-Member: $325

Course Booklet

Hardcopy course materials that are relevant for the Brisk Walk Through the Basics program will be shipped within one week of purchase to the mailing address specified upon registration.

About the Webinar Presenters

Joe Thiegs

Joe Thiegs
Joe Thiegs leads the planned giving program at Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media in St. Paul. He served for several years on the Governing Council and the Legislation Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Probate & Trust Law Section, on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council, and on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Crescendo Project. Joe is a regular presenter for MPGC, including its ‘Brisk Walk Through the Basics,’ and was the faculty expert for Greater Public’s inaugural Legacy Builders planned giving training program for public media organizations nationwide. He currently serves on the Development Committee for the Citizens League.


Prior to MPR|APM, Joe worked as Associate Director of Advancement at the University of Minnesota Law School, as a Planned Giving Officer at the University of Minnesota Foundation, and as an estate planning attorney at Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Minneapolis. He also is co-founder of Stage of Life® ( Joe loves people, music, cooking, wine and beer, sports, reading, learning, camping and hiking, being on the water, photography, games, humor, and anything having to do with the great state of Minnesota.

Jay Kautt

Jay Kautt
Jay Kautt is a Planned Giving Officer with the University of Minnesota Foundation. Jay's specialties include working with gifts of real estate and life insurance that benefit the University of Minnesota. In addition, Jay provides Planned Giving Support to several medical corridors and colleges at the University. Jay came to the University of Minnesota Foundation in August of 2010 from the Principal Financial Group. Jay’s practice at Principal focused on reviewing and analyzing client’s estate planning goals and forming strategic relationships with both clients and their other professional advisors.
Prior to his time at Principal, Jay was an attorney practicing in the areas of estate planning and real estate law with the firm of Dudley & Smith in St. Paul, Minnesota. As an estate planning attorney his objective was to work with clients and understand what they wanted to accomplish, and then create a plan to help achieve those goals.

Jay graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1998 with a double major in Communication and Political Science and is a 2005 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law.

He is a native of St. Peter, Minnesota, and currently resides in St. Paul with his wife Amanda, who owns and operates l’atelier couture bridal boutique, and two daughters.


Tricia Bunten

Tricia Bunten
Tricia Bunten serves as the Chief Development Officer at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD). She has been with UMD since 2001, first as the Director of Development for the Swenson College of Science and Engineering and in her current role since 2010. Prior to that she served in a variety of roles at Bemidji State University from Director of Annual Giving to Director of the BSU Foundation for over seven years.


She holds a MS degree in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary's University and she received her CFRE (Certified Fundraising Executive) in 2000. Ms. Bunten is a past chair of the Minnesota Planned Giving Council and just recently completed 6 years on their board of directors. She has been an instructor for the CFRE review course for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Minnesota Chapter and has presented at both the MN Planned Giving Conference and also the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits annual conference. She has also taught a day long class on Major Gift Fundraising for the University of Wisconsin Superior Nonprofit Management certificate program.

Tricia is actively involved in the Duluth community including the Duluth Rotary Club, Duluth Vaxjo Sister City Soccer Exchange, and a variety of other community organizations.

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