The ACGA Honors Tal Roberts

The ACGA is saddened by the passing of a long-time board member and chair, Tal Roberts. Tal joined the board of the Committee on Gift Annuities in 1977. He became chair in 1989 and retired from that post and the board of directors in 2000. Tal provided strong and steady leadership during a period of transition and turmoil. Highlights of his tenure include:

  • The Committee on Gift Annuities changed its name to the current American Council on Gift Annuities
  • ACGA withstood a Federal class-action lawsuit that threatened the very issuance of gift annuities
  • ACGA moved from offering a conference every three years to offering one every two years
  • In conjunction with what is now known as the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, published the seminal statement on ethics in our field, the Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner

Gift Planning historian and past ACGA Board member Ron Brown prepared the following personal recollection of Tal’s impact on our field:

I first met Tal Roberts in Dallas in 1988, soon after I became director of planned giving at United Way of America. Ruth Collins Sharp (Altshuler), chair of our advisory committee, said I needed to spend time with Tal and Terry Simmons at the Baptist Foundation of Texas because “they have the best program in the country.” Sure enough, I found Tal to be generous with his time and eager to strategize with me over how best to grow a national initiative in charitable gift planning.

Two years later, as a Board member for the National Committee on Planned Giving, I worked closely with Tal in his capacity of Chair of the Committee on Gift Annuities as the NCPG Assembly of Delegates and Board adopted Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner. Tal’s leadership was essential as these important ethical guidelines were adopted by nonprofits and professional advisors across the country.

From 1995-1997, Tal and Terry were at the center of the national class action suits over charitable gift annuities as they organized legal defenses, lobbying, and media strategies through Charitable Accord. Once again, Tal’s calm, trustworthy leadership inspired confidence and helped enormously in developing unanimous Congressional enactment of the groundbreaking Philanthropy Protection Act and Charitable Donation Antitrust Immunity Act in 1995 and 1997.

Tal Roberts is one of the unsung heroes of charitable gift planning.

 - Ron Brown

Last Updated on Sunday, November 28, 2021 10:35 AM