Economic growth in the 1980s created new wealth. A national Round Table on Deferred Giving sponsored by the Northwest Area Foundation in 1982 underscored the opportunities for increasing gifts through bequests, trusts, and annuities, the need for raising standards for professional education, and encouraging ethical behavior. Session moderators included John Brown, Harvey DeVries, Andre Donikian, William Dunseth, and Andrew A. Wilcox of Continental Bank of Illinois. Many future leaders of gift planning attended. For example, two founders of the National Committee on Planned Giving first met at this Round Table: Charles Johnson of the Lilly Endowment and Michael Boland of Harvard Business School.
Also in 1982, attorney Douglas K. Freeman convened a national planned giving conference in Newport Beach, CA.
In 1984, Lilly Endowment provided a grant to Richard (Dick) Wilson of NSFRE to co-sponsor with the NW Area Foundation a second national Round Table on Deferred Giving. Notable participants included William Z. Cline, Charles Collier, Leonard Clough (father of David Clough, first president of NCPG), Gordon Grant (United Way of America), John G. Lewis, Helen Painter (Seattle Art Museum), and Winton C. Smith. A major theme was advancing the profession of planned giving through education, research, collaboration with allied professionals, and a code of ethics. At the Round Table, Richard (Dick) Edwards of CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) estimated that there were as many as 10 available positions for every one qualified, effective gift planner.
Salaries reflected the tight market. In 1990, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported median salaries for 31 job categories at nonprofit organizations. Compensation for planned-gift managers was second only to chief legal officers.
Sue Stern Stewart, a Rochester attorney, was one of the first women to specialize in the tax implications of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, later becoming editor of Charitable Giving and Solicitation (Prentice-Hall, 1981). Other pioneering women include Deborah Ashton (The Complete Guide to Planned Giving, 1988), Victoria Bjorklund, Pamela Davidson, Laura Hansen Dean, Ellen Estes, Margaret Holman, Cynthia Krause, Betsy Mangone, Kathryn Miree, Lynda Moerschbaecher, Carolyn Osteen (The Harvard Manual on Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving, 1981), Alice Pinsley (second president of NCPG), and many others.
Planned giving software firms founded in the 1980s include PhilanthroTec (Lee Hoffman, Marc Hoffman, and Doug Freeman, 1983); Crescendo Interactive (A. Charles Schultz, 1984); and PG Calc (Gary Pforzheimer, 1985).