CAP® Milestone: Omaha Community Reaches New Philanthropic Heights

The American College of Financial Services
January 3, 2020

The Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation, provided through The American College of Financial Services, is designed to bring advisors and nonprofit gift planners together to serve clients and donors who wish to make a positive impact in their communities. The CAP® program gives you the power to make a difference in your career and in the world at large. 

In 2019, The American College’s CAP® program hit a major milestone by reaching 2,000 designees. The program’s success is in part due to students in cities like Omaha, Dallas, and West Palm Beach who have created CAP® study groups, learning together across their disciplines. At the forefront of this national movement is the Omaha Study Group, spearheaded by Mark Weber, CAP®, Principal of the SilverStone Group. Mark has made it his personal mission to promote philanthropy in his community and has prompted a series of highly successful CAP® study groups over the past eight years. His 30-plus years of experience in financial services and personal commitment to charitable causes have combined to create a dynamic force for giving in the community.

Mark Weber

Mark attributes his philanthropic realization to a United Way of the Midlands event when billionaire Warren Buffett locked eyes with him and posed a challenge to the crowd, “What can you do to make our community No. 1 in charitable giving?”

He took that challenge seriously and leaned into his personal experience as a longtime financial consultant and author of “The Legacy Spectrum” to help make a difference. Mark reached out to the Omaha Community Foundation (OCF) to create a partnership that has helped more than 100 people further their education and earn their CAP® designation.

The results achieved in Omaha are nothing less than extraordinary, with 106 local professionals from careers in law, accounting, finance, nonprofit development, and others who have been trained on the intricacies of philanthropy through The American College since 2012. As a whole, the CAP® advisors who have participated in OCF’s study group have helped facilitate more than $1.4 billion in charitable gifts in the Omaha area. Because of the class, advisors are connecting with their clients at a much deeper level and learning how to help clients identify their values and incorporate them into their planning.



The CAP® program has equipped me to have conversations with clients that go well beyond tax savings. Finding out what is important to the client, how charitably minded they are, and discussions about legacy giving have become a more integral part of client meetings. My favorite part of the class was hearing the stories of the myriad of ways wealthy individuals involve their families/future generations in giving. However, the most impactful result for me personally was the professional relationships that have developed and the collaboration that has taken place in working with other advisors for the benefit of clients. I highly recommend the CAP® program!

Janet Osborn, CAP®, CPA

Hancock & Dara, P.C.


Steve Kenney

Simply put, the class was great! The technical readings, instructions and videos were a good summary and refresher of many technical ideas I had previously studied or worked with. However, the “other side of the table” discussions were very enlightening to get a different perspective. I have always had charitable planning on the top of my mind with clients, and have felt like it was part of my duty to discuss it, but now I think about it differently and try harder to figure out my clients’ objectives and personal goals before suggesting techniques.

Another great aspect of the class was the networking with the other professionals in the class. I love the fact that “alumni” are invited to listen to guest speakers and continue networking. Finally, the guest speaker philanthropists are awesome – both inspirational and motivational! Each shows that there are many different ways and approaches to make a personal and meaningful impact.

Steve Kenney, CAP® 

Tax Partner, Lutz


Ron Quinn

Mark Weber’s development and leadership of the CAP® program has been a game changer for philanthropy in Omaha and the region. Estate planning is about a lot more than tax planning. It is about life planning, family planning, charitable planning and leaving a legacy. CAP® graduates have a new way of thinking and communicating geared to helping clients holistically think about how to plan, structure, implement and communicate what goals they want to accomplish.

Ron Quinn, CAP® 

Executive Vice President & Secretary, Tenaska Energy


Robert Skrydlak

My CAP® training was an invaluable experience, providing me with an opportunity to look critically at how I approach philanthropic planning and incorporate an even more holistic approach with donors and their advisors. One long-time donor recently approached me with a request to help her contribute several million dollars to a variety of charities, including the one for which I work. From information gathering about her personal values, financial and philanthropic goals to involving and collaborating with the appropriate legal and financial advisors – it has been a case study of the CAP® curriculum in action.

Robert Skrydlak, CAP® 

Senior Director, Creighton University


Jeff Beckman

My experience as a development professional during the past 34 years has taught me volumes of lessons and insights. But CAP® is taking me to a higher level of understanding and appreciation of my calling…so much so that I am more impassioned than ever about the final decade or more of my career due in large part to CAP®. The curriculum is outstanding, the instructions are superb, and I am definitely a more complete development professional than I was before.

Jeff Beckman, CAP® 

Executive Director for Development, Salvation Army


Stacey Neussendorfer

My story involves a client that I’ve had for some time. At a former firm, I had served her parents, and when they passed, they left a sizable nest egg to her. Among the assets she received were bank shares for a privately held bank. My client decided that she really didn’t want to keep these bank shares, and when a letter came from the bank wanting to buy her shares back, she decided to sell them.

When she visited with me about it, I reminded her of the six figure taxable gain she would incur. It just so happened that she and I had simultaneously been visiting about the charitable gifting she wanted to do. I had been working with her to refine her gifting and define what types of organizations she wanted to benefit. With the opportunity to sell the bank shares, it provided me with the perfect win-win situation to suggest a donor advised fund (DAF) for her. Because these were not publicly traded shares, there were some hurdles to get through, but in the end, it worked out perfectly!

She was able to divest herself of an asset she no longer wanted, wash away the taxable gain, and now she has over six figures in her donor-advised fund that she can make gifts with. While we haven’t yet finalized the organizations that she wants to concentrate on, the DAF has given us the freedom to take our time to really research the organizations and allow her to make gifts when she is ready.

Even though I may have suggested the DAF prior to my CAP® training, I am now better educated about how to help her define her giving and create a vision around her future giving so that it is focused and not haphazard. I am better suited for these discussions because of CAP®, and find that this is an area I really enjoy!

Stacie Neussendorfer, CFP®, CAP® 

Senior Lead Advisor, The Foster Group

Invest in your career with a professional designation.

One of the keys to philanthropic success is proper financial planning. Through the three-course Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy® (CAP®) designation program, you will learn how to help philanthropies maximize their donations and resources. The CAP® is designed for experienced professionals in both the financial services and nonprofit sector, and gives you the power to do more with your career.

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