Gift Planning Development, LLC

  Helping you chart a strategic direction in gift planning.”


About Our Firm

Brian M. Sagrestano

President & CEO

Brian M. Sagrestano, JD, CFRE, serves as President and CEO of Gift Planning Development, LLC a full service gift planning consulting firm. The son of a sole-practitioner CPA, Brian’s interest in the complexities of the tax code was “encouraged” at a very young age. Brian worked for the family business throughout his formative years and then “as-needed” until it was sold in 2001.  He earned an A.B. cum laude from Cornell University and a J.D. cum laude from Notre Dame Law School. Brian’s service as a law clerk in the Hunterdon County, New Jersey Superior and Surrogate Courts cemented his interest in estate planning and probate. He spent several years practicing law with two New Jersey law firms, with an emphasis on tax and estate planning. Brian’s client-centered philosophy ultimately drew him into philanthropic planning full-time, where he led the gift planning efforts for the University of Pennsylvania, Middlebury College and Meridian Health Affiliated Foundations, following major gift and gift planning positions at Clarkson University and Hamilton College. The gift planning programs under Brian’s direction raised over $400 million in complex outright gifts, life-income gifts and realized estate gifts. After many years working directly for charities, Brian formed Gift Planning Development in 2007.

A strategic thinker, Brian specializes in helping charities develop integrated, donor-centered philanthropic planning programs, either from the ground up -- using his Gift Planning Essentials or Planned Giving in a Box® programs, or enhancing existing programs, and then assisting in implementation of the needed elements. Some of his clients include the University of Notre Dame, Temple University, Create a Jewish Legacy, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties and Delaware Art Museum.

Brian has presented at conferences around the country for organizations such as the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (formerly the National Committee on Planned Giving), the Council on the Advancement and Support of Education, and the Association of Fund Raising Professionals. Over the last fourteen years, he has spoken to hundreds of groups and developed philanthropy training programs for many nonprofits. He has taught tens of thousands of fundraisers, professional advisors, board members and philanthropists how to use a donor-centered approach to integrate philanthropic goals with tax, estate and financial planning. A recent attendee to one of his sessions wrote in her evaluation, I was struck by his breadth of knowledge, professional expertise and at the same time his ability to convey abstract concepts in easy to understand lay terms. Brian is warm, funny and very generous with information. Once you have met him, he is a friend and the "go-to" person for advice.”

Brian is a past board member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning (PPP), the Gift Planning Council of New Jersey and PPP of Greater Philadelphia. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Gift Planning, the flagship gift planning magazine published by PPP and is a past editorial board member for Planned Giving Mentor. In 2012 he released his first book, with co-author Robert Wahlers,
The Philanthropic Planning Companion: The Fundraisers’ and Professional Advisors’ Guide to Charitable Gift Planning (Wiley 2012). He has been published in Planned Giving Today, Planned Giving Mentor and Planned Giving Tomorrow and cited in numerous publications, including Advancing Philanthropy, CASE Currents and the Chronicle of Philanthropy, among others. He is also a contributor and consultant to

When not working, Brian enjoys spending time with his wife and four children. He has also been seen singing in a barbershop chorus, refinishing furniture, swinging a golf club or tennis racquet and watching the occasional baseball game. 

Christine L. Sagrestano

Director of Client Services

Christine L. Sagrestano received a B.S. from Cornell University with a combined degree specializing in Communications, Education and Sociology.  She started her career in the non-profit sector as a training evaluation coordinator for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, based in South Bend, Indiana at the University of Notre Dame. Christine developed a strong background in human resources and search while working for Nissan Motor Corporation as a human resources administrator. Later, she served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Flood Search of New Jersey, Inc.


Together with Brian, Christine formed Gift Planning Development in 2007 to bring an innovative approach to gift planning executive search. While most search firms focus exclusively on calling contacts in the industry to try and fill development positions, Gift Planning Development’s proprietary Gift Planning Match service includes a complete assessment of the organization and its gift planning capacity, the search and hire, an implementation plan and finally six months of ongoing consulting in support of the new hire. This approach maximizes the benefits of the search process and ensures the gift planning effort will succeed.


When not working with clients, Christine is known for spending hours in her kitchen creating candy and desserts from scratch. She also enjoys reading and spending time with Brian and their four children.

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