Phil Temple

Good bye old friend

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As author of “The Planned Giving Blog”, I feel it’s important to note the passing last month of Phil Temple – one of the legends of the field – someone who exemplified all of the great qualities that drew me into this area and someone who made a huge impact on so many people and nonprofit organizations.

For those of us deeply involved in the field of planned giving, it’s commonly known how the field is full of friendly people, always looking to help others (even competitors), always with sense of responsibility to each other and the ethics of ensuring that donors are steered properly, legally and ethically.  And, professionally, that is who Phil Temple was, in addition to being one of a handful of true legal experts in this field. 

For me, he was the attorney I turned to most in the early years of my career for guidance and tips on the most complex gifts I was working on.  If you wanted a legal answer, there were plenty of others to reach out to.  But, if you wanted to know how to get a complex gift closed within the legal boundaries, you called Phil Temple.

I can’t tell you how many times I pumped Phil for answers and guidance at UJA or PGGGNY (now PPGGNY) conferences.  Virtually every time I would see him, I had questions and he always answered me graciously, with a smile, and with the correct answers, of course.  And, never a hint that I should be paying for the help (which by all means he deserved).  Yes, to this day, when I need to bring in a law firm into a situation, I still go to his old firm McCarthy Fingar in most situations but he was a true gentleman who truly wanted to help. 

But most of all, he was a wonderful person who was a pleasure to know and so many of us in the New York planned giving scene will miss him dearly.