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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Leverenz

Terry Simmons inducted to Hall of Fame at National Conference on Philanthropic Planning

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Sunday, October 8, 2017 For Immediate Release For more information, please contact: Alaina Leverenz, Marketing and Communications Manager 317.269.6274 ext 107,

Indianapolis, IN – The late Terry Lynn Simmons was named the inaugural inductee into the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) Hall of Fame at the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning.

The Hall of Fame is CGP’s highest honor. It recognizes those whose life's work has impacted charitable gift planning in profound and meaningful ways, advancing the mission of CGP and bringing credit to all the professions engaged in charitable planning. The inductees have devoted service to and support of the field for a minimum of 10 years and have been an outstanding influencer in the work of charitable gift planning.

Terry Lynn Simmons, age 62, completed his life’s journey April 3, 2017. His wife of 41, Karen, accepted the award on his behalf.

As stated in his obituary, Terry was a giant in the legal community, both in his contributions and in his heart. Terry was an ardent defender of nonprofit organizations and tireless champion for the underdog, because he was one himself. He worked tirelessly to graduate from Baylor undergraduate and Baylor Law School in a total of five years. His career led him to work for the Baptist Foundation of Texas where he was able to indulge his passion for nonprofit work, which then catapulted him to his work on the national stage. Terry’s work there led him to Thompson & Knight, LLP. Terry’s excellence in his field drew clients from near and far. Terry took tremendous pride in utilizing his talents equally for diverse organizations and individuals. Terry became senior partner at Thompson & Knight, LLP and relished with pride the status of working for a world-class law firm.

Terry founded Charitable Accord and worked as the lead lobbyist and strategist in an effort to protect the interests of charities and nonprofits. In defense of the American Council on Gift Annuities, his efforts in organizing charities led to passage of federal legislation that included The Charitable Giving Protection Act of 1995 (which amended the Sherman Antitrust Act), The Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, and The Charitable Donations Antitrust Act of 1997.

A former mentee of Simmons, Joe Hancock of HighGround Advisors, spoke to Terry’s character, “Terry had such a caring and compassionate way about approaching his work. When I say that he was caring, I mean Terry really cared for his fellow man globally, and individually.”

“He was in this work not for accolades and recognitions, although he’s received a few, but he was in it for all the right reasons, all the reasons we should be in it.”

Terry was a member of the Texas, Colorado, and New York state bars as well as the United States Supreme Court in 1996. He was honored with being named one of The Best Lawyers in America from 2004 – 2017, the Top 100 Attorneys in America by Worth Magazine from 2005-2006, and one of Texas Super Lawyers from 2003 – 2011.

Some of his honors include being named “Nonprofit Executive of the Year” by Nonprofit Times in 1997, making the list of “Top 100 Attorneys in America” by Worth Magazine and being a regular on the “Top Attorneys of Texas” by Super Lawyers. The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals has also honored Simmons with the Special Recognition Award.

The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners is committed to improving the art and science of the charitable gift planning process. We equip members with relevant resources, including guidelines, articles, model documents and samples that help enrich and advance careers. We connect colleagues at all levels through our national network, including those who defined the field. We exist to serve our distinguished profession and bring life to charitable gift planning.

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