Sarah Fertig Trauben joins the Aspen Institute with more than 20 years of experience in the field of planned giving and endowments. She finds it most rewarding to work with individuals to help them structure a lasting legacy gift to ensure the future work of an institutional mission they care deeply about. Prior to joining the Institute, Sarah advised organizations as an employee and consultant. She developed, assessed, and advanced planned giving and endowment initiatives, responsible for securing close to $200 million in planned gifts. After beginning her career as a CPA at Ernst & Young, Sarah transferred her passion and people skills to non-profit fundraising. During her seven years at UJA-Federation of New York, she gained foundational development skills, pairing those with her business background to specialize in planned giving and endowments. Her work then moved to a national scope where she advised and developed a range of programs with planned giving donors, professionals, and volunteers in 100 communities while working at the Jewish Federation of North America (JFNA). In 2001, Sarah was hired to develop and build the planned giving and endowment program at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). As AIPAC’s founding Endowment Director, she successfully conceived of, identified, and implemented the necessary program elements for a nationally integrated and successful endowment program. During her 12 years with AIPAC, she enjoyed staffing a Foundation Board of Directors and numerous planned giving committees, developed while working with donors, prospects, and staff across the country.
Sarah thrives at developing relationships with a range of individuals who support the mission of an institution while helping them think through important life and family decisions. These conversations take place over months and sometimes years as she walks with donors in their process that revolves around the weighty subjects of family matters, mortality, and money. Receiving her Master’s in Social Work early in her career has enabled her to better support donors on this personal and powerful journey. Sarah received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana and her Master’s in Social Work from Wurzweiler School of Social Work.