I began my professional career as a practicing attorney in the state of Maryland. It was a time of turmoil. The Vietnam War was winding down; young people were facing felony convictions for non-violent drug offenses; courts were oppressing free speech. That was the environment I found myself in as a young lawyer.
Ten years later, I was elected to be the county prosecutor; for the first time I was in a position to make a major impact on a community craving change. This journey led me to evaluate how I could make a difference beyond the borders of the Maryland county I lived in and served.
Without much experience at that time but quite determined, I left the practice of law and moved with my family (including twin boys not quite two years old) to New York City to enter into the world of charitable organization, hoping that my efforts might make a difference in the lives of people in our country's largest metropolitan area. It was 1981 when I entered the field of endowment development, later to become planned giving, With an opportunity within a national consultative organization to build planned giving programs to support human and social service agencies, I undertook to advise charitable organizations and philanthropists throughout the country on utilizing planned giving strategies to maximize tax-advantaged philanthropy. Teaching, writing, lecturing, designing gift planning strategies -- all comprised the universe of my work.
Among my most personally rewarding accomplishments was the design and implementation of a Community Trust for Disabled Adults in New York in response to a need that I recognized watching my brother, a quadriplegic from multiple sclerosis, attempt to fathom a system that was not kind to disabled individuals.
Thirty-three years later, I find that society has changed so much for the better as a consequence of the work so many of us have undertaken by choice to make the world a little better than we found it. I am gratified to have been part of this universal effort.
Neal P. Myerberg, an attorney, is a Principal at Myerberg Philanthropic Advisors, a company providing planned giving and endowment consulting and strategic planning services for not-for-profit and charitable organizations, foundations, and philanthropists.
Myerberg was National Director of Charitable Giving Services for Bernstein Investment Research and Management, a unit of Alliance Capital Management, L.P., a firm that provides investment research and money management to institutional and individual clients. His work at Bernstein involved investment planning for private clients, both for-profit and not-for-profit, including individuals, foundations and trusts, with special emphasis on the investment management, asset allocation, and administration of charitable planned giving vehicles and foundation and endowment funds.
Myerberg was also the CEO of the Department of Planned Giving and Endowments at UJA-Federation of New York. He was also a Founder and the first President of FJC, a New York not-for-profit organization that holds and administers donor advised, designated and endowed funds, and is a member of its board of directors. Myerberg formerly served as counsel to the Council of Jewish Federations, Inc., a consultative organization serving over 200 Jewish Federations in the United States and Canada as well as its Director of Endowment Development. He previously worked as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C., specializing in estate and gift taxation. He was also engaged in the private practice of law in the State of Maryland where he was elected State’s Attorney for St. Mary’s County, Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and the New York University Wagner School of Public Administration.
Myerberg is the author of numerous articles and papers dealing with supporting foundations, philanthropic funds, charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts and planned giving. He has spoken on matters involving charitable tax planning and planned giving before lawyers, accountants, financial planners and not-for-profit organization executives in many communities. He is also a frequent speaker at the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning Conferences and at programs sponsored by the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, The New York State Society of CPAs, regional Planned Giving and Estate Planning Councils and many local and national not-for-profit organizations.
Myerberg was the creator and editor of Endowment Review, a national quarterly endowment newsletter and a regular contributor to its columns. He was also the creator and editor of the professional newsletters Tax Planning Tips for Professional Advisors and Estate & Tax Planning With Charitable Gifts, published quarterly for lawyers, accountants, financial planners, bank trust officers and not-for-profit executives, dealing with the legal, tax and practical aspects of charitable giving.
Myerberg has served as a resource to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NBC Dateline on the legal and tax aspects of charitable giving. He was formerly a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee of The Journal of Gift Planning. He is a regular presenter for Consumer Reports magazine and Consumers Union at programs for consumers throughout the country on tax and financial planning strategies using charitable techniques.