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avatar for Philip Ray Converse, LL.B.

Philip Ray Converse, LL.B.

The Converse Group
President and CEO
Memphis, TN
Philip Converse is an attorney and CEO of The Converse Group.  He has more than 48 years of hands-on experience in strategic planning, planned giving/major gifts, case development, and fund raising tactics.  Mr. Converse has worked with hundreds of non-profit organizations including arts groups, universities/colleges/private schools, health care institutions, international social service agencies, and numerous foundations.  His client list includes non-profit organizations in all 50 of the United States and overseas.

A graduate of Millsaps College and Mississippi College Law School, Mr. Converse served as assistant director of development and estate planning at Millsaps College and later as director of estate planning and deferred giving for the University of Tennessee.  Before starting The Converse Group, he served as president and CEO of Robert F. Sharp Company’s Consulting Group, and as president of the Greater Memphis Arts Council.

The Converse Group, started in 1986, is a full-service firm specializing in the areas of strategic planning, case development, major/planned giving and providing consulting services on implementation of planning and marketing initiatives.  Services incorporate organizational planning, board development, campaign planning and implementation, including developing the case for support and creating strategies to engage, cultivate, and solicit major gifts.  Mr. Converse has been a consultant to multi-million dollar campaigns for the Portland Art Museum, the Greater Memphis Arts Council, the William King Museum, Dixon Gallery & Gardens Museum, University of Tennessee Hamilton Eye Institute, Youth Villages, Playhouse on the Square, Orpheum Theatre, Barter Theatre, and others.

Mr. Converse is a member of the Tennessee, Mississippi and American Bar Associations.  He has conducted seminars in almost every major city in the country, authored hundreds of publications about charitable estate planning and relevant tax information, and spoken to many national organizations including DMA, CASE, NAHD, AFP, NCDC, NCPG, NCSC, NACUBO, OMI Tax Institute, as well as many local estate planning councils, Bar Associations, and for-profit corporations.  His articles have appeared in such publications as “Planned Giving Today,” “Trusts and Estates,” “Fund Raising Management,” “Prentice-Hall Charitable Solicitations,” “NAHD Journal,” “National Planned Giving Committee Journal,” and others.

In addition, Mr. Converse has conducted continuing legal education courses throughout the country as well as non-profit sponsored seminars approved for Continuing Education Credits for trust officers, CPAs, CFP’s, real estate and insurance agents, etc.  Seminar sponsors include Decatur General Hospital, Huntsville Hospital Foundation, The University of Tennessee, The University of Memphis, The University of Wyoming, LeBonheur Children’s Medical Center, and Methodist Healthcare System, Texas A & M, Oregon State University, Millsaps College and others.

The firm also offers an extensive line of brochures, booklets and newsletters to be used in the promotion of planned gifts.

Mr. Converse is actively involved in his community and has served on boards of non-profit organizations, including Leadership Memphis, Orpheum Theater, St. Agnes/St. Dominic’s School and the Greater Memphis Arts Council where he was chairman of the board of directors.  As a volunteer, he chaired successful campaigns for the Greater Memphis Arts Council and Leadership Memphis. 

Mr. Converse was named one of the Outstanding Young Men in America by the US Jaycees, received AFP’s Crystal Award for outstanding fund raising executive in Memphis and was nominated for the national award.  He received one of only seven service awards given by NCDC in its history. 

Mr. Converse resides in Memphis, Tennessee with his wife and has three daughters and two granddaughters.