News & Stories

Meet CICOA’s Planned Giving Manager: Tom Ayer

Tom Ayer

When asked about his work, Tom Ayer likes to compare his role to planting trees. Ayer is CICOA’s first corporate and planned giving manager. 

“If you picture planting a tree out in the yard, in 20 years, you’ll have nice shade,” Ayer said. “In planned gifts, what we’re trying to do is to get people to include the organization in their estate plans.”

When CICOA is included in estate plans and wills, a donor’s legacy can live on forever, Ayer explained. Like 100-year-old trees providing shade, donors are capable of providing relief for CICOA clients long after they pass. 

“The other part of planned giving that I explain is that we can help people achieve some of their important financial goals,” he said. “We can have their assets work better for them now and also better for CICOA in the future.” 

Ayer’s role in planned giving isn’t isolated to generous CICOA donors. On the corporate side, he works with business partners, old and new, to raise money to provide for elders and those with disabilities. 

“Philanthropic support allows us to do so much more, help so many more people, and provide so many other services,” Ayer said. “It’s important to give so that the organization can continue to grow and move forward.”

Ayer feels passionate about his role. Prior to joining CICOA, Ayer worked for a company based in Nebraska managing capital campaigns. Before that, he worked for the American Cancer Society for 12 years. 

Ultimately, Ayer knew he wanted his next career opportunity to be related to planned giving.

“You have to have a passionate drive for the cause,” Ayer said. “You want to feel great about what you do every day.”

Whether it’s $10 or $10,000, Ayer said donations can make a significant difference to an organization. Through planned giving, Ayer can help donors continue to give to an organization they care for deeply.  

“I’d like to plant a whole forest of trees,” Ayer said. “In the years to come, there will be some trees that will provide great shade. I can empower others to keep giving to great organizations. It really does make me feel great about the work I do.”


There are many ways to give to CICOA and fill the great need to serve seniors and people with disabilities. Any amount can plant a seed and have a significant impact. Email Tom to discuss your giving legacy.