During the downturn in the stock market in late 2008, many charities monitored their gift annuity reserve fund balances on a weekly or even daily basis, concerned that there were sufficient reserves to meet the requirements of states with a calendar year reporting period. But the uncertainty brought by the financial turmoil of the “great recession” had at least one positive effect, prompting charities to take a more detailed look at their gift annuity programs, either through an internal review or by hiring an outside consultant. For some, this was the first time a thorough review of the program had been done.
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There is a lot of talk now in the planned giving community about charitable gifts being made from IRAs (“Individual Retirement Accounts”). In 2006, Congress passed legislation allowing tax-free rollovers from a donor’s IRA to qualified charities. The charitable IRA rollover is one of a number of temporary tax provisions that require annual renewal. These temporary tax provisions are typically extended late in the year and made retroactive to the beginning of that year.
The decision to start a gift annuity program should not be taken lightly. With gift annuities, you are entering into a life-long relationship with your donor, and there are significant legal and financial obligations that accompany it. It is not unusual for charities that have recently launched a gift annuity program to find that the results have not met expectations due to insufficient planning or resources.
Labor Day signals the end of summer, but it also signals the approach of the season of giving. The last quarter of the year is a busy time in fundraising. Most charities see a significant uptick in giving as December 31 approaches. So how does year-end giving affect planned giving, and how do you make the case that the end of the year is a good time to make all sorts of gifts?
This document is derived from one we created for a consulting client. In conversations with that client we wanted to ensure that they were augmenting an excellent marketing effort with on-the-ground cultivation and solicitation. To add to the ranks of a bequest society, a planned giving officer often needs volunteers to help, and volunteers are more willing if they are informed enough to be comfortable. The best volunteer solicitors are ones who have made a gift, but there is still a gulf between making a gift and feeling prepared to ask another to do the same.
Analytics, or the discovery and use of meaningful patterns in data, can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to refine your marketing efforts. Analytics helps predict individuals’ behavior, for example finding prospects most likely to make a planned gift. When you are preparing for a big campaign, or anytime you are faced with a large list of prospects, analytics can identify people you might have passed over as well as those with whom you should not waste time. In short, marketing informed by donor analytics will be more successful and more cost effective.
We have responded to many more client inquiries about charitable lead trusts over the past two years than any other two year period in our 25-year history. We have also noticed a flurry of articles on lead trusts during this same period.
A particular lead trust variation that has received considerable attention lately is what some practitioners are calling the "Shark Fin" lead trust. You may have also seen the term "Balloon" lead trust mentioned. Two names, same trust.
It’s definitely a new day for gift planners and possibly even the dawn of a new era, if the current economic climate persists. Significantly, that climate features not only depressed stock values but also low interest rates, which translate into the low monthly IRS discount rates used in calculating the tax aspects of various planned giving vehicles. Still, many donors continue to have the motivation and capacity to make large charitable gifts. The challenge is to maximize their options, including – when appropriate – acquainting them with novel approaches. In certain situations, one su
A donor who is thinking of making certain gifts during life needs to pay attention to various requirements to ensure he can claim an income tax charitable deduction. When the same gifts are made upon death, however, these same requirements do not apply – or at least not in the same way.
Life income gifts offer solutions to a variety of donor situations that an outright gift cannot address. One situation they can address very nicely is a donor's desire to supplement retirement income with additional cash flow. From a development point of view, the techniques we are about to discuss have the added benefit of widening the pool of prospects to which your planned giving program can appeal.