Sharpe Blog

Sharpe Blog

Posted April 14th, 2016

How Now Dow?

by: Barlow Mann The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose to 2016 highs on April 14 and was within 2% of reaching an all-time record high. In 2015 the Dow was basically flat for the year and actually closed out with a small loss when compared to the close in 2014. Over the past 12 months, the… read more

Posted April 4th, 2016

What Can a Charity Do About Bad Legal Advice Given to a Donor?

by Jon Tidd If the gift is still in the planning stage, the situation is salvageable. What usually works best is to arrange for the charity’s planned gift attorney to talk one on one with the donor’s attorney, so that the donor’s attorney is not embarrassed in front of his or her client. Attorneys tend… read more

Posted March 29th, 2016

When Should a Charity Sue?

By Jon Tidd There’s an old refrain among development officers: “We’d never sue over a gift.” Which suggests not suing is simply a matter of policy. In some states in some situations, however, the law may require a charity to pursue legal recourse. For example, Donor pledges a large amount to Charity for the construction… read more

Posted March 21st, 2016

Household Wealth Sets Record!

By Barlow Mann U.S. Household wealth rose to an all-time record level of $86.8 trillion during the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase was driven by the rising value of corporate stock and real estate, according to the Federal Reserve.                 In spite of economic volatility since the… read more

Posted March 17th, 2016

Will the U.S. See Another Recession in 2016?

By Barlow Mann The likelihood of another recession is real, but the concerns may be overblown (see this CNN Money article from January 26, 2016). After the Great Recession (4th quarter 2007- spring 2009) a recovery began. It has been relatively weak and propped up by the Fed’s interest rate policy, which changed in December…. read more

Posted March 9th, 2016

How to Modify an Endowment: A Real-World Case

FACTS About 10 years ago, Donor set up a 10-year term charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT) that was to make payments to Donor’s son. The payout period of the trust has just run its course, and the CRAT is about to distribute its assets to Charity. The trust agreement provides that the assets distributed to… read more

Posted February 22nd, 2016

Some Gift Annuity Questions – Part 3

Here we look at some gift annuity situations that went awry. Beginning with an important case that involved a flawed gift receipt. Case # 1: Donor transfers $25,000 to Charity to establish a gift annuity. Charity prepares a gift annuity agreement, which Donor signs, and subsequently begins making annuity payments to Donor. In due course,… read more

Posted February 8th, 2016

Some Gift Annuity Questions — Part 2

Gift annuities are simple except when they’re not. Some more questions: Can a commercial annuity be swapped tax-free for a charitable gift annuity? Some donors and advisers think so, but the answer is no. The question arises because there’s a tax-free “1035 exchange,” which allows one commercial annuity to be swapped tax-free for another commercial… read more

Posted January 25th, 2016

Some Gift Annuity Questions — Part 1

Gift annuities are simple, right? Right, except when certain questions arise. Questions such as: Is it all right to use a gift annuity transaction to satisfy an enforceable pledge previously made? – The IRS hasn’t said. Caution is warranted. Why? Because the only consideration a charity may furnish to the donor in a gift annuity… read more

Posted January 11th, 2016

Finally! The Charitable IRA Provision Is Permanent

Finally Congress has made the charitable IRA provision permanent. Now the fun begins. What fun? Dealing with all the questions to which there are no clear answers. For example, a donor’s IRA custodian mails to the donor a charitable IRA contribution check payable to a charitable organization. The check is mailed to the donor on… read more

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