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Posted September 5th, 2017

A Peek at Charitable Bequests of the Wealthy

Earlier this year the Internal Revenue Service released in-depth information from federal estate tax returns for 2013 decedents that provides valuable clues about charitable bequest behaviors of wealthy Americans. There were 11,309 estate tax returns filed for 2013 decedents, some 6,926 men and 4,383 women (see Figure 1). The vast majority of the decedents were… read more

Posted September 5th, 2017

Turn a Record Dow Into Record Charitable Gifts This Fall

  As the Dow has hit record levels in recent months, it is important to note that this surge, along with a growing optimism among donors, coincides with the all-important year-end giving season. Given the rise in stock market values, many donors may feel more capable of making charitable gifts this fall. (Note the recent… read more

Posted September 5th, 2017

Where There’s No Will, Is There a Way?

An interview with Andy Fussner, Vice President of Estate Settlement for the American Heart Association, about non-probate estate gift settlement. The planned giving community has long encouraged donors to look at their retirement plans and life insurance policies along with their wills as a source for charitable giving. One quick and easy change to a… read more

Posted August 2nd, 2017

Are Charities and Financial Advisors at War?

By Robert F. Sharpe, Jr. How charities and advisors can work together for the benefit of all. During a recent presentation to a group of educational fund development executives, a representative of a leading university made the following observation: “Nonprofits are at war with the financial world, and we are losing!” This, understandably, sparked a… read more

Posted August 2nd, 2017

Planning Your Year-End Fundraising Calendar

As was reported in the July issue of Give & Take, several studies of philanthropic giving in 2016 reported what many fundraisers already knew from experience—that the last three months of the year are the busiest for fundraising. Why do people tend to give more at year-end? Many donors rush to make gifts before the… read more

Posted August 2nd, 2017

Lunch With Warren Buffett? Priceless.

Or is it? As recently reported in The Wall Street Journal, the winning bid in the annual auction for a Power Lunch with billionaire investor Warren Buffett was $2.7 million. For the last 18 years, Buffett has annually auctioned off his time to raise funds for the San Francisco charity GLIDE, which provides food, healthcare… read more

Posted August 2nd, 2017

Moral and Ethical Quandaries in Charitable Giving

By Jon Tidd, Esq. Working with a donor to structure a gift can often require more than gift planning knowledge; it sometimes involves using one’s moral compass. Ethics and charitable giving: Like trying to put your arms around a skyscraper, the subject is much too large and complex to easily comprehend. Consider the ethical dilemmas… read more

Posted July 7th, 2017

What Happened to the “Wealth Effect”?

A decade ago, fundraisers could count on economic prosperity and the accompanying “Wealth Effect” to have a positive impact on charitable giving. This phenomenon led to record giving levels in 2006 and 2007, as both real estate and stock markets reached record highs. U.S. household net worth hit $66.5 trillion in 2007 but fell 15… read more

Posted July 7th, 2017

When Giving Away a Favorite Stock Is the Smartest Thing to Do

Last month we examined charitable giving strategies for donors who are nervous about the current stock market valuations and concerned that the bull market may be overdue for a correction. But what about donors who believe that economic growth and business/consumer-friendly tax reform will continue to drive the stock market to new heights? You may… read more

Posted July 7th, 2017

Treat Your Donors Like Family

By Nancy Jeffers One of the bedrock principles in gift planning is stewardship. I recently attended a gift planning conference in New York where I was reminded of the profound impact Sharpe Group has had over its 54-year history. The opening speaker at the conference has been a friend of ours for many years. When… read more

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