Posted December 6th, 2017

Follow These Steps for a Successful Year-End

The end of one year and the beginning of another always marks a significant season for those engaged in nonprofit fund development activities. Tax law changes that may be enacted beginning next year and other factors give us more reasons to make our “to-do” lists as we usher in this new year.

“To do” at the end of 2017

  • December 31 falls on a Sunday this year. Remind donors that Friday, Dec. 29, is the last business day of the year. Have staff on call to help expedite gifts of stock or other assets donors wish to make before the end of the year for credit on their 2017 return.
  • Keep a watchful eye on discussions in Congress about proposed tax policy changes. Your donors and their advisors will be listening, and you’ll want to know what is being talked about and proposed.
  • Remind donors age 70½ and older of the option to give directly from their IRA. They must complete their gifts prior to the end of the year in order to be counted for 2017. This important incentive to give may offer an attractive way for some donors to make a new gift or fulfill a prior commitment before the year ends.
  • Watch stock market valuations and be prepared to remind those who have made gifts of securities in the past, as well as other donors who have made larger cash gifts, that they may wish to take advantage of market conditions to complete gifts of appreciated securities prior to year-end.
  • Offer to be of help to last-minute donors. Many of your best donors may not stop to think about additional gifts this year until the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Let them know you’re there to help even in this final, busy week of the year.

After the year-end giving season, be prepared to hit the ground running in January. You may find the things you do early in the new year will help ensure the results you need next December and beyond.

“To do” early in 2018

  • Make sure to thank your donors for their 2017 year-end gifts as soon as possible. A phone call or visit can set the stage for discussions of their giving for 2018.
  • The winter months are historically a good time to remind donors about the importance of estate planning. The recent holiday season may have brought loved ones to mind, making this a good time to communicate about ways to make gifts that also help donors provide for others.
  • The early months of the year can also be a good time to remind donors about using their IRAs to make their gifts. Each donor is limited to $100,000 and the “early birds” may get more “worms.” Consider informing loyal older donors of the advantage of this type of gift before they take IRA withdrawls or direct gifts elsewhere.

Sharpe consultants can help you plan your fundraising for 2018 and beyond. Contact us to start a conversation at 901.680.5300 or info@SHARPENET.com. ■

The publisher of Give & Take is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service. For advice and assistance in specific cases, the services of your own counsel should be obtained. Articles in Give & Take may generally be reprinted for distribution to board members and staff of nonprofit institutions and other non-donor groups. Proper credit must be given. Call for details.

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