The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a significant season for those engaged in nonprofit fund development activities. Tax law changes scheduled to take place at the end of 2012 and other factors give us all the more reason to check our “to-do” lists as we usher in this new year.
To do at the end of 2011
- December 31 falls on a Saturday this year. Remind donors that Friday, Dec. 30, is the last business day of the year. Have staff on call to expedite gifts of stock or other assets donors wish to make effective for tax purposes in 2011.
- Remind donors age 70½ and older of the option to give directly from their IRA if they act by Dec. 31. This important incentive to give expires Dec. 31 and 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 as well as other donors who have made larger 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 week of the year.
To do early in 2012
- Continue to point out that there are proposals before Congress to limit income tax deductions in 2013 (see Page 1). Charitable gifts may “cost” less after-tax in 2012 than they will in the future.
- Keep a watchful eye on discussions in Congress about future tax policy. Your donors and their advisors will be listening, and you’ll want to know what is being talked about and proposed.
- The winter months are historically a good time to remind donors about the importance of wills and 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 allow one to provide for others.
- After the busy 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.