Posted April 1st, 2013

Sharpe Celebrates 50 Years – With a Look Back at the 1990s

The ’90s were the decade of the dot.com, an economic boom and balanced budget, the Gulf War, Rodney King, Nelson Mandela’s election, the O.J. Simpson trial, the Oklahoma City bombing, Dolly the cloned sheep, and widespread fear of Y2K computer bugs as the next millennium approached.

As the Sharpe Group celebrates a half-century of providing consulting, training and creative services exclusively for America’s nonprofits, look back with us at the decades leading up to the present. Next month — the 2000s.

1990 – President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, federal deficit-reduction legislation that included a number of income tax law changes including the recently re-enacted Pease Amendment.

1991 – The National Committee on Planned Giving and the Committee on Gift Annuities unanimously adopted “Model Standards of Practice for the Charitable Gift Planner,” a statement designed to encourage self- regulation within the gift planning field.

1992 – “Philanthropy in Uncertain Times—A Retrospective,1931-1949” by Robert Sharpe Jr. examined the impact of the Great Depression on giving habits.

1993 – The Sharpe Group celebrated 30 years. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993, also known as the Deficit Reduction Act, created the 36 percent and 39.6 percent income tax rates.

1994 – After more than four years of study, the Campaign Reporting Advisory Group formed by CASE released a comprehensive set of voluntary standards for counting donations to capital campaigns.

1995 – Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995 and the Charitable Gift Annuity Antitrust Relief Act of 1995 were signed into law confirming that gift annuities were securities for federal law purposes and ACGA rates did not violate anti-trust law.

1996 – Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko’s book The Millionaire Next Door redefined “wealthy.” Baby boomers turning 50 included President Clinton, Connie Chung and Sylvester Stallone. Internet use was growing—25 percent of the U.S. population had access.

1997 – The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 was seen as one more step toward reversing the Tax Reform Act of 1986 as it reduced capital gains tax rates and restricted the use of charitable remainder trusts to situations where the anticipated remainder is at least 10 percent of the amount used to fund the gift. The number of millionaires was growing at 15 percent each year.

1998 – The Sharpe Age-and-Wealth MatrixSM was introduced in the June issue of Give & Take.

1999 – Robert Sharpe Sr.’s third book, Planned Giving Simplified: The Gift, the Giver and the Gift Planner, was published.

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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