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Posted October 10th, 2017

Why Do Individuals Make Charitable Gifts the Way They Do?

This is a gift planning question because it goes to how different individuals make charitable gifts differently.

Most modest gifts and some large gifts are made in cash, which tend to be current, outright gifts. Givers of modest amounts aren’t looking to do anything fancy either in terms of what they give or in terms of how they give, and givers of very large amounts typically find it easiest just to write a check.

Fancy gifts such as gift annuities and CRTs tend to be established by individuals who are comfortable financially but who are not truly wealthy.

An interesting subset of fancy gifts involves multiple gift annuities established by a donor. Most often, these are round-dollar, cash gift transactions of relatively modest amount (5 figures). Individuals who give this way clearly like the gift annuity, clearly like and trust the donee organization and, as often as not, name someone else (e.g., a spouse) to receive the annuity.

People give what they have to give, which is sometimes overlooked by fundraising and administrative executives. The ways people make donations depends as much upon personality and world experience as upon tax and other legal considerations. An example here is the unmarried donor who owns a portfolio of rental houses who wants to put one of the houses into a charitable remainder annuity trust. This donor, who likes knowing what the CRAT is going to pay her, is going to make some planned giving officer earn his or her salary.

Sharpe Group Data Enhancement Service and Gift Planning Matrix© can help you determine which of your donors is more likely to give in which way. Click here for more information.

By Jon Tidd, Esq

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