Making Inertia Work for the Worker

Posted September 10th, 2021

Nudge theory suggests positive reinforcement and indirect suggestions can influence the behavior of an individual. The concept became mainstream with the 2008 book “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Wealth and Happiness” by professors Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. They argued that more people would have more saved for retirement if employers created default retirement …Read More

5 Things To Consider Now for the 2021 Year-End Season

Posted September 3rd, 2021

The final three months of the year are traditionally the busiest for fundraisers at charitable organizations, and now is the time to prepare. Many nonprofits receive between 30% and 40% of their yearly gift total during the final six to eight weeks of the year. Understanding how and why people choose to give at this …Read More

What Happened to Wealth During the Pandemic?

Posted August 27th, 2021

Spring falls in 2020 The global pandemic sent shockwaves through the economy and led to a major stock market correction and recession in the spring of 2020. The U.S. GDP fell 33.1% during the second quarter of 2020. Many would expect the overall number of wealthy Americans would fall significantly. Initial reports indicated this was …Read More

Encouraging Americans to Save Act

Posted August 20th, 2021

Notwithstanding the enormous subsidies under the Internal Revenue Code for qualified retirement plans, the bottom two quartiles of workers are not broadly participating. In a recently released study from the Joint Committee, the “take-up rate” is only 76% of workers with access to a qualified retirement plan actually participate.1 In other words, 24% of workers …Read More

The Importance of Donor Data

Posted August 18th, 2021

Most nonprofits are often evaluated on two measurable objectives: Program Efficiency: How efficiently does an entity accomplish their mission? Program efficiency is a measure of the amount spent on a program as a percentage of total spending. Fundraising Efficiency: How effective is the nonprofit at raising philanthropic dollars for their program? Fundraising efficiency is a …Read More

What’s in a Name? Commemorative Naming Opportunities

Posted August 6th, 2021

When I was a young development officer, Bob Sharpe Sr. explained to me that the most important word in every language was a personal name, whether for an individual or family. Fundraisers have long embraced the idea of “commemorative naming opportunities” ranging from very small items like bookplates in a library (remember books?) and bricks …Read More

How Charitable Deductions Can Generate Estate Tax

Posted July 23rd, 2021

The head of the planned giving program is often requested by the head of development and/or finance to estimate the organization’s share of a deceased supporter’s estate. Usually, the executor or legal counsel is cooperative in providing a rough estimate of any residuary shares. Before communicating a number, the planned giving officer needs to understand …Read More

Digital Marketing’s Place in a Planned Giving Program

Posted July 20th, 2021

Sharpe Group has been studying donor communications strategies for over 50 years. We know that a multi-channel marketing approach is necessary to effectively communicate with distinct age groups who may have different ways of getting information. We also know that more “touches” with a wider variety of communications mediums can improve overall engagement and is …Read More

Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth

Posted July 9th, 2021

For many years, charities have lobbied to allow assets held in IRAs to be a source of funds for remainder trusts and gift annuities. They may be on the cusp of achieving this goal. HR 2954 Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 will directly—and perhaps indirectly—impact charitable giving of donors 70.5 and older. As …Read More

One of the Family: Including Pets in Estate Plans

Posted June 25th, 2021

According to recent estimates, 67% of U.S. households—some 85 million families—own pets. Last year, Americans spent almost $100 billion on their pets for everything from food and toys to veterinary care. When you consider these statistics and the fact that pets are often considered important members of the family, it is no surprise they are …Read More