A Heartfelt Thank-You

Posted November 20th, 2020

If you’ve followed our blog or read our newsletter, Give & Take, you know we stress the importance of thanking your donors. As our founder Robert F. Sharpe Sr. often taught clients, when a donor puts you in their estate plan, they are elevating you to the status of family, and they should be treated …Read More

What Is an LLC?

Posted November 13th, 2020

LLC means “limited liability company.” So what? LLCs play an important role in charitable gift planning. A charity may want to establish an LLC to receive gifts of real estate, for example. A donor may want to follow Mark Zuckerberg’s lead and create an LLC as a vehicle for making charitable gifts. An individual may …Read More

Jon Dickinson: No Pyrrhic Victory for Donors And DAFs

Posted November 6th, 2020

Notwithstanding the possible disruption to the world of donor advised funds from a potential trial in Fairbairn v. Fidelity Charitable Fund,1 a recently decided tax court case affirmed the longstanding rules governing gifts of appreciated stock to donor advised funds. In Jon Dickinson, Et Ux (2020) TC Memo 2020-18, the Dickinsons donated shares of their …Read More

What Influences Major Giving?

Posted October 30th, 2020

In my experience, planned giving is affected by some things and not others. Interest rates: The biggest influence on how gifts are made is interest rates. For example, low interest rates provide an incentive to set up gift annuities. High interest rates (traditionally associated with high inflation) provide a disincentive to set up fixed payment …Read More

The Looming Pyrrhic Victory for Contributors and Sponsors of Donor Advised Funds?

Posted October 23rd, 2020

In my blog post of May 27th (An Era of Heightened Scrutiny Arising for Donor Advised Funds?), I noted the case of the Fairbairns versus Fidelity Investments Charitable Fund (Fidelity). Their complaint alleged Fidelity failed to follow their investment recommendation on a liquidating strategy of a $100 million gift of lightly traded stock representing 10% …Read More

How Does a CLAT Work?

Posted October 16th, 2020

It’s well known in certain quarters that a charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) works well in a low-interest-rate environment. We’re in such an environment, so let’s drill down into the CLAT. First, the big picture. A CLAT makes an annuity payment to charity for either a fixed term of years or a life. The life …Read More

The Time Is Now for Year-End Communications

Posted October 13th, 2020

Throughout 2020, Americans have revealed the depth of their generosity, giving to causes crucial to surviving the impacts of the pandemic and organizations that matter to them. However, the economic crisis impacted many donors’ ability to give, and continued economic uncertainty could impact giving into next year. October, November and December are traditionally the three …Read More

A Problem for All

Posted September 30th, 2020

What problem? The problem, in my opinion, is that flawed software pervades society. Cut to the chase: The problem extends far beyond charitable fundraising, but let’s focus on a major difficulty facing charities today. It’s getting an IRA beneficiary distribution from a financial institution. You may ask, is this a software problem? Answer: Yes. The …Read More

Employees Can Be Donors Too

Posted September 23rd, 2020

One of the challenging, yet rewarding, aspects of development work is understanding the motivations of donors, especially those capable of significant gifts. Here I offer four examples of major donors, “hidden in plain view,” addressing an identical problem with slightly different motivations. For each of these examples, the need being addressed is the disruption of …Read More

Language & Research Tips for Planned Giving Officers

Posted September 17th, 2020

Language If you’re a PG (planned giving) officer, you work on situations involving older individuals. Typically, individuals north of age 70. These individuals are, for the most part, what I call “traditionalists.” In particular, most of them were educated in the traditional use of the English language. In traditional use, one does not write, for …Read More