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

Recapping Sharpe Online Academy’s Planned Giving #101–An Introduction

Posted September 10th, 2020

Sharpe Group’s new Online Academy debuted last week with Planned Giving #101—An Introduction to Planned Giving, featuring presentations by Sharpe Group Senior Consultants and Senior Vice Presidents Joe Chickey and John Jensen, and me. Development professionals across a broad cross section of charitable missions joined us virtually to learn the tools of charitable gift planning …Read More

IRS Form 8283

Posted September 1st, 2020

Form 8283 is really two different forms having two different purposes. The main purpose of the first page (Section A) is to report gifts of marketable securities having a value greater than $500 and other gifts for which a “Qualified Appraisal” is not required. The main purpose of the second page (Section B) is to …Read More

Sharpe Index: State of Nonprofits in the Pandemic

Posted August 24th, 2020

You may be wondering if there is really a need for one more report during the pandemic. Though we are inundated with figures and graphs and charts and tables these days, we think there might be room for one more … one that comes directly from you and your peers and shares what life looks …Read More

Year-End Giving 2020: Start Early, Later or Both!

Posted August 20th, 2020

2020 started out pretty well with the economy and stock market booming. Things looked good … and then they didn’t. In January, a “flu-like virus” appeared on the other side of the globe. By February, a global pandemic had been declared, and the U.S. economy had slipped into a recession, ending the longest period of …Read More

Gift Annuities for Young Individuals

Posted August 10th, 2020

Recently, I had a discussion with an experienced gift planning officer who had a trustee wishing to set up a gift annuity for a 58-year-old family member. I believe age 58 is way too young for a gift annuity. The annuity will run forever, and the benefit to the issuing organization will be zilch. But …Read More

Year-End Giving Messaging Can Make a Difference

Posted August 4th, 2020

2020 has been unlike any year in recent memory. Americans have witnessed economic losses from COVID-19, civil unrest as a result of racial injustice and a divided political atmosphere unlike any other. With these ongoing challenges, many nonprofits have struggled to find the right fundraising messaging. Most experts are predicting that overall giving will decrease …Read More

IRS Nips in the Bud a Gift Plan Too Good to Be True

Posted July 30th, 2020

In General Counsel Memorandum AM 2020-006, the IRS responded to a promoter’s request to affirm its legal conclusions that a taxpayer could escape forever capital gains taxation on appreciated property funding a charitable remainder annuity trust (CRAT). The property was to be closely held business interests, farmland and crops. The trust’s terms for the payment …Read More