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

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