Sharpe Celebrates 50 Years – Into the ’70s

The Beatles broke up and disco music was the rage. The Vietnam war ended and Richard Nixon resigned the Presidency. It was a decade of new technology—Microsoft was founded; the VCR changed our TV viewing habits; pocket calculators and the Sony Walkman were introduced. Swimmer Mark Spitz won seven Gold Medals at the Munich Olympics; the first “Star Wars” movie was released; Elvis Presley died and Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize.

As Sharpe celebrates a half-century of providing consulting, training and creative services exclusively for America’s nonprofits, look back with us at the decades leading up to the present. See the January issue of Give & Take for 1960s milestones.

1970 – Give & Take outlines how the Tax Reform Act of 1969 would forever change the way nonprofits, donors and their advisors approach the gift planning process.

1972 – The first suggestion of the use of the term planned giving instead of deferred giving to describe the process of making gifts that encompass many considerations is featured in the August Give & Take:

“A donor usually considers a current gift to your institution as a cash outlay now. To make a deferred gift, a person decides to give at some future date, either a number of years from now or at death. A deferred gift is a present decision to make a future gift, evidenced by a legal contract.

“While the name ‘deferred giving’ is best known to professionals in the field, it is not a term that communicates very much to the average donor. Therefore, we suggest the term ‘planned giving.’ When a person makes a planned gift, it suggests forethought.”

1973 – Sharpe celebrates its 10th anniversary. Sharpe at that point had served more than 2,000 organizations and institutions through consulting, training seminars and creative services.

Financial Accounting Standards Board created.

1974 – Robert F. Sharpe Sr. outlines the company’s steps to conserve resources during the energy crisis.

CASE, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, was formed through a merger of the American Alumni Council and the American College Public Relations Association.

Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are introduced under the terms of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

1976 – The first major federal tax law revision since 1969 and the first major revision in the estate and gift tax system in 25 years is signed into law.

1977 – In response to more than 60,000 inquiries from the public, the Council of Better Business Bureaus releases its first list of organizations qualified to solicit nationally.

The October issue of Give & Take features the first article by Robert F. Sharpe Jr., “Population Changes Will Produce More Planned, Fewer Current Giving Prospects.”

1978 – “The Planned Giving Idea Book” by Robert F. Sharpe Sr. is published and promoted as “what the author learned through the trial and error and success method over the course of 25 years.”

Revenue Act of 1978 lowers tax rates for individu- als and alters capital gains tax rules.

1979 – Robert F. Sharpe Sr. introduces his second book, “Before You Give Another Dime,” written for donors.



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