Are You Forgetting Something as Year-End Approaches?

It’s that time of year once again. #GivingTuesday and December 31 are fast approaching. All charities are looking for year-end donations. However, are you forgetting something important?

If you want to maximize year-end giving, you must seek planned gifts. Remember, not all planned gifts are deferred gifts; many are current contributions. Here are some types of planned gifts you should be asking for, even if you don’t have a formal planned giving program:

Gifts of appreciated stock or property (i.e.: real estate, art, collectibles, etc.):

By making a donation using appreciated stock or personal property, a donor can avoid capital gains tax and receive a charitable gift deduction. Because over half of Americans own stock (Gallup) and because the stock markets are at or near record highs, now is a great time for donors to contribute appreciated securities. Likewise, real estate values have generally seen significant rebounds since the Great Recession, meaning real estate gifts are an excellent option for some donors.

Gifts from a Donor Advised Fund:

Many donors have established a Donor Advised Fund. In 2014, there were over 238,000 Donor Advised Funds (National Philanthropic Trust, Donor Advised Fund Market Report 2015). DAFs “account for more than three percent of all charitable giving in the United States.”

pot-of-goldIf you’d like to learn more about how DAFs work, you can download the free FAQ sheet from DAF Direct by clicking here.

If you know that a donor has established a DAF, ask him to designate your charity for a grant. In your newsletter, include a story about a supporter who has given through her DAF. On your website, include a Donor Advised Fund widget to make it easy for your donors to designate a gift to your charity.

To see how International Planned Parenthood Federation / Western Hemisphere uses the DAF Direct widget, click here. To see how the UNICEF United States Fund has deployed the widget, click here. For information about how to get the Donor Advised Fund widget for your organization’s website, click here.

Gifts from an IRA Rollover:

Last year, the federal government made the IRA Charitable Rollover provision a “permanent” feature of the tax code. So, individuals who are age 70.5 or older can donate up to $100,000 from their IRA each year without having to recognize it as income.

To help you promote the IRA Charitable Rollover, The Council on Foundations has put together an excellent free, downloadable toolkit that includes:

  • Talking points, a fact sheet, and web content;
  • An event presentation;
  • Tools that explain which available options might best serve donors;
  • Donor and professional advisor advertisements.

You can find the Council’s toolkit by clicking here.

The planned gifts that I’ve described above will result in current giving to your organization. While planned giving is not necessarily time sensitive and people make planned gifts throughout the year, year-end is a good time to encourage certain types of philanthropic planning, as I’ve indicated.

Now, let’s look at a different sort of planned gift:

Gifts in a Will:

Let’s turn to the most popular deferred planned giving vehicle: Gifts in a Will (Bequest). While people tend to draft a Will or update a Will based on life events (i.e.: marriage, birth of child, birth of a grandchild, illness, etc.), some will choose to write or update a Will toward the end of the year. This is particularly true if there is a promotional campaign to encourage individuals to take action.

For example, in the UK, September saw the promotion of “Remember a Charity in Your Will Week.” (By the way, in March, the UK will promote its “Free Wills Month.”)

If your community, region, or nation has a broad legacy giving promotion campaign, your organization would be wise to consider participating in the effort in some way. While Charitable Bequest gifts result in deferred giving, they certainly help provide future security for charities.

If your organization has not made the mistake of ignoring gift planning at year-end, how have you incorporated planned giving into your year-end fundraising strategy?

That’s what Michael Rosen says… What do you say?

 

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