PG Calc’s Marketing Services is more than just a pretty website, but it’s at least that. When we set out to build the best planned giving website in the business, we followed a few simple rules and then brought in the best to augment our own skills.
Rule 1: Know what you don’t know
User Experience (UX) is the art of giving website visitors a positive experience during a site visit. Making it easy for visitors to find the information they seek, or the answers to their questions. Good user experience has visitors leaving your site thinking they’ve been successful or they’ve enjoyed themselves. Conversely, a bad UX has them thinking they don’t want to come back again due to problems, confusion, and/or bugs. This end-user perception is the key to a good website and so we didn’t spare anything to get it right.
planned giving marketing,
Lights! Camera! Action!
I got to have more fun than usual at this year's National Conference for Philanthropic Planning (NCPP). The organizers offered something a little different for attendees on Thursday morning. It was a session that provided content, but in a style that broke from the standard speeches, breakout sessions and networking. I was one of the brave volunteers who presented? performed? in what is called the "Ignite" format (similar to Ted talks).
Each talk was five minutes long, accompanied by exactly 20 slides displayed for exactly 15 seconds each. The format is designed to generate enthusiasm in presenter and audience alike, and the session drew a banner crowd. I chose to cover the entire 30-odd year history of modern planned giving in five minutes. No biggie, right? I'm happy to report I made it through without getting too far ahead of or behind on my slide count. The other presentations were great, too. I look forward to seeing the Ignite session next year!
history of planned giving,
planned giving technology,
On October 2nd, 2013, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported The New York City Opera was entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and would “wind down” its operations after 70 years. The news prompted anxious calls from charities and gift annuitants to us here at PG Calc. They all had the same concern: what happens to gift annuitants when a charity goes into bankruptcy?
The good news is that such circumstances have been incredibly rare. Based on the few occasions where it has occurred, it seems likely that those with annuities issued by the bankrupt organization will be protected. Here are two key factors to understand in addressing questions that may come from your boss or your annuitants and other constituents.
charitable gift annuities,
segregated reserve fund,
gift annuity payments
In the September eRate newsletter, we included a helpful QuickTip about saving your customizations to Planned Giving Manager before switching to a new computer. We know that some of you computer wizards didn’t need the advice, but for others, even the written description of what to do might not be enough. So we created this little slideshow to show you the steps involved!
We know this isn’t the kind of blog post you are used to seeing. Please share in the comments if you like it!
planned giving manager
I learned recently of a donor who left money to charity in a manner that made it seem like she wanted to establish a so-called “college annuity” for her seven-year-old granddaughter. The applicable bequest language indicated that the annuity would begin “on or about July 30 of the year the beneficiary attains the age 19 years, and the payment shall continue for a term of 5 years.”
charitable gift annuities,
working with advisors,
charitable gift annuity,
gift annuity agreements,
An annuitant who concludes that he or she no longer needs the annuity payments – and won’t need them in the future either – could choose to assign to the charity the right to all future payments. If it is irrevocable, the assignment effectively terminates the annuity. When this happens, the annuitant may receive a charitable deduction for contributing her remaining interest in the annuity.
charitable gift annuities,
charitable gift annuity,
complex planned gifts
It’s great to get a new machine. But don’t let IT haul off your old machine just yet. If you are a Planned Giving Manager (PGM) user, there are a few things you will very much want to get copied off your old machine before it goes into the trash. This also applies when your machine is refurbished or rebuilt, such as when reformatting and reinstalling Windows or getting a new hard drive. Once your IT department wipes the hard disk from the old machine, you can be out of luck on getting your old PGM data back, especially if you don’t have good backups.
John Scibek, a PG Calc client and friend from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Washington, took a bicycle tour of the Olympic Peninsula.
Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer entered a long-term relationship in the mid-1960s and made their home in the state of New York. In 2007, the couple was married in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In 2009, Thea passed away, leaving an inheritance of around $4.3 million to her spouse Edith.
tax planning with same-sex married donors,
working with donors
Many of your supporters will start planning for their retirement in earnest once they reach their late 40s or early 50s. In a classic scenario, their children may have moved out of the house, or will do so in the next few years. They are established in their careers and entering their peak earning - and saving - years. It's time to start planning for the next stage of life: retirement.
An important aspect of planning for retirement is making sure there will be sufficient cash flow to meet living expenses. There are at least three gift plans that can provide a donor with additional cash flow to meet those expenses starting when a donor retires.
Profile: Desires predictability and Guarantee
The deferred gift annuity (DGA) has three characteristics that will appeal to many donors who are planning for retirement.
1. It offers the predictability of fixed payments.
2. It offers the security of being backed by your organization's general resources.
3. It allows the donor to set the date when payments will start.
A promise of fixed and guaranteed payments is just what many in your target audience want to hear in a world of rock-bottom interest rates on CDs, money market funds, and other widely-used savings vehicles. Even under the lower annuity rates suggested by the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) that went into effect on January 1, 2012, DGA payment amounts can look very favorable in comparison to common alternatives, as illustrated below.
Deferred Gift Annuity Completed July 2013 (Model)
- Donor, Age 55
- Payments Deferred to Age 65
- ACGA Gift Annuity Rate is 6.4%
The average CD rate is currently less than 1.0%. When you compare the ACGA rate, and the fact that the donor will receive a charitable deduction and that a portion of the DGA income will be tax-free, this vehicle will look attractive to your donors.
Profile: Desires flexibility
While many donors find the predictability of DGA payments reassuring, others want flexibility regarding when payments begin and the amount of those payments. For example, they may not know when they will retire and would prefer to decide on a payment start date when they are more certain of when they will stop working.
The flexible gift annuity (FGA), a variation of a deferred gift annuity, may be just what these donors are looking for. The FGA works like a DGA, but does not lock in a payment start date and amount on the date of gift. Rather, it includes a schedule of possible payment start dates from which the annuitant can choose at any time before payments begin. The later the payment start date chosen, the greater the annuity amount your charity will pay. A typical FGA elective payment schedule for a 55 year-old contemplating a $50,000 gift on 6/24/2013 might look like this:
Flexible Gift Annuity (Model)
supplement retirement with planned gifts,
deferred gift annuities