Many applications today are smarter than they used to be. You probably think I’m talking about the applications themselves, and while it’s true that today’s applications do a myriad of useful and clever things (PG Calc applications among them), I’m referring to the applications’ built-in intelligence around updates.
The role of the gift officer is becoming increasingly complex. New tax laws and IRS regulations are placing gift officers at risk for crossing a red line that should never be crossed – the line between gift officer and financial or tax advisor. Even though much information may have been shared with them by the donor, gift officers need to know how to provide information to a donor without making assumptions about a donor’s complete financial or tax situation – assumptions that may be wrong and that could result in a donor not realizing the tax benefits they were assured of receiving.
In their January 2019 issue, Wired magazine reported the aggregation and publication of over 2 billion previously hacked unique usernames and passwords. These credentials are being made available to various hacker forums, potentially exposing the private data of a significant fraction of the world’s population. Analysts have determined that most of the stolen credentials represent data that is years old, and so may have already been remediated. However, the leak is still significant for the quantity of data, if not its currency.
Last year, Russell James, well-known expert in planned giving and Professor of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, presented a webinar sponsored by PG Calc entitled “Top 10 Gift Marketing Strategies from Scientific Research.” In this webinar, Dr. James presented research focusing on 10 “rules” for effective communications with prospective donors. What follows is a summary of his fascinating research. You may purchase a recording of the webinar on the PG Calc website.
For almost 30 years, the IRS has announced each month the interest rate for computing the deduction for gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts, and most other split interest gifts. We call this rate the IRS discount rate. The donor has the option to use the rate for the month of gift or either of the two previous months.