Why It’s Time for PGM Desktop to Retire

By now you know about the upcoming retirement of Planned Giving Manager (PGM desktop) and the migration route to PGM Anywhere. This process has been nine years in the making, as we originally targeted PGM Anywhere to run basic calculations on tablets and have been expanding its functionality from year to year to eventually take the place of PGM desktop.

We have one last update to PGM desktop slated for Fall 2022 with a new feature to facilitate loading .inp files created in PGM desktop into PGM Anywhere. We want to give clients a smooth path for moving from PGM desktop to PGM Anywhere.

Why do you have to stop running PGM desktop? Most of us have desktop software that we have not updated in a few years that still does everything we need. While it is true you can continue running PGM desktop for as long as you have a Windows machine that can run it, here are three reasons why you should be proactive in moving to PGM Anywhere:

  1. PGM desktop is built on technology that is becoming obsolete. You may have already noticed that we have been unable to update its help system and have had to provide supplemental help information via PDF file. Users on Macs have already lost the ability to export to Word and Excel in Office 2016 for Mac because Microsoft took away support for the versions of the .doc and .xls formats created by PGM. We fully expect that Microsoft will take away that capability for Windows in a future version of Office.
  2. We may lose the ability to do tax updates for PGM as PGM desktop relies on development tools from 2007 and 2004 and some components from the 1990s. We are now running those tools on Windows 7 virtual machines, and Windows 7 has already reached the end of Microsoft support. PGM Anywhere is the way we are going to reliably deliver future tax law updates.
  3. Our Client Services team will still answer the phone here at PG Calc as long as your PGM support contract is current, but there will be certain technical problems with PGM desktop that we will not be able to help you with. Likewise, your IT department may not be able to support you on PGM desktop. Increasingly, we see issues where IT departments have inadvertently deleted configuration files or have difficulty deploying PGM in specific environments they have created to manage user desktops.

In other words, you may be able to keep PGM desktop working after its retirement, but someday it is going to stop coming to work. It is better to manage your move to PGM Anywhere, rather than having to do it in a hurry. Not to mention, PGM Anywhere has several great features and conveniences that are not available in PGM desktop, and we will be adding more.

If you have specific questions or concerns about finishing the move from PGM desktop to PGM Anywhere, please contact Client Services at support@pgcalc.com or 1-888-474-2252. Our general advice is that you use PGM Anywhere for most of your gift illustrations and that you only click on your PGM desktop icon when you need a complex feature that is not yet be available in PGM Anywhere.

That is not to say we aren’t a little bit sad about the retirement of Windows PGM desktop. We know that it has been used to plan billions of dollars in charitable gifts over its 27-year career. Some of you may have been in planned giving long enough to remember our DOS version of PGM, which had its own 15 year run. PGM lives on. We hope you will continue to rely on PGM Anywhere in the decades to come.

Note: This article was updated in June 2022 to reflect the current target for the final release of PGM desktop.

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