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August 2019 Newsletter

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Planned Giving Mentor

Wayne Olson, JD Consulting Associate (Eastern Division)

S. Renee Brida, JD Senior Associate and Lawyer (Western Division)

Professional Partnerships: Hospice Philanthropy Group L.L.C.


Quote for the day: Leaders who don't listen will eventually be surrounded by people who have nothing to say. Source: Andy Stanley, pastor

Quickie quiz:.......... What percentage of all stock in America are owned by households headed by someone over the age of 55?.....45%, 55%, 63%, 68%, 73% (answer below)

Senior Spirit.....Click the Senior Spirit link (below left) for a copy of the latest articles from Certified Senior Advisors

Past issues of the Newsletter are available in the Newsletter Archives

To subscribe to this newsletter E-Mail and put Subscribe in the subject line


Crescendo offers major and planned gifts communication study....."Reach, Recognize & Retain your best donors" is the title of a new study published by Crescendo Interactive. The study offers insights into the top planned and blended gifts, information about the demographics commonly share by prime donors, as well as trends in marketing performance utilizing data from Crescendo's cloud software and GiftLegacy marketing system. The study also includes best practices and examples of effective charity communications.

You can download the study directly from Crescendo using the following LINK.

I recommend it as a major planning tool for your 2020 planned gift promotional activities.


7 Charitable Strategies to Decrease Taxes and Increase Income.....Is the title of my new educational seminar for prospects and financial advisors. Plan ahead to prepare your prospects for the effect of the 2018 & 2019 tax laws changes. The seminar covers the recent tax law changes that effect charitable giving, the stages of income and estate planning, reviews good and bad gift assets, and provides 10 examples of gift techniques to increase income and decrease taxes. This PowerPoint presentation is covered in 49 slides.

The seminar should be scheduled for 1.5 hours to allow sufficient time for discussion and questions.

The cost is $2,500 per presentation day plus a maximum of $500 in travel costs. Individual consultations with prospects may be arranged to follow the presentation or you may secure another consulting day at an additional cost.

To reserve a spring, summer or fall date for this seminar simply send me an E-Mail.


Freewill offers Tips on QCDs.....Freewill the company that provides a web site for your donors to construct their Last Will and Testament at no charge recently shared their 8 Tips to Help Frontline Fundraisers Win at QCDs in 2019 on planned giving sites. If you did not receive it you can use the link to download your copy. Making a mistake when receiving, soliciting and stewarding QCD may be very costly to your donors.

I recommend your review. IMPORTANT: a donor must be 70 1/2 or older on the date of their gift so anyone who turned age s70 from June 1st onward in 2019 would not be eligible to make a QCD transfer in 2019 but they could make it in 2020 after six months have passed.


Marketing Idea #1....Did you forget aunt Betty? is the title of a new ad by the AARP Foundation.

Click here for a copy? LINK

The ad focuses on one of the major reasons to update a will - a life changing circumstance event. See the below Giving USA study of legacy donors for more insights.


Marketing Idea #2.....Does your gift response card include QCD information?

I am a member of the Sandhills Community College Foundation - Guarantors Program and received a request to renew my support.

I was impressed the College includes on their gift response card directions on making a Qualified Charitable Distribution form IRA accounts which includes all the information needed for their custodian/broker to complete the gift.

WIth a new prospect pool reaching the eligible age (70 1/2) each year it is important to continue to promote options to make tax smart gifts.

For a sample of the response form click this LINK


Create a Virtual Planned Giving Office for less than $10 per day.....Our basic Telephone Lite service provides an Economical service with less Risk and greater Technical expertise from our team's decades of experience identifying, planning, solicitation and completing planned gift agreements.

  • Outsourcing expertly handles the technical side of planning giving while the development staff can concentrate on building donor relationships
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  • Bequest society brochure and promotional samples
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  • Master marketing pan for first two years
  • Optional donor visit solicitation activities and support at additional discounted on-site support fees
  • Six month minimum engagement at $1,800 payable in advance

Download Virtual Flyer here - Download "What a planned giving consultant can do for you" here


How much retirement income?.....Working with older donors who are in the pre-retirement stage of their financial lifecycle can be enjoyable and sometimes tricky. A common question I hear often is "I need all my retirement income! How can I make a gift now?

To answer this question and other concerns I often use an income projection chart supplied by TRowe Price.

Most individuals will only need 75% of their pre-retirement income when fully retired. Key reasons: 1. most spend less in retirement (5% of pre-retirement income). 2. Income that went toward retirement savings is no longer needed (8% of pre-retirement income). 3. Taxes will likely be lower, especially payroll taxes and probably income taxes (12% of pre-retirement income).

These spending and savings assumptions may not fit every situation but it is a good starting point and it makes it easy to adjust to changing circumstance.

Another rule of thumb for accumlated assets during working years is to take your annual salary ($100,000) and multiply it by 12 months ($1,200,000) to reach a target goal of between 8 or 14 times your salary invested in income producing assets for your retirement years.

There are some situations where I have met donors who have been retired for sometime where they easily stated they may more money (income) in retirement than they did when the were full time workers. These folks are top prospects for income generating planned gift arrangements.


IRS Announces Indexed Tax Items for 2020.....The IRS has announced the values for 2020 of various tax items that are indexed annually for inflation. In general, values have been adjusted upward about 1.5%.

Of particular interest to gift planners, the unified gift and estate tax exemption amount will be $11,580,000 ($23,160,000 per couple), an increase from $11,400,000 ($22,800,000 per couple) this year.

The annual gift tax exclusion, on the other hand, will remain $15,000 per person.

Also of interest, the standard deduction will increase to $24,800 for married couples filing jointly and $12,400 for single filers, an increase of $400 and $200, respectively.

See Revenue Procedure 2019-44 for complete details, including all federal income tax schedules for 2020.

Source: PGCalc November Blog


5% of the population leave a charitable bequest....this statistic has remained steady for over a century. Of interest to charities is what motivates individuals to leave a bequest in their will or trust?

A Fall 2019 study by Giving USA Foundation - Leaving a Legacy: A new look at today's planned gift donors, reveals several interesting facts. Over the next few issues I will list some of the key takeaways of this comprehensive study of 8,500 planned gift donors and prospects with follow up interviews.

1. The average age of writing a first will is 44 years old.

2. Donors who write their first will when they are older than 44 are more likely to have a charitable provision in the first version of their will than younger individuals.

3. The overall age of making a first charitable planned gift is 53 years old.

4. 83% of individuals who have a will in place have named one or more non profits as beneficiaries in their will.

5. Individuals were most likely to have updated their will two or three times during their life.

6. The top reasons for making changing to wills were a will-revising life event. Examples: increase in assets, death of a loved one, practice of periodic review or a beneficiary change.

More insights next issue. If you want to read the entire special report is is available for purchase at $25.00 from Giving USA.


The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) announced new rates effective on January 1, 2020.....The new rates reflect the lower interest rates during the past year. Many of the ACGA rates for one or two lives will be reduced by about 0.4% to 0.5% for the ages where the majority of gift annuity are established.

Below is my standing offer to provide a laminated gift annuity rate chart using the new rates.

Gift annuity rate update and laminated gift annuity rate charts.....If you would like a laminated rate chart for the most recent ACGA January 1, 2020 rates simply request one using the following E-Mail request and put Laminated Rate Chart in the subject line and be sure your signature line has your full address.

The following PDF chart of single life $10,000 cash gift and two-life $100,000 security gift for ages 60,65,70,75,80 will be updated for the new rates and available here after January 1, 2020.


Where do you rank?..... It takes adjusted gross income (AGI) of $2.37 million to rank in the top one-tenth of 1% of US taxpayer. It takes AGI of $515,371 to rank in the top 1% of taxpayers. It takes AGI of $208,053 to rank in the top 5% of taxpayers. It takes AGI of $145,135 to rank in the top 10% of taxpayers. (Source IRS, 2017)


Quiz Answer....ADULTS IN THE ROOM - 73% of stocks (by dollar) owned by Americans are held by households headed by individuals over the age of 55 (source: Federal Reserve).

Tip: talk to these individuals about a gifts of appreciated assets.


News and Notes....

WHAT THEY PAY - The average tax rate (including federal income taxes, payroll taxes, and excise taxes paid as a percentage of income) for the bottom 20% of US taxpayers has fallen from 9.1% of before-tax income in 1979 to 1.7% of before-tax income in 2016. The average tax rate for the top 1% of US taxpayers has fallen from 35.0% of before-tax income in 1979 to 33.3% of before-tax income in 2016 (source: Congressional Budget Office).

THEY HAVE NO CHOICE - 46% of working Americans surveyed expect to remain in the workforce beyond age 65. Of the 46% of Americans continuing to work after age 65, 47% of them (i.e., 47% of the 46% or 22% of all working Americans surveyed) will continue to work only because they haven’t accumulated sufficient assets to retire (source: Northwestern Mutual 2019 Planning & Progress Study).

WILL YOU BE FINANCIALLY READY? - 49% of 5,923 workers surveyed in the 4th quarter 2018 believe they will live to at least age 80, i.e., 1 out of every 2 workers. 14% of the workers surveyed believe they will live to at least age 100, i.e., 1 out of every 7 workers (source: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies).

TWO OUT OF THREE - 65% of college graduates in 2018 finished their schooling with outstanding student loan debt (source: The Institute for College Access & Success).

THE MOST PAID - The maximum Social Security benefit paid to a worker retiring at full retirement age in 2019 was $2,861 per month, more than triple the $899 per month paid 30 years ago in 1989 (source: Social Security).


Kudos Corner - Celebrating gifts of all types and sizes

In this section I periodically highlight some recent gift expectancies and gift program elements I think will be helpful and informative, not all gifts are included.

Sharon Jones FAHP, Vice President Development, Haven Hospice, Gainesville, FL secured a $20,000 one life gift annuity from an 85 year old prospect.

Lynn Gully, fund development specialist, Good Counsel Homes, Hoboken, NJ received a $40,000 one life gift annuity from a 88 year old prospect.


James E. Connell and Associates is a national consulting service which has been devoted to increasing

resources for charities using the power of charitable estate and gift planning techniques for over 40 years.

Pinehurst office: PO Box 3335, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: 910-295-6800

Northeast office: 20982 Bayside Avenue, Rock Hall, MD 21661

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