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December 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: Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." –Desmond Tutu

Quickie quiz:..........A DIFFICULT CONVERSATION TO HAVE - what percentage ____% of 2,638 widows surveyed by Merrill Lynch/Age Wave in 2018, admitted neither they or their deceased spouse, had ANY financial plan in place in the event that either spouse died. (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


Kars4Kids go national seeking real estate gifts.....The other day while driving and listening to satellite radio, an advertisement for gifts of real estate from Kars4Kids got my attention. This was the first time I heard a national charity promoting real estate gifts.

Real Estate gifts are part of the new fund raising frontier. Not many charities have sufficient expertise to promote and secure real estate gifts. It takes a special skill set as you do not want to put the donor's charitable deduction at risk.

I recommend you review the multiple testimonials under recent gifts as to why individuals would seek expertise on valuable property gifts.

You may also wish to review my November 2019 PowerPoint presentation to the Susquehanna Valley Council of Charitable Gift Planners - on Charitable Gifts of Real Estate,as it may prove valuable if a donor asks about your charity accepting a real estate gift.


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 and 2020 SECURE Act 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.


Stanford University "The Best Retirement Strategy".....Click in the Senior Spirit image on the left to find the Stanford University research on the best portfolio strategies for middle income earners with less than $1 million saved. The research may provides insights to many of your planned gift prospects.

Drop to the bottom of the article and explore more Senior stories.


Marketing Idea #1....MD Anderson end of Year postcard gift promotion

As a supporter of cancer research, MD Anderson has taken care of several of our friends and relatives who participated in research protocols.

We continue to be on their solicitation list and I am impressed with the frequency and quality of their material for outright and planned gifts. I also fit the demographic they are looking for estate and planned gifts.

At the end of calendar 2019, I received a postcard with the subtitle "Make a Year-End Gift Today" with a picture of a child cancer survivor and her mother to get me to continue. Five (5) gift options followed on the flip side. Each one had been the topic of previous postcards.

I recommend you consider a similar approach for your end of year gift season as it drives individuals to you planned gift website for further information.

Postcard LINK


Marketing Idea #2.....What do you do with your deceased legacy members?

I always enjoy going to a charity website to look at the Legacy Society page. First, to see if they have one and second to see how they list their members. I must say, while there are explanations describing what the Legacy Society is, how it was named, and some of the benefits, few organization have a comprehensive list their members and keep their list up-to-date. This can be critical for building stewardship.

Recently I was on the Central Carolina Community Foundation (CCCF) Columbia, SC website and was impressed with how they listed deceased members.

Many legacy listing have members with an (*) to denote a deceased member. The CCCF pays tribute to their deceased members by incorporating them in a separate listing.

To explore the CCCF Planned Giving page use this LINK To download a PDF of members use this LINK

One suggestion - if you provide a down file of member listings, consider denoting new members since the last listing with a special symbol or put the date of the listing somewhere in the copy.

Let the individual(s) know in advance their listing has been posted with a letter or email.


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
  • There is no software to purchase
  • Two hours of telephone support per month
  • Board and volunteer support
  • Uncover your best bequest prospects
  • No risk gift annuity program using gift annuity reinsurance strategies
  • Bequest society brochure and promotional samples
  • IRA rollover gift promotion samples
  • 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


FREEWILL has 6 key things to know about the SECURE Act?.....Now that the SECURE Act of 2019 is official and advisors and fundraiser's need to know how the Act effect retirement planning and charitable gifts. FREEWILL has issued a white paper listing key points for fundraisers.

Use this LINK to access the white paper.

See below article from for what Advisors how advisors need to plan for the new retirement landscape.


American Heart Association to Professional Advisors... we want to be your resource on SECURE Act impact for your clients.....Every professional advisor who works with retirement assets is now faced with significant choices if their client wishes to stretch out IRA payments to children or relatives. CLICK HERE to see a sample of their promotion.


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


In 2018, bequest giving in the US accounted for 9% of charitable revenue or $38 billion.....this statistic comes from a the 2019 study by Giving USA Foundation - Leaving a Legacy: A new look at today's planned gift donors.

Charities may wish to address and remediate the commonly held misperception that legacy planning is difficult in their marketing conversations with prospective donors.

1. More than 50% responded their largest planned gift was a specific percentage instead of a specific dollar amount.

2. More than half of donors with CGAs reported having established gifts at more than one nonprofit.

3. While giving amounts increase with net worth 28% of the respondents reported a net worth of less than $1 million (home included). Legacy giving can be very appealing for these prospects, as it allow them to make larger and a more impactful gift in death than they could in life.

4. Once charitable gifts are in place, half of donors do not change them or when altering, have actually increased the number or value rather than decreasing them.

5. 78% of respondents reported they have already been a donor for 20 years or more to the nonprofit to which they plan to make their largest legacy gift.

6. Interviewees highly value solicitations that asked how they would like to help or be involved, rather than simply asking for a donation. They felt highly negative when they were not acknowledged for their existing legacy commitment.

7. 16% of donors said that membership in a legacy society motivated them to increase or plan to increase their legacy gift.

8. Organizations should focus their legacy giving marketing on showcasing the importance of their cause, the impact that they're having on that cause, and their trustworthiness and financial stability.

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 February 1, 2020.


What advisors need to know about the SECURE Act?.....Advisors are the gatekeepers for many charitable bequests and life income arrangements. When the "Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019" (SECURE Act) passed in December 2019 with an effective date of January 1, 2020 many new impact provisions effect retirement planning.

It is important for fund raisers to know what information advisors are receiving and the potential recommendations they will make to their clients.

This LINK will connect you to an article from a popular financial site for advisors. In addition to learning the impact on charitable gifting it is important to learn the overall impact on individuals retirement planning.


Quiz Answer....53% of widows indicated their spouse failed to plan correctly for the lifestyle changes that comes with death. This is another motivation for individuals to know their assets, know how their assets are titled, and complete a basic will and/or revocable trust.

Charities should consider being part of the planning process by exploring the benefits offered by the firm to structure a no cost basic will.


News and Notes....

THEY PAID MORE THAN HALF - The top 3% of US taxpayers in tax year 2017 (the latest year that tax data has been released), paid 52% of the $1.6 trillion paid in federal income tax for that year, i.e., in a random sample of 100 taxpayers, the top 3 individuals based upon adjusted gross income paid more federal income taxes than the other 97 taxpayers (source: Internal Revenue Service).

LIVING LONG - The life expectancy at birth of an American baby in 1970, i.e., 50 years ago, was 70.8 years. The life expectancy at birth of an American baby today is 78.6 years. Thus, life expectancy in the United States has increased 7.8 years over the last half century, i.e., American life expectancy at birth is increasing at the rate of 1 ½ years every decade (source: Center for Disease Control).

LONG-TERM - The S&P 500 has gained an average of +10.6% per year (total return) over the last 50 years (i.e., 1970-2019). The index has been positive in 15 of the last 17 years. Over the long-term, the S&P 500 has been up during 40 of the last 50 years, i.e., 80% of the time (source: BTN Research).

NEW LAW – President Trump signed on Friday 12/20/19 the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019” (aka the SECURE Act). The legislation increases the required minimum distribution age from 70 ½ to 72 for Americans who turn 70 ½ after 12/31/19 (source: Congress).


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.

Tami G. Radecke, CFRE, Vice President-Community Partnerships & Executive Director, Augusta Health Foundation, Fishersville, VA received notification of a 20% residuary interest in a $4,000,000+/- estate from an 85 year old donor. Her final will was completed in 2015. This was her first gift to Augusta Health. The bequest will support the August Health's, Hospice of the Shenandoah and their programs.


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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