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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: The only thing money gives you is the freedom not to worry about money. Johnny Carson

Quickie quiz:...... Measuring by percentage of gross domestic product, the United States gives more to private charity than do any of the world’s nations.

What country follows the US in percentage of gross domestic product contributions? Is it Canada, Argentina, Spain, Ireland, Israel or the U.K.? (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.


Why Planned Giving Programs Fail....During this time of Covid-19 individuals are coming face to face with their mortality. People are thinking about: the fragility of life, how to protect loved ones, financial stability in retirement years and charities are continually messaging ways to help others.

As people reach for solutions, it is important to examine the role of charitable estate and gift planning programs and why programs fail. Here is my list of the top 8 reasons and you can find an in depth explanation HERE.

  1. Lack of access to volunteer leadership.
  2. Lack of focus.
  3. Insufficient or unprepared staff.
  4. Unrealistic expectations.
  5. Goals born of ignorance or no goals.
  6. Insufficient budget.
  7. Lack of donor friendly or donor centric programs.
  8. Resource conflicts.

Use the above topics as a quick audit of your current program.


10 Questions donors should ask a nonprofit before giving.....Now is the time for challenge and change reports PNC bank in a recent Insights article. It lists 10 questions PNC Advisors suggest donors ask before making a charitable gift. Many of the questions maybe answered by your web site, but perhaps not all. Donors want to know their hard earned donated funds will be used responsibly.

In this age of instant information, it is extremely important to keep your web site up-to-date to be fully transparent with your programs impact, financial needs and responsibility.

To see how you stack up to their standards here is the article LINK.


Marketing Idea #1....MD Anderson highlights their physician, Dr. McCrea, to explain gifts of retirement assets.....Every staff member should recognize a gift of retirement assets when they are no longer needed represent a planned giving tool to permanently connect with donors.

MD Anderson routinely mails postcards to former donors to encourage estate planning considerations. Consistency is a hallmark of a successful program because you never can tell when life changes spark a consideration of estate planning options.

The Dr. McCrea postcard also indicates the value of storytelling both about his expertise but also about his commitment to advancing MD Anderson's commitment to educating the next generation of cancer fighting scholars.

View the postcard "investing tn the future" HERE.


Marketing Idea #2....LaSalle University focus on alumni that gift back..."Why I Give".....One of the most powerful tools in advancement work is storytelling. When the story is about those who give back it has increased meaning. See below for a list of storytelling benefits.

The LaSalle magazine has a standing article called "Why I Give". It recently profiled The Strangs a couple who will leave their entire estate to LaSalle. It is a short interview showing the importance of relationships and motivation to capture planned gift commitments. I recommend its review.

A good story well told helps you to:

1. Communicate with clarity and confidence.
2. Achieve emotional resonance with your audience.
3. Be more persuasive and influential.
4. Consistently act in alignment with your mission.
5. Attract the right people, whether they be customers, employees, volunteers or donors.
6. Inspire people to buy into your mission or get behind your cause.
7. Execute plans as you work towards your vision for the future.
8. Add value to your products, services and company
9. Spread your ideas.
10. Change the culture and create the future you want to see.


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.

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


Life Insurance during the Pandemic.....Life insurance has always been a a charitable gifting option for many people. New policies may be established with a charity who has to be both owner and beneficiary of the policy. The donor would then make deductible charitable contributions to support the policy premium. Existing paid up or in force policies may be transferred to a charity in whole or in part and the donor still retains ownership.

Currently, life insurance companies are modifying policies and may be offering fewer options to senior donors.

Use this LINK to understand how insurance companies are dealing with the uncertainties of the current market place.


Crescendo Practical Planned Gift now virtual and free. Sharpen Your Philanthropic Vision in 2020 is the theme of the conference divided into several tracks. Normally held in September, the conference is going virtual for the first time and will space the presentations from September through December.

I have attended and spoken at this conference. I highly recommend its excellent speakers and content. You must register in advance to take advantage of this unique offering.


Life Settlements explained.....The attached link is to an article which appeared in the CSA blog on Life Settlements. If you are not familiar with the concept of life settlements of life insurance policies, it provides a quick review of the concept and advantage for seniors who no longer need their life insurance coverage, but wish to have the value of their policies unlocked for current expenses.

Article LINK


Do you know the 4 fears that hold back professional advisor clients?.....Professional advisors are often faced with a socially minded client, but is the client charitable? If now - why not. Kris Putnam-Walkerly, a global philanthropy expert and award winning author, offers four reasons why high-net-worth are fearful and what advisors may do to counteract their fears. It offers significant insights into the inner working of professional advisors.

Click LINK here for full article.


The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) announced new rates

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 July 1, 2020.


Parents and their kids, how do they handle the money talk?.....In 2017 TRowe Price did a comprehensive survey of how parents and kids talk about money. A major conclusion is bad money habits get passed down to children.

What does this mean for fund raisers? Many children who are now in their high earning years may not become charitable givers unless they are truly self motivated.

Read the full survey HERE


Quiz Answer....The U.S. is followed by Israel, Canada and Argentina. The most generous European nations — Spain, Ireland and the U.K. — give less than half of what the U.S. gives on a percentage basis.


News and Notes....GOOD USE OF MONEY - Every $1 the IRS spends on “examinations and collections” results in $3 of increased tax revenue (source: Congressional Budget Office).

Retirement income needs - The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies asked people how much of their pre-retirement income they will need to replace to have a prosperous retirement. The average reported number was 67%. WRONG! The actual number you need to shoot for is 70-85%, even if you are diligent on making major expense cuts. In the same way lottery winners tend to blow all their money in two years, 50% of retired seniors exceed their planned pre-retirement spending within the first two years of retirement (33% don’t cut their spending levels for the first six years). (source: everyday investing news)

NOT A SURPRISE - The top 10% of American wage earners (making at least $145,135 annually in pre-tax income) own 88% of the US stock market (source: BCA Research).

SOME WILL, SOME WON’T - 49% of 1,056 American adults surveyed in mid-May 2020 plan on getting the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available. 51% either will not get the vaccine immediately or are not sure what they will do (source: National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago).

MOST SUSCEPTIBLE - As of 8/08/20, 58% of American COVID-19 deaths occurred to individuals at least age 75, while just 1% of the victims were under the age of 35 (source:

LOVE THE WATER VIEW - Just 8% of the counties in the United States (255 out of 3,142 counties nationwide) touch a coastline, i.e., they touch the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea or the Arctic Ocean. These coastline counties however are home to 29% of the US population or 96 million people out of our 330 million population (source: Census Bureau).

ALL THIS DURING A PANDEMIC - The median sales price of existing homes sold in the United States was $304,100 in July 2020, the first time in US history that the median sales price has exceeded $300,000. The $304,100 median price is also a record on an inflation-adjusted basis, besting the $230,200 median sales price from July 2006 (14 years ago), equal to $293,096 in 2020 dollars (source: Nat’l Association of Realtors).

LUMP-SUM NEEDED - A present value (PV) amount of $195,929 is required to fund a $1,000 per month payment for 20 years with a +3% annual increase for maintenance of purchasing power if a +5% annual rate of return is maintained into the future. The PV amount is $269,006 if the required payment period is 30 years. The calculations ignore the impact of taxes and are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to reflect any specific investment alternative (source: BTN Research).


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, VP development at Haven Hospice, Gainesville, Florida received a 12% interest in an Edward Jones Transfer on Death Account (TOD) composed of two stocks, three mutual funds and some cash, with a gift value a little over $50,000 when liquidated. What is interesting is the TOD agreement was signed in July, 2009.



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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