Close to Perfect Legacy Article

Image result for go rutgers

Ok, I’ll admit that I’m a bit obsessed with my alma mater’s (Rutgers) sports programs – as challenged as they have been – so almost everyday I tend to google Rutgers to see more news about their sports programs and whatever else pops up.

And, today there was typical bad news for Rutgers’ fans on the sports side but on the Planned Giving side, they hit a home run!

Take a look at this article about a $500,000 planned giving/legacy commitment:

It isn’t perfect but let’s start off with the positives:

  • It’s a living donor!  Research backs up the idea that living peers are the best inspiration to put out in front of potential planned giving donors.
  • The donor is known publicly already for her association with Rutgers – a familiar face, an alumnus to boot!
  • The commitment is connected to an already existing planned gift (endowed scholarship) that has results already (150+ scholarship recipients).
  • The original gift in memory of her late husband is mentioned – powerhouse planned giving motivation.
  • There’s a great story to go along with the planned gift – donor is committed to helping people in tough circumstances reminiscent of her own circumstances (talk about planned giving motivation).
  • A few nice quotes.  My favorite: “Investing in our Rutgers students is a return investment in the future generations of our communities. Thank you, Rutgers, for giving me so much.”
  • She’s a leader in the Rutgers community – hopefully other leaders will get the message.
  • Hey, it’s a story about a planned giving commitment.  Let’s not forget that point.

What was missing?

  • Contact info to talk to Rutgers fundraising staff about doing your own planned gift!  A picture of the contact at the end of the article with phone and email would be awesome.
  • A call-out or side-bar with a paragraph or two about legacy/will commitments.

And, I hope RU staff will use this article in different venues. It’s well written and can be very powerful in getting others to start thinking along the same lines.

And, you never know. Maybe the next 4-star recruit will say yes!

Results Now and Planned Giving

Image result for get results now cartoonOver and over, I have conversations with planned giving directors – excellent ones with years great results – but it always comes down to: what have you done for me lately.


Quite often there is a new VP for development every year or two – so the new VP wasn’t around to watch the planned giving program grow into what it is now (often bringing in millions of dollar of revenue).

So, with a new VP who is under pressure to get results, they look at the planned giving director and wonder – what’s this guy (or woman) doing for us?

They sometimes bring in a consultant who usually understands what the VP wants to hear – do something different and you’ll do better.

It’s a terrible cycle I see happening all the time.

This is the curse of the field of planned giving.  Planned gifts are the ultimate long play (with your donors) but the VPs making the decisions over the planned giving program don’t have patience or luxury to watch the program grow organically.

This is why I have turned to Surveys and Matching Gift Campaigns to get fast results (at least in terms of numbers of new legacy society donors and real prospects).

So, if you have made it through this short lament and relate to this issue, I am about to offer a webinar at NOON EASTERN TODAY – click the link to learn more – this could easily be the best $75 investment your organization has ever made!

Get Planned Giving Results Now…with a Survey Campaign!

IRA giving can lower Medicare premiums as well as taxable income?

Image result for money ira rmd cartoonYes, for those over age 70.5 who are now required to take their RMDs (required minimum distributions) from retirement accounts, the extra income from the RMD could cause an increase in Medicare premiums!  In other words: if your age 70.5+ supporter sends his or her RMDs to your charity (you must reach that age to use this law!), they will not only be lowering their taxable income but also possibly lowering their medicare premium costs!  (IRA rollover gifts can be used to satisfy RMD requirements!)

Here is a good article on it that goes into the details on the medicare premium issue:

The point for fundraisers is this:  you need to get comfortable with IRAs and the basic retirement planning!  IRA rollover gifts can be up to $100,000! Your 70.5 and older donors should already be using it for annual gifts!

Anyway, if you haven’t noticed, I have given several presentation on the new tax plan and will be giving one again TOMORROW 6/13 at NOON EASTERN!  Click here to learn more or register (NOTE THAT IT WILL BE RECORDED AND ALL REGISTRANTS WILL RECEIVE THE RECORDING LINK, TOO, EVEN IF YOU REGISTER AFTERWARDS)


Q & A in Planned Giving Tomorrow – IRAs, RMDs, and QCDs – Familiar with these?

Image result for q & aRecently, I’ve starting submitting for the Q & A section in Planned Giving Tomorrow – Here’s my first submission….


We are looking at some RMD info related to Jane’s IRA account, and we are assuming that the school satisfies the QCD requirement, but just want to check.


Highly focused people (usually the successful ones) often miss the easy stuff in their focus on the bottom line: raising money now. The question above came to me via email from a top capital campaign consultant. He really knows his stuff. And yet, he had to ask me what RMD and QCD meant!

Do you know?

RMD is Required Minimum Distribution. That is an amount you are required (as an individual over age 70.5) to withdraw from your IRA and other qualified retirement accounts annually.

Why is this so important?

The IRA charitable rollover provision (which is, by the way, PERMANENT now if you hadn’t heard!) allows donors age 70.5 and older to give up to $100,000 to your charity directly from their IRAs. It doesn’t work for other retirement accounts—yet. It just so happens that the law allows donors to direct their RMDs (which would be fully taxable to them) to your charity without any taxes.  This assumes your charity is QCD eligible.

You know that one, right? QCD means Qualified Charitable Distributions. If you are a regular charity – not a Donor Advised Fund or a Supporting Organization—you are more than likely QDC eligible. In a nutshell, using the charitable rollover provision gives donors an opportunity to support a cause they care about and avoid taxes on their RMD! Donors in this age range get this. You should, too, as these can be easy $100,000 gifts. Even if your donor has already taken their RMDs (which you can’t un-take), using an IRA to make a gift to charity is still a great idea. Talk it up with your donors!

If you have interesting questions that you wouldn’t mind being published in this blog and/or in Planned Giving Tomorrow, email your Q’s to me at  And, check out Planned Giving Tomorrow by clicking here!