Uncertainty about IRA Rollover Again?

What’s a Development Officer to do?

Keep doing what you are doing. Think about your mission and helping donors make year-end gifts.  As for the IRA Charitable Rollover, nothing has happened to reinstate the law. Take action if this law matters to you. Write letters to your law makers to get this law reinstated and made permanent. Here is a letter that you can send to your lawmakers.

If the IRA Rollover is extended, we will be ready to help. In the meantime, focus on what matters – your mission and your donors.

Hey Planned Giving World! What Are You Thankful For?

You know the moment. You’re piling whipped cream on of your pumpkin pie and talking football with a cousin when it arrives.

“Okay, everyone,” announces your sister, who insists on keeping the tradition alive. “Let’s go around the table and say what we’re grateful for.”

And the pressure’s on. Do you pick a classic? List your top 10? Try to be witty? Poignant? Creative? And how about when you’ve just settled on something and the person to your right steals your idea?

Not to worry, we’re here to help.

Our clients are some of the most successful, creative people in the planned giving community. We asked them what they’re grateful for, and here’s what they said. (Feel free to steal their ideas at your family feast this Thursday.)

  • Health. (This was by far the most popular answer. Appropriate, since expressing gratitude is good for your health.)
  • Family. (The second most popular answer. A classic to be sure, but always a good response at a family affair.)
  • Donald J. Trump
  • An opportunity to be challengingly employed so that I can improve the station of others, while staying excited about every coming day.
  • Crisp New England weather.
  • A job that I find personally fulfilling that has a positive impact on my community.
  • PlannedGiving.com, silly!
  • Sunny mornings, loyal pets, clean sheets and really good apple cider.
  • People that give generously to worthy causes without any requirement to do so.
  • Terrific tech support at my job!
  • Traditions.
  • Working for a non-profit whose values I respect.
  • My health, my family, my family’s health….from my 6 month old grandson to my 89 year old mother-in-law, everyone is healthy and happy!
  • Democracy.
  • Opportunity.
  • The benefits of education.
  • You know, I really can’t think of anything I am NOT thankful for….
  • The opportunity to be part of positive change in the world everyday.
  • Our wonderful donors.
  • Viken and his PlannedGiving team.
  • People caring about other people.
  • I am thankful to work at one of the most beautiful colleges in the United States.
  • A day off.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at PlannedGiving.com!


A Good Message to Send to Your Prospects

Don’t let the bank teller plan your legacy.

If you’ve ever opened a bank account, set up a retirement plan, or taken out an insurance policy, you may have completed a form to say who will inherit the money in those accounts someday. Then again, there’s a good chance the bank teller or customer service representative forgot to mention the form to you.

But this legacy planning tool is too good to miss. It’s a simple form, done right on the spot, and it keeps your money out of probate. No attorneys, no hassle for your heirs, no extra expenses tacked onto your estate. There’s no limit to the amount of money you can leave someone. And in addition to individuals, you can name our organization.

As you decide who will inherit your accounts, we hope you’ll consider including us along with your loved ones. It’s a simple, yet powerful way to leave a meaningful legacy so we can serve our community for generations to come.

Gift Shop Award

by Viken Mikaelian

Some nonprofits and vendors will tell you the term “planned giving” is old and tired. Use “gift planning” instead, they say.

Don’t listen to them.

My colleague Brian Sagrestano runs a company called Gift Planning Development, LLC. Recently his company received an unusual award. He’s been named Best of 2015 … under the category Gift Shops.


Macy’s does gift planning. Your local gift shop does gift planning. You do planned giving.

Say what you mean. The best communicators use simple, straight-forward language.

Besides, your prospects do not google “gift planning.” They google “planned giving.”

Don’t believe me? See for yourself on this google search report.

What a Planned Giving Professional Can Learn from a Realtor

by Two Cent Steve,
Planned Giving Director at one of PlannedGiving.com’s university clients

Two hundred and fifty three brave souls signed on for a recent webinar with Viken Mikaelian and Tom Ahern. That’s two out-of-the-box thinkers with a habit of saying it like it is … bound to get interesting.

Continue reading

Just Say Yes
(to all kinds of planned gifts)

Personal preferences can’t interfere with gift acceptance.

Betsy Suppes

In last year’s spring issue of this magazine I wrote an article called “A Gold Strike” about how non-profits should include “the ask” for gifts of mineral rights on their websites. Shortly afterwards, I received an email from an advancement officer who thought that no “self-respecting non-profit organization should consider a gift of mineral rights, particularly ones involving hydrocarbons.” Continue reading

Why Jews Give

Two Hebrew phrases help explain why Jewish giving is so high.

By Jim Friedman

Two women pass a beggar on the street. Both women have the exact same income and expenses. The first weeps at the suffering of the beggar and gives him $5 out of the goodness of her heart. The second notices but rushes past. Later in the day, however, she feels compelled because of her religious beliefs and returns to give the beggar $100. Who is the better person? Continue reading