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Quote for today: The planned gift landscape has changed. Competition for donor focus and attention will be greater than ever before. Your challenge will be to meet and exceed donor expectations this year...Kevin Johnson, Retriever Development Counsel, LLC.

Fast Track

Congressional Democrats have agreed to a 2010 budget resolution conference agreement that includes health reform and estate tax measures. Under the agreement, these measures will be handled through the regular legislative process until October 15. If legislation is not passed by that date, Congress may consider the health reform and estate tax measures through the budget reconciliation process, meaning only 51 votes are needed for passage in the Senate. The estate tax provisions would freeze the estate tax at the 2009 level ($3.5 million exemption/45% maximum tax rate), add inflation adjustments to those amounts, reunify estate and gift taxes, and provide for portability of an unused exemption amount. This would mean that a couple would not have to create a "second-to-die" trust for the full $7 million exemption to be available to the family.

Philanthropic Journeys

High-end tour operator know for its elite safaris is offering a Philanthropic Journey which includes an element of volunteering or giving back to the visited community. For that guild free vacation with mission work or fighting climate change see link below


Welcome new clients

Resurrection Health Care Foundation, Des Plaines, IL. Working with Kate Monteleone, Executive Vice President and Jonene Madurzak, Senior Development Director. Connell & Associate will perform a planned gifts audit with special concentration on the status and development of the Foundation charitable gift annuity program.

New Hanover Regional Development Foundation, Wilmington, NC. Working with Aline F. Lasseter, Executive Director and Vice President for Development Connell & Associates will begin further development of the Foundation planned gifts effort, update policies and procedures and form a professional advisory group.


Glum Millionairs

Wealthy U.S. residents are reporting much more pessimism about the economy this year than they were a year ago.

Researchers at Phoenix Companies Inc., Hartford, are reporting that finding in a summary of results from a Web-based survey of 1,735 U.S. residents who have at least $1 million in net worth, minus the value of any debt and the value of their primary homes.

The percentage of survey participants who said they are “very optimistic” about their personal financial future has fallen to 17%, from 34% in 2007.

The percentage who said their wealth is “extremely” or “very secure” for the long term has dropped 45%, to 28%, over that period.

Two years ago, more than 80% said they felt they were healthier than they had been a year earlier. This year, 74% said they feel less wealthy than they felt a year ago, the researchers report, and about 50% said they feel more risk-averse.

The percentage of participants who said they are getting advice from a professional advisors has increased to 73%, from 67% from 2008, but 27% said they still do not receive advice from any professional financial advisor.


Mining the Gold from Current Donors (originally published in Planned Giving Mentor, October, 2004)

Successful marketing strategists teach success is the result of following a solid “Market Penetration” strategy. For the PGO this means success comes first from the identification, cultivation and solicitation of current donors. It also involves offering existing planned gift opportunities to your naturally existing market. All to often a PGO may get caught up in the excitement of creating new products and bringing them to new individuals but this means they will be pursuing a much more difficult “Market Diversification” strategy.

To begin the PGO should work closely with the gift records individual or department to understand how gifts are classified and recorded. Here detail is important as the PGO needs to abstract from the entire donor universe a list of valid planned gift “suspects;” so he/she can further refine the universe to qualified planned gift “prospects;” so they may eventually become certified members of the planned gift donor society.

Knowledge of the how the donor base may be segmented will help the PGO decide which planned gift program, technique or strategy will be a natural fit to the characteristics of the donor base. Successful planned giving lies in developing close donor relationships with qualified planned gift “prospects” and soliciting them strategically.

Donors may be classified in several different ways depending on the nature of the charity and the capabilities of the data base software. Key donor classifications to examine are: total cumulative gift amounts, average annual gift amount, gift type, gift frequency, and the type of gift appeal which generated the contribution.

Some charities have more extensive donor base characteristics than others and will have key personal demographic data to help refine the potential “suspect” universe. Colleges can easily segment individuals based on the age of graduates from school records and/or graduating class. Hospitals may easily segment former patients using patient demographic records. Other charities without clear personal demographic data will have a more difficult time identifying their “suspect” universe.

Research and experience has shown consistency of giving is an important key indicator of an individual’s ownership in the mission of the charity. Not surprisingly it is not the dollar value of contributions but the number and consistency of gifts that is the strongest indicator of a potential planned gift prospect. Remember as individuals progress thru different stages of their financial life cycle it is not surprising annual contribution amounts may decline as they enter retirement years. A good gifts recorder will spot this change and bring the individual to the attention of the PGO.

Individuals who self identify themselves by responding to mailings, magazine articles, ads or seminars should also be included in the “suspect” pool. Cross checking them with the donor base to uncover their gift history is important when expanding the solicitation pool.

In smaller communities consider forming a small prospect review committee. The committee could be helpful in qualifying prospects and donors by age and capacity. The goal would be to determine an individual’s suitability for inclusion in the “suspect” pool.


Pinehurst office: PO Box 3335, 15 Pinewild Drive, Pinehurst, NC 28374
Phone: 910-295-6800

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