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December Newsletter



Quote for today: My father used to say, “You can spend a lot of time making money. The tough time comes when you have to give it away properly.” How to give something back, that’s the tough part in life.....Lee Iacocca________________________________________________________________________________________

To help those less fortunate the staff of Connell & Associates, in the name of all our clients and friends, has made a contribution to the Sandhills branch of the Food Bank of Central and Easter North
ACGA Board Action Regarding Gift Annuity Rates

The Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA), at a called meeting on December 29, 2008, approved a recommendation from the Rates Committee to reduce the expected return assumption from 5.75% to 5.25%. A new rate schedule is being developed reflecting this change and will be released no later than January 15, when the actuarial work is complete.

It is anticipated that the recommended rates will be lower by .4% to .7% at each age with a maximum rate of 9.5% at ages 90 and above. The new rates will qualify at all ages at a CFMR of 2.4% or above. The new rate recommendation will be effective on February 1, 2009.

During Difficult Economic times...I am reminded of the old sailors maxim "steady as she goes." This especially applies to Planned Gift Activities where there is not immediate but future rewards for immediate expenses. Larry Stelter of the Stelter Group recently wrote about two major success factors for planned gift activities. Both Larry and I have seen a few economic cycles pass our way. Persistence and consistency were his points of emphasis. Persistence in not always trying to find the silver bullet with new approaches, and most importantly not "starting and stopping" planned gift activities. The latter applies when there is a staff change but also applies during trying economic times. His second point noted the importance of being consistent in your approach. I have often said the magic of planned giving happens when the donor's economic or retirement cycles matches their charitable gift cycle. This magic is not necessarily related to any age or health factors but is related to the depth of interest and involvement in your organization's mission. Therefore, continue to keep the messages flowing on how your organization is improving or saving lives. Begin to expand upon the various options individuals can use to support you now and in the future. The more options presented the more likely you are to strike an interest in potential donors.______________________________________________________________

Earn the right to help your prospect with a solution.....It is well known that people select planned gift strategies for their own reasons, not for the charity's reason. In fact, prospect motivation to select a planned gift strategy may have very little to do with the reasons why the charity thinks they should complete an agreement. When it comes down to it, people select planned gift strategies when it meets their needs, or to resolve the problems they are facing. People often decide to make planned gifts when the pain of the problem and desire for a solution have been built to the point where they are greater than the cost of the solution.

Counterintuitive as it sounds, the top planned gift professionals are the ones that ask the most questions. And, not just any questions, but smart questions posed in a systematic way. Then armed with the answers to their questions, they have gained better insights into the prospect's world and will have earned the right to help them with a solution. .....Remember it is not the answer, it's the quality of the question. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

IRS Announces 2009 Standard Mileage Rates..... The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2009 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2009, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups, or panel trucks) will be:

55 cents per mile for business miles driven
24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

The new rates for business, medical and moving purposes are slightly lower than rates for the second half of 2008 that were raised by a special adjustment mid-year in response to a spike in gasoline prices. The rate for charitable purposes is set by law and is unchanged from 2008. The business mileage rate was 50.5 cents in the first half of 2008 and 58.5 cents in the second half. The medical and moving rate was 19 cents in the first half and 27 cents in the second half.


Life insurance and planned giving.....There are many ways to use life insurance in planned gift but the most common method is to suggest an outright gift. As retirement approaches individuals should reevaluate insurance coverage. Life insurance may not be needed if children are grown and the prospect has sufficient assets to support a spouse after death. With the estate tax exemption increasing to $3.500,000 in 2009 and $0 in 2010 (baring any Congress changes) a policy may not be needed for the payment of estate taxes. Encourage individuals to review their life insurance needs and if the policy is still appropriate for their current circumstances.______________________________________________________________________________________________

Professional advisors.....Are you looking for something new to share with your professional advisors? Then check out The Virtual Assistant web site. Check out the 2009 Tax Digest as a tool to keep your charity in front of CPAs, tax planners, investment advisors and attorneys. A simple five minute video explains how the program works.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

So you want to be a gift planner....then check out the Gift Planner Profile 5 Report available from NCPG.

The Gift Planner Profile is a survey of NCPG members that describes professional characteristics and common practices within the field of charitable gift planning.

Survey Reports: Two reports based on the Gift Planner Profile 5 results have been published in The Journal of Gift Planning. Click the titles below to access these reports in PDF format. “Executive Briefing: Gift Planners and Their Work" and “Mapping the Gift Planning Community: Key Findings from the Gift Planner Profile 5” The cost of each report package is $30 for NCPG members and $40 for non-members.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Phone: 910-295-6800

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