“Here's a summary of the news I've found most important lately.”
There has been a lot about fundraising in the news these past few months—and a fair amount of the coverage has been about Planned Giving specifically.
You're busy. You might not have gotten to everything you heard about and you might have missed some coverage altogether. Here's a summary of the news and postings I've found most important lately.
The Wall Street Journal favoring Charitable Gift Annuities; shameless self promotion as I'm quoted in this one.
The Wall Street Journal saying donors need to do their due diligence around gift annuities. This article raised a lot of ire in the fundraising community (see next posting). It should have been reserved for Brian Clontz who, if quoted correctly, made a very inaccurate statement. Read carefully, I believe the article is balanced.
It looks like I'm in the minority. Well, I may be few, but I'm proud. Here are the groups critical of the Journal's coverage. Formerly known by the descriptive National Committee on Planned Giving, the renamed Partnership for Philanthropic Planning sent this letter to the WSJ, critical of the article in the previous post. The American Council on Gift Annuities, still known by that name, posts its response here.
I believe conservative, clean Charitable Gift Annuity programs that fully disclose details to donors have nothing to worry about. Let's get on with our personal meetings and other outreach to those prospects and donors who love us, so we can explain what our needs are and how they can help.
I don't expect giving to drop precipitously in our recession. It never has in past recessions nor did it in the Great Depression. Here's an article saying philanthropy has not fallen as much as market losses. We remain a generous nation.
Here, I expressed concern on Twitter for a friend's addiction to Peppermint Patty candies. Work can't be all work.
Also from The Chronicle, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, David Rockefeller and other wealthy philanthropists met quietly (secretly?) to explore how to increase philanthropy. It reminds me of the 1983 movie The Star Chamber with Michael Douglas and Hal Holbrook.
As a diversion, I was a little concerned about Susan Boyle. Click the link in this post.
Using The New York Times Ethicist column as an example, I remind you that not all gifts come from the wealthy. Three-quarters come from those who are of modest or low means. Click the link in this post.
Do you know how to access funding from the federal Stimulus Act? Here's a report from The Center on Philanthropy and Giving USA Foundation that will explain. Click the link in the post.
“I'm building a following on Twitter - I've never said so much in so few words!”
The thing about all the posts above is, you could have had them delivered to you daily if you followed me on Twitter. My ID there is @TonyMartignetti.
Twitter is free. It delivers you short bursts from people whose guaranteed-to-be-tiny utterances you choose to receive. (Posts are limited to 140 characters.) It's gotten a lot of press and here's an easy explanation.
The Twitter site is here. You can see all my Twitter posts (called tweets) here to see the subjects I tweet about: Planned Giving; philanthropy; charity registration; using Twitter; diversions.
I find it professionally valuable and fun. If you join, follow me.
Welcome! Our newest client is Cardinal McCloskey Services in White Plains, NY. This important agency serves nearly 3,000 children in the foster care system, works with nearly 200 adults with developmental disabilities and operates early childhood centers for another 2,500 children from low-income families throughout Westchester, the Bronx, Rockland and New York Counties in New York. We’ll inaugurate a full Planned Giving program for them by identifying and cultivating top prospects, promoting bequests through direct mail, delivering board education, building a recognition society and ensuring gift policies are current.
I was quoted by The Wall Street Journal on the importance of registering your non-profit in states where you solicit.
Embrace the date (when saving the date just won't do): On Thursday, August 13, 12:30 to 1:00, I'll demystify the details of Charity Registration in a free teleseminar with Maria Semple, The Prospect Finder. More info to come.
“Your organization needs to “get right” with regulators in the states where you solicit.”
Did you see this announcement about the Federal Trade Commission's “Operation False Charity?” They've partnered with state attorneys general and secretaries of state to crackdown on fraudulent charities. I posted it on Twitter the day it came out.
It's proof that enforcement continues against charity fraud. I believe it will expand and that states will begin enforcing their own charity registration laws.
Every state requires registration or exemption where your non-profit solicits. In most states, email solicitations trigger the requirement to register. In many states, including NY, NJ, IL, FL and AZ, the mere existence of a website that accepts donations is a solicitation. (Yes, that's correct.) Paper solicitations trigger registration in every state.
Your organization needs to “get right” with regulators in the states where you solicit.
That's why I wrote Charity Registration: State-by-State Guidelines for Compliance. Fully searchable and clickable, my PDF ebook sits on your Windows or Apple desktop as a ready reference for every state's requirements. For each state (and D.C.) you'll have:
Whether IRS Form 990 is required
All the state forms you need
Links to websites for state agencies
Whether the Unified Registration Statement is accepted and what must be filed with it
How long your registration is effective
Whether annual financial reporting is required
Explanation of unusual rules in the state
Contact information for state officials
Citations to governing law
The cost of Charity Registration is based on your gross revenue.
You can buy using a credit card and get instant download. Or request a purchase order. After I receive your check you'll get download instructions.