If you’re not familiar with these, here’s a CGA primer from SmartMoney.com.
In many states your charity has to be approved by state authorities before you can offer CGAs as a gift option to residents of the state. This is for those that have that approval, or if your prospect resides in a state that doesn’t require approval.
The American Council on Gift Annuities has an informative site that includes a summary of regulations state-by-state. (I refer to the ACGA site often, but it’s not definitive for state regs. I always check the primary source–state law–before forming a final answer on a regulation question.)
Who do you talk to?
Prospects for CGAs are typically 65 and over, with most of the gifts coming from those who are in their mid- to late seventies. You should be actively listening to prospects all the time.
Clues that reveal you’re talking to a CGA prospect:
- I need more income
- I’m worried about retirement income
- I’m supporting a sibling; parent; or adult child (CGAs can be written so non-donors receive the lifetime payments.)
- My spouse will need income when I’m gone
- My stock dividends are low (CGA rates are higher than nearly every stock dividend.)
What do you say?
First, explain what long-term gifts do for you. Motivate prospects by feeding off what they already love: your charitable work.
Then, give your overview of the CGA features:
- simple agreement
- make your gift with cash or stock (or whatever state law and your gift acceptance policy say)
- steady, fixed payments for the lifetimes of one or two people
- what remains is a gift that supports our work
What if they’re interested in the financial features?
- rates vary with age; the older you are the higher your rate; would you like me to do a personalized overview for you?
- payments are steady and fixed for life (worth repeating)
- payments are backed by all the assets of the organization; have you seen our annual report on our site?
- assets are managed by X, with oversight by our CFO and/or board investment committee
- CGA program is approved by the state department of insurance (as appropriate)
Your prospect may want to talk to their husband or wife. Offer a personalized, written overview (assuming you have software to produce one) so they’ll have more detail and their discussion can be more informed.
This will get your charitable gift annuity conversations started. What have yours been like?