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Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

The seasons are a great reminder that change will come. This is my favorite time of the year – with the fall festivals, pumpkin patches in the area, and the crisp autumn days. While change is upon us, the Chesapeake Planned Giving Council (CPGC) is working on some new ideas for educational programs in the coming months.

We can use your input - by sharing with us what types of programming you are looking for. This is an informal request, but you can provide us with valuable information on what you’d be interested in learning more about. We’ll send out a formal survey soon, but for now, we’d love to hear from you:

What topics resonate with you, or is networking the most important thing?
Are you looking for more technical information on planned giving?
Does a planned giving nuts and bolts workshop appeal to you?

Send us an email about what types of programs you are interested in. Meanwhile, we do have a program being planned for later in October. The details are still unfolding and will be available soon. Visit our Events page for details on October's event: speaker, topic, and event registration.

You can also register for our next event - which will be held on November 16th, 2022, in Hunt Valley, MD. Join your colleagues at 12 noon to network over lunch-- whether in-person or virtually-- as the program will be offered in a hybrid format. Our program will then begin at 12:30 p.m. The November educational program will be an hour full of information on - Planned Giving Vehicles: Bequests, Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities, and Their Ethical Considerations. Join us in October and November.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week this year is October 17 – 23, 2022. The week occurs every third week in October and was adopted in 2008 (House Resolution 1499) to help the public understand what estate planning is and why it is such a vital component of financial wellness. October is a busy month. The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Conference is in Reno, Nevada, October 26th – 28th.

As you enjoy the new season, the board sends a warm thank you to sponsors, members, and friends of CPGC. Happy fall!

All the best,

Aquanetta Betts
CPGC, President
LinkedIn @AquanettaBetts

Building an Effective Gift Acceptance Policy
By: David Benson

Gifts to non-profits come in many forms. Cash, securities, cryptocurrency, or tangible items such as art all require evaluation. While turning down a gift from a donor may seem counterintuitive, in some cases it is the best decision. Some gifts may come with excessive restrictions, reputational consequences, or additional expenses. It is important to be able to judge whether a gift is truly just that, or if a “no, thank you” would better serve your organization. A Gift Acceptance Policy can help guide this decision.

A Gift Acceptance Policy defines characteristics and limitations of gifts and provides the framework to manage risk and decline donations that are not beneficial without damaging donor relations.

Creating a separate committee dedicated to reviewing donations is a best practice. This may be a sub-committee of the Finance Committee, or an entirely new group that can assess gifts to ensure they are in line with your organization’s mission. Additionally, many organizations choose to make their Gift Acceptance Policy available on their website. Having an accessible policy will make the gifting process easier for both you and your donors.

Almost all gifts come with due diligence and reporting requirements. For donors to receive a tax deduction for a gift, they must have written documentation from the charitable organization. Your policy should indicate what person or department is responsible for acknowledging gifts and provide a timeline within which donors can expect to receive such acknowledgement.

Cash is the easiest form of gift to accept and can immediately be put towards furthering your mission. Typically, gifts of cash are not subject to extensive review unless there are conditions that come with the gift that are inconsistent with your mission.

Most gift acceptance policies state that gifts of stock, bonds, mutual funds, or other highly liquid, marketable securities, will be liquidated upon receipt unless otherwise instructed by the appropriate committee.

Real Estate
Gifts of real estate can be liquidated to generate cash or can be held. With real estate, your organization will be tasked with further considerations such as property upkeep and filing requirements. Your Gift Acceptance Policy should clarify which expenses your organization is willing to cover and which are the responsibility of the donor

Art and Other Tangibles
Art and other tangible items such as vehicles or coin collections can be retained or liquidated. Consider whether you have the capacity to oversee these types of gifts, which must be appraised, stored, and maintained, in some cases.

Cryptocurrency (crypto) is becoming an increasingly common form of donation. To accept this form of gift, you can either establish the infrastructure to receive, hold, and sell the assets, use a third-party payment processor, or use a Donor Advised Fund. Just as with gifts of securities, many organizations choose to liquidate the crypto upon receipt.

Planned Giving
Planned Giving can include bequests, trusts, and beneficiary designations. If your organization offers Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs), consider including the requirements and details in the Gift Acceptance Policy.

Other gifts such as Life Insurance Policies can cause your organization to incur future expense. The Gift Acceptance Policy may note stipulations such as requiring that the organization must be named irrevocable owner as well as beneficiary, and that the designation/gift will not be accepted unless future premiums owed are paid by the donor.

Gift Restrictions

Regardless of the type of gift, there may be strings attached. Ultimately, your organization must be willing to accept the steps, conditions, and purposes that come attached to any gift, for any amount of time. Creating limitations as to what level of restrictions on gifts will be considered helps to provide a framework supporting both the current and future operations of your organization.

Nonprofits risk reputational damage if they accept gifts from individuals, organizations, or foundations with objectionable history or practices. Consider how your organization will conduct such background checks, and whether the process should become more expansive as the size of gift increases.

For acceptance of gifts that come with restrictions or specific uses, or are above a pre-determined amount, your organization may choose to use a Gift Agreement, which provides a further layer of protection by documenting the terms, donor intent, and related expenses of a gift.

It is important to make sure gifts are evaluated in a timely manner with decisions quickly communicated to donors to maintain relationships. Every gift, regardless if it’s accepted, should be a catalyst for a thank you. By demonstrating your good stewardship, well-developed policy, and responsiveness, you may turn an initial donation into a fruitful, long-term relationship with appreciative supporters.

About the Author

David Benson

David is a business development officer with PNC Institutional Asset Management. In this role, he consults with clients to identify solutions and provide actionable insight regarding their investment and ancillary needs for retirement, charitable and corporate assets.

Prior to his current role David was a Private Wealth Analyst at Goldman Sachs. David graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance and data analytics from Drexel University's Lebow College of Business. David is on the PNC Analyst Advisory Board.

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Increased Standard Deduction May Save Taxes

Reprinted from: Carthagegiftplanning.org

America has experienced high inflation during 2022. Due to the growing inflation this year, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that there will be a 7% increase in the standard deduction for 2023.

Congress has indexed for inflation approximately 60 different tax provisions. With the high level of inflation this year, the standard deduction, the tax bracket thresholds and many other tax items will be substantially larger in 2023.

The standard deduction for individuals this year is $12,950. In 2023, that amount will increase by $900 to $13,850. For married couples, the increase is $1,800 from $25,900 this year to $27,700 next year.

With these increased standard deductions, many individuals will benefit from lower tax payments next year.

While federal tax rates range from 10% to a top level of 37%, all of the brackets used to calculate tax payment will also increase by approximately 7%. If taxpayers do not have a substantial increase in income in 2023, the larger standard deductions and increased bracket thresholds could produce tax savings.

Howard Gleckman, a Senior Fellow with the Tax Policy Center noted, "The idea here is not that people will pay less tax. The idea is to keep your tax liability relatively stable."

The increased exemptions and bracket amounts are significantly larger because the IRS uses a "Chained Consumer Price Index" to determine the new rates. The annual rate of inflation registered 8.2% in September, which was slightly lower than the 8.3% annual rate in August.

As a result of the high inflation rate, the Social Security Administration (SSA) also is increasing payments starting in January. There will be an 8.7% cost-of-living adjustment for retirement and other payments from SSA.

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