Jun 2016 AFR: 1.8%
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The Planned Giving Blog

Authored by Kristen Schultz Jaarda, Executive Vice President of Crescendo Interactive, our blog discusses a wide variety of planned giving topics including marketing strategies, tax and legal developments, gift planning success stories, best practices and more.

Kristen specializes in charitable tax planning and online marketing for planned gifts. She is responsible for client education and consultation for Crescendo's web, email and software services. She is a member of the ACGA board of directors, the Planned Giving Today editorial advisory board and serves with a number of other charitable organizations.

Important Issues to Consider Before Offering Donor Advised Funds

Important Issues to Consider Before Offering Donor Advised Funds

1. Your charity will be obligated to administer your donors’ requests for distributions to other public charities.  Are you comfortable taking on this duty?2. Your organization will need to have the administrative expertise to be able to process donations, maintain separate...

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Should Your Charity Offer Donor Advised Funds?

Should Your Charity Offer Donor Advised Funds?

While DAFs are readily available through community foundations and financial service companies (Fidelity, Vanguard, etc.) more public charities are seeing the benefits of offering DAFs.   If your organization is thinking about getting into the DAF business, there are some things to...

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Life Income IRA Charitable Rollover Bill Introduced!

Life Income IRA Charitable Rollover Bill Introduced!

There is a strong likelihood that a new bill permitting IRA rollovers to life income gifts will be passed this time by Congress -- If not this year, there is good hope for passage in 2017.  Unlike prior versions of this bill that were unsuccessful, HR 5171, the Legacy IRA Act, has...

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ACGA Rate Schedule Remains Unchanged

ACGA Rate Schedule Remains Unchanged

On April 7, 2016, at its biannual conference in St. Louis, Missouri, the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) announced that it would make no changes to the suggested maximum gift annuity rates currently in effect.  The current rate schedule, which has been in effect since January of 2012,...

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How Are Charities Promoting IRA Rollover Gifts in 2016?

How Are Charities Promoting IRA Rollover Gifts in 2016?

Crescendo’s charitable clients have asked for examples of how organizations are promoting the IRA charitable rollover now that it is permanent.  Starting this year, donors can make a cash gift each year of up to $100,000 from an IRA to a qualified public charity.  The gift counts...

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Creative Ways to Market IRA Rollover Gifts from 2015

Creative Ways to Market IRA Rollover Gifts from 2015

In the past few weeks I have shared results from 2015 IRA charitable rollover marketing and focused specifically on examples of good subject lines, branding and messaging. Our marketing team at Crescendo saw several other creative ideas in IRA rollover emails worth sharing: A college sent an email...

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Messaging and More 2015 IRA Rollover Marketing Results

Messaging and More 2015 IRA Rollover Marketing Results

What you say in your emails makes a difference. The research from our 2015 email study showed that messages that focus on the donor, as opposed to the organization, achieve an overall higher response. Many charities used donor-centered messages in their IRA rollover marketing emails in 2015.The...

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2015 IRA Rollover Marketing Results:  Branding Made a Difference!

2015 IRA Rollover Marketing Results: Branding Made a Difference!

Crescendo saw excellent examples of branding from the IRA rollover marketing emails sent in 2015. One of the best examples came from Michigan Technological University (MTU). MTU used a giant snowball made by students with the letters IRA branded in three places on the snowball. One student was...

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The Results are In! What Can Be Learned from 2015 IRA Charitable Rollover Marketing Emails

The Results are In! What Can Be Learned from 2015 IRA Charitable Rollover Marketing Emails

As you may recall, the law that made the IRA charitable rollover permanent, passed very late in December of 2015. Charities were left with a short window to market and receive IRA rollover gifts by the December 31 deadline. Crescendo recommended email as the most effective and timely way to notify...

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Save the Date! Seminar and Webinar Announcements that Get the Best Results for Planned Gifts

Save the Date! Seminar and Webinar Announcements that Get the Best Results for Planned Gifts

What types of planned giving seminar and webinar announcements by email get the best results?  Crescendo looked at this question and shared examples of email announcement best practices as part of its 2015 Planned Gifts Email Marketing Study.Certain themes are used over and over again to...

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Join Our Legacy Society:  How to Engage Your Donors to Join with Email

Join Our Legacy Society: How to Engage Your Donors to Join with Email

This is another post featuring ways to engage your donors through email based on Crescendo's 2015 Planned Gifts Email Marketing Study.  The email above focused on joining the legacy society at Seattle University.  This email, which had an 18.37% open rate, was effective at achieving...

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What 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Mean for Planned Gifts

What 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Mean for Planned Gifts

Kivi Leroux Miller released the 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report last week.  The report sheds light on several topics of interest for marketing planned gifts.  Here are the six most important communications channels (based on a ranking of nonprofits) for 2016:80%...

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Engagement:  How to Make Your Donors Respond

Engagement: How to Make Your Donors Respond

Your donors want to be invited and encouraged to participate in your cause! Does your marketing inspire your supporters to respond? How can you use email to engage your supporters and encourage them to make planned gifts to your organization?There are many effective ways to engage your supporters...

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Tips for the New Year:  How to Market Planned Gifts in 2016

Tips for the New Year: How to Market Planned Gifts in 2016

Are you thinking about how to communicate with your supporters about planned gifts in 2016?  In Crescendo’s 2015 Planned Gifts Email Marketing Study, we reviewed over 46.2 million emails sent from Crescendo’s servers to discover the types of messages that resonate most with...

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Empower your donors: Tell them they can make IRA rollover gifts

Empower your donors: Tell them they can make IRA rollover gifts

Donors age 70½ or older can once again make a rollover gift of up to $100,000 from their IRA!GREAT NEWS... The President has signed the tax bill and the IRA charitable rollover is now permanent!Your donors age 70½ or older can make a rollover gift of up to $100,000 from their IRA...

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Senate Passes Bill: Makes IRA rollover permanent

Senate Passes Bill: Makes IRA rollover permanent

GREAT NEWS... The Senate has passed a bill to make the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent!The bill will now be sent to President Obama.  He is expected to sign the bill into law. Once this legislation becomes law, your donors age 70½ or older can make a rollover gift of up to $100,000...

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House takes first step to make IRA rollover permanent

House takes first step to make IRA rollover permanent

GREAT NEWS... The House has passed a bill to make the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent!Senate passage is imminent. The President is expected to sign the bill. Once this legislation becomes law, your donors age 70½ or older can make a rollover gift of up to $100,000 from their IRA to your...

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Do Your Supporters Know You From Your Marketing?  More Ways to Get Attention for Planned Gifts

Do Your Supporters Know You From Your Marketing? More Ways to Get Attention for Planned Gifts

Known entities get more attention. Do your supporters know you from your marketing? Good branding makes a difference. This is another post on the topic of Branding as I continue to share results from Crescendo's 2015 Planned Gifts Email Marketing Study. The charitable gift annuity email above is...

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One of the Best Examples of Branding for Planned Gifts...

One of the Best Examples of Branding for Planned Gifts...

Critical to planned gifts marketing is the inclusion of an appropriate response mechanism to give recipients the chance to learn more, ask questions or take action. The use of three stepsin the message above does this well, making it clear how a recipient can make an IRA rollover gift. To learn...

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Branding - Why Known Entities Get More Attention

Branding - Why Known Entities Get More Attention

You are more likely to get attention (and gifts) from your donors if they know who you are. Branding is the way that they identify with you. Crescendo identified examples of good branding in planned giving emails as part of its 2015 Planned Gifts Online Marketing Study.Good branding includes use...

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