Save the Storks | New Client Welcome

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Giving Design is pleased to welcome Save the Storks to the Giving Design Family!

Storks HorizontalSave the Storks is committed to refreshing the strategy and optics of the pro-life movement. They have created the next generation of mobile ultrasound–housed in welcoming and stylish Mercedes coaches.

We are excited to come along side Save the Storks and help them serve their donors and clients with excellence. We are switching their database to Salesforce, implementing the same, recreating their online giving forms and integrating their data from both Classy and Paperless into Salesforce.




IRA Rollovers Could Be Back Any Minute | An Urgent Update

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That’s the GOOD NEWS, assuming President Obama signs the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 (H.R. 5771) which most talking heads think he will do as soon as today.

The TOUGHER NEWS? The bill only extends IRA Rollovers to charity through the end of this year. That’s right, December 31, 2014–about 14 days from right now if you count the holidays.

Again, most commentators I have been reading today think POTUS will sign the bill into law.

What should you do now? Just in case, here’s what I would do:

  1. Dust off your old IRA Rollover promotional materials.
  2. Write the copy for an email blast with three audiences in mind: a) previous IRA Rollover donors, b) donors who have recently turned 70 1/2 years old (this is why you collect birthdays), and c) financial advisors (especially those whose clients have given IRA assets before to your organization).
  3. Pull an email and call list of the folks matching the categories above.
  4. Prioritize your call list with previous IRA Rollover donors on top.

This is worth doing. Sophisticated, older donors follow these developments–especially if they are hoping to NOT trigger an annual minimum distribution and increase their taxable income.

Time is ticking–and this is the FUN STUFF! I’ll send out another post as soon as I hear of the bill being signed.

Email me if you have any questions.


It’s the Most Wonderful Time (And Timing is Everything)

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Roughly 25-30% of all household giving happens between Thanksgiving and New Years Eve according to recent studies by both Network for Good and the University of Indiana Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Further, Network for Good noted that in both 2012 and 2013, 10% of all donations were made on the last 3 days of the year.

With that amount of activity happening in such a short, time-sensitive and time-strained time frame, it’s important to make sure your donors understand certain gifts may require some lead time beyond three days.

In order to secure an allowable charitable income tax deduction for 2014 gifts, donors should be aware of these IRS requirements for year-end gifts:

  • Check—make sure their envelope is postmarked no later than December 31st.
  • Credit Card—make their online donation before midnight December 31st.
  • Stocks & Mutual Funds (in a brokerage account)—start by December 12th to allow enough time for the transfer of ownership to occur. They’ll need to provide their broker or investment professional with a Letter of Instruction authorizing the transfer of the securities from their name into the name of your charity.
  • Stock Certificates (yes, these do still exist!)—must deliver to your “hand” anytime before December 31st or be mailed—postmarked no later than December 31st.
  • Special Assets (privately held company stock, LLC interests and real estate)—start now!
  • Private Foundation—must be incorporated, must secure an EIN (the IRS typically stops issuing EIN numbers just after Christmas), and must open a bank or brokerage account and allow time for funding to be complete before the 31st—start now!

Don’t forget to offer your donors the opportunity for Memorials and Honorariums—it can be their gift for the person on their list who has everything. Also, remind your donors not to leave money on the table if their employer offers a relevant Matching Gift Program.

I’ve always enjoyed this time of year. I enjoy all the holidays, and I enjoy the bustle of helping donors complete their year-end gifts. If I can be of assistance to you or your donors, please reach out.


Appreciating Appreciated Stock | A 4th Quarter Reminder

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If the economy is still recovering, it’s not a good time to talk about gifts of stock or mutual fund shares, right? That may have been true in 2009, but it is definitely not true in 2014.

As the third quarter closed this week, the S&P 500 posted its seventh consecutive quarter of gains. In fact, the index is currently up over 5% for the year. Its 1 year annualized return is just under 15%, and its 3 year annualized return is just under 20%.

Donors with appreciated portfolios can take advantage of gifting stock to their favorite charity in lieu of writing a check. Whether their rationale is:

  • to save capital gains tax in addition to income tax,
  • to re-balance their portfolio’s asset allocation, or
  • simply to make a meaningful gift without impacting their cash flow, a gift of stock could be the perfect gift.

There is plenty of time left in the year to make a stock gift, but waiting until after Christmas is a bad idea. Talk with your donors now about their year-end gift, and ask them if it would be helpful to learn more about the benefits of gifting stock.

I’m happy to be a sounding board for you as you help your donors make smart decisions during this last quarter of the year.


The America Gives More Act of 2014

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The House has passed several provisions designed to encourage charitable giving and consolidated them into The America Gives More Act of 2014 (H.R.4719).

Though unlikely to pass the Senate in its current form, the Bill makes the IRA Charitable Rollover permanent. The best guesses have some of the provisions in some form making it through the Senate after the midterm elections this fall. (At least our hardworking, ever diligent Congress would never delay a bill for their own political purposes.) As Conrad Teitell points out, even if some form of IRA Charitable Rollover becomes available retroactively for 2014, many retirees will have already received some or all of their required distributions. You can see Conrad’s summary of the entire Bill here.

Regardless, professional advisors (financial, legal and accounting) as well as development professionals should be prepared to help their clients and donors take advantage of the opportunity should the Senate and the President make it available.


Don’t Try This at Home

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(or why you shouldn’t guess when making estate planning decisions)

A lady—let’s call her Debbie—recently shared with me an estate and charitable planning decision she had made. She had an IRA and a life insurance policy—both typically pass outside of probate according to beneficiary designations. In this instance, she had elected to give, upon her death, the IRA to her daughter and the life insurance benefit to her favorite charity. The insurance policy and IRA were nearly equal in value.

This is exactly what Debbie should NOT do. Here’s why.

First, when IRA assets are left to another person (instead of a tax exempt, public charity like the library foundation), that person will pay income tax on those assets at their own income tax rates. In our scenario, Debbie’s daughter would get the IRA assets, but would pay state and federal income taxes on all distributions from the IRA. The charity would have received the entire IRA—and paid no tax.

Second, in our scenario, the life insurance proceeds were left to charity. Now life insurance often makes a perfectly good gift, but not in this case when Debbie is trying to make a gift to her daughter as well. The better decision would have been to leave the life insurance proceeds to the daughter. She would have received the entire proceeds free of income tax.

So, our scenario is easily fixed. The better plan—if Debbie wants to maximize the gifts and minimize the taxes—she should leave the IRA to charity and the life insurance proceeds to her daughter.


Hyrum, UT Library & Local History Museum Photos!

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Hyrum, UT Library & Local History Museum Photos! (6 photos)

Very excited to receive these photos of a finished project! Special thanks to Ginny Tremayne, Librarian & Director for sending. The library’s new home looks great!!

Side main entrance w/ outdoor children’s story theater

Children’s area w/public phase original art element

Local history museum

Walkout lower level


“We would never have completed the project without you”

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As you can see, we were successful in getting the library built. It is wonderful. Absolutely wonderful!! I tear up sometimes coming through the doors, amazed at what we could accomplish.

Everyone agrees we would never have completed the project without your help. You were great to work with.

Keep in touch.
Ginny & Staff & City Employees
Hyrum City


Haiti Relief Contributions are Deductible Against 2009 Income!

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Haiti Relief Contributions are Deductible Against 2009 Income!

On January 22, 2010, President Obama signed HR 4462 allowing charitable contributions for Haiti earthquake victim relief to be deductible on 2009 federal income tax returns.

All contributions made for Haiti victim relief from January 12, 2010 through the end of February 2010 are treated as if made on December 31, 2009 for tax purposes.

The bill did not restrict the type of recipient organizations; however, if contributing via check a best practice would be to add “Haiti Victim Relief” in the memo field of the check and retain a copy for your records. For text / cellular donations, the bill specifically provides that a phone bill identifying the name of the recipient organization, the date of the contribution and the amount of the gift as satisfies the recordkeeping and deduction substantiation requirements of the Internal Revenue Code.

The full text of the bill which became Public Law 111-126 can be found HERE