As the generation of people currently in their 20s (the millennials) has entered the work force, it became increasingly clear that their entire way of doing things is different. This is a generation that would not understand how exciting Pong was or how great it was when a Blockbuster actually still had a copy of the movie you wanted to watch. This isn’t a generation that ever upgraded from an 8-dot printer to a 16-dot printer. How the millennials get involved with causes in terms of support (both financial and service) is different from previous generations. Mailing unsolicited paper letters may no longer be the best approach when trying to reach these potential donors. The Chronicle of Philanthropy and the Case Foundation is hosting an online seminar dedicated to understanding the millennial donor called MDS11 millennialdonors.com on June 22 from 8am – 5pm EST. Registration is $75 for one person and provides access to live presentations, a virtual expo hall of vendors and live discussions.
The situation with author Greg Mortenson, his book Three Cups of Tea, and his charity the Central Asia Insitute (CAI) has been in the news a tremendous amount in the last month. Type “three” into Google and “cups of tea” is the fourth auto-complete suggestion. Last week a federal class-action lawsuit was filed in a U.S. District Court in Montana that alleges that the donations and proceeds from the book are based on fraudulent claims about his experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The lawsuit is requesting that millions in donations be returned plus additional damages which would all be put in a trust for building schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan as originally intended.
To (attempt to) summarize the issues at hand: Greg Mortenson wrote a book about his charity and its work establishing schools for children in impovrished areas of Afghanistan, Pakistan and remote areas of Kyrgystan and Mongolia. The problem is that some people believe these events in the book didn’t happen and that the donations are being misspent. Possibly the most vocal accuser is Jon Krakauer who published Three Cups of Deceitin April asserting that Mortenson fabricated substantial portions of the book and misused millions of dollars. “The tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong” is the official product description of the treatise. Humanosphereoffers a summary of the main points, noting that board members of CAI resigned over Mortenson’s lack of financial accountability, one member claiming “Greg regards CAI as his personal ATM.” Continue reading »
Guidestar has an interesting interview with Dr. Thomas Wolf about his recent book How to Connect with Donors and Double the Money You Raise. The interview tackles questions such as: how can introverts be successful fundraisers; is getting too close to donors counterproductive; and how to deal with jerks.
On Sunday, April 17, 2011, the Annapolis, MD, chapter of the Maryland Saltwater Sports Fishermen’s Association (MSSA) put on its annual Wounded Warriors Rock fishing tournament.
As the Rockfish season got underway, 50 Annapolis MSSA chapter members welcomed dozens of injured warriors from Walter Reed Army Hospital to the Annapolis City Dock for the inaugural Rock On Warriors event. The boats pulled alongside the Fleet Reserve Club as the warriors, their caregivers and accompanying family members came aboard for a great day of fishing. Upon their return, the veterans were the guests of honor at an awards ceremony at the Fleet Reserve Club where each received a plaque for their participation, a “Rock on Warriors” t-shirt, a boxed American flag and other mementos commemorating the day. Aronson LLC Partner, J. Michael Muscatello, and his father Larry Muscatello, were captains of one of the twelve participating boats.
Through the generous support of the Aronson Foundation and other sponsors, these warriors were able to have a day that they will remember for a long time. The Aronson Foundation grants charitable contributions to organizations who have dedicated themselves to providing services that enhance our world and help the people in it thrive and succeed. All of this is made possible through the generosity and enthusiasm of the officers and employees of Aronson LLC. Click here for more information about the Aronson Foundation and our grant review process.
Focus on Bequests – Topics covered:
■Who are your bequest donors and how do you cultivate them?
■What types of bequests do you get and are you promoting them effectively?
Focus on Charitable Gift Annuities
■What is a charitable gift annuity and what obligation is the recipient taking on?
■What legal issues and on-going administrative matters are associated with issuing CGAs?
■Who are your CGA donors and how do you cultivate them?
■How do you determine what rates to issue the CGAs for?
■What is your internal policy for handing these funds?
Focus on Charitable Remainder Trusts
■What are charitable remainder trusts and what is the benefit to the charity?
■Who are CRT donors and how do you cultivate them?
■Do you actively promote CRTs or do donors approach you with their advisors?
■What legal and administrative requirements apply to CRTs?
■What issues are involved in the decision to trustee the assets and trust agreement?
■Robert Brennan–Vice President for University Advancement at Mount St. Mary’s University
■Alex Fritz–Associate Director of Gift Planning for Virginia Tech
■Kathy Ward—Senior Vice President of the American Institute for Cancer Research
View webinar taped here.
Originally broadcast on Thursday, April 7, 2011 11:00 am New York Time
1 Hour 1 Minute
For all nonprofit organizations, the allure of immediate fundraising dollars is understandably strong, but planned giving should also be part of your long-term strategy for achieving your important mission. Savvy fundraisers know that bequests, gift annuities, and charitable remainder trusts can provide sustainability for the future.
Join Aronson LLC for a webinar on April 7th where we will give attendees an in-depth overview of these three major components of planned giving:
Focus on Bequests
- Who are your bequest donors and how do you cultivate them?
- What types of bequests do you get and are you promoting them effectively?
Focus on Charitable Gift Annuities
- What is a charitable gift annuity and what obligation is the recipient taking on?
- What legal issues and on-going administrative matters are associated with issuing CGAs?
- Who are your CGA donors and how do you cultivate them?
- How do you determine what rates to issue the CGAs for?
- What is your internal policy for handing these funds?
Focus on Charitable Remainder Trusts
- What are charitable remainder trusts and what is the benefit to the charity?
- Who are CRT donors and how do you cultivate them?
- Do you actively promote CRTs or do donors approach you with their advisors?
- What legal and administrative requirements apply to CRTs?
- What issues are involved in the decision to trustee the assets?
Register today for this free and convenient event that will help you develop a new planned giving strategy or fine tune the one you already have! Panelists will include:
- Robert Brennan–Vice President for University Advancement at Mount St. Mary’s University
- Alex Fritz–Associate Director of Gift Planning for Virginia Tech
- Kathy Ward—Senior Vice President of the American Institute for Cancer Research
|Date:||April 7, 2011|
|Time:||11:00 am – 12:00 pm|
We had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Gurwitch, Esq. who currently is a senior vice president of World Learning (a nonprofit devoted to international education, development and exchange programs). She previously was the Executive Director and Director of Gift Planning of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. In these positions she has worked with a multitude of donors in a gift planning context and also has been heavily involved in donor education about various gift types and income and estate planning strategies for planned gifts. She contributed to the growth in assets of almost $3 billion in her 18 years with the Jewish Community Endowment Fund. Our questions and responses were the following: Continue reading »
What are joint activities? If you have a mailer that is providing mission related material to your mailing list and on the back of the flyer is a request for donations (those little check-boxes that encourage $75, $100, $150 pledges), that mailer is possibly a joint activity (also referred to as joint cost). Other joint activities might include special fundraising events that also function as member drives or serve educational or awareness purposes. Joint activities can create some accounting confusion in terms of how to allocate the expenses between program and fundraising.
Organizations need to familiarize themselves with the three criteria that must be met in order to break out some of the costs as program related. If any of the criteria are missing then the cost should be considered 100% fundraising, even the costs that are otherwise identifiable as program. This could skew a number of organization’s expenses if they aren’t careful. Groups that must maintain certain ratios of fundraising to program costs may find themselves in trouble if their mailers get reviewed and are found to fail any of the three criteria which are as follows:
All 501(c)(3) charities are classified as either a public charity or a private foundation. Classification as a public charity is more beneficial from a tax perspective than classification as a private foundation. You can read the disadvantages of a private foundation as presented by the IRS on their website.
In general, supporting organizations fall into one of three categories – Types I, II, or III – depending on the nature of the relationship between the supporting organization and the charities being supported. Unfortunately, IRS determination letters do not indicate whether an organization qualifies as a Type I, II, or III supporting organization. Determining the type of supporting organization will require a review of governing documents and knowledge of the specific requirements for Types I, II or III supporting organizations.
So what type of supporting organization are you? Continue reading »
Private benefit is prohibited for any 501(c)(3) organization. It’s against the very purpose of a charity. Inappropriate private benefit is referred to as “inurement”. The IRS states, “Any amount of inurement, no matter how small, is grounds for revocation of exempt status.” Revocation means taxes and penalties as well as other nasty side effects.
The IRS has turned its scrutiny towards supporting organizations, and recently disclosed the revocations of 72 groups as a result of an ongoing investigation. The problems cited in the investigation were support organizations that had been established in ways that essentially served as tax dodges and other questionable financial relationships. The organizations that lost exemption are listed on the IRS website. Continue reading »
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