Recent postings highlighting educational opportunities, state regulation and rate changes, and relevant information for planned giving professionals and donors. If you would like to view our archived articles, click here.
ACGA - Getting Better with Age
In celebration of 90 years of promoting responsible philanthropy, the ACGA has a refreshed and improved look. Our logo is updated; our colors brightened; the website streamlined; and member benefits enhanced. While the look has changed, our focus continues to be on supporting strong and flourishing nonprofit organizations, and nurturing generosity. Our focus for the future remains on you – our members.
A Word from the Chair - May 2017
At the close of the April 24, 2017 ACGA board meeting I stepped into some big shoes as I took off my Supporting Co-Chair hat and put on the Lead Co-Chair hat following Lindsay Lapole’s nine years of outstanding service as Chairman/Lead Co-Chair of the ACGA board. And while he has rotated off the leadership team, I am thankful Lindsay is continuing on as a member of the ACGA board.
The Members Have Spoken: Why ACGA Membership is Important
ACGA’s 2017 membership survey confirmed why planned giving professionals continue to support the ACGA through membership:
- Access to information on state gift annuity regulations compiled in a single location;
- Detailed report on gift annuity rates including rationale for rate changes;
- White papers on legal and current developments in planned giving;
- Newsletters with pertinent content including case studies; and
- Discounted rates to our industry-leading conferences covering all aspects of planned giving
In Memoriam - Terry Simmons
On April 3, 2017 Terry succumbed to long term after-effects of an accident that took place in 2005 and had robbed him of much of his mobility, vitality and presence with us. No single person is more significant to the life and viability of Charitable Gift Annuities and the American Council on Gift Annuities than Terry L. Simmons.
Charitable Gift Annuity Rates: What Has and Has Not Changed
At its semi-annual meeting in late April, the Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) unanimously reaffirmed its current schedule of suggested maximum charitable gift annuity (CGA) rates. From time to time, we receive questions from members and the general public about how the rate schedule is determined and monitored. We thought it would be helpful to address the nature of the important work of our Rates Committee in this FAQ piece. For more detailed information, please see our 2017 Rates Paper, which is available to members for free on our website.
State Agents Needed
The ACGA State Regulations Committee benefits the charitable gift planning community in two important ways. First, we keep the charitable community informed on state regulatory and legislative developments affecting charitable gift annuities. Second, we provide input to regulators and legislative bodies on proposed changes in regulations or statutes, often at the request of the regulatory agency or legislative staff.
The State Regulations Committee gets its information on important developments from several sources, but our most important source is you. There is simply no better source for developments concerning state regulation of gift annuities than someone who is working in a gift annuity program in that state. You can also help us improve things in your state that could work better than they currently do. ACGA has developed its credibility and good will with state regulators and legislative staffs by advocating responsible philanthropy and consumer protection for donors and annuitants. You can be an important part of the process by becoming an ACGA state agent.
By signing up here, you will become our “go-to” person in your state. If you have already signed up in the past as a state agent, please do so again to insure we have current contact information. All we ask from you are two things. First, when you become aware of pending legislative or regulatory changes affecting charitable gift annuities, let us know so that we can have the opportunity to provide our input. Second, if you are aware of some statutory requirement or regulatory process affecting gift annuities in your state which could work better than it currently does, we’d like to know about that, too. As a state agent, you will periodically receive updates on the activities of the ACGA State Regulations Committee in other states!
ACGA Welcomes New Board Member - Michael Welling
Michael S. Welling was elected for service with term commencing April of 2017. Michael will serve in the Class of 2020.
Michael comes to the ACGA Board with a history of extensive planned giving experience having spent 24 years with the Arthritis Foundation, including National Director of Planned Giving, for eleven of those years. His experience is inclusive of most all aspects of a Planned Giving program, from the field, to marketing, to management and working with investment advisors in the supervision of gift annuity assets.
Celebrating 90 Years
In celebration of our 90 years, we've developed a whole new look. We've refreshed our brand, updated our logo, website and member benefit offerings.
Our members are vital to our organization. The inspiring work of our members motivates us to evolve and innovate new ways to help keep their charitable missions thriving. Our members' support of ACGA helps preserve a long-time pillar of the philanthropic community and its meaningful work. Check out our exclusive members-only benefits:
- Online Directory Listing with website link
- Electronic Rates Report
- Electronic Rates Brochures
- Discounted purchase price on Printed Rates Brochures (25)
- Electronic ACGA Survey Reports
- Discounted purchase price on Printed ACGA Survey Reports
- State Regulations Information
- Online Resources (PowerPoints, Videos, White Papers, Case studies)
- Discounted Conference and Webinar pricing for all employees of member organization
- Early Access to electronic conference proceedings and videos (post conference)
Visitors to our website who are not members will be able to continue their access to the rates tables, basic state regulations information and ACGA newsletters and announcements. Those who are not members may purchase electronic copies of rates reports, surveys, and register for events, but without the discounts offered to ACGA members. For more information on membership in ACGA and how to join, click here.
ACGA 2016 Charitable Gift Annuity Survey
There is still time for you to take part in the most significant multi-year study on charitable gift annuities. We have extended the deadline to March 31st.
The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) is conducting its nationwide survey of charitable gift annuity programs. The results of this series of surveys, conducted in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2013 have helped thousands of charities build, evaluate, and/or strengthen their gift annuity programs. The new survey report will be published on the ACGA website and sent to all ACGA Sponsors in April 2018.
We need your help in reporting data on your current gift annuity activity. Your responses are extremely valuable to the ACGA in providing suggested annuity rates, and to charitable organizations in refining gift annuity policies and practices. We count on your participation to make this unique survey report comprehensive and useful.
ACGA is administering this survey online from September 15, 2016 to March 31, 2017. You can access the survey here.
Your participation is invaluable. While it will take time for you to complete the survey, we think you will find that the results will be worth the effort. It will be useful to have information about annuity activity from your most recent fiscal year handy as you begin the survey. You can access a PDF copy of the survey to prepare your answers prior to your online survey submission here: http://www.acga-web.org/2016CGASurvey.pdf. You will also be able to exit and re-enter the survey if needed until you click "Done."
A special thank you to BNY Mellon Wealth Management for serving as the sponsor of this survey.
Kristen Schultz Jaarda, Chair, Research Committee
American Council on Gift Annuities
A Word from the Chair - February 2017
Since April 2008 it has been my honor and privilege to serve the ACGA as the Board Chair. To say it has been an exciting and challenging ride would be a serious understatement. First came the awareness that the Board chair was also the President and CEO of the Corporation. The fall of 2008 brought a major economic restructuring involving the real estate, banking and insurance industries around the world.
Many organizations went through the process of reevaluating their desire to have a charitable gift annuity program and the ACGA found itself in the midst of communicating risk/reward and giving interpretation to the real liability of operating and shutting down and existing gift annuity program.
During 2009 and 2010 we went through the transition of our administrative management to The Association Group in Smyrna, GA. Like any transition, the practical implementation took a little longer than anticipated and also told us things about ourselves that we never knew before. This transition gave us the basis for greater interactions with our sponsors and a recommitment to our core mission. Our interactions with state regulators increased as consumer protection became a major concern in a volatile business environment.
Our rates work was also been somewhat of a roller coaster between 2008 and 2012 only to settle in to a flat economy for the last four years. For the first time in five years the economy is showing enough movement to generate serious rates consideration by the committee. The factors that go into the rates consideration are reviewed on a weekly basis and this is the first time in five years that any significant movement has taken place.
Meaningful ACGA Conferences in New, Orleans, San Francisco, Baltimore and St. Louis pushed the creative edge of planned giving forward and endeavored to provide charities with the new ideas and concepts to expand their giving programs and individual missions.
Just one more thing to do. Allow me introduce Laurie Valentine to those of you who may not have met her yet. Serving on the ACGA Board since 2001, Laurie quickly became a trusted voice of reason and professional expertise. In April 2015 Laurie was elected as the Supporting Co-Chair of the Board and in April 2017 she will assume the primary leadership role of the ACGA as the Lead Co-Chair. We, on the ACGA Board, are thrilled by her acceptance of this leadership role and look forward to great things ahead for the ACGA and the charitable community.
Thank you and let’s continue promoting Responsible Philanthropy!
Lindsay L. Lapole
ACGA Lead Co-Chair
Support ACGA Through a Membership
As a trusted source for responsible philanthropy, the American Council on Gift Annuities delivers information that matters to you, your donors, and the organizations you represent. Today more than ever the charitable community relies on resources that are consistent, educational, timely and relevant.
ACGA Welcomes New Board Members - Class of 2019
With the expansion of the ACGA Board, two new board members were elected for service with their terms commencing November of 2016. Both Pamela Bennett and Kevin McGowan will serve in the Class of 2019.
Pamela Bennett comes to the ACGA Board with a history of extensive planned giving experience having spent eighteen years at Memorial Sloan-Ketterling Cancer Center in New York with fourteen years as director of planned giving. In 2011 she took her skills to the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee dramatically increasing their planned giving activity seven fold in a few short years. Having spent a couple of years in the practice law in New York after graduating from Vanderbilt law school, Pamela has spent most of her career using her professional skills raising funds to advance the causes of abused and neglected children, AIDs, cancer research and treatment, and other humanitarian assistance programs on a local and international level.
Kevin McGowan brings his MBA (University of Chicago) training combined with over twenty-five years of experience in the private sector to the ACGA Board. No stranger to the non-profit world, Kevin has spent the last nine years as Chief Financial Officer for the Catholic Church Extension society where, among other duties, he coordinates the board, committees, and the senior management team in the implementation of strategic initiatives in fundraising and administration. Thoroughly familiar with charitable gift annuities and other planned giving tools, Kevin oversees the marketing, donor outreach and follow-up, and the investing and administration of the Extensions 3,500 plus outstanding CGA contracts.
Frank Minton Leadership Academy Update
At the April 2016 Conference in St. Louis, the ACGA announced the launch of a new virtual academy with a goal of providing content specifically for business officers about important topics in gift planning that intersect with their areas of responsibility. In honor of Frank Minton’s decades of thought leadership in the gift planning industry, ACGA has named this new effort the Frank D. Minton Leadership Academy.
Since its early years, the ACGA has offered a curriculum at its conferences dedicated to information that will improve partnerships between gift planners and business officers, providing practical knowledge on how organizations can maximize their gift planning efforts while managing the risks associated with these programs. From topics such as “Managing the Risk of a Gift Annuity Program” to “Investing CRTs for Remainder Value,” the ACGA is a proven source for solid information to help charities run healthy gift planning programs.
As the ACGA builds out and communicates its planned offerings from the Minton Leadership Academy, we hope that you will avail yourself of the information, share it with your business office, and share your feedback and questions with us. We look forward to hearing from you, and to presenting sessions from the Minton Leadership Academy at our April 2018 conference in Seattle.
ACGA Frank Minton Leadership Academy Chair
Securing the Future Endowment Campaign Update
It was announced at the ACGA Conference in St. Louis that as a part of the $500,000 “Securing the Future” endowment campaign, $150,000 would be dedicated to endowing the “Frank D. Minton Executive Leadership Academy.” When the Academy is fully endowed it will allow the Council to enhance research to better serve the charitable community through the presentation and sponsoring of white papers, webinars and a valuable and unique education track designed specifically for the CFO’s at the biennial conference.
A Member Connect
As the nation’s only nonprofit dedicated to suggesting charitable gift annuity rates, ACGA advances and promotes philanthropy, which benefits donors as well as the charities they support.
Why become a member of ACGA?
What matters most to you?
In order to learn what does matter to our membership, I had a recent conversation with ACGA Member and Director of Planned Giving, Carol Kersten, for Stanford Medicine at Stanford University. Stanford has been one of the longtime members of ACGA in the west. Carol, a professional in planned giving for 33 years and former board member of ACGA, is committed to ACGA and shares her reasons why membership is so vital to her role and to our charitable community.
“Whether a charity is large or small, ACGA looks out for those organizations which offer charitable gift annuities to their constituencies by providing a firm financial basis for approved rates to offer donors. Charities need sound information to provide legitimacy to programs benefitting the entire charitable community. ACGA delivers resources and shared learning opportunities which strengthens each organization, and provides confidence by its professionals to deliver good information to its donors. Because we as professionals get so much from ACGA that we cannot get anywhere else related to individual state-specific guidelines, regulations and much more, I feel an obligation to support ACGA as a Member!”
ACGA members enjoy several benefits including discounts on ACGA’s biennial conference—the longest running conference in the planned giving profession—as well as access to ACGA webinars and white papers for valuable education, training and insight on current trends in gift planning.
By joining ACGA today, or renewing your membership, together we ensure that ACGA is here for us today and in the future.
Donna M. Bandelloni
ACGA, Membership Committee Chair
Short Survey on “Dry” Gift Annuities the First of its Kind
In January 2016, ACGA will invite charitable organizations issuing gift annuities to participate in a short survey on annuities that have exhausted the original principal (annuities that have “run dry”). The survey will collect national data on the number, value, and percentage of “dry” annuity accounts, and will gather best practices for managing these accounts. It is the first national survey on this important topic.
A Word From the “Lead Co-Chair”!
Throughout this newsletter you will read of the new and exciting things taking place through ACGA.
The 32nd Conference, held in St. Louis in April, reached new heights in quality and professionalism. From a fabulous keynote by Eddie Thompson, to our closing luncheon with Dr. Russell James, the attendees were treated to the highest in quality presentations and positive inspirational motivation. Look for Conference Chair, Cam Kelly’s comprehensive report on the conference elsewhere in this newsletter.
ACGA 32nd Conference
Early in April more than 550 gift planning professionals from the nonprofit and for profit sectors gathered in St. Louis for the 32nd Conference on Planned Giving: Changing Lives, Transforming Communities. Our speaker lineup was impressive and conference attendees gave kudos for specific sessions and presenters as well as the conference overall for the depth and breadth of knowledge and best practices that were shared.
ACGA Welcomes New Board Member – Crystal Thompkins
The American Council on Gift Annuities is very pleased to announce the election of Crystal Thompkins to the ACGA Board.
ACGA Endowment Campaign - Securing the Future
The ACGA Board of directors is actively involved in a $500,000 campaign to create a general endowment fund to ensure its future ability to provide sound suggested gift annuity rates, quality training, and advocacy for appropriate consumer protections. In order to seed this endowment, the Board has set a goal of 100% participation by its volunteer members and initial gifts totaling $50,000. Significant progress has been made and the Board is close to 100% participation and over 65% of the way towards achieving the $50,000 milestone.