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.
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 Charitable Gift Annuities Survey - Help Us Reach our Goal
We are more than halfway to our goal of 500 responses to the 2018 American Council on Gift Annuity Survey on Charitable Gift Annuities. There is still time for you to take part in the most significant multi-year study on charitable gift annuities. Help us reach our goal!
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.
You should have received a copy of the survey by mail. We want to encourage you to complete the survey and mail it back to ACGA. The ACGA is also administering this survey online. You can access the survey here.
A special thank you to BNY Mellon Wealth Management for serving as the sponsor of this survey.
Kristen Schultz Jaarda
Chair, ACGA Research Committee
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.
Suggested CGA Rates Remain Unchanged as of April 2016
At its semiannual meeting on April 5, 2016, the Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) reaffirmed the existing schedule of suggested maximum rates for charitable gift annuities which was originally published on January 1, 2012. As part of its ongoing review process, the Rates Committee of the ACGA monitors particular interest rates that underlie the investment return assumptions used to create the rate schedules. Annuitant mortality and other investment and expense assumptions are evaluated and updated as necessary on an annual basis. For more detailed information about our suggested gift annuity rates, please visit the gift annuity rates section of our website to obtain a copy of our latest Rates Paper.
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.
Current IRS Discount Rates for February 2017
|Current Month||February 2017||2.6%|
|1st Prior Month||January 2017||2.4%|
|2nd Prior Month||December 2016||1.8%|
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.
ACGA Welcomes Pat Cox to the Board of Directors
St. Jude’s is no stranger to the Charitable Annuity world with over 2,000 annuitants in 46 states.
And Pat Cox is no stranger to the nonprofit world as he serves as Executive Director of Investments at St. Jude’s with investment responsibilities not only of St. Jude’s sixty million dollar annuity fund, but also of their three billion dollar endowment!
ACGA Terry Simmons Scholarship Applications
The American Council on Gift Annuities has established an endowment fund to assist promising gift planners with their professional development. The Terry L. Simmons Philanthropic Endowment Fund provides scholarships to worthy individuals who would otherwise be unable to attend the Conference on Gift Annuities.
Were it not for Terry, the ACGA might not exist today and planned giving programs throughout the United States might be greatly diminished. In 1995, a class action lawsuit was filed against the ACGA, its directors, and all charities that had followed the rates recommended by the ACGA or that had commingled funds in the investment of gift annuity reserves and charitable trust assets. Terry swung into action, creating Charitable Accord to rally support from charities, drafting legislation, and haunting the halls of Congress until it was enacted. The result of his efforts was three federal laws: The Charitable Antitrust Relief Act of 1995, the Charitable Donation Antitrust Immunity Act of 1997, and the Philanthropy Protection Act. The first two exempted gift annuities from antitrust law, enabling charities to follow common rates, and the third exempted the commingled funds from securities regulation. Since all of the laws were retroactive, the pending class action lawsuit was dismissed.
This special holiday time of year reminds us that many donors/clients are motivated to consider CGA's for the mission of the organizations they support. They also value the many income and tax benefits that gift annuities provide.
We also give thanks for the support of our sponsoring organizations. The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) assures the work of charitable organizations who issue gift annuities will continue as it has for the past 89 years.
ACGA 2015-16 Sponsorship Renewal
Your sponsorship of the American Council on Gift Annuities provides important resources to your organization and strengthens the important work our sponsors carry out on behalf of their constituents.
Being a sponsor of the ACGA makes your organization an integral part of this effort that:
- Works with state regulators to assure that appropriate consumer protection does not burden your organization unnecessarily.
- Promulgate actuarially sound suggested Charitable Gift Annuity rates including those reaffirmed by our Board of Directors in April, 2015.
- Provide quality training opportunities with top experts in the field.
- Host the 32nd biennial American Council on Gift Annuities Conference: Changing Lives, Transforming Communities to be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in 2016.
- Grants our sponsors special discounted conference registration fees in recognition of their ongoing sponsorship of the work of the Council.