The New Golden Age of Planned Giving

The New Golden Age of Planned Giving

Article posted in Planning on 8 January 2018| comments
audience: National Publication, Two Hawks Consulting, LLC | last updated: 12 January 2018


There has been endless speculation about how the new tax law will impact charitable giving. Take heart, here's a first look about what it begins to mean for planned giving.

By: Randy Fox, Editor-in-Chief

We welcome 2018 with our typical resolutions: exercise more; take more time off; be a better parent; oh, and learn the new tax law. Even if I break three of them, I have no choice on the fourth. And, as I ponder what impact will this new, sweeping “reform” have on me, I also have to think about what it will mean for my profession, my clients and charities. My brain isn’t big enough to understand what it will do for the economy; the budget and all of the other macro thoughts that wiser and smarter people will continue to opine about.

Closer to home, though, many charities are in a panic. “Giving is dead”, they say. Many donors can no longer take a tax deduction for their gift and even though the Adjusted Gross Income limit (AGI)for  gifts of cash has been raised to 60%, the checks will have to be pretty big to be deductible. Congress, is laughing at this sleight of hand, I’m sure. Charities are certainly going to have to be creative in their messaging. Remember, most of the surveys indicate people don’t give to save taxes. They give because they want to make a difference and they believe in the mission.  Time to refocus on the mission and vision. Time to embrace the donor. Sure, you already do that but do it more.

You charity directors, time to go and give a big hug to everyone in the Planned Giving Department. Their time has come. This new law, I believe, begins a new golden age for planned giving. Yes, that’s right. The right planned gift for the right donor will still create a usable and useful income tax deduction. Tax planning for (potential) wealthy donors is more critical than ever. Charitable planning is one of the few areas where wealthy individuals can actually create additional deductions and save income taxes. Every conceivable planned gift should be learned, reviewed, considered and discussed in every charitable organization.

Do you know, or are you using Pooled Income Funds, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Lead Trusts, Donor Advised Funds, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Life Estates, IRA gifts, etc, etc? Even if your organization isn’t a large one, many of these ideas can be outsourced, turnkeyed and administered by others and used by any charity. Accept gifts of real estate? Maybe it’s time to change your thinking.

All changes in the tax law take time to absorb and adapt to. If there is a giving “hiccup” it should only be temporary. It’s important to remember we still live in the most giving nation in the world and Americans, by nature, want to improve the world around them. The pace of change in our country is increasing constantly. The new law is one more thing we have to absorb, interpret and react to. Those who don’t adapt risk extinction. Those who interpret the best actions for their organization to take and move in that direction, should survive and prosper. 896-7970

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