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eRate Newsletter | December 18, 2017


Top Ten Most Frequently Asked Client Questions for 2017

PG Calc's Tina Yelle and her Client Services team have reviewed all of the product support calls received this year and have culled out the ten top calls for 2017. These calls cover a broad spectrum of topics and questions about our products and services, the answers to which will be of great interest to users of PG Calc's products. We will follow this article with a posting of the top 10 general planned giving questions for the year, so keep an eye out for that article in a future eRate.




Rules Rule: Best Practices in Gift Acceptance Policies

Presented by
Gary Pforzheimer

December 21
1:00 - 2.30 pm ET


Dear Donor, Please Forgive Me: Avoiding Gift Annuity Mistakes

Presented by
Mike Valoris

January 25
1:00 - 2.30 pm ET



Planned Giving Manager

February 8-9, New York, NY

March 14-15, Atlanta, GA


April 10-11, Cambridge, MA


Quick Tip: Prepare Now for 12/31 CGA State Reporting

As we roll into 2018, many charities will be filing gift annuity annual reports to states based on December 31 figures. If that’s true for your organization, here are some steps you can take now to make sure you’re in good shape at year end:

  • Run a reserve calculation, using December 31 as the report date, and check the required reserve against your current account balance to make sure you meet applicable state requirements. If not, you’ll have a chance to make adjustments as necessary prior to the end of the reporting period.
  • If Florida and California are among the states in which reporting will be done, this is also a good time to check that investments conform to their requirements, and again to make any necessary changes before year end.
  • Make sure data entry is up-to-date for both new gifts and annuitant deaths. There may well be activity that occurs just as the period is ending, but entering what you can in advance minimizes what has to be done in what will otherwise be a busy time period.
  • Review your tickle sheet/filing checklist to refresh your memory on deadlines and needed information; this can be particularly helpful if there have been staffing changes that will result in needing to check-in with different people than in prior years.

Marketing Corner: Gift Planning and Marketing Metrics

The National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) created a task force charged with defining metrics to evaluate the work of gift planning fundraisers and to develop guidelines for criteria to measure the performance of planned giving programs. The task force has not issued its final report, but we have some feedback on their likely recommendations. Best practice performance metrics will provide a basis for evaluating the success of a charity’s planned giving efforts.

The task force has identified planned gift marketing as one of the foundational pillars upon which a planned giving program is built. Evidence from the task force’s research supports the conclusion that consistent marketing of planned gifts (particularly bequests and bequest equivalents like beneficiary designations) motivates some donors to communicate their intentions. These donors and their inclusion in a legacy or recognition society represent a tangible measure of the success and impact of a planned giving program.


PG Calc Loses a Great Friend and Mentor

It is with great sadness that we share the news that Mike Boland died in late November. Mike was Director of Planned Giving for Harvard University from the late 1970s through mid-1980s before leaving to oversee fundraising at Harvard Business School.

Mike hired all four founders of PG Calc – Gary and Mary Pforzheimer, Bill Laskin, and Winston Jones - and introduced us to planned giving. It was his idea to hire Harvard undergraduates, including Gary and Winston, to write software to do planned giving calculations and gift administration. He then encouraged us to form a startup, PG Calc, to further develop that software for the benefit of gift planners everywhere. Mike was a generous mentor, and served on PG Calc’s board of directors during our early years.

Mike also was an early leader of the Planned Giving Group of New England, where he received the David M. Donaldson Distinguished Service Award, and was instrumental in the founding of the National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG), the precursor of today’s National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. NCPG also gave him a Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his many contributions to gift planning.

Mike was a truly great planned gift fundraiser, leader, and person. His infectious enthusiasm and unstinting generosity made every day working for him fun and rewarding. We will miss him deeply, but are grateful that we had a chance to learn from him and to hear his big-hearted laugh.

See Gary Pforzheimer's tribute to Mike on the CGP blog.

2017 CGA Manual Update Sent

Last month, we announced that we were about to update Charitable Gift Annuities: The Complete Resource Manual, your go-to resource for all things gift annuity. Now, we’ve done just that. The print version went into the mail Thanksgiving week and the email to electronic subscribers went out on November 27. On December 4, we followed up with an email to all of our print subscribers on how to download the handy prototype materials that come with the update.

To learn more about or purchase the CGA Manual, visit the CGA Manual page on the PG Calc website.

If you have any questions, please contact Client Services at or call 888-474-2252.  

It's the Most Wonderful Time of Year! Urgent Reminder to All GiftWrap Clients

Make sure that you have received our special Year-end Order of Operations guideline. This document was attached to an email message that was sent to all GiftWrap clients on November 30. The six-page guideline covers all of the critical steps necessary to close out the current year in GiftWrap, update your database to 2018, and prepare for the production of Forms 1099R. It also includes valuable information about the charity’s tax-reporting requirements to the IRS. In addition, the document includes instructions on using the information on the Forms 1099 that can be shared directly with your annuitants.

Please call us at 888-474-2252 or email us at if you did not receive the email notice, or if you have any questions.

PG Calc Will Remain Open for Business During the Holiday Season

We know that the last two weeks of December can be the busiest time of the year for many of our clients. PG Calc will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but otherwise, we will be open for business and maintaining regular hours during the holiday season.*

*Please note, we may close a little bit earlier on Friday, December 22 and on Friday, December 29.

PG Calc's BatchCalcs Helps Oblate Annuity Trust Meet Its Goals

The Oblate Annuity Trust supports the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, whose missionaries work with the poorest of the poor in over 60 countries. OAT has been issuing charitable gift annuities since the 1940’s and currently has over 1,900 active contracts. Like many religious groups, OAT is struggling with an aging donor population and a shrinking donor base. Because of this, they sought an alternative way to market gift annuities, especially because they had not been doing so at a national level.

Approximately 75% of the OAT’s gift annuitants will establish multiple gift annuities over the years. How best to reach them? The Trust worked with PG Calc to come up with a solution, one that uniquely helps celebrate the donor’s new actuarial age. Through BatchCalcs, PG Calc’s personalized communications service, OAT was able to achieve a number of goals. They let their donors know that they were thinking about them on their half birthday via a personalized letter. Included in that letter was a personalized gift annuity proposal based on what usually is a slightly higher rate. By being pro-active, OAT enabled their gift annuitants to see and assess whether this higher rate is attractive enough for them to take action.

In their initial three months’ worth of mailings, OAT helped their donors establish three new contracts totaling $20k. One of the donors said "I hadn’t done one of these in a really long time," and was happy she did. (Her last one was 14 years earlier!) The mailings have piqued the interest of others as well who have indicated they will take action, but are waiting for the right time (e.g. in the new year, after the sale of a house, or when a CD matures.)

Dennis Kempf, Director of Charitable and Planned Giving, had this to say about PG Calc and the BatchCalcs service:

“This is genius, and we’re grateful for PG Calc’s initiative to create this service. Thank you!”

Learn more about the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Learn more about the BatchCalcs service.