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eRate Newsletter | September 15, 2023


Are You “Wasting” Your Time?
Focus on Fundraising

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Does this sound familiar? “I have to write the lead article for our newsletter by Friday. Where are those photos I want to use for the testimonial? What format should we use for our legacy society lunch? Should we hold the event at all? I need to get approval to the edits to our gift acceptance policies. Are we getting everything we are entitled to from that bequest?”

Read your job description. What is your primary responsibility? Does your title include Planned Giving Officer, Development Officer, Advancement Officer, Major Gift Officer, or similar terms? The principal concern and obligation of such a position is to attract voluntary support to advance the mission of a non-profit organization. But often, support functions prevent fundraisers from focusing on the most important part of their job: fundraising.



Free WEBINAR September 28

Fundraising for Endowment – Q&A (FREE)

What should I be doing to make sure I have best practices in place for raising money from endowments? Which kind of accounting and reporting should I be doing for my endowment donors? How can I partner with my business office to build stronger relationships with my donors? What are some common mistakes I should avoid when administering or stewarding endowment gifts?

Get all your endowment gift questions answered for free by PG Calc President Gary Pforzheimer during this hour-long webinar. Gary will start with a ten-minute discussion of endowment fundraising and sub-accounting, then open it up for questions for the rest of the hour.

Presented by
Gary Pforzheimer

September 28, 2023
1:00 - 2:00 pm ET



GiftWrap Fundamentals

September 26-27, Online (6 hours over 2 days)

PGM to PGM Anywhere – FREE!

October 5, Online (90 Minutes)

GiftWrap Advanced Reporting

October 18-19, Online (4 hours over 2 days)

Gift Planning with PGM Anywhere

October 31, Introductory, In-person (Chicago)
November 1, Advanced, In-person (Chicago)


Quick Tip: Only the Good Die Young – CGAs and the Undistributed Investment in Contract

Most charitable gift annuities include some amount of tax-free income as part of the annuity payments. The tax-free portion is spread out over the life expectancy of the annuitant, as calculated when the annuity is written. When an annuitant passes away prior to their life expectancy, there is still some tax-free income that hasn’t been paid out. This amount is called the Undistributed Investment in Contract (UIC). The executor of the annuitant’s estate may be able to claim a miscellaneous deduction for the UIC on the annuitant’s final income tax return.

PG Calc’s GiftWrap includes the ability to process the deaths of annuitants and update gift records accordingly. In cases of an annuitant dying prior to life expectancy, GiftWrap produces a message that includes the amount of UIC. It also stores this information in a dedicated field for future reference. It is important that the charity provide this number to the annuitant’s executor.

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One last important note: the UIC should not be confused with the residuum (charitable remainder) of the gift annuity. In GiftWrap, the principal remaining when the gift annuity terminates is the amount of the most recent market value for that gift annuity. This value is completely unrelated to the UIC and can be kept current using GiftWrap’s CashTrac feature.

Please contact Client Services at or 888-474-2252 if you have any questions.

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PG Calc's BDQ blog series: the big dumb questions of planned giving

From the Blog: BDQ #6 - Why Would Someone Make a Planned Gift?

Isn’t it obvious? There are as many reasons why someone would make a planned gift as there are donors. What is more – spoiler alert – if you want to know why someone makes a planned gift, just ask them!

The myriad reasons a donor might make a planned gift can be arranged into categories. 

Read the blog post . . .


Things We Are Following: Above-the-Line Charitable Deduction

We observed in last month’s installment of “Things We Are Following” that the state of politics and legislation in Washington at the end of 2023 cloud the legislative crystal ball for the foreseeable future. Nonetheless, there are a number of things we are keeping an eye on. This is part two of an occasional series on “Things We Are Following.”

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Above-the-Line Charitable Deduction: An above-the-line charitable deduction is a more powerful tool than an itemized charitable deduction for reducing a donor’s taxes because the donor’s tax benefits don’t depend on whether they itemize deductions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law on December 22, 2017, substantially increased the standard deduction. Taxpayers whose itemized deductions, including charitable deductions, are less than the much higher standard deduction established under the TCJA are better off taking the standard deduction. The net effect has been to reduce by two-thirds the number of itemizers, from 30% of taxpayers to about 10% of taxpayers.

What is an above-the-line charitable deduction? To understand an above-the-line deduction and its importance, let’s start with some background. Deductions "above-the-line" are subtracted from a taxpayer's total income to arrive at their adjusted gross income. Itemized deductions are then subtracted from adjusted gross income to determine taxable income. Less taxable income means less income tax. How much less depends on the taxpayer’s tax bracket. A high-income taxpayer in the 37% bracket will save $0.37 for each $1 of above-the-line deduction. A taxpayer in the 22% bracket will save $0.22 for each $1 of above-the-line deduction.

Itemized charitable deductions have the same effect on a donor’s taxable income as above-the-line deductions, but only if the donor itemizes. As noted earlier, only about 10% of taxpayers itemize their deductions. The rest take the standard deduction, which in 2023 is $27,700 for a married couple, $30,700 if both are 65 or older. The standard deduction is indexed for inflation, so it increases a little each year.

Why are above-the-line charitable deductions important now? In response to the pandemic, the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and later extended through the end of 2021. It allowed an above-the-line charitable deduction of $300 for single filers and $600 for joint filers. In 2020, the first year this popular provision was in effect, over 25% of non-itemizers took advantage of the above-the-line charitable deduction.

We are watching to see if now is the time for Congress to consider resurrecting an above-the-line deduction. One reason could be the 10.5% drop in charitable giving reported in the 2022 Giving USA Annual Report on Philanthropy. The reasons for the pull back in donations are complex. Nonetheless, Congress may be receptive to increasing incentives for charitable giving.

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Who’s Afraid of Big Dumb Questions?
Certainly Not PGGNE!

At the Planned Giving Group of New England’s first monthly meeting of 2023-24 yesterday, PG Calc President Gary Pforzheimer was the keynote speaker and presented "Who’s Afraid of Big Dumb Questions?" Adapted from our BDQ blog series, he addressed some of the fundamental questions about planned giving that we may be too embarrassed to ask.

We enjoyed seeing so many colleague in person at PGGNE’s new venue at Bentley University!

SOCcess: PG Calc 2022-23 SOC 2, Type II Audit Report Is Clean

PG Calc is pleased to announce our 2022-2023 Service Organization Control (SOC) report has been released.

What is a SOC and why is it important? A SOC 2 report provides assurances that an organization has implemented various controls that govern day to day operations and the security of the data under their care. This is achieved through carefully crafted “testing” conducted by an independent third-party auditor. The testing involves fieldwork consisting of questions and walkthroughs, review of documentation, and the inspection of evidence specific to various activities for the defined audit period. Auditors must be certified by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) for the certified organization to claim they are SOC certified, which means they work within a specific and rigid framework with respect to the testing and the acceptable evidence.

PG Calc’s annual SOC 2, Type II audit covers five of our coveted products in addition to an examination of our environments and procedures. We are very pleased to share that our auditors completed their review without noting any negative findings for a third year in a row!

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CGP 2023 Conference

Gift Planning Training with PGM Anywhere Ahead of the 2023 CGP Conference in Chicago

Join us on October 31 and November 1 for in-person gift planning training ahead of the 2023 CGP Conference in Chicago. Join your planned giving colleagues and PG Calc's experienced instructors and develop your planned giving knowledge as you use our PGM Anywhere software to gain hands-on experience that will help you close more gifts.

Introductory Session
Tuesday, October 31

Learn to use PGM Anywhere to create persuasive gift proposals as we use case studies to introduce planned giving concepts and cover immediate and deferred gift annuities, remainder trust basics, and more.

Register for  Introductory

Advanced Session
Wednesday, November 1

Discover advanced gift vehicles, including flip trusts, retained life estates, charitable lead trusts, and gifts of retirement plans using the flexible functionality of PGM Anywhere and Planned Giving Manager.

Register for  Advanced

Show Your Donors the Power of Their Philanthropy with BatchCalcs

Fall mailings likely are a key part of your end-of-year fundraising strategy. When it comes to gift annuities, however, many planned giving programs struggle to communicate the benefits to their prospects clearly.

BatchCalcs is a powerful tool to personalize your mailing campaign with gift information based on each donor’s specific age and target gift amount. Learn more about the power of BatchCalcs and how personalized gift annuity illustrations can enhance your mailings this fall. Seeing is believing!

Learn more about our BatchCalcs service.

Learn About BatchCalcs

Cooley Dickinson Hospital Is Thankful for Ongoing Partnership with PG Calc

“Cooley Dickinson Hospital is thankful for our ongoing partnership with Jeff Lydenberg, Ann McPherson, Lindsey Simrell, and the PG Calc team. As a community hospital within the Mass General Brigham system, our planned giving program is centered around celebrating the local philanthropic spirit with the strength of being part of our world-class system, showcasing the best of both worlds. From training to marketing consultations, legislative updates, and donor and advisor guidance, PG Calc helps us build our community’s philanthropic muscle. And for that, we’re grateful.”

-- Jenny Papageorge
Director of Planned Giving
Cooley Dickinson Hospital, Mass General Brigham

Learn more about Cooley Dickinson Hospital.

Learn more about PG Calc's Consulting and Marketing Services.