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Issue 130/October 2013

“I’ll need to check with my financial advisor about that.”

Jeffrey D. Byrne

Jeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

Hasn’t every fundraiser or CEO heard this response when soliciting a prospective donor for a major gift?  “Let me check with my financial advisor about that $50,000 pledge you requested.” That normally sends chills up and down the spines of fundraisers: the dreaded financial advisor “hand-off” by your trusted donor or donor prospect.

So, what does this mean to you?  What are you going to do about it?

A recent study1, released by U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in partnership with The Philanthropic Initiative (TPI), reveals some disconnects in conversations with high net worth (HNW) individuals and their professional advisors.  The  majority of HNW individuals who discuss philanthropy with their advisors do believe the conversations are important, and that their advisors play an important role in their charitable giving.  The study also reveals there is room for improvement in how advisors counsel their clients about philanthropy.  This study gives fundraisers a valuable glimpse into that “mysterious world” of the donor/advisor relationship.

Professional advisors almost universally agree that philanthropy plays an important role in their clients’ wealth experience.  And with HNW households maintaining a strong commitment to charitable causes, (95% of HNW households report they support at least one charity, with an average amount given of $52,7702), philanthropy is clearly at the forefront of wealth management discussions. 

To better understand the dynamics between HNW individuals and their advisors, specifically regarding approaches to philanthropy, U.S. Trust partnered with TPI in August 2013 to survey more than 300 financial advisors (trust and estate attorneys, accountants, tax professionals and wealth advisors) and 120 HNW individuals (with $3 million or more in investable assets who were also actively engaged in charitable giving). 

“Individuals and families are increasingly turning to their financial advisors to help them achieve their philanthropic goals,” said Lewis Gregory, Senior Vice President and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust in Kansas City.  “Our recent study of these philanthropic conversations reveals the patterns and priorities of America’s wealthiest donors and provides valuable insights into the strategies, vehicles and approaches that can make giving more effective.”

We know (and probably without being told) that conversations between major donors and their financial advisors are taking place.  But what are they discussing?  And who is leading the dialogue?  Some of the key findings from the study may surprise you:

  • Most advisors (89%) discuss philanthropy with at least some of their clients, and 71% make it their regular practice to ask clients about their interests in charitable giving.
  • Meanwhile, only 55% of HNW individuals say they discuss philanthropy with a professional advisor.
  • One-third of advisors (33%) say they initiate these discussions with their clients, and that clients initiate them just 20% of the time.
  • However, among HNW individuals who report having discussed philanthropy with an advisor, half (51%) say they are typically the one to initiate the conversation, and that their advisor brings up the subject just 17% of the time.
  • And even if they are not discussing philanthropy with an advisor, most HNW individuals (90%) are discussing it with someone – a spouse or partner (84%), other family members (48%), friends (37%) or the nonprofit to which they give (33%).

HNW individuals are more concerned about philanthropic discussions taking place early in the advisor relationship than they are about who initiates the conversation.  Advisors, however, indicate they are more likely to introduce the subject after they have greater knowledge of the client’s personal or financial goals, when the client has accumulated a certain amount in assets or when they are aware a client volunteers/is active in the community.

  • Among advisors who discuss philanthropy with their HNW clients, nearly all (91%) encourage their clients to give to charity.
  • Approximately half of advisors (48%) discuss their own charitable giving with their clients.
  • Many HNW individuals (34%) indicate they would be more open to discussing charitable giving, or would perceive the value of the philanthropic advice from an advisor to be greater (43%), if they were aware of the advisor’s own philanthropic involvement.

There is consistency between HNW individuals and their advisors when it comes to motivations for giving.  HNW individuals reported their top three reasons to give:

  • Being passionate about a cause
  • Having a strong desire to give back
  • Having a positive impact on society and the world

Advisors, too, believed these to be the key motivations for their clients’ philanthropy. 

Three out of four advisors (74%) responded that philanthropic dialogue with clients is beneficial.  More than half (57%) of advisors intend to increase their knowledge about philanthropy, to improve their ability to advise clients about charitable giving.  Of these advisors wishing to improve their proficiency in offering philanthropic guidance, they shared the following goals:

  • Helping clients form a strategic giving plan and mission (55%)
  • Understanding more about giving vehicles (50%)
  • Integrating client philanthropic values/goals into an overarching wealth management plan (46%)
  • Engaging the next generation in giving (45%)
  • Understanding the role that social impact investing has on clients’ philanthropic pursuits (38%)

After all is said and done, fundraisers and financial advisors are working toward a common objective:  knowing what matters most to our donors/clients.  So the next time your donor says he’s/she’s going to seek advice from their financial advisor, you will now know how to better respond and help manage expectations.  You will have a better perspective about your donor’s decision-making process, and should feel empowered to seek input into the discussion.  This is an excellent way to deepen your relationship with your donor and deepen your donor’s relationship with your organization.

1:  The U.S. Trust Study of the Philanthropic Conversation, October 2013 (Read the full study here.)

2:  The 2012 Bank of America Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, November 2012


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Issue 131/November 2013




 Tuesday, December 3, 2013

“The end of the year is a powerful time for nonprofits, a time of tremendous energy and momentum. Nonprofit professionals understand and appreciate the potential for their organizations in year-end giving,” says Jeffrey Byrne, President + Founder of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. “#GivingTuesday harnesses the power of this time of year, by inspiring people to take collaborative action and give back. #GivingTuesday also reminds us of the true spirit of the holiday season: community. One of the most powerful gifts we can give our loved ones is our promise to work together to help create a better world…for everyone.”

Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., is a proud endorser of #GivingTuesday, joining fellow members of the Giving Institute, and encourages EVERYONE to participate.

#GivingTuesday is a call to action. 

Currently, more than 4,000 partners have committed to participate in #GivingTuesday.  With three weeks left until December 3, new organizations are joining daily and providing creative ways people can embrace #GivingTuesday and collaborate in their giving efforts to create more meaningful results.

Whether you are part of a nonprofit organization that is coordinating a fundraising initiative or volunteer project, a donor looking to make a contribution, a volunteer hoping to donate time and talent or a business wishing to increase its engagement with the community – #GivingTuesday is the perfect opportunity to do so. 

Several resources are provided on the #GivingTuesday website to make your participation as meaningful as possible: 

For Nonprofits: ( )

For Families:  ( )

For Businesses: ( )

The success of #GivingTuesday 2013 depends upon the collective efforts of a special group—a special group to which you belong.  You are the most important part of making this movement a reality.

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Issue 123/March 2013

Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation Board Meeting, Spring 2013

Jeffrey D. Byrneby Jeffrey D. Byrne
President + CEO

Last week at the Giving Institute and Giving USA Foundation Spring Board meeting (the publisher of the Giving USA annual report on philanthropic giving) where I am a Board member, we had the pleasure to engage with Dr. Una O. Osili, PhD, Director of Research for The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Una’s presentation was around tax policy changes proposed in the U. S. Congress on itemized charitable giving.

As you may know, Congress enacted the charitable giving deduction in 1917, four years after instituting a federal income tax. Changes over the past 96 years have occurred in various ways, but the charitable deduction, as we know it, has not been in jeopardy of elimination until recent discussions by Congress.

Congress is currently debating a number of options to close “loopholes” in the tax code to raise revenues. Philanthropic Industry Leaders are watching closely these actions and are quickly reacting and mobilizing their constituencies to inform their Congressmen and Congresswomen and Senators about the impact that their votes can have on constituencies in their districts and states.  

Recently, C. Eugene Steuerle, the Richard B. Fisher chair, an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, a cofounder of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center and the Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, in his testimony before the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives (2/14/13) said: a tax subsidy like that for charitable contributions should be treated like any other government program, examined regularly, and reformed to make it more effective. The good news is that the charitable deduction can be designed to strengthen the charitable sector and increase charitable giving at the same or even lower revenue cost.

 Steuerle further stated that to increase giving, Congress can:

  • create a charitable contribution for all taxpayers, not just itemizers;
  • allow people to make contributions until the filing of their tax returns or April 15;
  • make it easier for people to donate from accumulated amounts, such as retirement accounts and lottery winnings; and
  • remove or reduce and certainly simplify the dysfunctional excise tax on foundations.

Congress can more than pay for these changes with little or no reduction in giving if it would:

  • put a floor under deductions, which would have little effect on giving incentives;
  • reform subsidies that tend to be highly ineffective and invite abuse, such as the deduction for household goods and clothing; and
  • provide a better information system for charitable giving.

Our responsibility is to participate and actively engage with our elected officials. The stakes are too high. Our elected representatives need our active involvement and expertise because they will use our input in their calculations on how to maneuver through the maze of policy options. Don’t be shy. Engage.  

For more information on how to become involved, reach out to me directly through Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. at

Financial Anxiety in Senior Living Industry: An Incentive to Fundraise  

Jean Bacon
By Jean Bacon
Senior Living Consultant  
The uncertainties of the financial climate have spread to the senior living industry. Although there is limited financing of new projects and loan refinancing for refurbishment of existing projects and interest rates remain lower than they have been for awhile, there is widespread anxiety. It is truly a time for serious fundraising, primarily from residents and families. It does not matter if the residents are actively involved in community activities yesterday, today, or tomorrow, or whether their families have been donors in gratitude for the care received by a loved one, the history of this country has always been that charitable giving fills the gaps in times of serious belt tightening. And yet management is not exploring and capitalizing on this resource to assist with necessary projects. This is a golden opportunity for a successful CEO.

Initially, a CEO might feel reticent about providing leadership in fundraising because of census targets. Most bond documents require 95 – 100% occupancy, but due to high expenses, many communities are unable to maintain mandated census. But this is the golden opportunity in a nutshell. Residents are the best able to improve census by “talking up” the community to their friends, potential residents. There may be a special club with dues organized to interest these “tomorrow” residents in the services offered by the community. These “dues” will reflect the level of services required and will provide a serious alternative for those who do not or cannot sell their homes, their one substantial piece of equity. This is the concept of a CCRC (continuing care retirement community) without walls, and is organized as an insurance policy. Fundraising can take all sorts of perspectives.

A recent case study illustrates all this. Last month, a faith-based community in Williamsburg, Virginia, declared bankruptcy. This is a beautiful senior living choice with VIP residents, many retired military and diplomats. They opened in 2008 sponsored by a faith based umbrella corporate organization. Since opening, they have not made census targets, and it was time to reorganize. It was noted that the residents would not be affected by changes and their Entry Fees would remain as designated at entry. Interestingly, this community had its own Foundation and continues to raise funds to fill the gap. This is a contradiction to a bankruptcy filing, and yet demonstrates stakeholder dedication to the community.

How does a CEO turn attention to fundraising? A comprehensive Development Plan is the first step, followed by realistic timelines to organize donor participation. Resident participation is mandated in order to make the Plan work. An experienced consultant with a track record in the senior living industry should be made available to all stakeholders to ensure success!

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Issue 126/June 2013


Charitable Donations Grew in 2012
Third Straight Year of Gains
Contributions Reach $316.23 billion from American Individuals, Corporations and Foundations


Editor’s Note:  If you live in the Greater Kansas City, Missouri region, please join Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc., U. S. Trust and Nonprofit Connect on Friday, June 28, at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for a presentation on Giving USA 2013 and findings from High Net Worth Studies commissioned by U.S. Trust. Registration and coffee begin at 7:30 a.m.; the program begins at 8:30 a.m.) 


Even with households across the country feeling continued financial pressure, Americans donated an estimated $316.23 billion to charitable causes in 2012. This modest overall gain in total contributions mirrored the nation’s recent economic trends, Giving USA Foundation™ and its research partner, the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, announced today. 


The 3.5 percent year-over-year growth rate (1.5 percent adjusted for inflation) in gifts from American individuals (both households and bequests from their estates), corporations and foundations matches the same figurative portrait of 2012’s economic indicators – some trends were positive, others were negative, but overall, there was growth. Federal tax policy shifts likely also played a role in giving decisions made last year. 


The findings are contained in the 58th consecutive edition of Giving USA, the seminal annual report on charitable giving in America.




GUSA Total Giving By Source





© 2013 Giving USA Foundation™


Source: Giving USA Foundation ™ / GIVING USA 2013 


“Americans are feeling more positive about the economic future of the country, and thus their own pocketbooks. This is reflected in the continuing economic recovery that many household are achieving and thus steady growth in various financial indicators. Obviously, Americans felt relief around their personal and corporate circumstances last year, and were able to be more generous with their individual, foundation and corporate resources. This is a good sign that the economic recovery continues, and Americans are returning to charitable giving habits that were in place prior to the devastating crash of just a few years ago,” said Jeffrey Byrne, President + CEO of Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. and a Board member of the Giving Institute, which founded the Giving USA Foundation in 1985.


Topline Considerations from Giving USA 2013 about Donors:


  • 2012 saw marked year-over-year growth in corporate giving, which is strongly linked to companies’ profits. For 2012, corporate pre-tax profits surged upward 16.6 percent, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. 


  • Uncertainty fueled by mixed economic indicators may have moderated giving by individuals, who historically account for the largest percentage of total giving. Positive trends, such as the 13.4 percent increase in the Standard and Poor’s 500 Index between 2011 and 2012, the slight rise in home values and overall lower unemployment rates and fuel costs, were combined with budget concerns and tax reform discussions. In addition, personal disposable income rose 3.3 percent and personal consumption expenditures rose 3.6 percent last year, virtually mirroring the growth in individual giving.


↑ Giving by individuals rose to $228.93 billion in 2012, an estimated 3.9 percent increase (1.9 percent adjusted for inflation). Income and wealth are key drivers of household giving, as is a sense of financial security. Giving by taxpayers who itemize their gifts represented 81 percent of the total donated by individuals in 2012.


↓ Giving by bequest decreased an estimated 7.0 percent in 2012 (8.9 percent adjusted for inflation) to $23.41 billion. Itemizing estates contributed 78 percent of the total, or $18.31 billion. Bequest giving tends to be volatile from year to year, as it is highly influenced by very large gifts from estates that closed during that year.


↑ Giving by corporations rose 12.2 percent in 2012 (9.9 percent adjusted for inflation), to an estimated $18.15 billion, including gifts from both corporations and their foundations. The two entities provide cash, in-kind donations and grants. Increasing the 2012 total was the estimated $131 million corporations gave to nonprofits working on relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.


 Giving by foundations increased 4.4 percent (2.3 percent adjusted for inflation) to an estimated $45.74 billion in 2012, according to figures provided by the Foundation Center. Giving by community foundations grew 9.1 percent last year, which helped to bolster the total. Operating and independent foundations increased grant making by 3.5 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.


“While $316 billion is a record number these past few years, it is a far cry from the $344 billion given in 2007 by Americans. We are still in a recovery and Americans face real choices in their charitable giving decisions. It is, therefore, incumbent upon nonprofits to put out sophisticated and solid cases for support for charitable giving in front of donors,” Byrne added.


Beyond financial pressures, 2012 also saw policy changes considered at the federal level that could alter future giving, including proposals aimed at capping or eliminating the longstanding charitable tax deduction. The charitable tax deduction is an important element in charitable giving. In 2012, the American Taxpayer Relief Act preserved the deduction, but nonprofit leaders must be vigilant with their Members of Congress to continue to support this important tool that Americans rely upon for their charitable giving.


Nearly 50 years of data indicate that while the policy environment can have an impact on the timing and amount of charitable giving, especially from donors at higher income levels, the overall giving climate is primarily influenced by economic factors, which were mixed in 2012.


“As in the economy overall, some aspects of giving are growing more than others,” said Gene Tempel, Ed.D., CFRE, Founding Dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. “For example, the 9.9 percent inflation-adjusted growth in corporate giving was driven by strong gains in corporations’ pre-tax profits, which marks a bright spot. In contrast, foundation giving grew by 2.3 percent after adjusting for inflation.” 


Total Giving By Use 2012


© 2013 Giving USA Foundation™
Source: Giving USA Foundation ™ / GIVING USA 2013


 Topline Considerations from Giving USA 2013 about Recipients of Charitable Contributions: 


  • After a sharp decline of 17.6 percent in 2008 and slow growth through 2011, contributions to arts, culture and humanities organizations rose an estimated 7.8 percent last year. 


  • Charities focused on the environment and animals also saw significant growth (6.8 percent) in 2012 over 2011.


  • International giving, which had seen very high growth rates in some recent years, leveled off in 2012 to a modest estimated increase of 2.5 percent. With fewer high-profile international disasters capturing the attention of Americans than in previous years, donations for relief efforts made to domestic organizations in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy might have replaced gifts that otherwise would have gone to entities working internationally. 


(Flat) Giving to religion was virtually flat (a -0.2 percent decline) between 2011 and 2012, with contributions estimated to be $101.54 billion. Adjusted for inflation, giving to religion declined 2.2 percent. Religious organizations, comprised mostly of houses of worship, continue to receive the largest share of total U.S. charitable giving (32 percent) in 2012.


 Giving to education increased an estimated 7.0 percent between 2011 and 2012 (4.9 percent adjusted for inflation), to $41.33 billion. The bulk of donations in this category (upward of 75 percent) go to four-year colleges and universities.


 Giving to human services totaled $40.40 billion in 2012. This estimate is a 3.8 percent increase over 2011 (1.8 percent adjusted for inflation). It includes $223 million given to support organizations working on Hurricane Sandy relief and recovery efforts.


↓ Giving to foundations is estimated to have declined by 4.6 percent in 2012 (a decline of 6.5 percent adjusted for inflation), to $30.58 billion. Estimated contributions to foundations can change dramatically from year to year, depending upon very large gifts received from the wealthiest donors in America.


 Giving to health organizations increased an estimated 4.9 percent between 2011 and 2012 (2.8 percent adjusted for inflation), with $28.12 billion in total contributions.


 Giving to public-society benefit organizations. Giving to public-society benefit organizations increased an estimated 5.4 percent in 2012 (3.3 percent adjusted for inflation), to $21.63 billion. The total was likely bolstered by continued strong growth in charitable gifts to national donor-advised funds. This category also included $54 million contributed to organizations assisting people affected by Hurricane Sandy.


(A note on entities defined as “public-society benefit”: This category is almost wholly comprised of entities that receive donations and then redistribute them to charitable organizations. Certain types of donor-advised funds are in this classification, as are well-known umbrella groups such as United Ways, the Combined Federal Campaign and Jewish Federations of North America.)


↑ Giving to arts, culture and humanities totaled an estimated$14.44 billion in 2012, a 7.8 percent increase from 2011 (5.7 percent adjusted for inflation).


 Giving to international affairs was an estimated $19.11 billion in 2012, a 2.5 percent increase (flat when adjusted for inflation, at 0.4 percent growth).


 Giving to environmental and animal organizations saw an estimated 6.8 percent increase in 2012 (4.7 percent adjusted for inflation), to $8.30 billion.


↓ Giving to individuals decreased an estimated 6.8 percent in 2012 (a decline of 8.8 percent adjusted for inflation), to $3.96 billion. In large part, this category includes medications provided via Patient Assistance Programs administered by the operating foundations of pharmaceutical companies.


Unallocated giving totaled $6.82 billion in 2012, and includes itemized deductions by individuals and households they carried over from a previous year. “Carry-over” describes the difference between the tax year when a donor claims a gift on their return and the year when an organization receives a gift and reports it as revenue.


Unallocated giving also includes gifts to government entities — which do not report charitable contributions at the national level, gifts made to entities in other countries by foundations and gifts made to new organizations that have not yet been classified as to what type of charity they are. In addition, when a donor forms a charitable trust and takes a deduction, but does not tell the recipient organization, there is an unallocated amount.


For more information about Giving USA FoundationTM visit


For more information about the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy visit


For more information about Giving USA reports and how to access the Giving USA 2013 reports, visit




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Issue 114/June 2012

Upcoming: Special Report, Forum(s)

Giving USA: The Numbers for 2011

U. S. Trust, JB&A and Nonprofit Connect to present High Net Worth Philanthropy Study along with Giving USA on June 26.

This coming Tuesday, June 19 Giving USA Foundation, will release its annual report of charitable giving in the United States for 2011. Nonprofit executives, fundraisers, donors and volunteers look foward to the giving report each year to assess the thinking of how American’s are feeling about the economy and ultimately their charitable dollars.

Last year’s report for 2010 showed that American’s gave $290.89 Billion an increase of 3.8 percent in current dollars and 2.1 percent in inflation-adjusted dollars. That trend is good news for the 1,200,000 nonprofits who rely on the generosity of American individuals, corporations and foundations each year.  After the largest drops in giving in more than 40 years during 2008 and 2009 as a result of the economic downturn, last year’s report (2010) was a sigh of relief for most nonprofits and a start on building back what was lost during the Great Recession in giving.

With the stock market having recovered significantly at the end of 2011, how did the recovery continue in the philanthropic/nonprofit sector in 2011?

Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. will provide a Special Report on Giving USA, upon the release of the June 19 report, and will offer nonprofits in its home market of Kansas City the opportunity to hear from the authors of the report when JB&A co-sponsors a special presentation on Tuesday, June 26 with local U. S. Trust Executives Spence Heddens, Market Executive for Philanthropy, and Jack Ovel, Regional Vice Chairman for U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; Dr. Patrick Rooney, Executive Director from the Center on Philanthropy, and Nonprofit Connect, (See sidebar for registration information.) That session, the sixth in an annual series, will feature Dr. Patrick Rooney, Executive Director of the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, The Center researches and writes Giving USA, which is produced by the Giving USA Foundation, the fundraising and philanthropic arm of The Giving Institute: Leading Consultants to Nonprofits. JB&A is one of 40 member firms nationally to have met the rigorous standards of membership in the Giving Institute and is pleased to present this workshop opportunity on the 26th.

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Issue 121/January 2013 

Insights for Strategic 
and Tax Changes for 2013

Jeffrey D. Byrne

by Jeffrey D. Byrne
President & CEO 

As Congress passed legislation in the early hours of the New Year, much changes for tax and fiscal issues for 2013. The two things we know about life is: sooner or later we all pay taxes and we can’t take our money with us when we die. So, let me tackle what I know about the fiscal and tax changes that were enacted earlier this month.

Two-Year Retroactive IRA Charitable Rollover Extension: H.R. 8 includes a two-year retroactive extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover provision that lapsed on December 31, 2011. Specifically, the new law retroactively reinstates the Rollover for 2012 and allows any otherwise eligible gifts made after December 31, 2012 and before February 1, 2013 to be treated as a 2012 donation. The new law also specifies that any portion of a distribution from an IRA to a taxpayer made after November 30, 2012 and before January 1, 2013 may be treated as a qualified charitable distribution for purposes of the IRA Charitable Rollover. Finally, the IRA Charitable Rollover has been reinstated for all of 2013 and will now expire at the end of this year, on December 31, 2013.(The Chronicle of Philanthropy, 7 Jan. 2013)

Core of the Fiscal Cliff Legislation & Tax Changes: According to an article I read in a U. S. Trust Investment Strategy Strategic Insights Advisory recently: The core of the 2012 tax Act once again extends “most” of the so-called Bush tax cuts, but not all. The 2012 Tax Act will permanently extend taxable income tax rates for all single taxpayers with taxable incomes below $400,000 and married couples with incomes below $450,000. The top marginal income tax rate increases to 39.6% from 35% and the top marginal dividend and capital gain tax rates rise to 20% from 15% on investments held for more than one year. Adding in the 3.8% health care tax results in an even higher effective tax rate. Additionally, various tax deduction and credits phase out for individuals earning more than $250,000 and couples making more than $300,000. The agreement also extends unemployment benefits for one year, delays automatic spending cuts for two months, raises the estate tax rate to 40% from 35% with a $5 million exemption, indexes the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), extends accelerated depreciation allowances for businesses for another year, renews the research and development (R&D) tax credit and extends the “Doc Fix” (cuts in Medicare payments to doctors).

Finally, the Estate Tax Exemption beginning January 1, 2013 is $5,250,000. This exemption is permanent. It is subject to an inflation adjustment annually.

The bottom line is it’s all generally good news for your organization and the donors who care for it. While there are still discussion of further limits on charitable deductions, we will keep you informed of major changes in legislation that impact your donors. In the meantime, I recommend letting your donors know about the opportunities presented to them by the changes in the IRA Charitable Rollover. They may find that NOW is the time to make a gift to your organization.

Planned Giving: Time to get started?

By John F. Marshall
Senior Vice President
The opportunities for non-profits through the wonders of planned giving are as strong today as they have ever been… more so, in fact. Consider this: in 2012 within the United States, the transference of wealth from one generation to the next exceeded $20 trillion! And the Giving Institute’s 2011 Giving USA Report indicated that fully 8% ($24.4 Billion) of the total given by Americans was in the form of a planned gift. This was up 12.2% from the previous year, one of the largest increases in many years.

With overall giving in 2011 up over 4% from the previous year, it is clear that Americans are feeling better about their current financial position as well as their future. And yet, we know that despite this favorable up-tick, it is estimated that only 10% of American donors have provided for a charity in their will.

The more sophisticated non-profits, found within such sectors as higher education and healthcare, are doing a credible job in sharing the benefits of planned giving with their constituents… and generating enormous eventual benefits that will come to their institution. But they represent only a fraction of the 1,800,000 non-profits within the United States. For the great majority of charities, planned giving is either treated tacitly or not at all.

Why is this? I believe there are three main reasons: 

  1. There is a general lack of understanding of planned giving on the part of non-profit executives resulting in its not being included in discussions with boards of directors
  2. Given the pressure for current dollars to support current needs, planned giving is viewed as a “non-factor” for generating revenues needed today
  3. Resource constraints are such that planned giving is either not included or barely included in the budgeting process 

With corporate and foundation giving remaining at relatively flat levels of growth, non-profits are going to have to start looking at planned giving as a viable option for generating charitable gifts.

So, as a director of development of a shop without a planned giving program, what do you need to consider when starting a program?

First, is to fully understand the benefits of planned giving:

  1. For the Donor
     – An opportunity for creative ways to give
     – Potential attractive income and estate tax deductions
     – An attractive fixed or variable income
     – Additional retirement income
     – The potential for increased income
     – The benefits of sound asset management
  2. For your Organization
     – Helps to create an even closer relationship with the donor
     – Provides future financial security
     – Encourages the donor to consider assets as potential gifts
     – Enhances the opportunities for bequests

In order to seriously consider starting a planned giving program, you need to be aware of the key essentials: 

  1. Make certain that the board fully understands planned giving and is supportive… and recognizes the need to be patient
  2. Determine who within your universe of stakeholders should be considered as prospects for a planned gift
  3. Determine which planned giving vehicles you will be most comfortable in managing
     – bequests
     – gift annuities
     – charitable trusts
     – life insurance
  4. Determine exactly how you will promote planned giving to your constituents
     – direct mail
     – newsletters
     – seminars
  5. Pay particular attention to internal management issues
     – personnel…who will be assigned to manage the planned giving program/
     – what are the programmatic needs/requirements?
     – developing appropriate policies and procedures
     – the relationship between Development and the finance staff

So, who should have a planned giving program? EVERY NON-PROFIT!

Whether it’s as basic as including a message on the bottom of your letterhead (“Please consider including our organization in your will”) or developing a comprehensive program of deferred opportunities, planned giving needs to be included as a viable part of your fundraising program. The benefits to your organization can be both substantial and amazing.

For information on JB&A’s “Futures Program” please contact John F. Marshall, Senior Vice President, at or (816) 914-3780.

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Issue 122/February 2013


Board Cultivation is More Than Just New Board Members    


Mary Ellen Clarkby Mary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President  

You’ve worked hard to engage your board in the year-end appeal and it showed.   They’ve suggested new prospects, and opened doors to these individuals. Feedback showed that year-end giving is increased over that in 2011. These efforts paid off with new donors, increased gift size and happy faces at the first board meeting of the year. Share more than just the totals with your board. Be certain that they know how many are new donors, renewed donors and increased gifts. Involve them in the acknowledgement process, by phone calls, notes or emails. Engage them.

Bloomerang completed a study comparing the activities critical to keeping board members engaged with those critical to keeping donors engaged and retained givers. Recent statistics regarding new donors shows that 70 percent of new donors give only one year or make one gift. Some of the reasons cited for this disturbing statistic show that the donor: 

  • Doesn’t feel that the organization needs their support
  • They are not reminded to give to the organization
  • The organization did not inform them of how the monies were used

The effectiveness of a board is related directly to how they perceive their performance. They want to make a difference, make new connections, give back to their community through your organization and enjoy the experiences.

Engaging board members in the same way you would a donor will reap great rewards. Whether it’s inviting them to a special event, including them in your newsletter mailing, providing quick email updates or attending a meeting, studies show that increased engagement has a direct relationship to increased fundraising efforts. Charitable Advisors report that an engaged board has a clearer vision and purpose, and ultimately provides more sustained fundraising efforts.   

The following offers suggestions for engaging your board throughout the year. Make 2013 your most effective one with your board and your donors.

  1. Know exactly what you want a board member to do before asking them to do it. Be as specific as possible with your request.
  2. Have a beginning and end date in mind for each activity you request a board member to accomplish. Communicate that timeline. Volunteers should not worry that their commitment will go on forever!
  3. Be sure what you are asking them to do cannot be done faster, easier, better-or, more appropriately by staff.
  4. Provide all the necessary resources and staffing needed to get the job done right and in a timely manner.
  5. Make the accomplishment of your request as easy as possible to achieve by providing the board member with necessary tools (e.g. self-addressed, stamped return envelopes; easy to read and respond to lists; phone call rosters; specific instructions, etc.)
  6. Consider whether or not the board member has the skills, knowledge and expertise to accomplish what you are asking them to do.
  7. Assess the time the board member has already given to your organization before asking for that “extra” project. Consider the number of committee or task force meetings they are already committed to attend. Will they have the time and inclination to do this new task also-the way it should be done?
  8. Is this board member the best person for the job?
  9. Will they enjoy taking on this task? (Although this is certainly not a prerequisite, it does help motivate volunteers and keep them engaged if they enjoy what they are doing-so contributing their time does not begin to seem like a burden.)
  10. Is there a cost involved in the activity? Will they feel they are already giving a lot of time and enough money, and that this is an inappropriate expectation?

The important thing to remember is that by giving careful consideration to how you use your board members’ time, you motivate and encourage each of them to continue sharing this precious commodity with your organization. Good experiences increase the likelihood of repeat performances. (Click here to go to the Bloomerang blog page.) 

Free Google AdWords for Nonprofits

Sandi GrimmBy Sandi Grimm
Director of Operations  

You know that your board wants you to utilize opportunities to market your organization with any free or inexpensive tools available in today’s internet world. If you don’t have a staff member devoted to marketing, it’s difficult to know what’s available.

A big proponent for nonprofits is Google. Did you know that qualifying nonprofits can apply for and receive free internet ads from Google?

Google’s advertisement program, Google AdWords, has a grant program for nonprofits. If you qualify, you can receive $10,000 credit each month to spend on ads for your organization.

AdWords are the text ads that run down the right side of  the page while doing a Google search. For instance, if you Google “Youth Volunteer Activities” you’ll get the normal list of activities on the body of your page, but to the right is a list of Google Ads, as shown here.

In AdWords, you create your text ad, then you set up a list of keywords. These are the search terms that you want to trigger your ad. So, if you bid on the keyword “youth,” then you may appear on that search results page when someone searches for that term.

Your account is debited only when someone clicks on your ad. Some keywords are very competitive, but others are very inexpensive. The Google Grants program allows for a maximum bid of $1. That means an AdWords account with Google Grants could generate 10,000 new visitors each month! If your target keywords are less expensive, then you could get even more new visitors.

To get started, visit the Google for Nonprofits website and join the program. 


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News You Can Use
Issue 108/December 2011
Thinking Ahead:

What to Consider for 2012

Jeffrey photo

By Jeffrey D. Byrne
President & CEO

Watch world markets, not just the U.S. markets.

Political fundraising doesn’t match charitable giving.

Will charitable giving top $300 billion for 2011?

As development professionals, we must be on top of many facts all of the time. We’ve got to stay current on affairs of state. We’ve got to watch the markets and understand how to explain them. We’ve got to stay on top of the social and business comings and goings in our respective communities. We’ve got to stay on top of tax and regulatory changes that affect philanthropy. We’ve got to stay in touch with our best donors and keep watch over our prospective donors. We’ve got to work with our Board of Directors in keeping them focused and motivated. The list can go on and on.

When I prepare for meetings with donors, volunteers and nonprofit executives, I take a few minutes beforehand to think about what messages I want to impart for “the greater good.” I think it’s imperative to think ahead and to think critically while interacting with those who lead our nonprofit organizations that do such good work in our communities, our country.

As I think ahead for next year, I’ve jotted down some topics that I believe will be of interest to volunteers and donors. You’ll want to keep abreast of each of these issues because each one is a “live” example of what will be top of mind during the coming year.

First, we know that the U.S. economy isn’t driving the world markets any longer. Oh sure, our markets are important, and the world watches what’s going on in the U.S. However, with the crisis with the Euro and the response with the European Central Bank, we’ll need to watch the European markets — as well as the Asian and South American markets — to gauge our economy in 2012. We can’t just read the ticker of the NYSE or the Dow at closing bell each day. Instead, we are called to think about the impact of the markets worldwide and how that may affect our economy here in the U.S.

Second, as we enter a presidential election year, we should be prepared to address the myth that politicians will take much of our charitable dollars in 2012. Not True! During this election cycle (2011-2012), it is reported that $5 billion will be raised by candidates, candidate support organizations and national parties. Now, that’s a lot of money. However, during that same time period, nearly $600 billion will be given by generous Americans to fund needs through charitable organizations. The $5 billion that we expect will be funneled to elections, when spread over this two-year election cycle, just about matches what we saw in Tsunami and Hurricane relief in recent years; just a small tick in the big picture of charitable giving.

Third, we will watch to learn: Will reports show that charitable giving topped $300 billion in 2011? In 2010, charitable giving inched up to $290 billion after falling 13% over the previous three years in the wake of The Great Recession. While Americans felt the pinch of housing and mortgage losses and watched their savings and income deflate, they nonetheless reached deep into their pockets and giving recovered by 2.3% last year. In 2011, will charitable giving once again top $300 billion? We’ll have to wait until mid-June 2012 to find out when Giving USA publishes the results. However, I’ll bet the numbers will show that Americans were more generous this year than in 2010. All economic indicators are pointing in the right direction. Charitable indicators are inching positively in that same direction.

In any given year, there’s too much to think about and to do. We need to focus our talking points with donors to a few bite-sized chunks that we can articulate and that allow us to underscore our need for charitable support.

I hope these talking points help you as you think about the coming year and your development plans. I’d be interested in what you will be watching as we enter 2012. I welcome your responses directly at I promise to read each response and to use our blog to continue the conversation.

Don’t be shy. I look forward to hearing what you have to say. In the meantime, all of us at JB&A wish you a happy and healthy holiday season – and all the best in the New Year!

Jeffrey signature first name  

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News You Can Use
Issue 112/April 2012
What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?
Jeffrey photoJeffrey D. Byrne
President & CEO
Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc.

As President & CEO of our fundraising consulting firm working with nonprofits nationally, I often get asked how I got involved in fundraising. I’ve been working with nonprofits for the last 24 years in varying capacities to assist organizations in meeting their missions. I’ve found the fundraising profession to be the one area that I can give back in a way that I never imagined possible, having worked with hundreds of nonprofits the past 12 years through fundraising consulting. Here’s my story about my first thoughts around a career and then finding the right resources to grow my career. 

Mrs. Ballinger in my first grade class at Eugene Field Elementary School in Charleston, Missouri asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Now I really can’t remember if I said a doctor, teacher, fireman or farmer. What I didn’t’ say was “a fundraiser!”

It took a while to find what I wanted to do. First, I worked for my Governor in his office in our state capitol. After that, I went to work for a major corporation in St. Louis and gave $3,500,000 away each year for three years. After tiring of that, I decided to flip which side of the desk I was sitting on and try my hand at fundraising for Evangelical Children’s Home, a nonprofit organization providing residential treatment for girls and boys who’ve been abused, abandoned and neglected.

In 1988, 21 years after Mrs. Ballinger’s question, I began a job which would finally answer her question.

I was back in my hometown recently speaking with a local nonprofit organization – Susanna Wesley Family Learning Center. I was asked to address fundraising for this organization, and I started by asking “who likes to ask for money?” This is a question I’ve asked hundreds of times as a consultant. Unbelievably, most of the time in a room of fundraising professionals, only about half raise their hand. That day, between staff and Board members, all the staff raised their hands.

When I started with Evangelical Children’s Home there were scant organizations providing education and ongoing training on making the request.  I asked senior level fundraising professionals I knew for advice.  I sought out fundraising consultants for guidance. And, I got involved in professional fundraising organizations.

Today, learning opportunities are plentiful. The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) offers hundreds if not thousands of educational and training sessions across the country through their chapters and conferences.   The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University offers courses and career tracks for professionals on almost every nonprofit topic imaginable. And locally in communities where we serve as fundraising counsel, I comb through newspapers and websites to locate resources for our clients.  For instance, in Greater Kansas City we have a wonderful resource, Nonprofit Connect, which serves the 6,500 nonprofits that file a 990 each year with the IRS. 

As you look for resources to build your career, here are a few pointers that I adopted to help me. 

  • First, model behavior that you see in someone you admire.  Take the good and accentuate it and discard what you don’t like. 
  • Two, seek out mentors who are fundraising colleagues, ask for their help and keep close to them.  They are/were my best sources for me to throw out an idea and have them react. I wasn’t afraid to be on the “edge” with ideas – don’t you be either. 
  • Three, ask your volunteers and donors what has worked for them and what hasn’t. Truly seek their advice.  Challenge them when you think it needs challenging. Thank them and enhance what’s worked.  Give the credit to others.  If you’re successful, you’ll get plenty of credit.
  • Use educational resources that are available to you locally, regionally and nationally to further your knowledge and understanding of what you need for your organization. 
  • Finally, use that information and get out from behind your desk; out of your office; go call on donors; cultivate prospects. Double up your efforts.  In the long-run these will help your organization.

Oh, and I didn’t say I wanted to be a fundraiser to Mrs. Ballinger’s question. She’s long passed away now, but if I could talk with her, I’d say I became a fundraiser and it’s been the most rewarding and the best job and career I could have ever chosen. 

(PLEASE NOTE:  For resources on education and training go to these websites for more information:  AFP International, Center on Philanthropy, or. . . search on the web locally under fundraising training, fundraising education, etc.)

Hospitals Optimistic About Fundraising in 2012 

Mary Ellen ClarkMary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President

Editors note: Jeffrey Byrne & Associates, Inc. is a member of The Giving Institute (a member of the Nonprofit Research Collaborative) and a contributor to the annual Giving USA Report which is researched and written by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Fundraising in hospitals and healthcare organizations in 2011 mimicked that of 2003 according to the Nonprofit Fundraising Study released this month by a collaborative group and reported by the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy*. The nation is in a “slow recovery” from a recession much like that in 2003, however; organizations remain optimistic about fundraising potential in 2012.

Following previous recessions, fundraisers have seen that charitable giving follows the broader economy, with a lag of up to a year. Concerns centered on (1) slow economic growth; (2) potential economic crises; and (3) their impact on donors’ capacity and interest in charitable giving. Despite these concerns, hospitals historically turn to their foundations to bridge the gap in funding a variety of needs.

Findings specifically showed that charitable receipts increased at more than half of the study’s 1,600 responding organizations, and nearly 60% of the organizations met their 2011 fundraising goals. Those most successful attributed this to an emphasis on diverse fundraising approaches including annual fund, special events, planned giving and campaigns. Few received more than 25 percent of their funds from any one area of fundraising. Engaging board members with individualized plans for assisting in solicitations was yet another strategy of the most successful.

Healthcare fundraising saw improved fundraising efforts in physician giving and in grateful patient programs in 2011. Physician giving has been more difficult to track during the past few years, though this is an area that is on the rise for most healthcare foundations. Engaging physicians on boards and committees, including them in facility master planning and employment of more physicians are sited as some of the reasons for improved giving from this group. Larger hospitals believe that increased partnerships between physician practices and hospital administration offer more opportunities for physicians to feel a part of decision making. Still others report that their medical staff fundraising has reduced out of fear of the effects of healthcare reform. It is important as fundraisers that we appeal to the physicians’ sense of the community.

Grateful patient programs have evolved from the often used and costly direct mail appeal to many diverse approaches. These may include newsletter articles featuring a patient or family member who had a positive experience, or may find a grateful patient chairing your annual fund campaign; include a testimonial on your website’s homepage or in the patient discharge information. Never underestimate the effectiveness of story-telling. 

While the final decisions about healthcare reform remain uncertain, fund requests and pressure to increase fundraising goals continues to mount in foundation offices. More than 70 percent of the organizations responding to the above study expect to increase fundraising in 2012. A mix in fundraising approaches and building fundraising programs that incorporate short-term programs such as annual fund and long-term efforts like planned giving and campaigns appear to be the most hopeful visions for future success.   

1The Nonprofit Research Collaborative is made up of AFP, Blackbaud, Inc., Campbell Rinker, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Convio, Giving USA Foundation, and The National Center for Charitable Statistics at the Urban Institute.

Editors note: Jeffrey Byrne and Associates is a member of The Giving Institute and a proud sponsor of the annual “Giving USA Report” by The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.

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News You Can Use
Issue 129/September 2013


Simple Tools…Fundraising Success! 

Mary Ellen ClarkMary Ellen Clark
Senior Vice President 

We all want to be successful, whether at work or as a volunteer. As a development professional, it is your responsibility to ensure your Board has the tools necessary for fundraising success.

One of the greatest challenges facing certain Board members is getting an appointment with a prospective donor. Notice that those who have a career in sales make their calls on time and report back? Maybe it is because they have been trained in “cold calls” or in handling rejection over the phone. Or maybe they consistently work at knowing the best approach to their prospective donor.

A letter of introduction is often the best way to get the attention of the prospective donor; it can increase the likelihood that he/she will return the call and make time to meet. Here are some simple suggestions for an effective letter of introduction to help your Board members become successful in making prospective donor calls:

  • Begin with a one-page letter, and state your objective to meet in the first sentence
  • Find a catchy introductory sentence, or consider mentioning a friend’s name
  • Explain why it is important to meet in person to discuss the organization and project you are representing
  • Explain why you are involved in the project
  • If you send an email, include a short power point or video about the organization and the project
  • Repeat the fact that you will be calling for an appointment

Be certain to track in the database all contacts made with the prospective donor, and how best to communicate with him/her. Enjoy watching your Board members develop their cultivation and solicitation skills, and most importantly, enjoy watching your organization succeed!

To further discuss how your organization can achieve fundraising success, contact me directly at

It’s Not About the Money

Judy KellerBy Judy Keller
Senior Vice President

Too often, out of concern about their organization’s fundraising and finances, Development Directors and CEOs focus on the money when they are talking to donors. I often have to remind staff that for a donor, it’s not about the money.

Donors are interested in the mission and the good things that happen when they invest in your organization. As staff, your conversations with donors should be about the impact and change your organization is making possible – not the internal concerns of finance.

As an example, a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy introduced Jeffrey Walker, a private-equity investor-turned-philanthropist, who says he hates “boring thousand-person fundraising galas.”

So when he chaired the Board of the foundation that runs Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s elegant Virginia estate, Mr. Walker decided to use the founding father’s genius in marshalling people and ideas to revolutionize the organization’s fundraising and make it more democratic. Instead of leading big fundraising events for Monticello, Mr. Walker began mimicking Mr. Jefferson’s habit of holding small, intimate dinners for influential people with common interests. He also borrowed Mr. Jefferson’s practice of holding a table-wide discussion among his dozen or so guests, rather than having people chat in groups of two or three, and he banned fundraising pitches at these “Jeffersonian Dinners.”

“I was looking for ways to connect,” Mr. Walker says. “It’s wonderful for philanthropists to get together at these dinners and be listened to, not preached at. It is a joyful, energizing experience.”

These Jeffersonian Dinners have been described in detail in a book he recently co-authored called The Generosity Network: New Transformational Tools for Successful Fundraising. But the point is a valid one for many of the organizations we serve. Here are some tips on how to be sure your conversations with donors will not become “boring thousand-person fundraising galas”:

  1. Don’t lecture. If you find yourself speaking for more than 60 seconds without the other person chiming in…stop talking.
  2. Listen. The best fundraisers ask open ended questions and then listen. They develop meaningful relationships with donors based on mutual respect and interest.
  3. Don’t glad hand. If you are not genuine in your thanks, the donor will pick up on it immediately.
  4. Bring donors together around similar interests so they are empowered and their support for your organization strengthened.
  5. The conversation should not focus on money, but what good will result from the change you seek.

To further discuss how you can successfully cultivate donors, contact me directly at