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As we close 2013 Paul Gardner, Fred Hueston and Walt Eilers are thankful for our blessings and looking forward to an exceptional 2014.

We are thankful that:

  1. We have a full slate of six exceptional clients who work hard, are highly organized and willingly follow counsels’ advice.
  2. Everyone, the partners, our families and clients are all healthy.
  3. The economy in 2013 has made a significant recovery. Donors are increasing their engagement and support.
  4. To broaden our client support we are adding Joe Schaefer to research, write and report grants and Trina Mitchell to plan and manage events.

We are thankful that 2013 has been a record-setting year for G&A both in terms of client success in fundraising and in growing our client base. We are blessed!

Is Your NPO Ready for Planned Giving?
America’s demographics continue to change, and age significantly. One of its largest segments is the retiree. 10,000 Americans retire every day. The IRS estimates that 114,600 estates will face paying the death tax because of estate planning lapses.

That means a huge opportunity for NPOs. You can help your supporters manage their estates and maximize their impact and reduce their tax burden, but you must offer them a Planned Giving Program.

As a part of your fundraising planning, your organization should include planned giving in your message and offer a mix of giving vehicles.

Planned Giving requires expertise. Dr. Fred Hueston, CFRE, has the credentials and experience to help your NPO establish a Planned Giving program. Give Fred a call at 1 (501) 661.6501, or email him at fred@whygardner.com.

Tax-Smart Moves That Can Pay Off This Year
Now is the time to make sure you have a plan in place to protect your wealth with valuable and often overlooked tax deductions.

Start by estimating how much income you expect to bring in by the end of 2013. Knowing this information can help you decide how much you may want to give to favorite causes, resulting in reduced income taxes.

Following are a few innovative year-end giving ideas that can reduce your potential tax hit or even boost your income this year while also providing a tax break.

Immediate Tax Benefit
When you support a not-for-profit, you not only make a difference in the lives of others, but you also receive a tax deduction. You can usually itemize and write off the amount you’re donating, resulting in lower taxable income. If you are unsure whether your gift is tax-deductible, you can always check with us.

Get Lifetime Income From Your Gift
Whether you’re still working or retired, you may decide after assessing your finances that you need more income. Consider setting up a life income gift to benefit the not-for-profit. In exchange for your gift of cash or securities, or possibly real estate, you or a beneficiary you designate receive income for life. Plus, you get a partial charitable tax deduction the year you make the gift. Once the payment period ends—or you or your beneficiary passes on—the remaining value of your gift goes to your charity.

Use Tax-Smart Strategies to Make Gifts
Consider donating appreciated property instead of cash. If you give to a not-for-profit property property you have owned for more than a year, the amount you can write off is the asset’s value on the day you make the gift. So if the property has increased in value while you’ve owned it, you won’t owe tax on its appreciation.

If the property’s value is now below your original purchase price, you could sell to take a capital loss to the extent allowed by law, thus reducing your taxable income. Then donate the cash to the not-for-profit. Both cases are win-win situations—you help a not-for-profit while smartly managing your estate and taxes.