A different IRA conversation


Donors may be asking if the popular IRA Charitable Rollover will become available before the end of the year. The short answer? We don’t know. For the foreseeable future, this is a question your donors may have to ask on an annual basis, and you are wise to have an answer ready for them.

Donors age 70½ and older will spend the next two months waiting to see if Congress will pass legislation allowing for outright gifts from their IRAs. And every day that passes is an opportunity to have a different kind of IRA conversation.

While focusing on the IRA Charitable Rollover legislation, organizations often overlook IRAs as end-of-life giving opportunities. This is a mistake. Don’t let the uncertainty of legislation stop you from encouraging your donors to make end-of-life gifts using their IRAs. When talking about planned giving, ask donors to name your organization as one of the beneficiaries of their IRAs. Donors may not realize they can name you as a beneficiary of their IRAs, giving them the opportunity to benefit from tax savings while also remembering their church, diocese or favorite community organizations. Many of your constituents have significant assets held in IRA accounts. Even if you’re named as a partial beneficiary, it could result in a significant planned gift.

Here are a few ideas to promote deferred giving from an IRA:

  • Dedicate space in your annual report for the promotion of estate gifts from an IRA.
  • Place a flyer in your newsletter or bulletin asking people to name you as a beneficiary of their IRA.
  • Make IRA beneficiary designations a type of gift that qualifies for legacy society membership.
  • When donors make you the beneficiary of their IRAs, distribute feature stories about the donors in all of your promotional materials. Donors are more comfortable with unique giving strategies when they see that others have already made gifts in that manner.

We’re hopeful that Congress will pass legislation that makes the IRA rollover a permanent charitable giving tool. Until then, you can always continue to promote IRAs as a wonderful planned giving tool.

I encourage you to contact me if you have any questions regarding best practices and the professional services of the Steier Group.

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