The Internet provides a wide variety of websites that present resources useful for the various aspects of estate plan preparation, including planned giving, understanding and implementing planned giving techniques, the operation of public foundations and the construction and administration of private foundations. This resource guide introduces websites offering analyses of the laws affecting planned giving, state and federal forms, access to online calculations, data on charitable organizations and assistance in the formation and operation of charitable foundations.
The American Association of Grant Professionals (AAGP) is a non-profit membership association that builds and supports an international community of grant professionals. Membership benefits include an online listserv (AAGP Forum listserv).
The International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy is a network of professional advisors who offer support, discussions among interested professionals and educational opportunities. This network is designed to provide a non-biased collaborative environment in which to learn more about and advance philanthropic giving to charitable planners, financial services firms, family wealth counselors, and non-profit planned giving officers. The association offers conferences, teleconferences, publications, newsletters, and other services. The website includes articles, sample documents and links to other associations. Annual membership is $400.
The National Center for Family Philanthropy's goal is to promote philanthropic values, vision and excellence across generations of donors and donor families and to ensure that these donors and their advisors have access to the highest quality information and encouragement. The Center offers various programs, seminars and services, including consultant referral, and offers books on philanthropic subjects and workbooks for trustees, staff and advisors to family foundations. It provides a complimentary monthly e-newsletter (Family Giving News) that discusses new trends in family giving and resources for family philanthropy.
The National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) is an organization for people whose work involves charitable gift planning. It includes 120 local planned giving councils. The membership includes a quarterly publication, The Journal of Gift Planning, also available to non-members, Gift Planner Update (an e-newsletter) and a Workbook for Gift Planners. The Committee sponsors an annual National Conference on Planned Giving (with discounted registration for NCPG members), web-based virtual seminars (with discounted registration for NCPG members), the Leave a Legacy initiative to encourage philanthropic thinking and pals™, an online search service for gift planning jobs. The website also provides an online directory of Planned Giving Council members, articles, gift planner profiles (survey data on salaries and demographics of the profession) and research links (studies related to gift planning conducted by NCPG and other related groups). This website includes detailed information about the state-by-state regulation of charitable gift annuities.
NASCOnet is a website published by the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO). NASCO members are employees of state and federal agencies that regulate charitable trusts, fundraising and non-profit hospitals in the United States. This website provides helpful, publicly available information and is designed to assist charities in finding all the contact information and news updates for compliance with state and federal laws regarding charitable solicitations.
PLANNED GIVING ORGANIZATIONS
The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel's website categorizes and lists links to planned giving organizations, as well as exempt organizations and links to material on charitable planning issues, including many of the other websites discussed in this article.
The American Institute of Philanthropy's website rates and grades public charities to help donors make well-informed decisions.
The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance website provides information about specific publicly soliciting charities that may assist donors or clients in evaluating them. A detailed list of charities can also be found on this website.
Charity Navigator's website contains evaluations of America's largest public charities, searchable by keyword or category. The site includes tips and resources on planned giving, explanations of planned giving techniques for donors and articles on various charitable giving topics. It also provides additional specialized services for members, including tracking of charities over time, in-depth financial information about charities and comparative ratings on their performance.
The Complete Guide to Planned Giving: Appendix I, by Debra Ashton (Revised Third Edition, 2004), lists many professional associations that provide educational programs for fund raisers, planned giving officers, estate planners and others involved in gift planning or advice to the wealthy, as well as online networks and list services.
The Foundation Center provides news on charitable activities and links to private and public foundation websites. It offers a variety of resources and services to foundations, grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, the media and others. The Center includes free and fee-based classes, a facility to search for the tax returns of foundations at lnp.fdncenter.org/finder_990.html, a searchable database of the literature of philanthropy and a service with librarians to respond to inquiries for factual information on foundations, philanthropy, and other issues related to non-profits. Registration is free, but access to the Foundation directory is fee-based, starting at $19.95 per month.
GuideStar's website maintains a searchable, online database of the annual Forms 990 that non-profit organizations must file, for more than 700,000 charitable organizations located in the United States. This website is easier to use than the government sites. It is supported by donations and is free to public users.
InterAction.org (American Council for Voluntary International Action) is an alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian non-governmental organizations. It requires that relief groups meet certain criteria in order to be a member. Its website includes descriptions of the activities of all members and links to their websites.
IRS Master List of Exempt Organizations (online version of Publication 78) provides downloadable files of Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations, Publication 78 help file and Publication 526, and allows search of charitable organizations by states and cities.
Jason Havens's Charitable Planning website is an exhaustive list of links to planned giving organizations and charitable planning sites, including links to charitable planning publications and forms, state-specific materials, administration of non-profit organizations, religious organizations and others.
The LLRX.Com article, “Finding Tax Exempt Financials” (available on the LLRX website), discusses methods for obtaining detailed financial information on the Internet about charitable organizations.
The National Center for Charitable Statistics, a division of the Center on Non-profits and Philanthropy of the Urban Institute (website: www.urban.org), is a national clearinghouse of data on the non-profit sector in the United States. It has data from over 400,000 Forms 990 available on its website. It offers an exhaustive compendium of links to resources on non-profits, including research, organizations, statistics, regulation, management tools, academic centers, helpful technology and other services.
Wall Watchers provides financial information and commentary on over 400 church and para-church Christian organizations, including lists of various ministries (with contact information) that are graded by transparency of financial disclosure, type of activity, size and ratings, fund acquisition, resource allocation and asset utilization.
EUROPEAN WEBSITES THAT ADDRESS CHARITABLE TRANSFERS
The European Association for Planned Giving sponsors panels and discussions exploring international issues regarding establishing non-profit operations, tax efficient giving and major gift fundraising.
Giving in Europe's website is a project of the King Baudouin Foundation. It provides information, best practices and solutions to help donors support their favorite charitable causes and organizations, when several European countries are involved in a donative effort and information on each is needed. The database currently covers 15 European Union countries and Switzerland.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE WEBSITE
The Internal Revenue Service has a number of informative resources available on planned giving and charitable organizations:
The IRS Types of Tax Exempt Organizations web page displays general information regarding types of tax exempt organizations and provides a link to Publication 557, “Exempt Status for Your Organization.”
IRS Tax Information for Charitable Organizations web page provides links to other IRS web pages with exemption and tax information for charitable organizations. It includes a link to “Life Cycle of a Public Charity” at www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=122670,00.html. The web page has materials relevant to the life cycle of charities, such as organization, filing for exemption, compliance, reporting and termination.
IRS Tax Information for Charities & Other Non-profits web page provides links to a variety of tax information relevant to charities and non-profits, including IRS workshops, a calendar of events and compliance information. The web page also has links to general information, IRS publications and continuing professional educational texts.
IRS Publication 526, “Charitable Contributions” includes discussions on charitable contribution deductions and charitable organizations, and is available in a PDF format.
Revision of IRS Form 1023 (2004) is an exemption application form for IRC Section 501(c)(3) organizations. The IRS website also provides answers to frequently asked questions and explanations of the revision to Form 1023.
IRS Topics for Charities & Non-profits web page has links to pages with administrative help, guidance and forms for non-profits, including a link to the Tax-Exempt Organizations Tax Kit at www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=96774,00.html. The kit consists of a packet of forms (most of which can be filled online) and publications often used by exempt organizations.
COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCES FOR PLANNED GIVING
“After the Affluence,” by Scott Fithian of the Planned Giving Design Center (www.pgdc.com/usa), is an article that provides provocative discussions and thoughts on the emotional needs of donors after they have achieved their monetary and life fulfillment goals.
The Gallo Institute website provides resources on planning for wealth and the family.
The Le Van Company Recommended Reading web page offers insightful observations on many aspects of family wealth and succession management.
The Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy (CNP) of the Urban Institute conducts and disseminates research on the role and impact of non-profit organizations and philanthropy. In addition, CNP conducts research on and analyzes trends in the operations and finances of U.S. charitable organizations.
The Charitable Trust & Estate Planning website created by Henry & Associates of Springfield, Ill. (a firm providing financial and management services), includes articles on charitable planning and case studies and commentary on charitable legal issues. It includes legislation pertaining to and forms for exempt organizations, as well as a comprehensive compilation of links to IRS information, regulations and much more.
Charity Village's website provides information about Canadian charities, including a library of “how to” articles and other publications and resources for non-profit organizations.
Community Foundations, part of the Council on Foundations provides substantive information relating to community foundation activity and a directory of community foundations in the United States.
Grantcraft (The Ford Foundation) provides guides, case studies and articles to assist grant makers, particularly in the area of collaboration with businesses and the encouragement of corporate philanthropy.
The Internet Non-profit Center publishes “The Non-profit FAQ,” which is an online compilation of scores of items with information and advice on the organization, management, regulation and development of non-profits together with other resources. The items come from discussions on email lists, Internet news nets, and other sources.
NGO Manager includes links to management tools and research on a variety of charitable organization management topics. The topics are contributed by subscribers. The information is rated and described on this website.
The Planned Giving Design Center has extensive research papers, articles and forms, with free access. The website also has case studies and links to information on various types of charitable remainder trusts. Information on planned giving topics is available at “Articles” (a compilation of monthly professional articles), “News Stories” and “Technical Reports.” These resources are also indexed by topics at “Browse by Category.” For the tax forms that need to be filed for a particular gift vehicle or organization, go the IRS Forms and Instructions section of the site (organized by gift vehicle). The website is free, but registration is required.
Planned Giving Resources includes information on pooled income funds, gift annuities, and much more. It provides a general resource for materials on charitable trusts and has a page with links to all state regulations affecting planned giving and state gift annuity contacts.
The Philanthropic Initiative, Inc., an organization offering services to public and private charities, makes research articles on various special projects available on its website and publishes an email newsletter. The website content includes H. Peter Karoff's reflections, commentary, and other writings on the theme of generosity at “Karoff Corner.”
TheNonProfitTimes offers articles of interest to nonprofits and foundations. It also has a web page with tips on managing non-profits and various foundations' websites at www.nptimes.com/enews/tips/ontheweb.html.
Planned giving list services, email newsletters, forums and discussion groups on non-profits and philanthropy include:
Blackbaud, publishers of The Raiser's Edge fundraising and donor management software, and of the Blackbaud Netcommunity method of donor contact, also publishes an email newsletter on fundraising and non-profit issues, which is available online for free.
The CharityChannel website is a fee-based online discussion community of non-profit-sector professionals. You may subscribe to e-newsletters by editors and also to list services that encourage discussions by subscribers on many non-profit, charitable giving, fundraising and tax law topics. There are articles, links to helpful resources, book reviews, a consultants' directory, and much more. CharityChannel hosts several gift planning lists on a variety of topics related to charitable organizations and planned giving and their archives. You may view Charity News and examine the extensive online list service postings at charitychannel.com/archives without charge and without subscribing to its list service. The subscriber fee to this community is $18 for six months or $24 for one year.
Compass Point's Board Café is an electronic newsletter exclusively for directors of non-profit boards. Board Café offers a menu of ideas, information, opinion, news, and resources to help board members give and get the most out of board service. The website includes an archive of past issues.
The National Committee on Planned Giving (NCPG) hosts an online list service, GIFT-PL, for NCPG members that is of primary benefit to those who want to chat online with other charitable estate planning professionals. You can sign up for the list service for free at www.ncpg.org/members/?section=4. The archive of all the list discussion traffic on the GIFT-PL List can be viewed at listserv.iupui.edu/archives/gift-pl.html.
Planned Giving Design Center's website includes free access to its discussion forums on general and technical charitable topics.
Planned Giving List Service on Yahoo is a yahoo group that supports an open forum for planned giving professionals. No fee or membership is required; just send a blank email message to: firstname.lastname@example.org
SERVICES TO FOUNDATIONS
There are multiple websites that have been started to assist the formation of foundations and to provide administrative help and advice in running foundations:
The Association of Small Foundations (ASF) provides programs and products and services, including articles, the New Foundation Guidebook, a newsletter and forms for foundations with few or no staff. The annual membership is $400.
The Council On Foundations provides guidance, information, educational programs, literature and services for community, corporate and family foundations, affiliates and supporting organizations, their development staff, communications and marketing professionals, CEOs, CFOs, program and grant making staff, among others. It also offers information and newsletters relating to governmental legislation and regulation of concern to foundations.
Foundation in a Box, sponsored by the Association of Small Foundations, is a collaboration of a number of organizations and authors. It furnishes extensive materials to subscribers on a range of topics relating to foundation formation and administration, including investment management, tax and legal guidelines, grant making practices, board issues, and small office management. Although the website has a fee-based yearly subscription with discounts to members of sponsoring organizations, a free sample of materials is also available.
Foundation Source is an administrative support website and online service to private foundations. It offers personal and online administrative and back office services, such as keeping track of grants and grant making authority for private foundations, outsourcing of administration, all registrations and reporting, tax preparation, filing and monitoring etc. The firm provides foundations with a password-protected customized website that gives access to foundation documents and history, and tools for grant making and grants management. Members may research over 750,000 charities at the “Find a Charity” web page, including basic financial details, description of activities and evaluations by Guide Star and Charity Navigator.
Innovation Network's website offers free interactive evaluation and planning tools for non-profits and foundations. The tools help a non-profit determine whether its goals, programs and outcomes are logically connected and likely to produce the desired outcomes, as well as assist in analyzing its programs and measuring the organization's strengths and weaknesses. It also provides fee-based consulting services.
MicroEdge provides online tools for grant making, grant administration, grant application and collaboration among organizational personnel through personalized websites for foundations.
National Center For Family Philanthropy is a resource center that focuses on matters of importance to families engaged in philanthropy and resources for their effective giving, with links and articles.
SPECIALIZED PLANNED GIVING SERVICES
Advanced Settlements, Inc. provides services, resources and forms relating to life settlements of trust owned life insurance and life insurance gifts.
Assetstream, LLC provides administration, valuation and forms to assist charitable and nonprofit organizations with the cultivation, acquisition, processing and administration of contributions of publicly traded securities, including educational and marketing materials.
Forms for Planned Giving and Organizational Reporting: The website www.Form990.org provides free Form 990 preparation and online filing at efile.form990.org. You may use this website to enter, verify, print, and electronically file Form 990, Form 990-EZ and/or Form 8868 (request for extension) for 2003 and any years thereafter. Electronic filing for participating states has been enabled (currently Colorado and Pennsylvania) since the beginning of this year. This site was developed by the National Center for Charitable Statistics and co-sponsored by the National Association of Attorneys General/National Association of State Charity Officials (NAAG/NASCO) and GuideStar.
The Planned Giving Design Center (PGDC) website provides, at no charge (but registration is required) the sample IRS Revised CRT Forms through 2003. For the details of the changes in these forms and citations to the rulings setting forth sample forms, see the PGDC website at www.pgdc.com/usa/item/?itemID=91086. The Kallina and Associates charitable remainder trust forms with illustrative enhancements to the Internal Revenue Service prototype forms are also provided by the PGDC (click on “Forms”) at www.pgdc.com
A Sample Gift Annuity Disclosure Statement is available from the Planned Giving Resource's website at www.pgresources.com/gifts.html together with other charitable gift annuity resources.
There are many technical resource websites with extensive general planned giving resources:
Charitable Trust & Estate Planning (Henry & Associates) contains numerous articles and case studies, IRS information and commentary, charity information site links, links to planning articles and resources about other sites.
Crescendo Interactive (publishers of Crescendo Pro software) publishes marketing programs and provides websites for charities, and furnishes informational and calculating facilities for inclusion in the websites of charitable organizations. GiftLaw Pro is a complete online charitable giving and tax information service and gift planning electronic treatise ($995 annual fee, web page: www.giftlaw.com/glaw_home_options.jsp?ID=4). It includes the GiftLaw Calculator (annual fee $300 for the calculator only) for charitable trusts and annuities. Links to sites implementing GiftLaw Pro are at web page: www.giftlaw.com/glaw_home_sites.jsp?ID=5 Crescendo also publishes the Gift Legacy Presents Calculator for charitable organization websites (annual fee $500, web page: www.crescendointeractive.com/cres_epresents.jsp) that, in addition to performing the usual calculations for charitable trusts, presents detailed illustrations in slide show form based on these calculations.
McGuireWoods LLP's A Guide to Charitable Giving publication reviews the tax rules relating to non-corporate charitable giving, reporting requirements, and giving techniques and is suitable for distribution to clients.
Michigan State University Planned Giving Answers Online provides a compact compendium of technical information for planned giving and a glossary of planned giving terminology at www.givingto.msu.edu/pgaol/toclist.html, and is accompanied by a comprehensive discussion of various planned giving techniques in the format of a standard help system at www.givingto.msu.edu/pgaol/index.html
The National Center on Philanthropy (New York University) website has a legal bibliography, intended to comprise all English language secondary source materials, both domestic and international, pertaining to the laws of non-profit organizations. It includes hard-to-find secondary resources.
The PG Calc website has technical articles by PG Calc staff on various topics related to planned giving. Topics discussed include gift annuity taxation, the 5 percent/10 percent tests and marketing, plus helpful web links.
PhilantroCalc for the Web includes the Donor Direct and the more advanced Compliance NOW calculators for charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, and CRATs and CRUTs. The calculators may be installed on a charitable organization's website for only $99 for 12 months service.
Social Capital Resources (Renaissance): This website describes and provides links to various journals and newsletters, organizations, software, books, articles on the Internet, and other online resources for donors and resources for non-profit management related to philanthropic activity.
Attorney and noted author Conrad Teitell's Taxwise Giving website on charitable planning subjects includes articles on charitable giving, a handy compendium of IRS sample charitable annuity trusts and offers various periodical newsletters.
CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES
The American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) website provides educational and other services to American charities regarding gift annuities and other forms of planned gifts. The AGCA suggested rates from July 1, 2003 through June 30, 2005 can be found at www.acga-web.org/ratesjuly03.html together with suggested deferred gift annuity rates and comments on the current rates. The ACGA method for computation of deferred annuities is laid out at www.acga-web.org/factorsjuly03.html for all states except New York and New Jersey. The deferral compounding rate for New York and New Jersey is available on the AGC site at: www.acga-web.org/nynjfactorjuly03.html
PGCalc website has a Tip of the Month Archive with a useful article, “Unlocking the Mystery of the Charitable Gift Annuity Income Tax Deduction and other Tips on Planned Giving.”
The Planned Giving Resources website includes resources for gift annuities, including explanations, discussions, administration, rates and other materials. This website also has comprehensive links to state regulation of charitable gift annuities at www.pgresources.com/newinfo.html (listed by state) and an overview report on state regulations. Included on the website is “Understanding Gift Annuities” by James B. Potter, at www.pgresources.com/understand.html, a basic explanation of the gift annuity technique.
Tiger Tables website has tables of Charitable Gift Annuity Rates including New York and New Jersey.
LIFE INSURANCE GIFTS
Non-profit Information Center (insurance analyst JJ MacNab's website) has an article “Steps to Complete a Charitable Gift of Life Insurance,” which is a useful procedural review for processing such gifts.
Planned Giving Design Center: The articles “Innovative Strategies for Using Life Insurance in Charitable Giving” by Joel M. Breitstein, at www.pgdc.com/usa/item/?itemID=107670 , and “Charities and Insurance: ‘The Next Big Thing?’ ” by Larry Bell, edited by Steve Leimberg, at www.pgdc.com/du/item/?itemID=216389, discuss financed charitable life insurance programs and present the case for this technique. The articles also lay out many issues and cautions that charities and their advisors must consider.
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITES
ABA Tax Section: The article “The Effectiveness of Formula Defined Value Clauses in Estate Planning,” by Stacy S. Eastland and Ellen K. Harrison, discusses charitable gifts of FLP interests. The website is restricted to ABA Tax Section members. To find this article enter the words “effectiveness defined value” at the “Search” prompt on the website.
Henry & Associates Gift Planning Services website provides a table of ages and levels of payment rates resulting in disqualification under the 10 percent rule under Internal Revenue Code Sections 664(d)(1)(D) and 664(d)(2)(D).
Planned Giving Design Center: The article “Planned Giving in Times of Low Interest Rates,” by Marc D. Hoffman, reviews the effect of low interest rate environments on types of gift vehicles designed to provide enhanced income, gift and estate tax benefits.
Planned Giving Design Center: The Internal Revenue Service Memorandum, “International Grants and Activities,” ILM 200504031, is at this website.
Planned Giving Design Center: “Defined Value Gifts: Does IRS Have It All Wrong?” by L. Paul Hood, Jr. (reprinted from the December 2001 Estate Planning Journal), discusses formula gifts tied to both the value the client wants to give and the value of the gift as finally determined for gift tax purposes.
SOFTWARE FOR PLANNED GIVING
A number of charitable commercial software products can be found in a comprehensive list in the author's resource guide,“T & E Software and Online Resources,” in Trusts & Estates (January 2005) at p. 64.
A comprehensive list of software vendors for planned giving administration, calculations and the computation of the tax consequences of deferred gifts is included in Appendix II of The Complete Guide to Planned Giving, (Revised Third Edition, 2004) by Debra Ashton at www.debraashton.com
An exhaustive list of software providing planned giving calculations, data management, accounting, administration and fundraising software is available on JJ MacNab's Death and Taxes website.
There are a number of free online charitable planned giving calculators that, with minimal data entry effort, will calculate the basic tax effect of the application of common charitable gift planning techniques.
Assetstream computes the tax advantages of donating appreciated stock to charity.
Charity Navigator provides a basic income tax giving calculator for donors in various tax brackets and helps to compute net cost and tax savings from charitable contributions.
GiftLaw Calculator (from Crescendo Interactive) has free implementations that include The Texas A&M Foundation at www.giftlaw.net/giftlaw.jsp?WebID=GL1999-0091 (click on GiftLaw Calculator on the left side menu) and the Capital Trust charitable tax deduction calculators using GiftLaw at www.giftlawcalc.com/link.jsp?WebID=2001-0018
PhilantroCalc for the Web online calculators for charitable gift annuities, charitable lead trusts, CRATs and CRUTs free implementations are available on the Henry & Associates website (get the Compliance Now version) and planned giving resources (get the Donor Direct version) at www.pcalc.ptec.com/hosts/977504798/advancedMenu.html and Planned Giving Resources at www.pcalc.ptec.com/hosts/974748957/simpleMenu.html
University of Georgia's Planned Giving Calculator does basic calculations for charitable trusts, gift annuities and pooled income funds online.
The Capital Trust Company of Delaware's website has many PDF and Word file summaries on basic and advanced estate-planning techniques with diagrams that are useful for clients. PowerPoint presentations are also available. Professionals may register for free.
Bourland, Wall & Wenzel's website has PowerPoint presentations, PDF files and Word files on charitable tax planning, family foundations, charities and insurance (and business succession planning) that include FLPs and charitable trusts.
The Faces of Generosity: The fourth most generous person in the United States last year was oil heiress Caroline Wiess Law, who died on Dec. 24, 2003 and left $400 million — almost her entire estate — to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Her bequests included 54 works of art valued at a total of $30 million.