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Learn how to grow your endowment fund by promoting charitable gift annuities.

Looking for ways to grow your endowment fund? A charitable gift annuity can be a great option for your donors to support your organization.

A charitable gift annuity, or CGA, is one of the most popular planned gifts among donors. That’s because a CGA allows them to balance their charitable giving with their personal income needs.

How a Gift Annuity Works for Donors

Charitable Gift Annuity Infographic, showing how assets are transferred to the Foundation in return for a CGA.

Donors may receive fixed payments for life and a possible tax deduction

Why Gift Annuities Are So Versatile

As fundraisers, a CGA can be a great opportunity to develop a pipeline for non-cash assets. Cash only accounts for 7 percent of wealth, yet it is how most charitable donations are made. According to author and non-cash assets expert Bryan Clontz, that’s because it’s what most fundraisers ask for, despite 93 percent of wealth being held in other assets.

These non-cash assets can include items such as real estate, privately held stock, farm assets and more. Research done by philanthropic planning expert Dr. Russell N. James shows nonprofits that received a non-cash gift reported an average 50 percent growth over five years in comparison to 11 percent growth from nonprofits that only received cash gifts.

How to Best Talk to Your Donors About CGAs

The best way to see if a CGA is right for your donors is to spark up a conversation to discuss their giving plans.

When having these conversations, it is important to avoid formal words and terms. Instead, lean into emotions and memories around giving. Avoid leading with death and consider terms that refer to their legacy and the mission of your organization. Keywords to listen for in these conversations with a donor are “I wish I could give more,” or “Ask me to give more later.”

Donors who may benefit from a CGA are usually nearing the age of retirement, which at this time are baby boomers. They also typically have a desire to increase their fixed income and lower their taxes.

At the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, our team will work with you and your donors to ensure that when donors make a gift, they are able to receive a guaranteed fixed life income, often at a higher rate than that of a savings account or certificate of deposit. They will also be able to establish a fund at as low as $10,000.

See more about the benefits of offering charitable gift annuities to your donors in our planned giving video series for nonprofit fundraisers.

To learn more about how to start a nonprofit endowment fund, contact Director of Gift Planning Mariah Brook at 651.325.4269 or Nonprofit Strategies Manager Elizabeth McCray at 651.325.4297.

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