CGA Best Practices - 5 Helpful Reminders
Best Practices
Written by Pamela Bennett & Michael Welling   
Thursday, November 29, 2018 11:20 AM

Below are some helpful reminders for your gift annuity program:

  1. Provide “full and adequate disclosure” of the risks and benefits of a gift annuity as mandated by the Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995 (PPA).
    Take time to review the PPA, including the requirements and its penalties for non-compliance.  This information should be included when you send a proposal to a donor.  Some charities use an attorney to draft a disclosure document to comply, while others may use booklets from vendors that include relevant information.
  2. Make gift annuity marketing materials friendly to older donors. 
    The average age range for establishing a gift annuity is 78 to 80 years old so it’s important that marketing materials are easy to read.  Using a readable font such as 12 point, paper stock that isn’t too thin or shiny, and using black ink on a white background with plenty of open space on a page are ways to make printed material more legible. 
  3. Always include a disclaimer on your sample gift annuity calculations to highlight the information is for illustrative purposes.
    Fundraising professionals represent the non-profits by whom they are employed and cannot provide legal, tax or accounting advice.  It is recommended that language suggesting the donor seek professional advice before establishing a gift annuity be included on sample illustrations as well.
  4. Clarify your organization’s state registration status.
    If your organization is not registered to issue charitable gift annuities in all states that require registration and/or notification, your marketing materials should have a disclaimer stating “Not available in all states."
  5. Obtain a next of kin or emergency contact name and phone number when establishing a new gift annuity. 
    This can help save a lot of time and headache in solving problems including uncashed checks, locating missing annuitants, returned 1099 forms, and closing out matured contracts.