A Word from the President - October 2020
Written by Rebecca Locke, ACGA President   
Friday, October 02, 2020 08:40 AM


Here we are approaching fall, and the season of Thanksgiving where we remember all the many things for which we have to be thankful.  One of the things I’m grateful for at the ACGA is that we get mail.  Well, to be honest, we mostly get email, phone calls and voicemail, but on the rare occasion, we get that old fashioned, sent from the USPS type of mail, too.  Mail to the ACGA comes from prospective donors, from advisors, and from charities.  Through one of those emails, I was reminded of one of the many ways you and I help the donors that we serve.  A gentleman in his 90s left a voicemail asking several questions about charitable gift annuities.  He and his wife (who already had several gift annuities) were interested in making several very large gift annuities, but first, they had questions. 

In talking with this man, his questions were the ones that you might expect.  How are rates set?  How can I help a second charity? Can I be sure the charity will make payments? (In spite of the fact that that he reported that charities were making payments like clockwork on his current annuities.)  After talking through his questions along with other issues he might want to consider with his wife and advisors, he thanked me and said he would call me back to give me to an update after he and his wife spoke with their advisor and the charities that they want to benefit.  It was a reminder that gift planning is a partnership in so many ways, and the paths that lead to a gift often meander before a gift is completed.  Here are at the ACGA, we are grateful to be your partner as you offer charitable gift annuities to donors who want to support your mission.  

Another point of thanksgiving this year is our upcoming branding and website changes which you will see soon.  Our goal is to modernize our materials and make more accessible the information that you need to do your work.  We’ve had the wonderful gift of the assistance of our generous friends at Stelter. Their marketing and communications expertise have been a welcome voice as we make these changes.  Thank you, Stelter!

Finally, this month, I’m grateful for our board’s continued work in the strategic planning process that we began in the fall of 2018.  We are about to begin our third year of working on that plan and we can see the large-scale changes that have already been accomplished.  We have some work yet to do, but we have made progress on each of our goals so that we better serve you.  Our board has maintained the focus on that plan which is often so challenging when you find yourself with day to day work of the ACGA that requires attention.  I’m so proud to be part of this board and that includes our new members and those who have now retired from the board.  Please take a moment to look at our Board roster on the website; it’s a fine group of professionals and more importantly a wonderful group of people.  

As always, thank you for being part of the ACGA family.  Please let your colleagues know if you find our work valuable so that they can join us as well.