Serving the Philanthropic Community Since 1927

Suggested Maximum Gift Annuity Rates, Quality Training Opportunities, and Consumer Protection Advocacy

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Recent postings highlighting educational opportunities, state regulation and rate changes, and relevant information for planned giving professionals and donors.  If you would like to view our archived articles, click here.

ACGA Board Member Interview - Cam Kelly, Duke University

We want to take this opportunity to thank Cam Kelly for providing her leadership and talents to the ACGA Board for 25 years as she steps out of her Director role on the ACGA Board of Directors. She has served as Chair of the Conference, Rates, and Frank Minton Leadership Initiative Committees while volunteering for the ACGA.  We are so thankful for her many contributions.

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Simmons Endowment Fully Funded - Call for Applicants

The Board of Directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities acknowledges, with great appreciation, receipt of the final funding to complete the Terry L. Simmons Philanthropic Endowment Fund.  This brings the funding to the goal of $150,000 and puts the Council in the position to fully fund scholarships for those attending future ACGA Conferences. We appreciate the gifts of each one who took this opportunity to honor Terry Simmons for his tireless efforts on behalf of Americas charities, in this way.  You can read more about Terry and the Endowment here.

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A Word form the Chair - March 2019


As we look toward spring and the renewal that season brings, I am excited to share that new things are happening at ACGA.   I would like to highlight three areas that you can learn more about in this issue of the newsletter and we’ll share more as this work continues.  

The first area I’d like to celebrate is reaching the $150,000 endowment goal for the Terry L. Simmons Scholarship Fund.  Generous gifts from individuals and groups across the country contributed to ensuring that we reach this milestone.  The ACGA along with many leaders in the philanthropic community created this Scholarship to honor the extraordinary man whose impact on the charitable field that cannot be overstated.   Terry passed away in April of 2017 and he is sorely missed, but the legacy he leaves endures.   An article in this newsletter provides more details about the Scholarship and I encourage you to read more about Terry Simmons, his leadership and legacy in the philanthropic community and the scholarship that enables gift planners who are newer to the field to further their professional development.  We are forever grateful to Terry and look forward to the Simmons Scholarship Fund helping grow the next generation of talented gift planners.

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Webinar: What Gift Officers Need to Know About Finance

What Gift Officers Need to Know About Finance

What Gift Officers Need to Know About Finance

A charitable gift annuity’s “beauty” is often in the eye of the beholder, and that “beauty” or value may differ between the development and finance departments. While a charitable gift annuity (CGA) is the successful culmination of many conversations with a donor, it also represents a much longer timeline of responsibilities and tasks for the finance department that may not be fully understood or appreciated by many gift officers. The session speakers will provide insight into how CGAs and other life income gifts influence the financial processes and risk management practices and why Finance may see a CGA not only as a gift, but also as a liability (which it technically is!). With this awareness and appreciation of the financial liabilities of planned gifts, gift officers can enhance their relationships with CFOs and their staff. Join our webinar presenters who all have extensive experience in finance roles working at or with nonprofit organizations that issue charitable gift annuities.

If you can't attend the live webinar, you can still register and access a recorded version the day after the webinar is completed.

Event Details

Event Date 03-06-2019 1:00 pm ET
Event End Date 09-06-2019 2:00 pm ET
Registration Start Date 01-18-2019 10:00 am ET
Cut off date 09-06-2019 6:00 pm ET
Individual Price ACGA Members: $50 / ACGA Non-members: $75 (Per site. You can invite as many people as you want to attend with you.)
Speaker Cox Pat Cox
Executive Director-Investments
ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Pat joined ALSAC in January 2010 where he serves as the Executive Director – Investments. Pat has over twenty years of investment experience with a diverse background in portfolio design, implementation and management across multiple portfolio frame works. At ALSAC, Pat works directly with the CIO, Investment Committee and Investment Consultant regarding portfolio asset allocation and rebalancing. Within the Investment Office Pat conducts manager research and due diligence for both traditional and alternative asset classes by creating internal analytics and conducting onsite manager visits. He also works the ALSAC CGA portfolios and donor trusts. Pat collaborates with the legal and gift planning departments in portfolio transitions and liquidations from donor bequests. Prior to joining ALSAC, Pat spent sixteen years with a national investment consulting firm where he was a Managing Analyst and Sr. Consultant. Pat worked with a diverse group of clients from large foundations and high net worth individuals to large corporate pension plans. For each of these clients Pat provided full, customized services around asset allocation, manager research and recommendations to board presentations and speaking at public plan conferences.

Ely David Ely, CFA
Vice President
Wilmington Trust, N.A.

David is a Senior Private Client Investment Advisor and is responsible for developing customized investment portfolios for his clients based on their unique parameters for risk, return, liquidity, and other factors. After taking the time to listen to his client’s objectives and to understand any tax, legal, and personal considerations, David then structures a well-diversified portfolio in keeping with each client’s asset allocation program. David continually monitors and periodically rebalances his clients’ portfolios to meet their evolving needs and to take advantage of new investment opportunities.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, David was a Vice President of State Street Global Advisors and a Senior Portfolio Manager in the firm's Investment Solutions Group. He was responsible for developing and implementing tactical and strategic multi asset class solutions for institutional clients. David was the Investment Team Leader for the portfolio management team dedicated to SSGA's Charitable Asset Management (CAM) where he was responsible for setting asset allocation strategy and managing charitable gift portfolios for all CAM clients. Prior to joining State Street in 1999, David worked for Salomon Smith Barney's Private Client Group.

David earned his Bachelors degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and his Masters degree in Finance at Northeastern University. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society, as well as the CFA Institute. David is also a Board member of the American Council on Gift Annuities.

McGowan Kevin McGowan
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Catholic Church Extension Society Of the USA

Kevin McGowan has been the Chief Financial Officer at Catholic Extension since 2008. In addition to his financial responsibilities, Kevin manages the 3,500+ contracts in the CGA program, overseeing the marketing, donor outreach and followup, internal and external reporting, investing and administration. This unique responsibility for a CFO requires him to closely coordinate with the Annual Giving and Major Gift Officers. Prior to joining Catholic Extension, Kevin was a management consultant for over 20 years, working with Fortune 500 companies on their strategic, operational and organizational challenges.

Kevin earned a BA with Honors from Wesleyan University and an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has served on the ACGA board since 2016.

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Location Webinar

ACGA State Regulations Committee Update

CoxThe ACGA State Regulations Committee strives to work collaboratively with ACGA members and with state regulators throughout the United States to track potential changes in regulations as well as to provide input on questions regarding state regulations. To that end, the Committee has been working toward a suggested Investment Policy Statement to provide ACGA members.

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A Word form the Chair - December 2018

LockeYour ACGA Board met in early November for its biannual in-person meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.  Our purpose for this meeting was two-fold:  to conduct the regular business of ACGA and for strategic planning to shape the next few years of ACGA work.  The Board came out of that meeting excited about the potential for the future and with a full plate of work ahead to serve our members and the charitable community.

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ACGA Webinar - Vital Signs: Understanding Key Metrics for a Healthy Charitable Gift Annuity Pool

WebinarJoin us on October 30th at 1PM ET for our webinar, Vital Signs: Understanding Key Metrics for a Healthy Charitable Gift Annuity Pool with Crystal Thompkins, CAP®, CSPGCMNational Director of Gift Planning Services, Vice President, BNY Mellon Wealth Management Planned Giving group

While Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) are beneficial instruments for giving, there are risks associated with managing a CGA program. The over-arching risk is that the charity is on the hook for making lifetime payments to all annuitants and therefore must maintain a level of assets to support those payments, but there are other underlying risks. In order to sustain a successful CGA program, it is important to understand all of these risks and their potential impact as well as the key metrics used to analyze those risks. Understanding, analysis and diligent monitoring can help mitigate risk and promote a healthy gift annuity program.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define the risks of a CGA pool
  2. Identify and understand the key metrics for monitoring risk
  3. Identify red flags that indicate problems within a pool by reviewing sample CGA pool data
  4. Learn tips for mitigating further risk in a problem pool

When: Tuesday, October 30, 2018, 1PM ET
Cost: ACGA Members - $50 (login for discount), Non-members $75
Register by 1PM on 10/30

Register Now

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Key Metrics for Charitable Gift Annuity Pools

Crystal Thompkins, CAP® ,CSPGCM
National Director, Gift Planning Services, BNY Mellon Planned Giving

Charitable gift annuities (CGAs) are a popular component of many non-profits’ planned giving programs. Non-profits benefit from long-lasting donor stewardship that can result in impactful gifts, helping to further the organizations’ missions. CGAs are appealing to donors because they are simple to understand, establish and fund, and they provide the security of a lifetime fixed income stream. 

While CGA programs can benefit donors and charitable organizations alike, there are risks associated with these programs. Understanding these risks, evaluating several key metrics and putting the right processes in place can help improve the likelihood of a CGA pool's viability over time.

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Inside the ACGA Board: Crystal Thompkins

Crystal TompkinsEd small

I recently had the opportunity to speak with fellow ACGA Board member and author of this month’s article on CGA metrics, Crystal T. Thompkins, of BNY Mellon Wealth Management Planned Giving, about the ACGA, the hallmarks of a strong gift planning and charitable gift annuity program, and how she sees philanthropy and gift planning changing in the coming years.

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ACGA Member Spotlight


Why ACGA Membership is Important: Chatting with Bryan Clontz, Ph.D, CFP, CAP

When asked why ACGA membership is important, Bryan Clontz, President of Charitable Solutions, LLC, stated that he believes strongly in supporting ACGA’s mission because the important work of the ACGA has been relied upon by planned giving professionals for years. The ACGA is not only important for those who issue charitable gift annuities, but for any person or organization that provides counsel for gift planners, board members, and donors.

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A Word from the Chair September 2018


Did you know that for 91 years the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) has been the country's only non-profit dedicated to suggesting maximum charitable gift annuity rates?   This work benefits donors as well as the charities that they support by advancing and promoting responsible philanthropy.

Summer is the time organizations renew their ACGA membership.  This year has seen several key offerings for the charitable community that your membership helps supports:  an increase in its schedule of suggested maximum charitable gift annuity rates that went into effect on July 1, 2018; a new research report released; and  the announcement of our 34th Conference on Gift Planning scheduled for April 20-22, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia (not too early to put on your calendar). Your ACGA membership supports all of this and more.   Take a look at some of the resources available to your organization through the ACGA:

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ACGA Suggested Maximum Rates: Moving Higher

WebinarA webinar for ACGA and CGP members only...

Join the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) and the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) for this free members-only webinar June 14th. The ACGA is the nation’s only 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to suggesting actuarially sound maximum charitable gift annuity rates. What goes into the ACGA’s suggested maximum rates? Why are the suggested maximum rates increasing? What are the implications for donors and charities?

In this webinar, Dave Ely, the Chair of the ACGA’s Rates Committee, will address these questions and more.

Free to ACGA & CGP Members

If you missed the webinar on 6/14/18, ACGA members can login and view the webinar presentation on our website here.

The full paper on the new ACGA rates is now available in electronic format free of charge to ACGA members. The report can be found on our website here.

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New Gift Annuity Survey Highlights Best Practices, Sheds Light on Rapidly Growing Programs

2017SurveyGraphicACGA released data from its latest survey, the 2017 Survey of Charitable Gift Annuities, at its April conference.  The report analyzed the responses of 409 charitable organizations to questions about gifts, annuitants, administration and other topics.  ACGA conducted the last gift annuity survey in 2013.  

Here are a few highlights on charitable gift annuity policies, practices and trends from the 2017 survey:

  • The average age of annuitants at the time of their gifts remained at 79 years.
  • The number of female annuitants (54%) remained larger than the number of male annuitants (46%).
  • The share of deferred annuity contracts and flexible deferred payment annuities continued to increase.
  • Fewer charities needed to transfer money to gift annuity reserve accounts to meet state minimum requirements.
  • 97% of charities follow suggested ACGA annuity rates.

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Reaching New Heights in Gift Planning

The theme for the 33rd Conference on Gift Annuities, Reaching New Heights in Gift Planning paid homage to our host city and set forth an aspiration for each attendee. Nearly 500 gift planners gathered at the Seattle Sheraton for three days of education and networking on April 25-27.  Five of the attendees received Terry Simmons Scholarships, which covered their conference registration.  

The Conference featured a stellar program of speakers and topics which helped attendees reach new heights in the important work they do for our nation’s non-profit organizations.  Keynote speakers Pete Sommerfeld and Dr. Tomasz Beer of the Oregon Health Sciences University showed how big fundraising ideas can be implemented to make real, positive impact on people’s lives.  

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ACGA Member Spotlight

AmandaMartin“I am incredibly grateful for the encouragement from colleagues to join the American Council of Gift Annuities! Our organization has offered charitable gift annuities for over 10 years and has always followed the ACGA rates. Several colleagues mentioned the invaluable experience and knowledge gained as an ACGA member, which I can now echo, and it is an incredible value given the moderate cost of membership. It was definitely a worth-while investment of our department resources.

As a new member, this year was my first year attending the ACGA Conference. It was very well organized with great depth to each session. Everyone from beginners to seasoned fundraisers could learn something new at this conference. ACGA has provided a great forum to meet, network, and learn about best practices in the charitable giving world.”  -- Amanda Kiernan Martin, JD, Planned Giving Director, Episcopal Diocese of California.


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Recent Changes to the ACGA Board

ACGABoardThe following members of the ACGA Board retired from Board service in 2018:

  • Dan T. Garrett, AEP®, CFP®, HDP® (2005 – 2018)
  • Susan Gutchess (2000 – 2018)
  • Edith E. Matulka, J.D. (2009 – 2018)
  • Peter A. Witherell (2012 – 2018)

We thank each of them for their many years of hard work and commitment to the ACGA.

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A Word from the Chair June 2018

LockeEven if you didn’t have the opportunity to attend the 33rd ACGA Conference in Seattle in late April, you have probably heard the news that the Board of Directors, at its semi-annual meeting, approved an increase in the suggested maximum rates currently in effect.  The new rate schedule  was published on May 15, 2018 and is effective on July 1, 2018.  The new schedule replaces the current rate schedule which was published on January 1, 2012.    

Whether you are new to the work of ACGA or a long-time member or partner, we hope you understand that one of the primary activities of ACGA is the publication of suggested maximum charitable gift annuity rates for use by charities and their donors.    The ACGA retains the services of an actuarial firm to advise and consult on matters pertaining to life expectancies and related matters.   The ACGA has a long and distinguished record in this area, and its suggested maximum rates have long been recognized, not only by charities and donors, but also by state insurance departments and the IRS as being actuarily sound and in the best interests of all parties involved.

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ACGA Membership Reminder

Strengthen your charitable mission! Your partnership is vital to ACGA’s ability to provide:

  • Sound Suggested Charitable Gift Annuity rates. ACGA’s suggested gift annuity rates are the industry standard which adds credibility to your donor relationships and your organization’s gift annuity program. Simply, without it you lose third party validation with administrators, donors, families, professional advisors and prospects.
  • Quality training opportunities. ACGA has consistently brought top experts in the field of charitable giving to train and mentor our members and all who want to attend our renowned planned giving conference- the longest running conference in the planned giving profession.
  • Appropriate consumer protection. ACGA monitors and responds to state gift annuity regulation issues that arise from time to time. Membership in ACGA gives each organization that issues Charitable Gift Annuities an opportunity to have impact on the regulatory process in their state.

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Keeping Current with State CGA Regulations

StateRegsWe consistently hear from members that the State Regulations section of ACGA’s website is an invaluable resource. This state-by-state information recently received a thorough review by the ACGA’s State Regulations committee. This comprehensive updating, performed by the committee on a recurring basis, is in addition to changes made throughout the year as we hear from our agents, state regulators, and other users of the site.  Since the adage “the only thing constant is change” is oh so true, if you learn of any changes relating to state gift annuity regulation please send us an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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2018 Survey of Charitable Gift Annuities Report is On Its Way

SurveyThe ACGA Research Committee has been busy working on the 2018 Survey of Charitable Gift Annuities Report.  The gift annuity surveys conducted by ACGA are the best source of information about charitable gift annuity policies, practices and trends.

ACGA emailed the 2017 Gift Annuity Survey to ACGA members and contacts beginning in September of 2016.  It was made available through a web link on the ACGA website and marketed in the ACGA newsletter.  ACGA also sent a hard copy mailing to organizations that did not respond to the initial email request.

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