The sweeping tax overhaul enacted in 2017 raised concerns that philanthropists would reduce their support of the nonprofit sector during 2019.
That did not happen, according to a study released Thursday by BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s planned giving practice. Donors increased their planned gifts last year, with charitable gift annuities performing particularly well.
The number of these giving vehicles rose by 21% year over year, and the average gift amount increased by 56%. The study said nonprofits should take note, and increase their focus on marketing gift annuities.
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“Charitable gift annuities have remained a consistently popular way to give,” Crystal Thompkins, national director of gift planning services at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, said in a statement.
“For many nonprofits, it is a great way to create lifetime engagement with donors at all levels of support, and can open the door for deeper conversations about other ways to make an impact with their giving.”
According to the study, 74% of donors made gifts to organizations outside the state of their primary location, up from 66% in 2018, highlighting the importance of maintaining visibility and registering to issue gift annuities in states where gifting is the most prevalent.
Fifty-eight percent of gifts came from repeat donors, which the study said showed that maintaining stewardship efforts was also critical, particularly given the increased competition for philanthropic dollars.