Heard on the Web: Donors Find Gift Annuities Can Stop Giving

Heard on the Web: Donors Find Gift Annuities Can Stop Giving

News story posted in Charitable Gift Annuity on 18 May 2009| 5 comments
audience: National Publication | last updated: 18 May 2011
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Summary

The Wall Street Journal continues to report on the collapse of the National Heritage Foundation and its effect on its gift annuity donors. The message is donors and their advisers should scrutinize the financial strength of issuing organizations just as they would any other investment.

"It sounds good on paper: You make a donation to a worthy cause and, in return, receive regular lifetime payments. But so-called charitable gift annuities don't always deliver what they promise -- a risk that could intensify if the recession persists.

For the past several years, Matthew Allen has counted on receiving nearly $12,000 a month through a charitable gift annuity he set up with the National Heritage Foundation. That arrangement was upended in January, when the Falls Church, Va., charity filed for bankruptcy protection".......

 The full text of this article can be found at:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124208562045708743.html?mod=djkeyword

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Op Ed Letter Responses to WSJ article on gift annuities

As I said in the May 19th edition of the newsletter, THE PLANNED GIVING KEY, the damage is already done. Unfortunately, this sloppy reporting by the WSJ has hurt not only the donors that may have benefited from increased income while helping a charity they care about, it has also hurt the legitimate charities, serving their nonprofit missions and responsibly managing their gift annuity programs. Letters to the editor and op ed opinions are less likely to be read than a blazing headline, especially if it deals with something the reader has been considering. I just do not understanding why the "reporters" were so quick to put forth this misleading article, which served no one.

Op-Ed Responses

Go to http://www.pgdc.com/pgdc/acga-and-ppp-respond-wsj-article-re-gift-annuit... to see Partnership for Philanthropic Planning and American Council on Gift Annuities responses.

Couldn't agree More...

...With the following statement, "The message is donors and their advisers should scrutinize the financial strength of issuing organizations just as they would any other investment." Financial Strength matters. Now more than ever.

WSJ's Piece Deserves "Equal Time" to be "fair and balanced"

As you should know, if you are keeping up, both the American Council on Gift Annuities and the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning have aggressively challenged the focus, tone and substance of the WSJ piece. Their replies can be found at www.acga-web.org or www.pppnet.org. Thank you. Greg Vranicar

letter to WSJ editor disputing their characterization

It is appropriate to post an op-ed letter sent soon after publication of the story in WSJ. Find it here: http://www.pgcalc.com/news/FMinton_WSJ_Response_May_2009.pdf

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