Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Planned Giving Design Center

Magazine article The CPA Journal

Website of the Month: Planned Giving Design Center

Article excerpt

The Planned Giving Design Center (PGDC) website, at, offers an excellent collection of information and tools on charitable gift options to professional advisors, nonprofit organizations, and the general public, with the mission of ftirthering philanthropic activity. The website resources are available without charge, although free registration is required to access some materials.

The PGDC website uses a consistent design throughout, although the main menus, navigation indexes, and highlighted resources may vary in different sections of the site. The homepage presents top menu tabs of "national," "local," "calendar," "resources," and "PhilanthroCalc." The left side content menus group materials by "type" and "category," plus "resources." The center of the homepage contains links to the current month's featured news stories and articles. The right side of the page highlights active forum topics, discussions, popular searches, and a monthly archive. Main pages alternatively highlight national news and new topics.

Articles and News

Articles originate from a variety of sources. "Symbiotic Ways Private Foundations Use Community Foundations and Other Organizations" is a thorough seven-page discussion of 10 ways that community organizations can help private foundations improve their effectiveness. "The Hidden Gift" addresses tools for charities that hold life insurance policies to reduce their premium costs. "Mix Charitable Giving with Succession Planning" is reproduced from Family Business magazine and covers the use of a charitable remainder trust to reduce tax exposure in transferring a business to family members.

Items under the "news stories" link report on House and Senate activities, IRS announcements, revenue rulings, and Treasury Department notices, as well as articles reprinted from outside the PGDC. September 2010 items included the full text of a letter to the IRS commissioner by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus requesting a review of IRC section 501(c)(4), (c)(5), and (c)(6) organizations involved in political campaign activity. Two other September articles addressed opposing sides of the estate tax debate. News items and announcements can also be located from the left side content menu by category.

"Case studies" provide more than a dozen discussions of specific fact scenarios, the related issues, and the proposed solutions. Examples include the use of charitable lead and remainder trusts, gift annuities, and temporary private foundations. Another case uses endowed scholarships to fulfill the donor's goals. Other cases cover gifts of appreciated securities and charitable contributions of IRAs.

"Technical reports" are generally 10- to 20-page detailed explanations of several planned giving topics, written at a professional, but still easy-to-understand, level. Planned giving techniques and vehicles topics include bargain sales, life estate agreements, and charitable gift annuities. …

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