Posted by on September 27, 2017

I am pleased to announce that A History of Charitable Gift Planning can be ordered by copying this link and entering it into your browser: https://www.createspace.com/6067854

Here are some highlights:

In 1831, John Trumbull gave more than 50 paintings to Yale in exchange for a $1,000 annuity. Our best images of the men, women, and events of the American Revolution, such as The Battle of Bunker’s Hill and The Declaration of Independence, were preserved as a collection through a planned gift.

As far as is now known, this was the first gift annuity in the U.S., predating one issued in 1843 by the American Bible Society. The Yale annuity bond contracts created by attorney Peter Augustus Jay became templates for American nonprofits for more than 100 years. An international annuity bond campaign by the Bible Society resulted in 4,615 annuity contracts between 1920-1930. Other nonprofits leaped into gift annuity programs during the Roaring Twenties without adequate safeguards.

In 1927, George Augustus Huggins proposed a national risk-management system at a hastily convened conference on gift annuities. Huggins introduced actuarial principles for charitable gifts that we now take for granted: statistical measurement of average annuitant longevity; calculating payment rates by targeting a charitable residuum; and valuing charitable and beneficiary interests using financial projections grounded in investment experience.

After the 1927 conference, gift calculations required well-trained guidance. The profession of charitable gift planning was born. For ten conferences on annuities during Huggins’s lifetime, nonprofits were challenged by an unparalleled increase in longevity and a volatile economy marked by the Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, World War II, and a post-war boom.

By Huggins’s last conference in 1959, the Committee on Gift Annuities had virtually eliminated competition over annuity rates, and had introduced best practices for ethical marketing, accounting, investment of reserves, and compliance with federal and state laws, regulations, and court decisions.

A History of Charitable Gift Planning includes the full texts of important documents, several timelines, a substantial index, and an extensive bibliography.

Questions? Please write to me at rbrown.pghistory@gmail.com.  Let me know how you like the book!

Ron Brown

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