Foaling Protocol – Henry & Associates

Foaling Protocol – Henry & Associates

Foaling Protocols for Horse Farms

Suggested routines and management ideas for new foaling barn personnel. This program may be more useful for horse farms with large numbers of nonresident mares, or commercial breeding farms with numerous employees.

  1. Check mares frequently and quietly (15 minute intervals)
  2. Wrap the tail, wash the vulva and udder. Check for Caslicks. (Is the mare sutured?)
  3. As allantois ruptures call management team. Call earlier if the mare is straining or rolling.
  4. Provide assistance or traction as needed, but only if needed.
  5. Make sure drug box, clean stainless steel bucket, disinfectant, sleeves, oxygen tank, OB chains and handles are available.
  6. After foal is born, clear nasal passages, insure that foal is breathing. Use oxygen to assist foal’s respiration. Tank, mask and hose must be nearby.
  7. Do not manually separate umbilical cord. Allow it to remain intact as long as possible. Do not excite mare or foal. Draw foal’s blood into vacutainer with EDTA (purple top) for compatibility check with maternal colostrum.
  8. Take a clean 6 c.c. plastic syringe case filled with tincture of iodine, immerse the navel stump in syringe case, hold there momentarily.
  9. If mare is drawing air into the vagina, clamp vulva closed.
  10. It may be necessary to dry the foal and provide a heat source to reduce stress. Note the time of birth, sex, color and markings in the records. Photograph foal for owners’ files.
  11. Do not upset the mare or foal at this time, allow each to remain undisturbed if possible. Observe the mare and foal for difficulties (rolling, bleeding, shock or unusual behavior).
  12. As the mare stands, rewash underline and udder, and rinse.
  13. Tie end of placenta to tail so it’s not stepped on, note time and weight, condition and shape of placenta as it’s expelled.
  14. The foal should receive 5-6 c.c. penicillin (IM), the mare should receive 20 c.c. penicillin (IM). Tetanus antitoxin should be given to the foal, especially if the dam has not had a recent tetanus toxoid.
  15. Note time of first successful nursing by foal.
  16. Draw blood from foal at 24 hours for postnatal IgG test.
  17. Monitor mare and foal closely for the first 48 hours, and then follow foal with regular rectal temperatures frequently. It may be necessary to check temperature and vitals at four hour intervals. Watch for diarrhea, straining, yellowish mucous membranes, change in temperature, increased heart and respiration rate, swollen joints or navel, loss of suck reflex, lethargy, diminished capillary refill time, dehydration or abdominal distension.


Check List for Foaling Barn Personnel

 Dam’s name ___________________________ Sire _____________________

Date of last vaccinations for mare:

 influenza ________ rhinopneumonitis ________ tetanus ________

 encephalomyelitis ________ distemper ________ rabies _________

 wax formation: early ________ late ________ none ________

 colostral loss? ____ date mare foaled ________ time of foaling ________

 ease of foaling: no assistance ________ slight traction ________

  moderate traction ________ severe dystocia ________

 oxygen necessary? ____ time & manner of umbilical separation ___________


 iodine navel _______ placental expulsion: time _________ weight ________

  condition ___________________________________________

 attitude of foal _______________________________ first stood ____________

 blood/colostrum agglutination: none ___ slight ___ moderate ___

 first nursed: _______ meconium passed: _______ urinated: _______

 tetanus antitoxin adminstered to foal ___________ enema necessary? _____

 antibiotic administered to: dam _____________ foal ____________

 weight of foal __________ color of foal __________ sex __________

 markings drawn on application? ______ photograph? ______

 check foal’s vitals at 4, 12 and 24 hours postpartum:

  4 hour vitals: heart ______ respiration ______ temp ______

 12 hour vitals: heart ______ respiration ______ temp ______

 24 hour vitals: heart ______ respiration ______ temp ______

 IgG test results ______________________________________________

 ARVAC needed for mare? ______ given? ______

 (These forms have been used successfully by many farms I have managed, partly to provide structure and repeatability for employees with limited reproductive management background. However, vaccinations or protocols used and recorded should be based on the recommendations of your veterinary consultants. It is important to remember individual horses and farm management systems have varying histories of success and failure. The needs for structure may be better addressed with other preventative health programs specifically designed for the region, breed and owner’s capabilities.)

Personal observations and notes follow:

When I used the foaling predictor kits and I saw there was a 20-40% chance that the mare was expected to foal I still had to stay up and watch. I didn’t hold it out as much real practical value, as we usually had several mares in the same stage of readiness. If there was any chance the mare would foal, I pretty much needed to have someone there. Since, there’s about a 5% probability of dystocia (difficult births) it makes sense to be around, out of sight but nearby as much as possible. For that reason, I liked to hang a video camera in the stall and cable it into the office or tack room where I could read or do paperwork and keep an eye on things at the same time. There’s some good videotapes on foaling that would be worthwhile so you can see the natural progression of things and get a sense of timing and normal presentations. Most owners feel the urge to get in there and tug on the foal, and that’s often not the right thing to do.

How many of you with foaling mares keep a kit with various items in it for emergencies? Care to provide a sample inventory? Ideas for: “must haves”, “nice to have”, “don’t do without”? Go back to my home page and add to my basic kit through my access and reporting form area. Just to “start off”, I had in the foaling barn a box with: lead shank, twitch, tincture of iodine, empty 6 cc syringe cases to dip navel with iodine (much neater); obstetrical hook, OB chain, wire snare, OB handle; stainless bucket, betadine scrub, roll cotton, tail wraps (actually eleastic ace bandages but clean athletic tube socks work too), 1″ white adhesive tape, scalpel, scissors, hemostats, clamps, vacutainers (purple and red top) for typing and isoerythrolysis testing, instant camera for markings and owner “feel-good” photograph, small oxygen tank and ventilator, towels, injectable antibiotics and tetanus antitoxin, syringes and needles, “whirlpaks” to freeze colostrum, rectal thermometer, stethoscope; I also had a wide range of drugs and surgical instruments normally not available, but occasionally useful, etc. There was actually a lot more, but I thought it would be helpful to throw it out and let you build a kit for your barn with your local vet’s help.

There are 4 basic conditions in newborn foals you need to worry about, briefly:

1. anatomic problems, e.g. ruptured bladders, deformities (seen immediately to 48 hours post foaling)

2. isoimmune hemolytic anemia, e.g. foal’s blood antigens causing the dam to produce colostrum with antibodies to foal (usually seen 24 – 72 hours post foaling) can be tested, prevented, and occasionally treated if you’re talented with transfusions

3. infectious agents e.g. E. coli, K. pneumoniae, S. equi, Salmonella, Shigella, Pseudomonas, Corynebacterium, several viral problems, etc. (seen 48 hours onward unless foal born already infected)

4. neonatal maladjustment syndrome = barker, wanderer, dummy foals, are usually caused by fetal stress (seen 12-48 hours post foaling)

Generally, we took heart rate, temperature, respiration rates every 4 hours for 1st day, then every 6-8 hours for next 3 days, then daily for next week. It was inconvenient, but foals were handled, it forced us to examine foals carefully and check the following:

color of eye (jaundiced?), capillary refill (pink gums pressed and return to color), pinch test on skin of neck for dehydration, swelling of navel, diarrhea, etc. I’d say paying attention to foal for deviations from normal is most important part of management. I saw more problems in barns where there was a lot of traffic and stall movement among horses. Typically, contaminated foaling stalls are a potential problem as the mare is thrust into an environment that she’s not acclimated to and her colostral antibodies were formed based on her environment in another barn or a pasture. Foal is born and may be less protected as a result. That’s one reason we saw more problems in the third and fourth batch of foaling mares unless were super sanitary. So problems like this are hardly flukes and bear watching.


Customize a Hypothetical CRT Scenario to Control Family Wealth – Vaughn Henry & Associates

Customize a Hypothetical CRT Scenario to Control Family Wealth – Vaughn Henry & Associates

Need A Hypothetical CRT Scenario?

CRT Scenario Options

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Check box if you are satisfied that your estate plan, trust or will has eliminated all unnecessary taxes and is currently up to date

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Estate Planning the Second Time Around

Estate Planning the Second Time Around

Estate Planning Needs Vary

Vaughn W. Henry

 Q – As a retired widower, I keep hearing new proposals for estate tax relief and am wondering how will my estate planning be affected by a remarriage?

. – Although there has been a lot of publicity about estate tax reform, the likelihood of meaningful change is remote. After all, the projected estates subject to tax over the next 25 years exceed $10 trillion, and with federal budget tightening, the odds of Congress walking away from that windfall are pretty slim. That said, do not wait for estate taxes to be eliminated, it’s not going to happen.

With divorce statistics on the rise, and the increasingly longer life span of many of our senior citizens, it’s very common for estate plans to be a consideration when contemplating a second or third marriage. Different states have specific laws concerning individual, joint and community property acquired during a marriage, so you should check with your legal advisor about how to best hold title to your property in each and every state. If you want property to go to your children and not to your new spouse’s family, then you need to be very specific about your intentions.

Generally there are five basic problems which should be addressed in replanning and organizing your estate.

• Children of previous marriages will occasionally throw up roadblocks if they feel that an outsider threatens “their inheritance”. Whether or not this feeling is deserved, it is something that should be addressed as quickly as possible. Otherwise, the underlying tensions in a family may create messy legal battles down the road. If there is an eventual dispute about an inheritance, it’s a rare family that has as much harmony and good will after parents die as before.

Good communication is very important. You can be specific about explaining and setting up a plan that is equitable, but not always equal, while you’re still alive. It’s much harder to properly unravel the reasons behind complicated distributions through a will or trust after death. To provide the most control of assets and their eventual ownership, it’s often better to distribute proceeds during your lifetime. Then, there’s no question about your intentions. If the estate is sizeable, you may want to take advantage of the $10,000 annual gifting exclusion to avoid tax on the estate and the problems of uncontrolled growth of your assets’ value and subsequent taxation.

•Prenuptial agreements are necessary if you want to preserve your assets for the original family. No longer a tool for the rich and famous, a well thought out agreement will avoid misunderstandings all around. Some clients avoid mentioning the subject of a premarital agreement because they don’t want to appear distrustful. However, it’s generally a better approach to go into a new marriage with a clear understanding of what’s mine, yours and ours.

•Insurance policies, pension and retirement plan beneficiary designations will need to be re-evaluated. Is the beneficiary or ownership correct on your contract? Many policies, locked away in a safety deposit box, still list deceased or ex-spouses as beneficiaries, much to the dismay of the family when it comes time to settle an estate. An annual review of your all insurance and annuity contracts should be a part of your plan. Remember, owning an insurance policy on your life puts the proceeds back into your taxable estate, no matter who the beneficiary is.

• Consider how powers of attorney should used. Generally, you will need someone to handle both medical and financial issues if you are disabled. Will it be better to have a child from a previous marriage or your new spouse making those critical decisions?

•If you have retirement income, check with your pension representative about the rights to survivor income if you should pass away before your new spouse. The same thing can be said about social security benefits.

The basic role of the estate plan is to conserve and distribute assets, provide adequate liquidity for survivor income, avoid excessive tax and transfer costs, and maintain family control for any ongoing business. Unique circumstances like disabled dependents needing special care, or opportunities for charitable gifting or managing estate assets for minors are all issues that a well constructed estate plan will address. Increasingly common are plans that decide in advance what percentage of the estate will pass to children, charity and the IRS. When presented with a choice about disinheriting the IRS, almost everyone prefers charity and heirs to wasteful and unnecessary taxation. Since tax changes in 1969, anyone with appreciated assets might be well advised to look at a §664-CRT scenario for income, security, reduced taxes and improved control of family wealth. CRT planning is a highly specialized field and unfortunately, few professionals work with them. This isn’t a “do it yourself” project, since estate planning should encompass wealth preservation planning. A team approach with qualified advisors will present you with a number of flexible strategies that will help you meet your family goals


Planning for the Second Time Around

Planning for the Second Time Around

Planning for the Second Time Around

Vaughn W. Henry

Although nobody likes to enter a marriage thinking about the potential for problems, they happen. It’s a statistical probability that some marriages will fail, no matter how genuine the couple’s romantic intentions. Second and third marriages are particularly prone to uncertainty, as both parties are usually older and less flexible. There are often children from previous relationships and the couple may bring considerable assets or debts into this new marriage. It is these commingled assets and liabilities that cause serious disputes when the union starts to split apart. Deciding early on what is mine, yours and ours is important, otherwise it becomes a constant source of irritation in a blended family. To deal with complex financial problems while both parties are alive is difficult; it’s overwhelming to deal with family issues after a death.

While property held in joint tenancy passes to the surviving owner, any remaining assets may be up for grabs. Unless the surviving spouse has waived the statutory right to the deceased’s estate, any children from an earlier marriage may be effectively disinherited. This right to disclaim effectively puts the step-parent in line for one-half of the estate, despite the late spouse’s original intentions. Worse yet, the children of the surviving spouse may ultimately walk off with the bulk of both estates, leaving the first family cut out of the loop.

This unpalatable situation can be remedied with a series of trusts designed to preserve each family’s original assets. Notably, the QTIP (Qualified Terminable Interest Property) or ABC Trust allows each spouse to direct how their assets will be distributed, while still providing lifetime security for the surviving marriage partner. Assets placed in a properly drafted QTIP Trust qualify for the unlimited marital deduction, and this action postpones any estate taxes normally due at the first death. The QTIP also reduces the possibility of assets passing out of the original family’s control due to a future remarriage of the surviving spouse. This specialized trust is particularly useful in protecting children of a previous marriage from being disinherited by the surviving step-parent.

Less obvious problems in second marriages include being inattentive about beneficiary designations on insurance policies and retirement plans. All too often, the ex-spouse receives an unexpected windfall, while leaving estate taxes and final expenses up to the new family. Most companies will provide beneficiary change forms for insurance, annuities and qualified retirement plans, so there is no excuse for making this oversight..

Estates of married couples that are under $650,000 (including life insurance) and not likely to exceed this amount in the future use different planning techniques. While smaller estates will generally not benefit tax-wise from either the traditional Credit Shelter or QTIP Trust, a living trust and durable powers of attorney are still valuable tools. Families below the federal estate tax threshold still can unintentionally lose assets to another family, and this is a serious problem requiring good planning.

Many legal specialists recommend prenuptial agreements to minimize potential disputes and protect assets. However, some clients are uncomfortable with the complete disclosure needed to make these contracts binding. Other planners suggest the use of Family Limited Partnerships (FLP) as a way to protect assets and insulate the children of previous marriages. Assets held in these specialized partnerships allow the parent, as general partners, to still control both income and management. Children, on the other hand, as limited partners, are treated as passive investors in the family assets. Since the future heirs already have paper ownership of the family assets, there is little chance of losing them to another family. Of special interest to parents is the creditor protection provided to family business assets held by a FLP. Asset protection for limited partners is based on the inability to force a partnership to relinquish property. Although a judge may issue a charging order that allows a creditor access to the partnership distributions, the creditor only takes the place of the limited partner. However, the general partner still controls the timing of income distributions. As a result, creditors may find themselves in the unpleasant position of receiving tax liabilities from the partnership, but having no income distributed to pay the bill. Most creditors would prefer to avoid that situation, and this provides heirs with some leverage for negotiations.

For the more determined clients, an international trust may provide a mechanism to better protect and control the original family’s assets. Although there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to keep everything legal, these trusts offer many advantages for individuals with potentially big exposures. To keep from conveying property fraudulently, planning must occur before any litigation or threat of legal action occurs. The major advantage to holding assets off-shore lies in the difficulty of attaching assets in any legal action. Most judges feel that such assets are held outside of their jurisdiction and not subject to the court’s control. Other asset protection features of these trusts include blocking frivolous litigation by forcing all proceedings to occur in the foreign country where the trust is located. This hurdle prevents most lawsuits from moving in directions unfavorable to the client. To evaluate the best use of asset protection strategies and integrated estate planning, experienced legal, tax and financial advisors should be consulted.

Vaughn W. Henry deals primarily with planned giving programs and estate conservation work and is a member of the Central Illinois Planned Giving Council.


Malpractice XVII – NIMCRUT Errors

Malpractice XVII – NIMCRUT Errors

Over-Selling the Concept

Abusing good planning tools injures clients.

A charitable remainder trust is often a great planning tool for clients with philanthropic interests and an interest in selling an appreciated asset that is not producing income commensurate with its value.  For some clients a CRT is a blessing; unfortunately, for others it is a curse.  Why might the CRT planning be cursed  Too often, advisors approach financial and estate planning as an opportunity to sell a product, and a CRT should neither be sold as a product (it is part of an integrated process); nor should product sales drive the planning decisions.

John and Pat Knopf, married for 39 years and parents of two married daughters who are themselves already well set in their respective careers, have amassed significant stock through John’s employer.  With a five million dollar estate, their assets tripped the trigger for federal estate tax liabilities, which should have posed several planning scenarios for the Knopf’s advisors.  Since almost all of their wealth was either in John’s 401(k) or a stock portfolio that held nothing but his employer’s stock, their assets were not properly diversified  John’s reluctance to reallocate his stock holdings hinged on the unrealized gain in the low basis stock, as he simply did not want to incur a capital gains tax to put the investment account into balance as he approached retirement. 

Into this mix stepped a financial advisor, introduced as an estate planning expert, but his recommendations had more to do with selling product, and inappropriate product at that, than solving problems.  The Knopfs were persuaded to transfer all of the publicly traded stock into a two-life NIMCRUT and to purchase a large “second to die” life insurance policy with the premiums paid from the charitable trust’s income distributions.  What was not properly disclosed in this transaction were the following issues:

1.)    a CRT is an irrevocable trust appropriate for clients with real philanthropic interests, this is not a tax avoidance scam; you can not make money by giving it away

2.)    while a CRT will reduce the size of a client’s taxable estate, there are other non-charitable planning techniques that may also be utilized as a part of a coordinated strategy to ensure that the client’s financial independence and family legacy are properly addressed

3.)    contributing highly appreciated, publicly traded securities to a NIMCRUT as a client approaches retirement with a need for reliable income is not a tactically prudent move when a CRAT, Standard CRUT, or FLIP-CRUT would better serve a client’s need for income without regard for what the trust produces as net income

4.)    a NIMCRUT is better used when funding it  with illiquid and hard-to-value assets, e.g., real estate or closely-held stock

5.)    contributing every bit of a client’s liquid assets to a charitable remainder trust ties up all of the donor’s income producing capacity and may produce a larger income tax deduction than the client can utilize, it would be better to transfer a smaller amount of stock and see how the trust operates, and then make additional transfers into a flexibly designed CRUT once the client is satisfied with the process instead of locking up everything the client has inside a restrictive trust

6.)    contributing all of the client’s appreciated stock means intra-family family gifting is going to be restricted, and to replace the gift requires significant premium payments to maintain the larger than necessary life insurance policy

7.)    using a deferred annuity inside a NIMCRUT may be appropriate for a young income beneficiary who is willing to delay income distributions for seven to ten years, but for an older client who is depending on consistent revenue to maintain lifestyle or to pay large life insurance premiums, a NIMCRUT using typical annuity products may not be able to make distributions when the market declines

8.)    the trustee has a fiduciary obligation to manage the investment portfolio for both the income and the charitable beneficiaries; in some states, the attorney general will step in and require prudent investment policies be followed

9.)    a CRT is no place for creative investment products or day-trading, prudent and well-diversified investments tat are tax efficiently managed would be the preferred vehicle

Any client or advisor considering the use of a NIMCRUT would be well-advised to look at all of the options to ensure maximum flexibility, and understand the use of the various investment tools inside the trust  to ensure it performs as expected.  With so few experienced CRT advisors, a trust maker should spend time and research the experience and management philosophy of any advisor who will be working with the proposed charitable trust.

© Henry & Associates 2006


Horse Farm Management – Vaughn Henry & Associates

Horse Farm Management – Vaughn Henry & Associates

~~~ Technical Resources on Reproduction ~~~

imageHorse Books and VideoimageEquine Reproductive Physiology, Breeding and Stud Management, 2nd Edition by M C G Davies Morel

imageEncyclopedia of ReproductionimageEquine Research Pubs.imageEquiresource Articles

imageBET Labs ReportsimageAnovulatory FolliclesimageFSH and LHimageSuperovulation

imageEstrous Cycle Characteristics of DonkeysimageArtificial Insemination for Miniature DonkeysimageReproduction in Miniature Donkeys

imageHorse Breeding Arithmetic University of Missouri Article on Breeding

imageNormal Equine Estrous CycleimageMare’s Estrous CycleimageReproductive SeasonalityimageSeasonal Influences

imageEquine Nutrition & Physiology SocietyimageModern Equine Breeding Management

imageEquine Theriogenology ArticlesimageGeorgia Theriogenology Lecture Series good cites, good descriptions

imageEquine PregnancyimageEndometrial CystsimageEarly Events in Pregnancy

imageFetomaternal interactions and influences during equine pregnancy(or the fully illustrated PDF)

imageGrowing Up: Estimating Adult SizeimageInfluence of maternal size on placental, fetal and postnatal growth in the horse. I. Development in utero

imageThe influence of maternal size on placental, fetal and postnatal growth in the horse. II. Endocrinology of pregnancy

imageThe influence of maternal size on pre- and postnatal growth in the horse: III Postnatal growth

imageeFSH Enhancing Reproductive PerformanceimageAssisted ReproductionimageSelect BreedersimageEquine Embryo TransfersimageColorado State University – Equine ResearchCSU Paper on Equine Embryo TransferimageEighth International Symposium on Equine Reproduction, – Fort Collins, 2002 edited by M. J. Evans

imageEarly Equine EmbryologyimageEstrogen Metabolism in the Equine ConceptusimageEquine Reproduction Symposium

imageEquine PregnancyimageCurrent Equine Embryo Transfer Techniques

imageWhat Can we Expect for the Future in Stallion Reproduction?

imageManagement of Shuttle Stallions for Maximum Reproductive Efficiency

imageEquine Report – University of California-Davis Vet Med

imagePlants Associated with Congenital Defects and Reproductive FailureimageWorkshops in Equine Veterinary Medicine

imageProceedings of the International Symposia on Equine Reproduction

imageNew Bolton Center Repro and Management Publications excellent resource

imageEndometritis inducida por el apareamiento continuo en la yegua: patogénesis, diagnóstico y tratamiento

imageUterine CytologyimageDiagnosis of Endometritis (Uterine Infections)imageMare Uterine CytologyimageCytology

imagePersistent Mating Induced Endometritis in the Mare

imageStudies of egg, sperm, and oviduct aim to explain why so many equine embryos die

imageP and E Protocol for Controlling Cycles

imageEquine Reproductive Physiology Dr. Lofstedt has provided a good, thorough overview imageCE Courses on Reproductive Physiology

imageBET Reproductive Labs – Endocrine and Reproductive Specialists and The use of domperidone to bring on estrus

imageP4 and Mares Slipping FoalsimageProgesterone Therapy and Pregnancy

Loss” at the 8th AAEP Annual Resort Symposium. Rome, Italy – 2006 imageProgestagens and Pregnancy MaintenanceimageVeterinary Resources and Links

imageLate Term Pregnancy Problems in the Mare – Ventral Ruptures, Dr. Jonathan F Pycock

imageReproduction articles – PycockimageCaslick’simageVulval Conformation, Injuries and the Caslick’s ProcedureimageThe Dirty Mare

imageStallion Reproductive AnatomyimageStallion Breeding Soundness ExamimageBreeding Soundness Exam>imageHorse Anatomy & PhysiologyimageAbdominal Tract TutorialimageLaparoscopyimageLaparoscopic ovariectomy

imagePredicting OvulationimageStages of Early Pregnancy

imageUltrasound Examination of the Reproductive Tract in Female Miniature Donkeys

imageUltrasound DiagnosticsimageLaparoscopic Ultrasound in the Evaluation of Abdominal Structures in the Horse by Gerlach & Ferguson

imageLaparoscopic Procedures in Diagnosis and Treatment of Equines (Spanish) .. Indicaciones y resultados de la laparotomía exploratoria en el caballo

imageNew Bolton Center – Equine ReportsimageGrayson Foundation Database on Reproduction Research

image11th Annual Meeting – Italian Association of Equine Veterinarians, 2005imageAAEP Convention Report

imageProceedings of 50th Annual Convention of the AAEP, 2004

imageProceedings of 49th Annual Convention of the AAEP, 2003

imageProceedings of 48th Annual Convention of the AAEP, 2002

imageWilliam B. Ley, DVM, MS Horse-Repro Cytology and other Endometrial Health Diagnostics

imageEffects of Altrenogest (Regumate) on Stallions – Part 1 and Part 2

imageNational Library of Medicine Searchable Database imageThe Horse Interactive – This is an excellent resource.

imageO J Ginther’s Publications on Equine ReproductionimageHorse Reproduction Advisor a subscription site

imageJournal of Theriogenology (very technical reproductive research, excellent equine information)imageTheriogenology Topics

imageUniversity California – Davis Repro Course OutlineimageTheriogenology Lecture Outline

imageUniversity of Florida Reproduction CourseimageEquine Reproduction VI (Biology of Reproduction articles)

imageTHERIOGENOLOGY – HORSE Public C.E. by Dr Rob Löfstedt

imageHow to breed the highly susceptible mare in practiceimageRecovery of Oocytes Using Transvaginal Ultrasound in the Mare

imagePre-Breeding Evaluation of the MareimageBreeding the Problem Mare

imageDisease of the Female Reproductive Tract (general livestock) and/or imageDiseases of the Female Reproductive Tract C.D.Buergelt, DVM

imageCurrent status of equine embryo transfer (Squires, McCue & Vanderwall; Colorado State University 1999). Breeding Soundness Exams

imageSuggested Technical Reading and Resources

imageLight Programs for Horse Farms

imageSulpiride and light programsimageSelect Breeders Inc.ArticlesimageUterine Cytology – John Dascanio

imageRoanoke AI Laboratories

imageAmerican Society of Animal ScienceimageOtterswick Marketing – breeding videos, books

imageHuman Health Concerns When Working With Medications Around Horses - News

Watch the latest videos on

“This site contains links to other Internet sites. These links are not endorsements of any products or services in such sites, and no information in such site has been endorsed or approved by this site.”


Last Updated: June 15, 2008

IRS Information, Regulations and Commentary on Charitable Legal Issues

PPA 2006 ~ Charitable Gifts from Individual Retirement Accounts

PPA 2006 ~ Charitable Gifts from Individual Retirement Accounts

PPA 2006 ~ Charitable Gifts from Individual Retirement Accounts


The Investment Company Institute reported the nation’s retirement assets topped $14.5 trillion in 2005, and of those dollars set aside in tax-deferred accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) made up about 25% of the total.  For years, charitable organizations have been lobbying Congress to let donors make gifts from retirement accounts since almost everyone has cash saved in these highly regulated accounts. Until the Pension Protection Act of 2006  (PPA 2006) signed August 17th, charitable gifts from retirement accounts required that the donor take a taxable distribution, pay tax on the proceeds, write a check to the charity of choice and then take an income tax deduction on the tax return, assuming the donor actually itemized deductions. All along the way hurdles and traps discouraged donors from making this gift since the taxpayer’s charitable deduction was limited to 50% of his/her adjusted gross income (AGI), and some states taxed IRA distributions but didn’t offer a charitable deduction, so it actually cost money to give it away.  


As older retirees approach the end of this year, those over 70½ have required minimum distributions that must be made or significant penalties will be assessed.  For this reason, as older donors assess their tax situation, both charities and financial services companies will need to spool up quickly in order to make these gifts a reality.  The good news is that charitable contributions made through the IRA will be available to satisfy minimum required distribution requirements


Under the PPA 2006, charitable gifts from IRAs are now possible and encouraged.  While there is no income tax deduction for most donors unless gifts are made from a Roth IRA or an IRA with non-deductible contributions, those situations probably won’t be common.  However, because the donor will not have to recognize income, the net effect is the gift from an IRA becomes completely tax-efficient.  By keeping the AGI lower, the donor won’t be penalized with higher self-employment or social security taxes, the taxpayer won’t have to deal with the 3% phase-out of charitable deductions, there are fewer concerns about alternative minimum tax (AMT), and a donor can reduce taxes without having to itemize.


The major points of this planning opportunity are:


  • Up to $100,000 from each donor’s IRA is eligible for charitable giving.
  • Distributions are made by the IRA custodian, in a trustee to charity transfer (few financial services firms will be prepared to accommodate donors in 2006, so start early and plan for delays). The donor should not take possession of the distribution.
  • Gifts may be made from an IRA (a Roth IRA qualifies too) only, no SEP, 401(k), 403(b), SAR-SEP, SIMPLE accounts will qualify.
  • IRA giving is only available in 2006 and 2007.
  • The donor must be 70½ by the date of gift, unlike typical IRA required distributions that are made in the year in which IRA plan participants reach 70½.
  • IRA gifts may be made only to public charities, no split interest gifts (e.g., gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts), and no use of supporting organizations or donor advised funds is allowed.
  • Gifts from IRA assets, to the extent required, will qualify for required distributions.


This new law applies to lifetime gifts, andis especially beneficial for those who don’t itemize, or who have Schedule A limitations due to previous gifts, or AGI limitations because there’s not a large enough adjusted gross income to fully make use of charitable deductions.  For donors uncomfortable with the idea of invading their retirement nest egg now, testamentary gifts of retirement plan assets and income in respect of a decedent (IRD) still make good sense for those with charitable intent in their estate plans.



Case Studies and Articles

Bad Trustees and Bad Decisions

Bad Trustees and Bad Decisions

Avoid Trustees Who Don’t Understand the Rules or Risks

Crash and burn management of a CRT injures clients.


Charitable remainder trusts are powerful tools for charitably inclined donors who find themselves asset rich, but income poor.  Because of the complexity, trust-makers and trustees occasionally make mistakes that threaten the tax-exempt nature of a charitable trust, but sometimes they do dumb things and damage beneficiaries too. 


Often marketed by sales professionals, a CRT is first and foremost a philanthropic gift; it is neither a tax dodge nor a means to evade capital gains taxes.  While there are legitimate tax advantages with the use of a CRT, the tax tail should not wag the dog.  Instead, income tax deductions should be viewed as an additional benefit, not the principal reason for creating a CRT.  Too often, sales representatives, trained by someone who attended a three hour course on advanced planning, tout the benefits of the charitable remainder trust and try to sell it as a product.  This lack of understanding leads clients, charities, and (eventually) their advisors into disenchantment (and liability exposure) with the CRT because it was used for the wrong reasons, and/or was improperly designed.


John Andrews had a successful family lumberyard, operated as an S corporation, and was being solicited by a broker to sell his business for its prime real estate location. John entered into a contract for the sale of his business, and was visiting with one of his neighbors about the disadvantages of selling high priced land. Overhearing the conversation, John’s long-time insurance agent, Fred Friendly, suggested a charitable remainder annuity trust would be the perfect vehicle to avoid the unrealized taxable gain on the sale, and offered to help John set up the transaction.


John appointed Fred as trustee to avoid the potential self-dealing problems that sometimes occur when a donor has too much influence over the affairs of the trust.  Trustees should be wary of transactions that might create some personal financial benefits, and often a third-party trustee is used to put some distance between the donor and the sales process.  Because Fred was the local, self-proclaimed “expert”; John willingly went along since he had plenty on his agenda with all of the business transitions that were already taking up too much time.  In the meantime, Fred had John transfer the S Corporation shares into the trust’s ownership.  Fred, as newly appointed trustee, consummated the transfer of the shares with the sales agreement that was already in place, and then went looking for a product to invest the $5 million proceeds of the sale.  As an insurance agent with no securities license, Fred’s own offerings were limited to fixed and equity indexed annuities, so he decided those were the ideal investment for a CRAT.  Once Fred collected his remarkable commissions, he decided that this was such a great opportunity, he went down to the bank and borrowed money in the trust’s name, pledging its new annuity contracts as collateral,  and went out and purchased additional annuity products through his insurance agency with the borrowed funds and received another set of commissions.


Six months into the operation of the trust, John’s accountant asked about this “CRT thing” and gathered up some information about the transaction and planning so he could complete John’s tax return.  Without any specialized training in charitable trusts or fiduciary accounting, he consulted with a firm that specialized in design and management of these IRC §664 charitable trusts and he learned the following ten problems were very real and potentially catastrophic.


  1. A CRT is not a Qualified Subchapter S Trust.  As an entity that can not own S corporation stock and maintain its S election, the CRT converts the corporation to a regular corporation and this involuntary conversion may trigger income tax liabilities.
  2. Naming a friend or trusted advisor as trustee is a perfectly acceptable procedure, but there should be provisions in place to use a trust protector to remove an inept or uncooperative trustee or a means of replacing the trustee should he/she become unable to manage the affairs of the trust.
  3. The trustee sold the business through an existing sales agreement.  Once the sales contract was signed, and a commitment made to sell the business, it was too late to introduce a CRT into the transaction.  A CRT does not avoid favorable capital gains treatment if there is an assignment of income or a pre-existing agreement is already in place.  The IRS looks at step-transactions and may impose taxes and penalties for improper management of the trust when the sale has gone too far down the path and both parties are obligated to act.
  4. Placing all of the clients’ assets into an irrevocable trust may not be the most prudent approach in the planning process.  Advisors should not put clients into inflexible arrangements without full disclosure and a complete understanding of the risks.
  5. Since it was an S corporation that actually owned the valuable real estate,the corporation itself might have been the better trustmaker, rather than John.  By contributing the land to a term of years trust (not to exceed 20), the corporation could have taken advantage of a more flexible tax planning situation and passed the resulting trust income pro-rata out to the shareholders.
  6. A trustee has a fiduciary responsibility to properly invest the funds of the trust.  In many states, the Prudent Investor statutes stipulate the parameters of appropriate assets, allocation, and management considerations.  The IRS also has private foundation regulations and laws, under which charitable trusts operate (see §4944), that restrict trustees from imprudently managing assets or acquiring assets that jeopardize the trust’s security and tax-exempt status.
  7. A CRT trustee should not borrow funds.  Assets with debt or a mortgage may create debt-financed income and trigger unrelated business taxable income (UBTI).  The presence of UBTI means the CRT loses its income tax-exempt status, and to do that the first year of the trust’s operation, when a major sale of appreciated assets occurs, means the capital gains tax is not avoided
  8. Third party trustees should not be selling product to a CRT over which they have management responsibilities; there are too many opportunities for self-dealing and conflict of interest problems.
  9. Borrowing funds to buy investment products is unwise for a trust, and purchasing only fixed and indexed annuities for either a standard CRUT or a CRAT is inappropriate.  These products do not offer tax-advantages inside an already tax-exempt trust unless there is a “net-income” feature to the CRUT and the income beneficiaries desire some deferral.  Even with both of these conditions in a unitrust design, proper diversification should still be the hallmark of a prudent investor.  Additionally, the income beneficiary of a NICRUT OR NIMCRUT has to agree to defer income for at least seven to ten years in order to be comfortable with the performance of these contracts inside an already complicated trust structure. Neither a CRAT nor standard CRUT offers income deferral features, and this needs to be understood from the outset.
  10. Contributing an active trade or business to a CRT has to be carefully considered because of the potential for UBTI.  Normally, contributing stock of a C corporation, even of a closely-held corporation, works if the rules are followed, but trust makers must be very careful with other entities or sole proprietorships.


Advanced estate planning tools are often seen as a terrific way to preserve assets, protect dignity, and control the distribution and timing of assets acquired over a lifetime of hard work.  For that reason, seek competent legal and tax counsel from advisors truly experienced in the tools of the trade.  Learn about the choices offered and understand the costs, benefits, and risks associated with each of the tools proposed in any financial or estate plan.

© Henry & Associates 2006


Incredibly Practical Tips and Considerations for Marketing, Cultivation, and Getting Gifts by Debra Ashton

Incredibly Practical Tips, Considerations, and Reflections for Marketing, Cultivation, and Getting Gifts in a Complex Development Office


By Debra Ashton


This is an article about things I have learned working at four charities between the years 1978 and 2000. The lessons I have learned are mostly from making mistakes–some more costly than others–from making assumptions that were proven to be false, and by engaging in activities or tasks that, on reflection, were wasteful, unproductive, and sometimes even stupid.


To be successful running a planned giving program, you need many skills. First, you need a thorough understanding of U.S. tax law and a solid knowledge of the myriad ways donors can arrange their support of your organization. Second, you need to understand how to accept, administer and dispose of the gifts. All of these skills can be learned from conferences and workshops. However, you also need a set of skills that don’t seem to be taught anywhere. These are the skills you learn by being in your job. Unfortunately, it takes years to figure them out and much time, money, and resources will have been wasted. In addition, the toll taken emotionally when things aren’t going well is immeasurable. How many of you reading this article have a constant knot in your stomach because you:


1) have too much to do and don’t know how you are going to do it,

2) don’t have enough money in your budget to do what you want,

3) are not meeting your fund raising expectations,

4) bring work home constantly because you are overwhelmed, or

5) enter every performance review with a sense of dread?


If you are running a planned giving program, either in a small shop, large shop, or a one-person shop, in a centralized or decentralized development office, in a local or national charity, there is something here for you. If you are a for-profit professional engaged in law, brokerage, life insurance, estate planning, or other for-profit work, consider this article to be a preview of coming attractions. At some point, as so many others have done, you may switch from the for-profit world to the non-profit world. I did in 1978 when I moved from being an administrator in a trust department to being the Director of Planned Giving at WGBH, Boston’s public television station. That shift began with no knowledge of the kinds of things I will cover in this article. As a result, I can look back over my non-profit career and identify things I wish I knew in the beginning.


Setting the Stage for this Article


In the first part of this article, I will point out the complexity of the role of Director of Planned Giving. As I proceed, I will build layers of additional complexity, which, if they aren’t acknowledged with a plan to deal with them, will result in miserable failure and unhappiness in your job. Then, I will pick apart other tasks or activities commonly practiced by planned giving officers so as to show you a more productive way and why. In the end, you will have many ways to reshape your planned giving program, save money, get that knot out of your stomach, and work in harmony with your colleagues. If you follow the advice in this article, you will raise more money, spend less in doing so, and be happier in your role running a planned giving program.


So, let’s begin with a few facts about the culture of your development office. Although you sometimes feel it is so, your planned giving program does not operate in a vacuum. If it does, and if your program forever circles the rest of the development effort but is never fully integrated, then part of the problem might be you. More on that later.


Every development office is different in its culture, sophistication, and expectations. If you don’t work within the accepted structures or rules, you will encounter many troublesome situations, mostly as unpleasant surprises. But, don’t be fooled. Once you learn the culture of one development office, you cannot assume it will be the same at your next job. And, if you are from the for-profit sector intending to make a move into the non-profit world, you will undergo culture shock in an extreme way and encounter protocol you cannot imagine.


Orientation of a Planned Giving Department


There are two models for a planned giving department. Depending on which model applies to your job, your life will be very different.


Model #1  The Planned Giving Office operates as a service to assist other staff with planned giving proposals and illustrations but does not have assigned prospects of its own.


This is the kind of model I only wish I had worked in all those years. Why? Because you never have to be a fund raiser at all. You don’t have the stress of finding prospects, convincing them to visit with you, cultivating them so that they trust you, and eventually bringing them to a point where you can present a proposal to actually get a yes or a no. Planned giving staff who are in the business of assisting their colleagues to close gifts have a wonderful job since they respond to situations, but don’t have to develop situations themselves.


Model #2  The Planned Giving Office has its own set of assigned prospects; it may be responsible for a geographic region; plus it helps anyone else in the department including the President, trustees, major gift officers, and even annual giving staff who encounter planned giving situations.


This latter model describes the job most common to those reading this article. It is a tough job. You must raise money on your own, make appointments on your own, present proposals on your own, take road trips for several days at a time, develop marketing activities, and perform up to certain dollar goals each year.


Considerations that Affect your Sanity


If you are working in Model #2, then you have some serious issues with which to deal. These issues relate to how you spend your time and how you set priorities. If you are not careful and highly disciplined, you can easily lose your focus, wasting both time and money.


Part of the difficulty in running a planned giving program is the fact that you must spend time on many different levels of prospects or donors. Unlike major gifts officers who generally have a portfolio of prospects considered to be highly rated for gift potential, planned giving officers have a mixed bag of prospects. Therefore, if you are not careful, you will whittle away your time on those who are not worth the trouble. In addition, you must be mindful of territorial issues especially as it relates to your marketing and follow up with people who respond to your marketing initiatives. Let’s examine the kinds of categories of prospects assigned to the planned giving officer.


Prospect’s Assigned to the Planned Giving Officer


Planned Giving officers have six categories of prospects. Here are the categories:


1) People in the life income plans. This includes not only substantial charitable remainder trust donors but also the dead beats in the pooled income fund. You know who I’m talking about….donor’s who gave $5,000 once a long time ago and will never give again. Are you still visiting these people? If so, you are wasting your time.


2) People in the bequest program. The problem with these people is that they don’t count in your totals at all. Although your boss is extremely happy when you announce a bequest distribution, you don’t get credit in your totals for visits to bequest prospects.


3) Highly-rated prospects. These people are valid prospects for you. They are the kind of people who could transform your organization with a very significant gift if only they were motivated to do so.


4) Regional prospects. If you work for an organization with a national constituency, then you may have a region assigned to you and be required to visit your region three to five times per year. Arranging three to four visits per day for several days in a row is difficult, but I’ll give you some tips about this a little later.


5) People responding to a mailing or ad. Later in the article, I will address many issues to help make your marketing more productive.


6) People attending an estate planning seminar. The people who attend your planned giving seminars also attend seminars by every other stock broker and financial planning firm. Why? Because they get a free lunch and because they are trying to get free advice. However, these people are not necessarily prospects for you at all.


A few comments about the above six categories are in order. In spite of the fact that you may feel compelled to steward all of the people listed above, the reality is that you can’t and you shouldn’t. In order to be more productive, you must evaluate the entire group of individuals attached to the planned giving department. One by one, identify those who are truly capable of making a substantial gift, say $100,000 or more. Depending on the size of the organization or the sophistication of your development efforts, you could possibly lower the cut-off to $50,000, but I wouldn’t go lower than that.


Instead of stewarding those $5,000 one-time life income donors, hand them over to the annual giving staff. They are not worth your time. They are worth somebody’s time, but not yours.


If you are doing your job properly, you should end up with three categories of prospects. One third of your prospects should be well along in cultivation and are ready to be asked for a gift. One third of your prospects should be in stewardship after having made a gift. One hopes that with good stewardship, these past donors will be ready to give again after an appropriate amount of time passes. The final one third of your prospects are what I call new discoveries. The new discoveries got on your list from various sources and activities. Some are qualified inquiries from your marketing initiatives. Some may have being identified through research or screenings. In all cases, however, they don’t have a relationship with you or with the organization yet. They need to be worked on, evaluated, and rated for gift potential.


I suppose some of you reading this advice will think it is mean or callous of me to suggest that you stop spending time on those $5,000 donors. However, what was considered a big gift 20 years ago is now essentially an annual giving level today. The stakes are very high, with many organizations announcing billion dollar campaigns. Given the competition and the increasingly larger goals, it is ridiculous for the director of planned giving to be working on $5,000 gifts. If you do the right things, the smaller gifts will happen on their own. And, let me clarify something. If one of those $5,000 donors has the capacity to make a $100,000 gift, then, by all means, put them on your high priority list. Otherwise, drop them.


After evaluating your own priorities and prospects, you need to consider how you intend to coordinate your work with the rest of the organization. Complicating your life as the planned giving director is the fact that you are not the only one with prospects assignments.


Other People Who Have Prospects


– President, Executive Director, trustees;

– Vice President for Development, Development Director;

– Principle, major gifts, leadership gifts officers;

– Other planned giving officers;

– Annual giving officers;

– Others like department heads or program directors who interact with the constituency.


When you consider that other members of the organization also have prospect assignments, the way you handle your marketing initiatives is important. Here are some considerations:


1) Are you allowed to mail planned giving materials to everybody or are some donors off limits? In some organizations, the trustees may be coded for “no-mail.” In other organizations, the highest rated prospects or donors may be off limits for direct mail. The problem here is that those people most likely to benefit from a creative tax-related gift are excluded from receiving information that could truly be of interest to them. Know the rules early on, especially when you change jobs. If you happen to be in an organization that excludes trustees from planned giving mailings, there is one thing you can try. Ask your boss if he or she would do a cover letter to the trustees so that you can send your mailing to them “as an example of what the planned giving program is doing.” Most often, trustees are excluded from receiving direct mail to prevent them from being annoyed with so-called junk mail.


2) If you receive a reply card from a prospect assigned to one of your colleagues, what do you do? Would you simply interact with the donor or would you turn the reply card over to your colleague? Would the two of you go on a visit together? What do you do if you receive a reply card about gift annuities from someone assigned to the President and you already know that the prospect is being targeted soon for an outright gift?


There are no black and white answers to the above questions. However, you should discuss with your colleagues how such cases should be handled in order that you can work in harmony with the rest of the staff.


Another level of difficulty arises when you work in a decentralized development operation. Generally, planned giving is run out of the central office, but there may be development staff assigned to various units of the institution. This model could exist in a university or in an organization with field offices around the country. Under this structure, there are important territorial issues to work out.


For example, when I became Director of Planned Giving for Boston University, there were 15 schools and colleges, all of which had a development officer based at the school level. It wasn’t obvious to me, and nobody told me, that the Deans of each school controlled access to their respective alumni populations. As a result my first bequest mailing created quite a stir because I didn’t get permission to access the different populations.


Later, I learned that I had to negotiate for the rights to access each of the 15 populations. This is rather bizarre. At first, my objective was to run 15 separate planned giving programs, a lofty and unwieldy proposition. If you are working in a central office and are attempting to run simultaneous activities for multiple units, you will quickly realize three things.

1) Some populations have greater gift potential than others.

2) Some development staff are more experienced than others.

3) Some development staff are willing to collaborate with you while others are not.

In my case, I spent enormous amounts of time trying to educate these 15 development officers about planned giving because I felt obligated to treat them all equally. Unfortunately, it took me two years to figure out the three inevitable truths listed above. So, after many false starts, frustrations and turf battles, I decided to set some priorities.

Instead of forcing planning giving on all 15, I picked 5 with whom I could work productively and get the best results. You may find yourself in the same predicament, managing multiple units within the institution and pulling your hair out because you are still treating them all as equals. This is one example of why your life may be chaos. If you find yourself in a decentralized organization, be smarter than I was. Evaluate early on where your efforts will be most successful. Don’t worry about the others. When they see the results of your work with their counterparts, they will come to you when they are ready.

There are other complications for planned giving when you work in a decentralized structure. Here are just a few:

1) To whom should reply cards be addressed? You?The other development officer?

2) Who should follow up with the prospect?

3) Who needs to know if you receive a reply card or inquiry?

4) Whose budget pays for the mailing, the travel, or the visit?

Bear in mind that you cannot establish one policy to serve all. In some cases, you will want the other development officer to make the follow-up call. In other cases, you will prefer to do it yourself. If you try to use a cookie-cutter approach, you will waste lot of time and money and become very frustrated.

Considerations for getting the most from your mailings

Once you have negotiated the rules with the right people and you are clear on the populations to which you have access, be smarter about the mailings and marketing initiatives you plan.

Planned giving officers have several problems on a chronic basis. With so much to do, they find it difficult to keep up with the volume of reply cards flowing in from a marketing initiative. At first, planned giving officers greet the few cards that trickle in following a mailing with excitement. But, it doesn’t take long for stacks of cards to pile up. Each inquiry requires quite a bit of time and the compounded effect of many cards becomes a burden. Sometimes, in order to clean out the back log, planned giving officers do a form letter. This is all wrong.

Many people don’t remember sending the card. Many people don’t need the kind of arrangement they have asked about. A form letter is a quick way to clean out the back log, but it is not the best way to get a gift. It is too passive.

In my seminars, I typically introduce this topic to the audience by asking the question, “How long is appropriate to keep a repy card before you through it away?” Surprisingly, this question results in a lot of nervous laughter and it points out to me that reply cards are a big sore spot for planned giving officers. It doesn’t need to be that way.


Most planned giving officers waste money because they don’t target their message narrowly enough. If you send 10,000 or 20,000 pieces of direct mail, you will undoubtedly receive lots of inquiries, no matter what topic you choose to cover. But, you’re back to the problem described above…..too many inquiries to follow up by phone in a timely fashion.

The quality of inquiries is more important than the quantity. Let me give you an example of narrow targeting. Presumably, your data base allows you to keep seasonal addresses for your donors or constituents. What can be said about people with a seasonal address? First, if the person has a seasonal address, the individual has at least a certain level of financial security. Second, most people with seasonal addresses eventually sell the main residence and retire to the seasonal address. This population is very specific. What can you do with it? Well, you can order a list of everyone who has a seasonal address in order to do a mailing about gifts of real estate. If you get only five responses, you can be reasonably certain they are highly qualified inquiries.

Another population to target would be donors who have ever made a gift of appreciated securities. It might be a small fraction of your donor base, but this would be a perfect population for a letter about gift annuities or charitable remainder trusts. If you narrow this further by sorting for age, your target market is even more controlled.

Just remember that more is not always better. You can save money and get more gifts if you are smarter at planning your mailings.

Staggering Your Mailings

There might be times when you want to send many thousands of letters on one topic. The way you can get control of the process rather than having it control you is by staggering the drop dates. Instead of sending 20,000 pieces of mail on one day, ask your mailing house to mail 2,000 per week for 10 weeks. In this way, you will be able to keep up with your follow-up calls; you won’t get an unwieldy back log of inquiries; and you’ll be able to speak with everyone by phone instead of resorting to your form letter strategy.

Coordinating Mailing with Travel

Many planned giving officers travel for several days at a time on a road trip. The challenge is to fill your itinerary with three to four visits for every day of the trip. If you’re like me, it is always difficult to do that because the demands of the office are all-consuming. I suspect that you have been known to place a name on your itinerary with a comment like “to be confirmed” even though you haven’t called the individual yet. You probably have a big knot in your stomach before every trip simply because time ran out to fill your dance card adequately.

You can get control of this problem by planning a direct mail piece about 6 weeks in advance to the place you’re headed. By doing so, your follow up call to the inquiries is much more productive. You can say, “What a coincidence! I happen to be coming to your city next month. Why don’t I send you some information and we can get together to discuss it when I’m there?”

All of a sudden, your trips will be full of visits instead of “to be confirmed,” your direct mail will result in actual visits, and you’ll be closing more gifts.

Considerations for Following up Inquiries

Earlier, I mentioned that sending a form letter is not an effective way to follow up inquiries. By using a form letter, you are more likely to accomplish the following than you are to get a gift:

1) Send information that is inappropriate for the needs of the donor;

2) Send an illustration that is either too large or too small;

3) Miss out on connecting personally with the donor;

4) Waste time on somebody who is not really a prospect at all;

5) Send an illustration with one beneficiary when it should have been for two.

When you have too many inquiries at one time, you are inevitably forced to use a form letter. But, if you adapt your planning to incorporate the ideas mentioned earlier, you will have fewer inquires and you will have the time to respond by phone to each and every one.

The first phone call is important, but many people assume too much from the reply card. If you receive a reply card about charitable gift annuities, you probably begin by discussing charitable gift annuities. This is wrong. I can think of many instances during which a conversation with a prospect revealed information resulting in my completely shifting gears. In some cases, it was obvious that the donor simply didn’t need more income. Thus, I suggested an outright gift instead. In other cases, the asset being considered for the particular gift was inappropriate.

When you make that first phone call to the prospect, you should encourage the donor to talk to you. Don’t make the mistake of doing all the talking. After introducing yourself and acknowledging that you have received a reply card inquiring about a particular topic, ask the donor questions like these:

1) “What prompted you to return this reply card?”

2) “What was it about this idea (gift vehicle) that interested you?”

3) “If I prepared an illustration for you, what size example should I use?”

4) “If you were to make this kind of gift, what assets would you use…, appreciated securities, real estate, etc.”

5) “Do you have any particular timetable for considering this gift?”

6) “Have you done this kind of thing with any other charitable organization?”

7) “It just so happens that I’m coming to your city next month. Perhaps I could stop by for a visit.”

Consider for a moment the difference in substance from sending a form letter when compared to the kind of letter you could send following a conversation resulting from the above kinds of questions.

Considerations for Choosing the Content of Your Direct Mail

Over the years, I have come to some conclusions about why certain things work and others do not work nearly as well. This ties in to my earlier topic of targeting, but I’m approaching the topic now from a different angle.

Presumably, you agree with me that narrowing your target population would not only lower the numbers of pieces mailed, thus, saving you money, but would also simultaneously increase the quality of inquiries. There is another reason for targeting your message quite narrowly.

After many, many years of trying different things at four different charities, here are rules that make sense to me:

1) Don’t confuse the donor with too much information.

2) Do not focus on what the charity needs.

3) Focus on how the particular topic can solve the donor’s problems.

My theory is that if people have too many options, they will do nothing simply because they don’t have enough time or expertise to figure out which plan is best. Think for a minute about cellular phone companies as an analogy. What would you do if you received a brochure that described the calling plan rules and costs for AT&T, MCI, Sprint, Cingular, and Comcast? In order to evaluate whether your current plan is more or less expensive than the others, you would have to review your own calling patterns. Do you call in-state or out of state? What time of day do you use the phone most often? Are you calling other people who are also in the same plan or not? Do you need multiple phones for family members? Do you get charged for roaming or not? Do you want night and weekend minutes? It’s a mess. As a result, my guess is that you would throw the brochure away and stick with your current plan. You can’t possibly find the time to evaluate your options.

I believe that this same principle applies to planned giving mailings. If you send a brochure that covers every way to make a life income gift, you would need to cover pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, deferred gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts (several versions), all of which have particular applications depending on the age, assets, and goals of the donor.

If a prospect receives a mailing that has too much information, he or she will most likely do nothing. It is too much work to sort it all out, especially when these topics are foreign to most people in the first place.

Instead, I recommend narrowing the target population to a specific group and mailing one simply-explained concept to them. Give them a chance to review one idea to which they can easily say, “Yes, this could benefit me.” or “No, this does not benefit me.” On the bottom line, the only goal of a direct mail initiative is to entice the recipient to contact you. From there, the conversation mentioned earlier during your first phone call drives the discussion.

On point #2, if you are targeting your planned giving mailings properly, you don’t have to explain to the recipient why you need gifts. Planned giving mailings ought to be going to existing constituents or donors. These people already know who you are. You don’t have to beat them over the head.

Donors procrastinate on planning because they don’t know what to do to solve their problems. Many don’t know that they have problems. If you can show how a particular kind of gift solves one or more problems, then you are more likely to receive a reply card.

Marketing Your Bequest Program

Every organization should have a bequest program not only because bequests can provide enormous resources to a charity, but also because it is the one thing anyone can do, even those in a one-person shop who can’t find the time to do much other substantial planned giving.

On this topic, I have several tips that will help you with your future marketing. The first tip relates to the timing of bequest mailings and results from the following fact: People revise their wills prior to taking a trip that involves crossing a major body of water. Therefore, my advice is to do a bequest mailing annually in February. Don’t do it in the last quarter of the year because that is the time to focus on year-end tax-related gifts. Don’t do it in January because people are dealing with the aftermath of the holidays. By February, they are ready to do other things, especially starting the process of updating their wills in anticipation of a summer vacation. In addition, if you plan a legacy society event in the spring, you can get new members early in the year and boost your attendance.

The second tip results from the fact that 75% of the people who provide for a charity in their estate plan never tell the charity. What does this mean for the content of your mailing? It means that you should always include legally correct bequest language in your materials. Many people will use the language, even if they don’t tell you. Most important is that you give it to them whenever you do a bequest mailing.

Finally, when you do a bequest mailing, don’t ask for too much information or you will receive a very small response. When I was at Wheaton College, I printed a nifty form that requested a lot of information including the name, size of bequest, type of asset, actual wording of the bequest, restrictions, donor’s attorney, etc. I even asked for a copy of the will. I didn’t realize that people would be reluctant to provide so much detailed information in response to a mailing. Not one response came back and I learned and expensive lesson.

Remember that there are only two purposes for a bequest mailing. The first is to identify people who have already included your organization in their estate plans. The second is to identify people who would like information on how to include your organization in their estate plans. Once you learn of a bequest intention, you can add the name to your legacy society and you can begin the process of building a relationship with the donor. Eventually, you can ask for the details once you have built the trust that is so important to this process.


Without question, there is a lot of stress in running a planned giving program. However, a good deal of the stress can be eliminated by turning off your automatic pilot and stepping back to review how you are operating.

The key points I tried to make include:

1) Discuss the rules on how you and your colleagues need to coordinate so that you don’t alienate yourself from the rest of the staff.

2) Don’t use a cookie-cutter approach to work with others. Adjust your actions based on the individuals and their capacity to work effectively and collaboratively with you. Work with decentralized staff selectively.

3) Get smarter about planning your mailings. Target a narrow market and send less mail. Keep the message simple. Send direct mail to cities you intend to visit six weeks in advance. For larger mailings, stagger the drop dates so that you can easily call every inquiry by phone. Stop doing the form letter response.

4) Evaluate your prospects so that you are working on those with the greatest gift potential. Wean yourself off the $5,000 donors.

If you adapt the way you work, you will spend less money, get more gifts, and you will get that chronic knot out of your stomach.

Debra Ashton is author of The Complete Guide to Planned Giving, now in its Revised Third Edition. For more information about Debra’s book, please visit


Case Studies and Articles

Cleaning Up Loose Ends — A Tale of Two Farmers – Henry & Associates

Cleaning Up Loose Ends — a Tale of Two Farmers


imageJeannie Evans inherited farm ground from her father, and she was exceptionally proud of its status as a centennial farm, one that had been under the same family’s management for over 100 years.  With no heirs other than a few nieces and nephews, Ms. Evans decided to leave her farm to the local university.  Not that giving farmland is a bad idea, but when Jeannie invited the alumni and development officers from the university out to see the farm, they indicated that it was foundation policy was to sell farmland if it did not fit into their management scheme.  After the development officers headed down the road to their next appointment, Ms. Evans hurried over to her lawyer’s office to redraft her will.  The new will’s provisions? 

§   The university cannot sell the land, even though the farm is too far from the research unit on the campus to be practical, and the acreage is too small to devote resources or staff to manage it.

§   The university has to continue using Jeannie’s long time tenant farmer and give him preferential lease rates, although the university had a professional farm manager and staff experienced in maximizing production. 

§   She leaves her nieces and nephews her portfolio of government savings bonds.  Unfortunately, the problem with inheriting bonds is that all of the accrued interest usually has an income tax liability that passes to the heirs.


In this case, Ms. Evans would be more tax efficient in her tax planning if she leaves the farmland, which steps up in basis at death, to her family and the taxable bonds to the tax-exempt university, which prefers cash for scholarships and endowment.  This solution allows her heirs the option of selling the farm without a capital gains tax, and the university receives the cash from the bonds without paying tax on what would otherwise be an IRD (income in respect of a decedent) asset.  Even with the gift in place and booked as a bequest, the university foundation should reconsider this gift.  With Jeannie’s new provisions, the university will be better off disclaiming a gift that has so many restrictions and avoid the grief of working with an uncooperative tenant farmer and an underperforming real estate asset.


The Right Stuff

Dave Janssen owns and operates an irrigated corn, soybean and wheat farm, and like many farmers, he lives poor, but is quite likely to die rich.  Dave is active on the town council, serves on the local school board, and would like to make a significant gift to the new school foundation.  Not comfortable with making a sizeable gift while he is still actively farming, a bequest in Dave’s estate plan seems to be the best solution.  In Dave’s role as a communitarian, this bequest would endow scholarships for students planning to return to the community as a teacher, health care provider or serve in a public service capacity. 


After reviewing the Janssen balance sheet and cash flow projections, the choice comes down to a gift of farmland or a gift of equipment and grain.  Whichimagemakes more sense?  In this case, the grain would be an IRD asset taxed at 35% in his estate, and the depreciated equipment is not something his non-farming heirs would be able to use or easily market.  His heirs would be better off if they inherited the land that steps up in basis at death, and then they can choose whether to sell it tax-free or operate it as a leased farm until other opportunities present themselves.  The tax-exempt foundation can take possession of the grain stored in the bins and have it sold through the local co-op elevator at market value without paying any income tax, and the equipment auctioned at a farm sale with the proceeds reinvested in the scholarship fund.


Achieve tax efficiency in charitable bequests more easily by inserting language in the will that specifies how to make gifts, and where to go in the estate to find the best assets.  Consider using something like the following as a guide.  “I instruct that all charitable gifts, bequests, and devises should be made, to the extent possible, from assets that constitute income in respect of a decedent, as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code.”


©2003 — Vaughn W. Henry

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Vaughn W. Henry

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