Summary of the 2024 ACGA Conference


This summary details the key takeaways from the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) Conference held in Houston, Texas April 29 – May 1, 2024. Cornerstone Management was the official sponsor.

ACGA Gift Annuity Rates Update:

  • The ACGA Board decided to maintain the suggested maximum rates set for January 1, 2024.
  • A detailed explanation was provided on how rates are determined, including assumptions used:
    • 50% target residuum of the original gift amount.
    • Mortality table: 2012 IAR with 45% male / 55% female blend.
    • 1% expense assumption.
    • 5.75% gross annual investment return assumption (net 4.75%).
    • Quarterly distributions at the end of each period.
  • Rates are only adjusted if significant changes require revising all rates by more than 0.25%.

Leadership Keynote:

  • Raj Ramachandran emphasized the importance of visionary, operational, and relational leadership.
  • He used a telescope, microscope, stethoscope, and magnifying glass as metaphors for these leadership styles, adding self-awareness as a crucial aspect.


  • Winning with Gift Annuities – Best Practices: This session covered investment best practices (Bryan Taylor), state regulations (Sydney Walden), donor communication strategies (Karen Sillay & Steve Nickel), and group discussions on distribution and investment policies.
  • New QCD (Qualified Charitable Distribution) for Life Income Plans: Melissa Copher of the American Red Cross explained the recent legal changes. (See attached link for more details.) Funding a CGA from an IRA
  • Surface and Subsurface Gifts: This session discussed real estate and mineral interest gifts to charities. Key points:
    • Royalty interest gifts of minerals are preferred over working interest gifts.
    • Charities should determine the type of mineral interest received.
    • Gift acceptance policies with environmental reviews are recommended for real estate gifts.
  • Mortality Tables and Marketing Planned Gifts: Dr. Bryan Clontz discussed mortality tables, while Dr. Russell James shared research on marketing planned gifts. Key takeaways:
    • Avoid using “bequest” – “Gifts that pay you income” or similar wording is preferred.
    • Omit death reminders – emphasize income “each year you live” for better response.
    • Feature stories from living donors instead of deceased ones.
Andrea Preissler headshot
Andrea Preissler