July 14, 2009
More and more non-profits are becoming aware that they are receiving fewer real estate gifts than some of their peers. They are realizing that other organizations have enjoyed considerable success in attracting a portion of the estimated 30 percent of the nation’s private wealth that is in real estate holdings.
In some cases, these organizations have responded by transitioning from a program that occasionally accepts gifts of real estate in various forms, to one that seeks to make such gifts happen. This transition needs to occur, of course, while taking appropriate precautions to manage the various types of risk (environmental, liquidity, holding cost) associated with owning real estate.
A review of the experience of those non-profits that have successfully made this transition reveals several important steps in developing a more active and lucrative real estate gifts program.
Get the key players on the same page
Successful programs tend to have clear gift acceptance policies and procedures governing real estate. These policies assure that everyone in the institution is on the same page regarding the types of properties (residential, commercial, farms and ranches, etc.) that will be accepted and the gift structures (CRTs, CGAs, retained life estates, etc.) that can be employed. These policies also tend to establish minimum gift amounts that take into account the often time-consuming and costly process of structuring, analyzing, and closing gifts of real estate.