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Not Ready for Real Estate? Think Again!

By Chase Magnuson

Many charities shut themselves off from this significant source of revenue because they’re leery of getting involved in what they see as a complex area.

The attitude is, “We’re risk-averse. We don’t have procedures in place to deal with gifts of real estate. Plus, we’ve either had bad experiences, or heard of other charities that had bad experiences with real estate. So we steer clear.”

Here are great opportunities on one hand, and fear and trepidation on the other! How can we solve this disconnect?

If a smaller nonprofit doesn’t have the real estate know-how or gift acceptance procedures in place, I recommend they partner with a charitable entity that does. This more experienced lead, or “accommodating,” charity enables them to accept the gift.

Let’s say a donor offers you a land lease, and you don’t know where to start. So you approach a larger, more savvy accommodating charity to undertake the donation. Typically, under your agreement with the lead charity, your nonprofit might receive 65% of revenues generated from rents and/or sale of the lease.

This approach helps out smaller charities by cultivating teamwork within the nonprofit community. And it gets you started up the learning curve.

So if you’re thinking you’re not ready for real estate, here’s a way to change that.

To find out more about how your organization take advantage of the opportunities offered by real estate, read can read an interview with Chase Magnuson in Planned Giving Tomorrow Summer 2010 edition.

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