Seattle Foundation Blog

Making a Gift with Your IRA

You can meet your required minimum distribution with a tax-wise donation to our community programs


September 10, 2019

By Allison Parker, Managing Director, Philanthropy Strategies

Seattle Foundation’s community programs are doing critical work to advance racial and economic justice throughout our region, lifting up everyone who lives and works here.

Our Vibrant Democracy Initiative, for example, strengthens the voice and participation of underrepresented communities in order to make deep systems change; it supports leadership development, mobilizes civic engagement and invests in voter education. Our Climate Justice work strives to ensure that that communities of color and low-income communities are leading and shaping efforts to reduce the effects of climate change, which they experience disproportionately. Our Resilience Fund supports organizations that increase the protections and resilience of vulnerable King County residents.

None of these programs would be possible without financial support from many sources, including government agencies, corporations and other foundations, as well as philanthropists with funds at SeaFdn, legacy gifts and donations from individuals. These contributions collectively benefit our Community Impact Fund, which powers all of our community programs, in addition to SeaFdn operations.

You may be eligible to support Seattle Foundation using your IRA. Anyone age 70 ½ or older may direct resources from an IRA toward a qualified charitable organization. In the case of traditional IRAs, these contributions are nontaxable up to $100,000. These types of donations—known as qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) or charitable IRA rollovers—can help you meet your required minimum distribution (RMD). SeaFdn philanthropists with donor advised funds may also use their IRAs to make a direct contribution to our Community Impact Fund, though IRA QCDs cannot be directed to donor advised funds themselves.

As we move into autumn and you begin to think about your year-end finances, I hope you’ll consider these possibilities for your IRA distributions. We welcome your support at any level.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at a.parker@seattlefoundation.org or 206.515.2128.

Updated January 2020: Although the SECURE Act changed the age at which individuals must take a Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) to 72 years, individuals who are age 70 ½ may still direct QCDs from their IRA directly to charity. The age for QCDs did not change from 70 ½ to 72.

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