Seattle Foundation Blog

2020 Year-end Giving and Estate Planning Strategies

Seattle Foundation’s team is here to help take the stress and confusion out of year-end giving, especially which assets to give and when to make a gift.

November 09, 2020

By Allison Parker, managing director, philanthropy strategies

The season of generosity is upon us. Seattle Foundation’s team is here to help take the stress and confusion out of year-end giving, especially which assets to give and when to make a gift.

Gifts of Stock – Deadline is December 10

Please plan to contact your broker no later than December 10 to initiate gifts of stock.  Stock must be received by December 31 to qualify for a 2020 charitable gift deduction. During a typical year, we encourage our philanthropists to contact their brokers by mid-December. It is important to keep in mind that this year, investment advisors are asking for additional time to process stock transfers.

Gifts of Mutual Funds – Deadline is December 1

You may be surprised to learn that making a gift of mutual funds is not as straightforward as giving stock. If you would like to donate mutual funds, we recommend planning ahead and contacting Seattle Foundation no later than December 1 to initiate your gift. The first step is to confirm that the mutual fund can be accepted. A CUSIP number or security symbol will be needed. The process is laid out in our asset delivery instructions, which you can find in the donor portal. You may also contact your philanthropic advisor or myself to clarify these instructions further.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs)

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). There are three key things to know about IRA QCDs:

  1. Donor advised funds are excluded for IRA QCDs, which means you will still need to pay income tax on the amount of the distribution. However, you will receive a charitable gift deduction, which may help offset the increased income.
  2. The SECURE Act changed the age at which individuals must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) to 72 years; however, individuals who are age 70 ½ may still direct QCDs from their IRA directly to charity.
  3. The CARES Act suspended the RMD for 2020, so you may not have a financial incentive to give unneeded IRA funds. However, with the community’s needs greater than ever, numerous donors have made a QCD to Seattle Foundation to support our rapid-response funds.


CARES Act 100% AGI Deduction for Gifts of Cash

For 2020, the CARES Act allows people who itemize deductions to claim deductions for gifts of cash up to 100% of adjusted gross income (AGI) rather than just 60% of AGI—although donor advised funds, supporting organizations, and private foundations are excluded from this provision. Nonetheless, Seattle Foundation philanthropists and new donors have been leveraging this tax-wise opportunity by gifting cash to one of Seattle Foundation’s many pooled funds that does qualify for this provision.

To give cash directly to Seattle Foundation include “Seattle Foundation” in the subject line of your check or with your wire transfer instructions. An unrestricted gift to Seattle Foundation will allow us the flexibility to continue to meet the community’s needs intensified by COVID-19, as well ensure we begin 2021 ready to take action on a path toward an equitable future where everyone thrives in the Greater Seattle region.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at or 206.515.2128.



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