Explore a Qualified Charitable Distribution
Make a difference today and save on taxes by supporting Northwestern through your IRA.
A Special Opportunity for Those 70½ Years and Older
You can give any amount (up to a maximum of $100,000) per year from your IRA directly to a qualified charity such as Northwestern without having to pay income taxes on the money. Gifts of any value of $100,000 or less are eligible for this benefit and make a difference at Northwestern. This popular gift option is commonly called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), but you may also see it referred to as an IRA Charitable Rollover.
Why Consider This Gift?
- Your gift will be put to use today, allowing you to see the difference your donation is making.
- Beginning in the year you turn 72, you can use your gift to satisfy all or part of your required minimum distribution (RMD).
- You pay no income taxes on the gift. The transfer generates neither taxable income nor a tax deduction, so you benefit even if you do not itemize your deductions.
- Since the gift does not count as income, it can reduce your annual income level. This may help lower your Medicare premiums and decrease the amount of Social Security that is subject to tax.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. The legislation requires you to reach age 70½ by the date you make the gift.
Yes. Direct gifts to a qualified charity can be made only from an IRA. Under certain circumstances, however, you may be able to roll assets from a pension, profit sharing, 401(k), or 403(b) plan into an IRA and then make the transfer from the IRA directly to Northwestern. To determine if a rollover to an IRA is available for your plan, speak with your plan administrator.
Yes, absolutely. Beginning in the year you turn 72, you can use your gift to satisfy all or part of your RMD.
No. You can give any amount under this provision, as long as it is no more than $100,000 per year. If your IRA is valued at more than $100,000, you can transfer a portion of it to fund a charitable gift.
We must receive your gift by Dec. 31 for your donation to qualify this year. If you have check-writing features on your IRA, please be aware that your check must clear your account by Dec. 31 to count toward your required minimum distribution for the calendar year.
No. Under the law, you can give a maximum of $100,000 per year. For example, you can give each organization $50,000 this year or any other combination that totals $100,000 or less. Any amount of more than $100,000 in one year must be reported as taxable income.
If you have a spouse (as defined by the IRS) who is 70½ or older, they can also give any amount up to $100,000 from their IRA.
Unfortunately, the law does not permit using a qualified charitable distribution to establish a charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust.
By making a gift this year of any amount up to $100,000 from your IRA, you can see your philanthropic dollars at work. You are jump-starting the legacy you would like to leave and giving yourself the joy of watching your philanthropy take shape. Moreover, you can fulfill any outstanding pledge you may have made by transferring that amount from your IRA as long as it is $100,000 or less for the year.
For Those 59½ Years Old or Older
If you are at least 59½ years old, you can take a distribution and then make a gift from your IRA without penalty. If you itemize your deductions, you can take a charitable deduction for the amount of your gift.
At Any Age
No matter your age, you can designate Northwestern as the beneficiary of all or a percentage of your IRA and it will pass to us tax-free after your lifetime. It is simple, just requiring that you contact your IRA administrator for a change-of-beneficiary form or download a form from your provider’s website.
Tip: It is critical to let us know of your gift because many retirement plan administrators assume no obligation to notify a charity of your designation. The administrator also will not monitor whether your gift designations are followed. We would love to talk to you about your intentions to ensure that they are followed. Thank you for your generosity.
- Contact Northwestern Gift Planning at 800-826-6709 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information on making a gift from your IRA.
- Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
- Ask your IRA administrator about making a direct transfer to Northwestern or have the administrator send a check from your account to us. You can use this form to make the request. To be tax-free, the donation must go directly from your account to Northwestern without passing through your hands. Please notify Northwestern of the incoming gift with this form.
Legal name: Northwestern University
Address: 633 Clark Street, Evanston, Illinois 60208
Federal tax ID number: 36-2167817
Information contained herein was accurate at the time of posting. The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For such advice, please consult an attorney or tax advisor. Figures cited in any examples are for illustrative purposes only. References to tax rates include federal taxes only and are subject to change. State law may further impact your individual results. California residents: Annuities are subject to regulation by the State of California. Payments under such agreements, however, are not protected or otherwise guaranteed by any government agency or the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association. Oklahoma residents: A charitable gift annuity is not regulated by the Oklahoma Insurance Department and is not protected by a guaranty association affiliated with the Oklahoma Insurance Department. South Dakota residents: Charitable gift annuities are not regulated by and are not under the jurisdiction of the South Dakota Division of Insurance.
Northwestern does not offer charitable gift annuities in all states, so please contact us to determine eligibility.