End of Year Donations to AAFSW – Here are some simple ways to HELP!

As we enter the gift-giving season, we hope that you will think about your gift to AAFSW, which provides so many services to you and the Foreign Service Community. Here are just a couple of ways you can help:

We always need your immediate gift of cash. It goes a long way in helping us provide and maintain the programs that are so valuable to our community, such as resource information sharing, advocacy, networking, programs, scholarships and awards, and a sense of community. Your mailed checks or donations via our on-line website will help ensure that we can continue giving you the help, advice, and tools you need to navigate life as a member of the Foreign Service community.

There is another easy way to make your year-end gift before December 31, although it comes with some very strict eligibility and processing requirements. For those who are eligible, a gift of your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA simply takes a call to your investment advisor. RMD’s are taxable, but a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from an IRA eliminates that tax burden on you. There is no further tax deduction allowance for this contribution. QCDs were made permanent as an element of the tax law this past year. This means that your RMD can now be taken at any time during the year, and you can designate it as a charitable gift to a public charitable organization such as AAFSW.

Under the QCD rules, you must be:
70 ½ years of age (you must actually be this age at the time of distribution, not just sometime during the tax year.)
The maximum amount of a QCD from your IRA is limited to $100,000.
Only the Required Minimum Distributions from individual IRAs (including a rollover) are eligible (no SEP or SIMPLE IRA’s if they are still actively receiving employer contributions) or any type of retirement plan.

The IRA Trustee should make distribution directly to the qualified charity, such as AAFSW.
If the IRA Trustee sends the check to the IRA holder/donor, then the check must be made out to the qualified charity. You must then forward the check to the charity before Dec. 31.
IRA checks sent payable to the IRA holder/donor become taxable. You can still donate the money to the charity and take the deduction.

Call your IRA custodian today and ask for a form for distribution and request that the RMD check be made payable directly to AAFSW as a Qualified Charitable Distribution. It’s easy and painless, but please let us know if you make this request, as often the checks arrive without the name of the IRA owner. Your financial support is needed, appreciated, and used well to provide you with the activities and programs that best serve you.

~Sherry Barndollar Rock
AAFSW Scholarship Chair