Art Borden donates to EMU via his IRA

“For the past 6 years I have made my gifts to the EMU university fund, my church and other Christian ministries from my IRA. I ask my IRA custodian to send a check directly to EMU from my IRA. I avoid the income taxes and the gift counts toward my required minimum distribution since I am over 70½. By using my IRA I can get the equivalent of a tax deduction even though I do not itemize my income taxes. I have saved thousands of dollars in federal and state income taxes by doing this. If you are 70½ or older you may want to do the same thing.”

-Art Borden

KEEPING YOU UP-TO-DATE: The IRA Rollover is in effect for gifts made in 2013. The following rules apply to all qualifying distributions (meaning you may apply rollover treatment for contributions of up to $100,000 per person per year).*

IRA Gift Options

You should consider an IRA Rollover if:

  • You take the standard income tax deduction rather than itemizing deductions.
  • You do not need the income from the required minimum distribution.
  • The additional income from your RMD (required minimum distribution) would result in taxation of your social security benefits or a change in your income tax bracket.
  • You would be unable to take other deductions (such as for medical expenses) due to the increased income.
  • You have maximized your charitable deductions and/or are subject to the 3% limitation on itemized deductions.
  • You are planning to give the IRA to charity anyway.

Rules for 2013

  • You must be age 70½ or older when the transfer is made to EMU.
  • The gift must be from a traditional or Roth IRA. Gifts from a SEP IRA or other types of retirement accounts are not eligible.
  • Checks must be made payable directly to EMU by your IRA custodian. [Caution: Please do NOT have the check issued in your name.] If you choose to also have the custodian mail the check directly to EMU, please let us know since your custodian may send it without including your name.
  • The maximum amount you can give to charity from your IRA in one year is $100,000 ($200,000 for couples).
  • Your gift must be outright. [For example, it cannot be used to fund a charitable gift annuity or remainder trust.] It may be used to fulfill a pledge.
  • The gift cannot be made to a donor advised fund. [IRA rollover gifts must be made directly to EMU and other charities you support, rather than to or through The Mennonite Foundation or a community foundation, as they are not eligible to receive these gifts.]

Other gift information

  1. Send a letter to your IRA custodian giving them instructions for sending your gift to EMU, 1200 Park Road, Harrisonburg, VA 22802. [EMU’s EIN number is 54-057581]
  2. Either send a copy of that letter or a separate notification letter to EMU for our records.
  3. You may need to allow 2-6 weeks for processing depending on your financial institution.

Questions? If you have questions about whether to make a gift from your IRA, please contact:

Robyn Hill, Director of Planned Giving: 540-432-4971 (office) or

Phil Helmuth, Executive Director of Development: 540-746-2068 (direct line) or

Or call our office toll-free at 800-368-3383 at your convenience.

*Also included in the legislation extending the IRA rollover were extensions of: (1) lower income and capital gains tax rates for those earning less than $400,000 ($450,000 for couples), (2) the estate and gift tax exclusion of $5 million ($10 million for couples) (although the top rate on larger estates increased to 40%), and (3) a variety of other exclusions and deductions. No new cap was imposed on charitable deductions, but a former limitation on itemized deductions in general was revived for those with adjusted gross income of $250,000 ($300,000 for couples).

Note: This material was updated April 9, 2013.