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With A Qualified Charitable Distribution from Your IRA

If you are 70½ or older, and plan to make a gift to a charitable organization such as Bentley, you may find that using your IRA to make a “Qualified Charitable Distribution,” or QCD, can be a more attractive option than writing a check or using a credit card.


“My wife and I began making pre-tax charitable gifts (Qualified Charitable Distributions) from our IRAs after the tax laws changed in 2015. We’ve found this to be an easy way to donate more to our respective universities and other charities. QCDs reduce our taxable income and help us satisfy our annual Required Minimum Distributions. Everyone’s tax situation is different, but using this option has been especially beneficial for us.”  – Garry Keil ’69
  • Pre-tax giving: QCDs from traditional IRAs use “pre-tax” dollars because they are made from tax-deferred savings and are not subject to federal or state income tax.
  • No need to itemize: You can receive this tax benefit regardless of whether you itemize your tax return.
  • Counts toward your RMD: If you must take your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD), a QCD can count toward your RMD.
  • Only from an IRA: A QCD may only be made from a traditional (or Roth) IRA. If your retirement assets are held in other qualified retirement plans, you may be able to convert a portion of your assets into an IRA in order to take advantage of this opportunity.
  • Most types of gifts: QCDs may be used for most types of gifts to Bentley, such as Bentley Fund or endowment gifts. They may also be used to fulfill annual or multi-year pledges. However, they may not be used for life-income gifts.
Frequently Asked Questions and Next StepsFrequently Asked Questions and Next Steps

Frequently Asked Questions

“When I graduated from the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance on Boylston Street in Boston, I could never have imagined what Bentley would become 65 years later. I’m retired from skiing but still like to play a round of golf twice a week so I like to support student athletes by directing my annual gifts to the Falcon Club. Lately I’ve been using my IRA to make my gifts because it’s a smart, tax-wise way to give. Anyone age 70½ or older can direct a gift of any amount to Bentley from their IRA with two great benefits: it may count toward your required minimum distribution and it is not included in your federal or state taxable income. It’s a winning combination every Blue & Gold Falcon should consider.”  – Michael A. Longo Jr. ’54

  • My gift will likely be modest. Is there a minimum gift level? No. QCDs may be used for gifts of any amount up to a total of $100,000 for all charitable gifts to all qualified organizations per IRA plan owner per calendar year.
  • Am I able to take a deduction for this gift? No. Your tax benefit arises from the fact that the QCD is not included in your income, and therefore not taxed. For that reason, you are not able to take an income tax charitable deduction for a QCD. 
  • I don’t itemize. Does that matter? No. Using the “pre-tax” power of a QCD for charitable giving provides a tax savings opportunity whether or not you itemize.     
  • What if I’ve already taken my RMD for the year? Can I still make a QCD? Likely yes. Your calculated RMD does not limit the dollar amount of QCD gifts you can make. The QCD maximum for all charitable gifts to all qualified organizations is $100,000 per IRA plan owner per calendar year.

  • Can I make a QCD by personal check or credit card? No. Any gift that is not directed to Bentley from your IRA administrator will not be able to be considered a QCD gift.
  • How are QCD gifts made? Most administrators send a QCD by check directly to Bentley. In some cases, administrators make the check out to Bentley and send it to you, in which case you would forward it to us. Some administrators offer a QCD checkbook option so you can write QCD checks from your IRA account yourself. Please consult with your administrator to ensure that your intended gift will qualify as a QCD.

Next Steps

  • To make a QCD gift to Bentley, please contact your IRA administrator and ask for QCD instructions.
  • Checks should be payable to Bentley University. Also, instruct your IRA administrator to reference your name and that this is a QCD or Retirement Distribution on the check or attached advice statement to ensure that we record and receipt your gift properly.
  • Checks should be sent to:

Office of Gift Planning, LaCava 276
Bentley University
175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452

If your IRA administrator says that they have Bentley’s address on file, kindly confirm that it references the Office of Gift Planning.

  • Kindly contact us at 781-891-2475, 781-891-2586, or to let us know that your gift is on its way and how you would like it to be directed at Bentley.
  • Wire transfers of QCD gifts may be possible. Please contact us for further details.
  • To ensure that your QCD provides the intended calendar year tax benefits to you, we suggest that you initiate QCDs with your IRA administrator by December 1.