Planned Giving: IRA Charitable Rollover

Good health is fundamental to our wellbeing, happiness and productivity, though we at times take it for granted. One factor that plays a significant role in our health and wellness is the expertise, dedication and hard work of public health professionals who are committed to keeping diseases, outbreaks and other health threats at bay. Supporting the CDC Foundation and the work of the world-class scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides an incredible return on investment both in lives saved and improved through better health.

As the CDC Foundation staff person with responsibility for planned giving, I am often asked about whether individual giving makes a difference, and my response is absolutely—individuals play an integral role in contributing to better health and wellbeing for all. There are a number of ways you can make a difference as you consider your charitable giving.

For instance, you can make the CDC Foundation a partial or full beneficiary of your life insurance policy or retirement account—and neither of these decisions involves preparing or updating your will. If you are 70 1/2 years old or older, another option is a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), which involves a direct transfer of funds from your IRA custodian payable to a qualified charity like the CDC Foundation. At that age, you are required to take a minimum distribution. These withdrawals are included as taxable income except for any portion previously taxed or that qualifies as a charitable distribution. 

If you have discretionary funds, you can donate some or all of your required minimum distribution (up to $100,000) income tax-free to a 501(c)(3) charity. If filing a joint return, both spouses have individual $100,000 limits on QCD exclusion. One donor, Tom, gave to the CDC Foundation recently through an IRA distribution. He says, “It’s a fantastic way to leverage money!”

IRA administrators can make the distribution directly to the charity, or donors may write a check payable to the charity from their IRA checkbook. The CDC Foundation offers a sample letter of instruction to your IRA administrator for the purpose of requesting a charitable distribution. 

Tom continues, “I love the CDC Foundation. Public health is something we all need, not only here in the United States but across the world. Diseases, especially infectious diseases, have no borders and boundaries, and we need to stay on top of prevention and detection.”

He continues, “Public health traditionally is underfunded, yet it is so critically important for the world. The CDC Foundation provides support to those areas that we need.”  

If you are considering a planned gift to the CDC Foundation, we encourage you to seek the counsel of your accountant, attorney, financial planner or other qualified professional advisor.

Make a difference today that saves and improves lives through an IRA distribution to the CDC Foundation. Together we can make a difference. Together our impact is greater.

For more information about the CDC Foundation or to discuss charitable giving opportunities, please contact Amy Macklin at 404-523-1874 or

This content is for informational purposes only, and therefore you should not construe this information as legal, tax, investment, financial or other advice. Also, this information is of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular individual, nor is it comprehensive related to the matters discussed or the applicable laws. 

Amy Macklin
Amy Macklin is a senior advancement officer for the CDC Foundation.