Tax-wise giving strategies

It is estimated that nearly 90 percent of Americans will not itemize their taxes this year due to changes that took effect following the 2018 tax overhaul. However, there are still many ways to reduce taxes while making an impact with your charitable giving.

Here are a few tax-wise giving strategies.*

Make a charitable IRA Distribution.

If you are age 70½ or older, you and your spouse can each direct up to $100,000 from your IRA to charity, without paying federal income tax on the withdrawal. This gift option provides tax savings to donors even if they do not itemize deductions.

  • Gifts can be used to satisfy your required minimum distribution.
  • Instead of taking a charitable income tax deduction for the gift, you can exclude the distribution from your income.
  • The funds must be transferred directly to the charity—it is important not to withdraw the funds before making a gift.

If you wish to direct your gift to the College of Science and Engineering or a specific department or fund, contact your IRA plan administrator and request a direct qualified charitable distribution from your IRA account to the University of Minnesota Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, with tax ID number 41-6042488.

Mail the check to:
University of Minnesota Foundation
Attn: IRA Gift Processing
200 Oak Street SE, Suite 500
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Give appreciated securities.

Giving appreciated stocks, bonds, or mutual fund shares can be a tax-advantaged way to provide immediate support for the College of Science and Engineering. Gifts of any size benefit students, faculty, research, and programs. By giving the College appreciated securities that you’ve held for more than a year, you receive a double tax benefit:

  • You avoid capital gains tax on the appreciation that would be due upon sale.
  • You can receive a charitable income tax deduction for the current fair market value of the property—up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income.
  • You can carry forward any unclaimed portion of the deduction for up to five additional years, subject to the annual limit.

Because we often receive stock transfers without donor-identifying information, please let Kim Dockter (Assistant Dean, External Relations) know if you are planning to transfer stock or other securities. You can email her at or call her at 612-626-9385.

Name us as a beneficiary of your retirement account.

This is a simple, tax-free way to provide meaningful support for the College of Science and Engineering. If left to family or other loved ones, assets in a tax-deferred retirement account are subject to income and possibly estate tax when distributed. However, if left to charity, these assets will pass tax-free.

* This information is for educational purposes only, and is not legal or tax advice. We recommend that you consult with a professional advisor before making any gift to the University.