Gifts From Your Retirement Plan

Use Your Traditional IRA to Support the Boundary Waters

Qualified Charitable Distributions (“QCDs”) are one of the savviest way for individuals aged 70.5 or older to use their IRAs to maximize their charitable impact. The benefits of QCDs include:

  • Reducing your taxable income – Funds go directly from your IRA to the Friends, thereby helping you avoid higher income taxes.
  • Satisfying Required Minimum Distributions – If you do not withdraw your RMD, you face a penalty tax of 50% of the required withdrawal amount. QCDs can be used to meet your RMD and avoid penalties.
  • Maximizing your charitable impact – The Friends receives the full amount of the transfer tax-free. It’s a win-win situation that supports both you and protecting the Boundary Waters.

Remember, these gifts must come directly from your IRA account – funds that you withdraw and then contribute do not qualify. For more information, contact Mike Linnemann, Friends’ Development Director at or 612-209-6262.

The Friends is also happy to provide you with a sample instruction letter for you to fill in and send to your IRA administrator. Please contact us to let us know and to provide us with the information we need to ensure you receive your tax benefits.

Name Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness as a Beneficiary of Your Retirement Plan

Contribute to protecting and preserving the Boundary Waters while avoiding the double taxation your retirement savings would incur should you leave it to your heirs. Use this online resource [MK1] today to plan your beneficiaries for these assets and receive step-by-step instructions to designate the Friends to receive all or a portion of the balance of your plan.

  • Beneficiary designations can be changed or revoked at any time without a penalty, and your regular lifetime withdrawals will not be affected.
Did you know?
  • Your retirement fund can be taxed up to 75% if passed on to heirs, yet it’s tax-free to charity.
  • By designating Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness as your beneficiary, you will ensure 100% of the value of your account benefits the Friends’ mission.
  • You can use other assets not subject to income tax to make gifts to your heirs and they will receive their share of your estate without the burden of extra taxes.

NOTE: Again since this thing is done through FreeWill we likely cannot do an online option and we will have to instead change this language to direct people to Development for more information

For more information, contact Mike Linnemann, Friends’ Development Director at or 612-209-6262.

Get Started with a Qualified Charitable Distribution

Why Qualified Charitable Distributions might be for you

Making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) from your IRA can be a great option to lower your income taxes while helping to protect and preserve the Boundary Waters. If you’re subject to required minimum distributions (“RMDs”), QCDs count toward your RMD (currently up to $100,000), and can effectively lower your adjusted gross income, and can bring about important tax benefits.

Please note that as of January 1, 2023, the age to start taking RMDs increased from age 72 to age 73, with the exception of donors who turned 72 before January 1, 2023.

What is a Qualified Charitable Distribution?

When individuals take a distribution from their IRAs, it usually counts as income for tax purposes. QCDs are an exception. Individuals 70-and-a-half years of age or older can distribute up to $100,000 each year* from their IRAs to the Friends without the distribution counting as income.

Please go to the IRS website for additional useful information on QCDs.

* The amount that donors can give to charity via QCD will increase by a percentage in 2024 to account for inflation

What is a Required Minimum Distribution?

The Required Minimum Distribution (“RMD”) is the smallest amount eligible individuals must distribute from their traditional IRA each year. The penalty for missing an RMD is 25% of the amount that was supposed to have been distributed.

If you’re 70-and-a-half years of age or older but you don’t have an RMD yet, you can still make a QCD. Doing so can lower your adjusted gross income and effectively reduce your income taxes. To learn more, feel free to check out the IRS website for additional useful information on RMDs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What assets can I use to make a gift to Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness?

You can make an outright gift of securities or other property (e.g., real estate, personal property). Through your will or living trust or with a distribution from a retirement plan or life insurance policy, you can designate a gift to Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness.

I want to leave my land to the Friends in my will. How do I do that? 

The most beneficial method is to name us as the beneficiary of the property sale. 

What is a Charitable Gift Annuity?

When you establish a Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness charitable gift annuity, you make a donation using cash or appreciated securities and we, in turn, pay you a fixed amount for life. Contact Mike Linnemann, Friends’ Development Director at or 612-209-6262, to learn more about how a charitable gift annuity can benefit you.