Advocacy Alert: June 16

Support the IRA Charitable Rollover; Will Your Museum Join the Effort?

In the first two years of its existence, the IRA Charitable Rollover provision helped Americans donate over $140 million from their retirement accounts to causes they believed in, including many museums. Despite its success, Congress has let this critical charitable giving incentive expire temporarily on multiple occasions, most recently at the end of 2013.
 
In the next few weeks, the U.S. House of Representatives will consider legislation that would not only renew the IRA Charitable Rollover, but also make it a permanent part of the tax code. The American Alliance of Museums has signed on to a nonprofit sector-wide letter in support of this bill, and we encourage your museum to join the effort. 

Take one minute to add your museum or organization to the letter.

“The IRA Charitable Rollover is an important tool for museums’ efforts to raise funds in their communities,” said Alliance President Ford W. Bell. “I hope all museums will join the larger nonprofit sector in signing this letter and calling on Congress to reinstate it permanently. Making this provision permanent would have a direct impact on charitable giving to museums because it would reduce the uncertainty donors currently experience in planning their contributions from year to year.”
 
To make sure your organization’s voice is heard, we recommend signing as soon as possible.
 
Here’s an example of how the IRA Charitable Rollover (PDF) has helped museums: Last fall, Forbes Magazine reported (PDF) on philanthropist Harvey Kimmel, who planned to donate $100,000 from his individual retirement account, tax free, to the Philadelphia Zoo. When Kimmel reached age 70½, he was required to start taking yearly taxable distributions from his retirement accounts. The IRA Charitable Rollover lets him avoid tax liability on these funds by donating them to charity.
 
Has your museum received contributions through the IRA Charitable Rollover provision? Share your stories with us so we can learn more about how museums are benefitting.
 
P.S. The letter to Congress also mentions two additional tax provisions that have little effect on museums but are important to the broader nonprofit sector. They are not controversial in Congress and have been extended multiple times.