Tongass National Forest (photo by David Beebe).

You’ve worked hard and planned for retirement. Now, with a little creativity, you can leverage your retirement assets to benefit you and your family, reduce the federal government’s cut, and support Cascadia Wildlands well into the future.

Naming Cascadia Wildlands as the beneficiary of a qualified retirement plan asset such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, Keogh or profit sharing pension plan in your estate plans will accomplish a charitable goal while realizing tax savings. It can be costly to pass such assets on to heirs because of tax consequences. By naming Cascadia Wildlands as a full or partial beneficiary of a retirement plan, you maintain complete control over the asset while living, but at passing the asset passes to Cascadia Wildlands free of both estate and income taxes.

How to Contribute

Making a gift from your retirement plan is easy and should be cost-free. Simply request a change of beneficiary form from your plan administrator. When you are done, return the form to your plan administrator and contact Executive Director, Josh Laughlin by email or call him at 541-434-1463 to let him know of the update. Thank you for considering giving to Cascadia Wildlands through your retirement account.

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from Your IRA

Also consider making a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to Cascadia Wildlands. QCDs allow individuals age 70½ and older to make tax-free donations directly to a qualified charity. For 2024, the QCD limit has increased to $105,000/year. A QCD maximizes a donor’s charitable contributions to qualified non-profits such as Cascadia Wildands while avoiding the tax consequences of their Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from their IRA, which starts at age 73.

Contributions typically need to be made by December 31 of the tax year to qualify. Many supporters who are required take money from their IRA but do not need it for living expenses have chosen to make QCDs from their IRAs to support the work of Cascadia Wildlands. These distributions can satisfying all or part of their annual RMD.

Your QCD must be made directly from your IRA custodian to Cascadia Wildlands on your behalf. Each financial institution has its own process for initiating a QCD. Many retirement plan administrators require you to use their distribution forms and comply with other requirements, so follow their forms and procedures to ensure you receive any potential tax benefits associated with your gift.

Please contact Executive Director Josh Laughlin by email or call him at 541-434-1463 with any questions or to explore the Qualified Charitable Distribution from your IRA further.

In Focus: Sarah Douglas, long-time supporter who generously supports Cascadia Wildlands though the QCD

Sarah Douglas hiking in the Sierra Nevada.
Sarah Douglas in the Sierra Nevada (photo by Sarah Douglas).

“If you’re at least 70 1/2 years old, utilizing the IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) option is a convenient way I’ve been able to support Cascadia Wildlands’ outstanding conservation work. Neither Cascadia nor I pay taxes on the money I take out, and the gift can be put to use immediately to safeguard what makes our region so special.”

— Sarah Douglas, Cascadia Wildlands former board member and long-time supporter