How to Donate Tax-Free Dollars from Your IRA

October 31, 2023
Leverage your retirement savings to support local trails.

Did you know you can donate up to $100,000 of tax-free income through your IRA’s Required Minimum Distribution (RMD)? The process is called a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD), and it allows you to support qualified 501(c)(3) charities directly through your plan’s administrator. This is the smartest way to support our stewardship while keeping money in your pocket!

Do you qualify?

You must be 70 ½ and own an IRA to qualify for QCDs. Chat with your financial institution to discuss your options in more detail.

Getting started

Please give us a shout if you have any questions about donating from your RMD. It’s always a good idea to get in touch with your personal financial advisor to ensure that an RMD contribution is the best way for you to support both our organization and your personal financial goals.

If you’re ready to give, you can use the email template below to request a distribution from your IRA administrator.


[Your Name]

[Your Address]


[Name of IRA administrator]

[IRA Administrator Address]

RE: Request for a Qualified Charitable Distribution or Charitable Rollover from IRA

Dear IRA administrator:

Please accept this letter as my request to make a qualified charitable distribution, also known as a charitable rollover from my Individual Retirement Account #[ ______________________] as provided in The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 and Section 408(d)(8) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.

Please issue a check in the amount of $[___________] payable to Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship and mail it to:

Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship

P.O. Box 331

Santa Cruz, CA 95061

In your transmittal, please include my name and address as the donor of record in connection with the distribution and copy me.

It is my intention that this distribution qualifies for exclusion from my taxable income during the [insert tax year].

If you have any questions or need to contact me, I can be reached at [insert contact information].

Thank you,

[Your Name and Email]


Become a Member

Become a member of SCMTS! Join thousands of members who provide a reliable stream of support as we build and maintain sustainable trails throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains.