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Congress can raise charitable giving by seniors | READER COMMENTARY

Charities here in Maryland and across the country have faced countless obstacles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From inflation and fundraising difficulties to staffing shortages and supply chain delays, nonprofit organizations have been forced to make do with limited resources while continuing to assist and support their communities, and facing higher demand for services than prior to the pandemic.

In my decades of estate planning and tenure as chair of the Planned Giving Subcommittee for the American Heart Association’s Maryland affiliate, I have seen firsthand the generosity of people throughout their lifetimes, wanting to ensure they can give to the causes they feel passionately about. For many nonprofit organizations, seniors are the largest share of their donor bases. From the first enactment of the IRA charitable rollover in 2006, seniors have been able to realize meaningful tax benefits and charities have benefited from the significant contributions each year.

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With more than 10,000 Baby Boomers turning 70 every day, an expansion of this benefit — as proposed last year in the bipartisan legislation called the Legacy IRA Act — has the potential to raise up to $1 billion annually for charities.

The U.S. House of Representatives saw this opportunity and, in March, the text of the Legacy IRA Act was included as part of broader bipartisan retirement legislation known as the Securing Strong Retirement Act of 2022. Now, charities are counting on the U.S. Senate to also include this common sense bill in its retirement package. This legislation would not only encourage increased giving by seniors to support nonprofit organizations but would also help middle-income seniors in need of retirement income to continue charitable giving following retirement through life income plans.

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— David C. Dembert, Pikesville

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