Support the River in this Season of Giving

Photo by Liz Miller: Aerial view of the South Branch of the Chicago River at Ping Tom Memorial Park.

A friendly reminder as year-end giving is upon us. Any contribution you can make will be meaningful to our mission and vision. The Chicago-Calumet River system is healthier today than it was yesterday, and this time next year it will be even healthier thanks to the generosity of supporters like you.

We humbly ask you consider Friends of the Chicago River at this year’s end and include a reminder for your end-of-year charitable gift planning: a new SECURE 2.0 retirement plan law expands Americans’ ability to save for retirement, increases options for doing so, and has three key changes that affect charitable giving:

  • Increases the required minimum distribution (RMD) age. The new law increases the age retirees must begin taking taxable withdrawals to 73 in 2023 and 75 by 2033. It does not, however, increase the age an IRA owner can make a qualified charitable distribution (QCD). That age remains at 70½ years. Extending the RMD age gives individuals more time to save, enjoying additional years of tax-free growth. 
  • Adjusts for inflation the $100,000 annual limitation on direct gifts to qualified public charities from an IRA. The $100,000 cap for QCDs that has been in place for well over a decade will increase annually to reflect inflation. Retirement plan assets are often one of the largest percentages of an individual’s wealth. With a QCD gift, individuals can use philanthropy to uplift community health and wellbeing, allowing them to see that impact during their lifetime. This new law ensures individuals’ giving from retirement assets keeps pace with inflation.
  • Allows for a distribution from an IRA to fund a life-income gift. This remarkable provision allows for a one-time election for a QCD from an IRA to be made to a split-interest entity. A distribution of up to $50,000 can be made to a charitable gift annuity (CGA), charitable remainder unitrust, or charitable remainder annuity trust. These types of life-income gifts allow you to make a charitable contribution to a qualifying charity and receive lifetime payments to boost your retirement income or provide a lifetime payment for a spouse, family member, or other beneficiary.

Thank you for considering us during this season of giving. 

To learn more about planned giving, please direct your questions our Director of Development Annie Hanrahan at