Planned Giving Tax Information


Gift Strategies

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If you would like to subscribe to Gift Strategies, please email University Planned Giving or call either 800-446-1277 or 617-495-4647.

The Harvard Manual

Harvard ManualOriginally written by David Donaldson and Carolyn Osteen of Ropes & Gray, LLP, The Harvard Manual on Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving provides an in-depth look at the technical aspects of planned giving. The Manual is intended for practicing attorneys, accountants, and other professional tax counsel. It has also proven useful to individuals who are philanthropic and/or have some familiarity with the tax law related to charitable contributions. The most recent edition is the ninth edition, which was published in 2011 and edited by Carolyn Osteen and Martin Hall of Ropes & Gray, LLP.

The Harvard Manual is available in print for $195.00, as well as on compact disc for $175.00. For both a book and CD, the cost is $325.00.

As part of our ongoing green efforts to reduce waste, we will produce The Manual on a rolling basis, in line with the orders we receive. As a result, it may take a few weeks for your Harvard Manual to arrive.

Order The Harvard Manual


Wealth in Families

Wealth in FamiliesWealth in Families, a book by Charles W. Collier, Harvard’s former senior philanthropic advisor, can be a helpful resource with your own planning. This book addresses many of the questions of concern to families of wealth, including ways to teach values to your family through philanthropy.

Order Wealth In Families

For more information on The Harvard Manual and Wealth In Families, please email University Planned Giving or call either 800-446-1277 or 617-495-4647.


Planned Giving Tax Information

Tax Identification Number

Harvard University's Tax ID number is 04-2103580.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act

Under longstanding law, qualified donors may make outright gifts of up to $100,000 per year to Harvard from their IRAs—so-called QCDs. The amount donated to charity is excluded from the donor’s taxable income. In addition, the distributions may help satisfy a donor’s required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year. Moreover, because the QCD offers an exclusion from taxable income rather than a deduction, this strategy is not limited to taxpayers who itemize their deductions. As a result, it may be used by non-itemizing donors who do not ordinarily receive any tax benefit for their charitable gifts. (Please see the above discussion regarding the temporary deduction for non-itemizing donors.)

To benefit from this gift opportunity, the following qualifications (among others) must be met:

  • The donor must be age 70 ½ or older at the time of transfer.
  • The maximum amount a donor may transfer is $100,000.
  • The gift must be outright. Gifts to donor-advised funds or to life income vehicles do not qualify.
  • The gift must be transferred directly from the IRA account by the IRA administrator to Harvard. Donors with check-writing ability for their IRAs may use this feature to complete their gift.

Donors should be aware that sweeping retirement legislation enacted at the end of 2019—the SECURE Act—made two changes impacting QCDs:

  • The SECURE Act increased the age at which IRA owners must begin taking RMDs from 70 ½ to 72. While IRA owners may still make tax-free QCDs beginning at age 70 ½, the QCDs will not also help satisfy their RMDs until they turn 72 and are required to take RMDs.
  • In addition, donors must now reduce their QCDs by the amount of any deductible contributions they make to their IRAs after age 70 ½.

To assist donors interested in making a charitable gift from their IRA, we have provided the following sample letters:

The first letter contains specific transfer instructions from the donor to the IRA custody agent.

The second letter is from the donor to Harvard to inform Harvard as to how the gift should be used. This letter is particularly important for donors interested in splitting their gift between multiple Schools or Harvard affiliates. It also ensures Harvard's ability to provide appropriate class credit to alumni donors.

If you have any questions regarding the IRA QCD giving opportunity or how to make a planned gift to Harvard, please email University Planned Giving or call either 800-446-1277 or 617-495-4647.

Contact University Planned Giving

Please contact our office for information on gift strategies that can help you support Harvard’s teaching and research and provide significant benefits to you and your family. 

124 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 800-446-1277 
or 617-495-4647
Fax: 617-495-8130
Tax I.D. #: ‌04‑210‑3580

Contact Us

Gift Strategies

Gift Strategies Spring 2022 PDF

Planned Giving Information

Explore the benefits of a variety of gift options with our planned giving calculator.

The ninth edition of The Harvard Manual on Tax Aspects of Charitable Giving, written by Carolyn Osteen and Martin Hall of Ropes & Gray, LLP is available. Order your copy today.