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Donating retirement assets to St. Jude

Donating retirement assets to charity is an easy, tax-efficient way to fund your legacy. A retirement plan can be a simple way to include a charity, like St. Jude, in your estate plan. 

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St. Jude patient Michael smiling in a portrait taken with his family

St. Jude patient Lucas

St. Jude patient Eri'Elle poses for a studio portrait

St. Jude patient Emma and her mom


Benefits of donating retirement assets to charity

Most people do not use all of their retirement assets during their lifetime, and those unused assets can be used to make a gift to St. Jude. There are several benefits to donating unused retirement funds and assets:

Cultivating a better world

When you designate a charitable organization, like St. Jude, as the beneficiary of your retirement assets, you're making a difference in the world long after your passing. You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing the money that would have otherwise gone unspent is contributing to a better future for those left behind.

Financial control

Donors retain ownership and full control over their assets during their lifetime and are free to update their beneficiaries at any time. Charities, like St. Jude, will receive distributions only after the donor’s passing.

Tax savings

There can be both income and estate tax benefits when it comes to donating retirement assets directly to charities, like St. Jude, upon your passing. In the event of your passing, the intended charity would inherit assets from the chosen IRA. That money would not be taxed as income.


How donating retirement assets works

Many people who choose to donate their retirement assets to a charity will do so through a beneficiary designation. The beneficiary designation allows the donor to direct their assets held in an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement account to the charity of their choice upon their passing.

If you decide to designate a charity, like St. Jude, as the beneficiary of your retirement plan, consider the following actions:

  • If you are married, check to determine if your spouse consents to the designation. Failure to obtain spousal consent could result in a disqualification of the beneficiary designation.
  • Ask your plan administrator to provide you with the appropriate forms.
  • Name St. Jude as a beneficiary on your plan’s beneficiary designation form. Make sure the plan administrator or financial institution receives a copy of your beneficiary designation by requesting a written confirmation of receipt. 

ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material is prepared and made available to you for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide or be relied upon for tax, legal or accounting advice. You should always consult a tax professional to determine your particular tax benefits that may result from any particular type of gift to charity.


Donating retirement assets and taxes

Retirement assets can be donated while you’re still alive. To do so, you would take a distribution from your retirement account, which may require you to pay taxes on that money. However, this can be avoided in two ways.

If you’re 70 ½ or older:
Individuals who are 70 ½ or older can make donations up to $105,000 from an IRA account without paying taxes on the distribution through what is called a qualified charitable distribution.

As part of an estate plan:
When you designate a charity, such as St. Jude, as the beneficiary of your retirement account, you will not be required to pay income tax on the distribution.

An aerial view of the St. Jude campus in downtown Memphis, Tennessee

Please use the following legal name and tax identification:


ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105


Tax ID Number:

We are a tax-exempt, charitable institution listed in the Federal Internal Revenue Service Publication #78, "Cumulative List of Organizations," revised IRS Code 501(c)(3).

View the IRS Determination Letter.


Why donate to St. Jude?

No bill icon

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — so they can focus on helping their child live.

Twenty to eighty icon

When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered largely incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer.

Children icon

Every child deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. When you support St. Jude, you can help make cures possible for kids with cancer. Together, we can save more lives.


We're here to help

Our Gift Planning department has a representative in your area who can provide further information or help you prepare the right questions to ask your financial advisor to determine what type of planned gift may be right for you.

Email, call (800) 395-1087, or fill out the form below, and a St. Jude representative will contact you. 

Fill out my online form.

Have you left St. Jude in your will or estate plan? 

As an acknowledgment of your generosity when you give a gift to St. Jude through your will or estate plan, you become a member of the Danny Thomas – St. Jude Society, and we recognize your commitment to the mission of St. Jude in a variety of ways.

Learn How We Honor Your Generosity Explore More Planned Giving Options

St. Jude patient Aspen makes a heart symbol with her hands

St. Jude patient Aspen


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