- 1. Giving Smarter: Learn About IRA Charitable Rollovers
- 2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Kitty Dharma
- 3. Ready, Set, Go…ASPCA $100K Challenge Is On to Save More Lives!
1. Giving Smarter: Learn About IRA Charitable Rollovers
Great news, seniors: Congress has extended the IRA Charitable Rollover for 2011. The IRA Charitable Rollover allows individuals ages 70½ and older to make direct transfers from their IRAs—up to $100,000 per year—to charities like the ASPCA. This is a great way to help animals in need without having to count the transfer as income for federal tax purposes.
The rules for making a gift from your IRA:
- You must be 70½ or older at the time of the gift.
- Your gift must be made directly from your IRA custodian to the ASPCA. If you have retirement assets in a 401(k) or 403(b), you must first transfer those funds into an IRA and then you can direct the transfer to the ASPCA.
- Your gift counts toward your required minimum distribution.
- You will not pay federal income taxes on the withdrawal for the gift, so you cannot claim an income tax charitable deduction.
Certain states may not exclude gift amounts withdrawn from an IRA for state income tax purposes. When planning your gift, please be sure to check with your plan provider or tax preparer on whether your state of residence will tax your intended charitable distribution.
To learn if an IRA charitable rollover is right for you, please visit ASPCA.org or contact Marsha Pierson at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4505, or by email at email@example.com.
2. ASPCA Happy Tails: Kitty Dharma
People always told Janine Baker that she seemed young for her age, but after losing her beloved Shih Tzu Pugsley, she says, “I realized it wasn’t me—it was my little dog who was keeping me young.” She sorely missed Pugsley’s company, but the idea of getting another dog was painful. So after a lifetime of being exclusively a dog person, Baker decided to adopt a cat.
Baker doubted a cat could offer her the kind of companionship she’d had with Pugsley, but she knew that caring for a creature would cheer her up and, she reminded herself, “You can’t be depressed if you’re connected to an animal,” even though she thought cats mostly kept to themselves.
But late last year at the ASPCA, Baker met the cat who changed expectations of the feline kind. An Adoptions Counselor introduced her to a long-haired tuxedo cat with big golden eyes. When Baker was told that her new friend was a little rambunctious and sometimes played rough, she only wanted him more.
Baker, who studies Indo-Tibetan philosophy, dubbed him Vimalakirti, after a famous Buddhist sage. Now a muscular 19 pounds, Vima is Baker’s constant companion—not at all what she thought she’d find in a cat. She’s looking to adopt another kitty soon, and says, “Vima has made me such a fan of the ASPCA, I’m now on the volunteer list!”
Baker adores her quirky behemoth of a kitty, whose hobbies include interactive play, practicing singing and sleeping in the sink. And she believes that even her dog Pugsley would have endorsed her new furry pal. “His first thought would be, 'You're getting a what?' And then I think he’d very much approve.”
For more stories of furry fate, visit the ASPCA Happy Tails archive.
3. Ready, Set, Go…ASPCA $100K Challenge Is On to Save More Lives!
We’re back, people! For the second year in a row, the ASPCA is joining forces with animal shelters around the country to find more homes for cats and dogs. The 2011 $100K Challenge officially launched on August 1, when 49 shelters from 33 states and territories embarked on the adventure of their lives: to vastly increase adoptions for a chance to win $300,000 in ASPCA grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
In last year’s first-ever ASPCA $100K Challenge, contestants rescued a total of 48,779 animals over three months, an increase of 7,362 over the same three months in 2009. But this year the stakes are much higher! We’ve got more prizes and (fingers crossed!) a whole lot more open hearts and homes.
“Based on the energy and buzz this year’s contestants have already generated, we fully anticipate that these shelters will save even more lives,” says Bert Troughton, Vice President of Community Outreach for the ASPCA.
But to live up to the hype and get things started right, many shelters are hosting special adoption events and Challenge kick-off parties this weekend, August 6 and 7. The goal? To galvanize their communities, have a little fun, and, of course, find homes for hundreds of needy pets!
Never one to turn down an invitation, the ASPCA will join the contestants and their supporters by live-tweeting all the kick-off action. Our live coverage will span 50 hours—from Friday, August 5, at 5:00 P.M. to Sunday, August 7, at 7:00 P.M. Won’t you join us? Help spread the word by using the unique hashtag #ASPCA100K on Twitter.
For more information about the 2011 $100K Challenge, or to find a kick-off event near you, please visit challenge.aspcapro.org. And for all the minute-by-minute action this weekend, don't forget to follow the ASPCA on Twitter and spread the word with #ASPCA100K!