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Ideas for Giving and Moving Forward in 2020

Boise State University continues to move forward with its important work. In the midst of all that is going on, many of our friends and supporters are looking forward to the future when we can enjoy community with one another and resume our regular activities. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress recently enacted several tax law changes. We have created this page as a resource to help you with your tax planning and to offer some ideas for you to consider if you are thinking about making a gift in support of our students and programs during this time:


This recently passed law includes several charitable tax provisions for the year 2020 to encourage giving. These include:

  • A new deduction for charitable donors who do not itemize when filing their tax returns. If you do not itemize but make a cash gift to charity, you will be allowed to take a special tax deduction, up to $300 (per taxpayer unit), to reduce your tax liability.
  • An increase in the deduction limit up to 100% of a donor's adjusted gross income for cash gifts (previously the deduction was capped at 60% of adjusted gross income). If you make a cash gift in 2020, you may be able to deduct more on your taxes.


In December of 2019, Congress passed the SECURE Act, limiting stretch payments to IRA beneficiaries to 10 years. If you planned to benefit your children with your IRA, your heirs will now pay higher taxes on the inheritance they receive from you. When you revisit your estate plan, consider funding a testamentary charitable remainder unitrust with your IRA balance. This plan can provide lifetime payments to your heirs and spread out the taxes on their inheritance.

3. Charitable Gift Annuity

If you are concerned about your retirement planning given the ups and downs of the stock market, you may benefit from making a gift to fund a charitable gift annuity. You can exchange your low-performing stock, CDs or cash for guaranteed, lifetime fixed payments. If you make a gift of an appreciated asset, you will not have to pay capital gains when you fund the annuity. You may also benefit from a tax deduction this year and a portion of your payments could be tax-free.

4. Donor Advised Funds

If you have a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) and wish to help Boise State students this year, you can make a gift from your DAF to support our work without affecting your personal financial security.

*Please note that gifts to donor advised funds and supporting organizations do not qualify for 1) and 2) above.

5. Areas of Greatest Need

If you are considering making a gift to Boise State students, there are two areas of greatest need to help our students in this emergency situation . The Dean of Students Assistance Fund (GR123) issues emergency grants to students who have lost employment, housing, or both. The President's Excellence Fund (GR104) was created as an unrestricted fund to offer flexibility to the President and university leadership to respond quickly and efficiently to the most pressing needs of the university. In these unprecedented times, these two funds provide critical help to meet the unique and ever-changing demands of Boise State and its students. A gift of any size will make a difference and we are grateful for your support.

If you are interested in learning more about any of these ideas, please contact us. Please also let us know how we can help you during this time.