Giving from your IRA

Suzanna Schell, Beacon Hill Friends House Board of Managers

I’ve been a part of the Beacon Hill Friends community for more than 25 years. Most recently I’ve been serving on the Beacon Hill Friends House Board of Managers as one of two Meeting representatives. I felt drawn to the mission of the House as it has lived into the Strategic Plan that was discerned 4+ years ago. 

I’m excited about the opportunities that the Beacon Hill Friends House has to reach beyond our Quaker Meeting and the House Residential community to connect with others working for a more peaceful and just world while also taking advantage of our close proximity to the Massachusetts State House. 

Now, as we all struggle with life in the Covid-19 pandemic, I’ve seen how the House staff and residents have quickly stepped up to create new ways of nurturing our extended community, from new virtual programming to repurposing the spaces in the House itself. As I shelter in place, the Beacon Hill Friends House has played a vital role in my spiritual life as well as offering new opportunities for engagement in social justice action. I’ve become a regular at MIDWEEK: Experiments in Faithfulness on Wednesday nights, which I highly recommend to anyone who is interested in different forms of spiritual practice. 

Until retiring three years ago, I worked as a fundraiser for a number of dynamic organizations that were dedicated to social, racial, and economic justice. Because I live simply and have enough for my own needs, I’ve been able to donate to groups who are helping to create a more just and peaceful world – including the Beacon Hill Friends House. It’s also been my own form of tax resistance. Every dollar I give to social change has been one less dollar to the war machine. 

And now that I’m retired I’ve been able to use a new method to support my values – a Qualified Charitable Distribution from my IRA. 

I was able to do this for the first time last year. Under the 2019 Tax Bill, I could no longer itemize my deductions which included my charitable giving. By giving through my IRA, I was actually able to increase my donations and still avoid paying federal income taxes that support our bloated military budget and more. If you are over 70 ½, and are fortunate to have enough, I invite you to join me in making a Qualified Charitable Donation from your IRA. 

Suzanna Schell, member Board of Managers and Beacon Hill Meeting