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Family Philanthropy Series: Unpredictable Markets – Family Philanthropy in Changing Times

A multigenerational family with a grandma, mother, and daughter together

Linne Lemke


With rising food costs, interest rates and rent rates growing — there is less money to share, and many people feel squeezed. On October 25, Greater Twin Cities United Way hosted a virtual learning event to address that. Mala Thao moderated a discussion about the current economy and charitable tools to help people achieve their philanthropic goals with experts Cheryl Coombs and Nicole Flaherty Cropper.

If you missed the virtual learning session, I encourage you to view it.

Session Highlights:

We learned that $30 trillion is expected to transfer from baby boomers to the next generations over the coming 30 years and how important it is to pass along your values to your children and grandchildren so they’re prepared to be good stewards of those assets when the transition happens.

We also learned that you can name your favorite nonprofit organization as a beneficiary of your retirement plan or an insurance policy. You can specify amounts to ensure your family is taken care of and your organization of choice is supported. Our speakers recommend reviewing beneficiaries each year, especially if you’re retired.

QUESTION: “Is now a good time to donate stocks?”

ANSWER: There are benefits to donating appreciated stocks! Long-term appreciated stock with unrealized gains (meaning they were purchased over a year ago and have a current value greater than their original cost) may be donated to a public charity like Greater Twin Cities United Way. Since securities are donated rather than sold, capital gains taxes for selling the securities no longer apply. You don’t pay capital gains on these donations, so it’s a tax saving compared to donating cash. Learn more here.

QUESTION: “Can I donate real estate / property?”

ANSWER: Yes! Donating appreciated real estate, such as a home, vacation property, undeveloped land, farmland or commercial property can make a great gift to a charity. Each organization is different, however, Greater Twin Cities United Way allows real estate to be gifted at a $150,000 minimum value. Learn more here.

“I thought [the session] was excellent. I did not know that you can donate your IRA required distribution to a charity and avoid the tax on it.” Most people with an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) must begin taking required minimum distributions (RMD) at age 72 – and these distributions can result in a significant taxable income. Donating through your IRA is a wise tax strategy if you plan on making a charitable gift. Find more information here.

Together, as changemakers, we’re creating a community where all people thrive regardless of income, race or place. When you include a donation as part of your overall estate and financial planning, you ensure we make meaningful strides toward achieving our vision.

Visit or contact Linne Lemke to learn more about how to impact the community through your charitable support and achieve your philanthropic goals.

About the Author

Linne Lemke is a Planned Giving Officer and works with individual donors who believe that all people in our community deserve the opportunity to thrive especially people who are marginalized by race, income or place. Linne earned her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) certification from St. Thomas Opus College of Business in 2016. She serves on the board of directors of the Minnesota Gift Planning Association (MGPA) and is a member of the WCA Foundation.

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