Bill Allison made his first gift to The Washington Health System Foundation in 1992. And if you ask him why, he will tell you it “has been easy for me to make the decision to give because of the good people at the health system and the excellent doctors who take care of my family and me,” Bill said.

Bill grew up in Washington and retired as a partner in the law firm Speakman, Riethmuller & Allison.   He has served on various non-profit organization boards such as Rotary of Washington, the Bar Association, the Bradford House Historical Association, and the Washington Cemetery.  He has a sense of pride when talking about the impact of these organizations. 

Bill not only volunteers his time, but he gives generously as well. Bill had been making cash contributions to the WHS Foundation and other non-profits for decades.  His wife, Colleen, worked at WHS for 40 years before passing away in 2017.  His loyalty to the health system remains.

The way a person gives varies depending on their circumstances, their intentions, their desire to create a legacy after they pass on, and of course, their age.

In Bill’s case, he distinctly remembers turning 70 ½ years old because that is when his Certified Public Accountant recommended that instead of writing checks directly to a charity that he give through his IRA and do a “rollover.” 

Bill said he learned he can give through his IRA directly to the charity and receive a tax break.  These funds go to the charity rather than to him, and then he doesn’t have to claim these distributions as income.

Bill went on to share that when he turned 72 ½ he knew he would need to take his Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from his IRA.  Bill explained, “that RMD is income I don’t immediately need, and this is a way to give to my favorite charities and pay less taxes.”

Bill makes all his charitable contributions through his IRA using his RMD. “My sense is some people aren’t taking advantage of this way of giving, and they could be helping a charity and personally benefitting by paying less taxes. It does take a small amount of planning and forethought; however, I make a reminder in my calendar for each September to look at my distributions and the charities I want to support,” Bill said.

The WHS Foundation is one of Bill’s charities of choice that benefits from his IRA Rollover Distribution.  He said it is a worthwhile organization, and a great health system.

“I encourage anyone who is required to take distributions from their IRA to look at their giving options.  It makes great sense to utilize your IRA if you have one and rollover those funds directly to a charity.  The process is simple, and the Foundation does a great job,” Bill said. (Prospective donors should consult their tax advisor or a professional with respect to the charitable RMD process.)