How to Use Your IRA to Help the People of Ukraine

If you’re looking for ways to give aid to families and individuals who are suffering from the war in Ukraine, you may be able to donate to charities that help Ukraine using your individual retirement account. If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make a qualified charitable distribution from your IRA directly to a qualifying charitable organization. You generally won’t have to pay income tax on IRA qualified charitable distributions of up to $100,000, or $200,000 for couples. A charitable distribution from your IRA can also be counted toward your required minimum distribution for the year.

[Read: How to Donate to Charity From Your IRA.]

Selecting a Charity to Help Ukraine

To qualify for the tax break, the donation you make from your IRA will need to meet IRS requirements. “Each charity must have a tax ID number and should have proof of its tax-exempt status,” says Adam Bergman, a tax attorney and president of IRA Financial, based in Miami. Charities must be listed as a 501(c)(3) qualified organization to be able to receive donations directly from your IRA.

The IRS has a tool called Tax Exempt Organization Search which you can use to look up charities to see if they fit the criteria.

There are also tax factors to keep in mind when working with foreign charities. “If you are considering making a donation to support the people of Ukraine, you may want to make the donation to a U.S. charity in order to receive a U.S. income tax deduction,” Bergman says. “You can still send funds to a foreign charity, but an income tax deduction may not be possible, as well as the charity will likely not be subject to U.S. oversight.”

Donate From Your IRA to Help Ukraine

Here are some charities that are IRS 501(c)(3)-qualified and can receive donations directly from your IRA:


This charity responds to natural disasters and humanitarian crises around the world. You can give toward its Ukraine efforts, which center on delivering medicine, medical supplies and emergency funding to families affected by the conflict. Americares has an emergency response team on the ground in Poland, where it is working to provide health services and medical supplies to those in need.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

This organization has a Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Recovery Fund. Your donations to it will be used to help provide humanitarian aid, especially for those who are vulnerable, marginalized and considered to be at-risk. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy works both with refugees and individuals who are internally displaced.

[See: How to Pay Less Tax on Retirement Account Withdrawals.]

Direct Relief

This charity provides medical aid and resources to doctors and nurses caring for the world’s most vulnerable people and carries out work in disaster areas. Direct Relief has sent medical supply shipments to Ukraine and is planning to scale up its efforts. Thus far, it has delivered medical supplies such as medications, treatments for wounds, surgical supplies and respiratory support equipment to various locations in the country.

Humanity & Inclusion

Your donation to this organization will be used to provide inclusive emergency aid in Ukraine. The charity looks out for those who are fleeing the conflict, with special care given to the elderly and those with injuries and disabilities. Humanity & Inclusion distributes medical equipment and provides mental health and psychological trauma support.

Heart to Heart International

This medical-minded organization brings health resources to communities around the world and in disaster situations. Heart to Heart International is working with partners to determine ways to deliver humanitarian and medical assistance to those impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. They currently have a team in Poland working on distributing medicines and medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in Ukraine.

International Relief Teams

By donating to this charity, you can support families who are fleeing from Ukraine to Poland. International Relief Teams works through local partners in the region to provide displaced households with food, water, shelter and other basics needed for survival. Its mission focuses on ways to relieve the suffering caused by poverty and disaster in regions around the world.

International Rescue Committee

With a focus on emergency response, this charity sends essential supplies to children and families who have had to flee their homes in Ukraine. The International Rescue Committee aims to respond to crises, with a goal of helping countries stabilize and allowing people to recover and rebuild their lives.

[See: 10 Tax Breaks for People Over 50.]

Mercy Corps

Mercy Corps is currently providing support in Ukraine, Romania and Poland, and helps local organizations with humanitarian efforts. Your donations can be directed toward helping those in need, which includes information on safe routes and legal rights, along with emergency cash, food, water and sanitation supplies.

Save the Children

Specializing in the care and growth of the world’s young and vulnerable population, this charity is particularly concerned about the children in Ukraine. Donations to Save the Children are used to help children living in war zones. Funds are used to provide supplies such as blankets, food and shelter materials.

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How to Use Your IRA to Help the People of Ukraine originally appeared on

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