Claire Ehrlinger, MiraCosta College Horticulture Faculty, and her husband Dave have always been philanthropic at heart. Having worked for non-profits, they understand the impact that donations can have on the mission of an organization.
Also long-time savers and planners, Claire and Dave started IRA accounts a number of years ago, and Dave is now at an age where he is required to take a minimum distribution (RMD) from his IRA every year. Claire and Dave were excited to discover that their RMD can be donated to charities as a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) and will not be taxed as income. With the new tax laws in effect this year, it is less likely that they will be itemizing deductions as they usually had done in the past. By using a QCD, they can meet their RMD obligation, continue their charitable giving, and reduce their taxes.
Over the 15 years of teaching at MiraCosta, Claire has developed a deep affection for the Horticulture program, especially its students. She is a firm believer in hands-on learning with plants, "the more you can experience [plants] in all seasons, the better you will be at your profession," said Claire. With that in mind, her donation to the MiraCosta College Foundation will be used to support the Horticulture Department's student internship program. The funds will allow the department to provide interns with a modest stipend while they get the necessary experience caring for the department's living laboratory of plant collections.
Claire sees her and Dave's charitable contribution as a win-win. Their philanthropy will contribute to educating the next generation of horticulturalists and at the same time reduce their taxes.