Editor's note: The following is an important message from our CEO and CFO. It originally posted Friday, January 4. Because of its timeliness, we have chosen to repost it. Thank you!

Dear friends,

After all the brinksmanship around the so-called “fiscal cliff,” it turns out there are a couple of "gifts" embedded in the agreement, including one very significant charitable contribution nugget!

Fiscal Cliff

It’s a variation on the Investment Retirement Account (IRA) charitable rollover provision, which now allows seniors 70 1/2 and older to transfer as much as $100,000 from your traditional IRAs into a gift to Heifer International or some other 501(c)(3) organization. But it’s a time-limited opportunity that expires on January 30, 2013.

This one-time gift from Congress, which allows you treat your donation as if it were made December 31, 2012, gives you the chance to offset 2012 income from your IRA’s required minimum distributions and at the same time, help give a struggling family a hand up to a life free from hunger, from poverty, and to leave a lasting legacy of change by joining with Heifer to build communities of help and hope.

There is a restriction. You must have received your IRA distribution in December 2012.

As a nonprofit, Heifer won’t have to pay income tax on withdrawals from these accounts, and though you won’t receive a tax deduction for your gift, the contribution won’t be included in your adjusted gross income (AGI), so you won’t face percentage limitations on charitable deductions and you may even be able to avoid certain penalties that come with a higher AGI, such as higher Medicare premiums.

Time is short and the need is great, so please take advantage of this limited-time opportunity to help yourself and others—families who without your support face a lifetime of hunger and generations of extreme poverty.

This “embedded gift” will change lives now and for generations to come as families use the animals, tools and training to improve income, nutrition, homes, to pay school fees and to pass on their gifts—the first born female offspring of their animal, along with all they have learned—to another family, creating an ever-widening circle of opportunity.

This is a one-time gift from Congress to create true change, but we need your answer and your gift by January 30. Will you help us, please?

Joining you in working for a better world.

Pierre Ferrari and Bob Bloom
President and CEO, and CFO, Heifer International

Author

Pierre Ferrari

Pierre Ferrari is president and CEO of Heifer International. Pierre is very passionate about empowering the families and communities with whom Heifer works: “It took me decades, but I have come to know that the only way to happiness and joy is to be of service to others.” Pierre’s other joys are his wife, Kim, his two sons and two stepdaughters. In his free time he enjoys golf, squash, reading and travel.