RESOURCES  |  June 16, 2020

How your nonprofit donors can get Medallion Signatures for QCDs

Gracie Farese
Written by Gracie Farese

Few IRA custodians require Medallion Signatures for Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs). But if they do, it presents your QCD donors with an added, in-person step to the IRA donation process. Your donors may also find it more difficult at the moment to obtain a Medallion Signature because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 


Even though this isn’t a common issue, here’s how you can be prepared if it comes up for one of your QCD donors.


What is a Medallion Signature?

A Medallion Signature is a special signature that’s sometimes needed when you transfer securities. It confirms that the signature authorizing the transfer is genuine and that the signer has the legal capacity and authority to sign the document. 


Unlike a notary stamp, which verifies your identity, a Medallion Signature verifies both your identity and the amount transferred. Some IRA providers may require a Medallion Signature Guarantee — though often only if the QCD is over a certain amount.


Where your donors can get Medallion Signatures

Usually, QCD donors obtain Medallion Signatures in person from a bank, savings and loan association, brokerage firm, or credit union where they’re already a customer.


If your donor is willing to go in person, they can start with the Medallion Signature Guarantee database, contact their IRA custodian, or contact their bank to find the nearest location that offers Medallion Signatures. (Read more on the PG Calc Blog.)


If your donors are worried about going in-person during the Coronavirus pandemic, you can direct them to eSignature Guarantee. This is an online service that provides the signature in the mail. However, each medallion stamp costs $150. Depending on the size of their gift, your organization may want to offer to cover this cost for the donor. 


Email Template to Request Waiver

Some IRA custodians may waive the requirement for a Medallion Signature on a case-by-case basis. If your donor can’t get a Medallion Signature, we recommend sending them this email template. They can use it to contact their IRA custodian and request that they waive the medallion requirement. 


Subject: Request for Medallion Signature waiver



Dear [NAME], 


I would like to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution from my IRA to [ORGANIZATION NAME] for [DOLLAR AMOUNT]. Because of the current pandemic, I’m unable to obtain a Medallion Signature in person, and I am writing to ask if it’s possible for [IRA CUSTODIAN] to waive this requirement.


Please let me know if there is any further information I can provide, or if we can discuss further on the phone. 


All my best, 



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