Ways to Give

The Virginia Institute of Autism depends upon philanthropic support to meet its mission of providing evidence-based educational and clinical services to individuals with autism and their families. Your donation to VIA can come in the form of an outright cash or stock gift, distribution from a retirement fund or insurance policy, or legacy contribution – and all donations are needed and greatly appreciated!  Please consider some of these ways to give to VIA and help us build a richer, brighter, more autism-friendly world!

Always seek the counsel of your tax advisor, attorney and/or financial planner to review philanthropy options and possible tax calculations to ensure that any contemplated gift is appropriate for your situation. The material presented here is not to be construed as legal or tax advice.

Ways to Give to VIA

Outright Gifts of Cash, Check, or Credit Card

The simplest, most convenient method for making a charitable contribution to VIA is by making your gift online with a credit card, or through the mail with a check. You can:

Virginia Institute of Autism

491 Hillsdale Drive

Charlottesville, VA 22901

Please make checks payable to the Virginia Institute of Autism

Have questions or wish to donate cash or items? Please call Renee Gimber, Associate Director of Advancement Services at 434.923.8352 ext 256, or email her at rgimber@viacenters.org

Stocks and Securities

We also accept donations of commonly held, publicly traded stocks, bonds, or mutual funds. The easiest way for you to make these gifts is through an electronic transfer from your brokerage account to VIA’s brokerage account at Sturman Wealth Advisors.

If you need VIA’s information for an electronic transfer of funds, please call Nicole Thomas, Chief Advancement Officer, at 434.529.8203, or email her at nthomas@viacenters.org 


  • Please remind your broker(age) to include all the information including your name, contact information and special instructions for the transfer. This information is essential for timely acknowledgement. When stocks are transferred electronically, VIA is informed only of the stock name and the number of shares, not the name of the donor, unless you authorize your broker to share this information with us. Failure to share your gift intent with us may delay the gift acknowledgement for tax reporting purposes.
  • Your generous charitable gift to VIA will allow you to avoid capital gains on stocks held for more than a year. 
Tributes & Memorials

You can make an especially meaningful gift that supports VIA, and honors a friend, mentor or family member. Tribute gifts may be made in honor of a person or in their memory, and are a wonderful way to celebrate a shared milestone or remember the legacy of a loved one.

VIA staff will notify the person honored (IHO gift) or the family of the loved one remembered (IMO gift) that a donation has been made – but no gift amounts are shared. Tributes and Memorials are also acknowledged VIA’s Annual Report each year.

To ensure your tribute or memorial is noted properly, be sure to include with your gift:

  • Gifts in Honor of a person - The full name and address of the person you are honoring
  • Gifts in Memory of a person - The full name of the individual who is being honored, and the full name and address of the individual you wish to receive the tribute notification.   

For more information or additional assistance, please call Renee Gimber, ssociate Director of Advancement Services at 434.284.5715 or email her at rgimber@viacenters.org. Thank you!

Matching Gifts

Did you know that hundreds of companies match their employees' -- and retirees' -- donations to qualified nonprofit organizations? Making a gift to VIA as an outright gift, a gift of stock or securities, and both IMO and IHO gifts, and then completing matching gift paperwork with your employer or former employer can double or even triple the value of your gift. 

Please contact your current or former employer directly to learn if they offer a corporate matching gift program and receive the pertinent match forms. For more information, or assistance in identifying companies that match charitable donations, please call Renee Gimber, Director of Advancement Servicesat 434.284.5715 or email her at rgimber@viacenters.org. Thank you!


We gratefully accept all appropriate in-kind contributions of skilled services and tangible assets consistent with our mission and non-profit status. If you are interested in making a gift-in-kind to VIA, please email advancement@viacenters.org.

Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from your Retirement Account

If you are at least 70½ years old, you are eligible to make a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD) from a traditional or Roth IRA, with amounts distributed to support VIA excluded from federal taxable income. For a distribution to VIA, please designate the Virginia Institute of Autism and tax ID 54-1815297.

Distribution requirements:

  • You must be at least 70½ years old on the date of the distribution to charity.
  • Distributions must be made from a traditional or Roth IRA, including inactive SEP and SIMPLE plans. Distributions from any other type of retirement plan (401(k), 403(b), 457, Keogh, and active SEP and SIMPLE plans) will NOT qualify.
  • QCD distributions are limited to $100,000 in total during each year.
  • A distribution must be made outright to a qualified public charity – it cannot be used to fund a charitable remainder trust, gift annuity, donor advised fund, or family foundation.
  • Your plan administrator must transfer the funds directly – you may not receive the distribution first and then transfer it to the charity.
  • The distribution must be received by the charity on or before December 31, 2020 to be counted in the 2020 tax year.
  • Each distribution will be excluded from federal taxable income.
  • Because the QCD distribution is not taxable income, you cannot claim a deduction for federal tax purposes. Some states may treat distributions as income followed by a deduction. Please check with your tax advisor to learn more.
  • A special note: QCDs typically count toward your required minimum distribution (RMD) if you are required to take one, but the federal CARES Act has eliminated RMDs in most cases for the 2020 tax year.  Using a QCD to make charitable gifts will reduce the value of your IRA and taxable RMDs in future years.

Please contact your retirement plan administrator for more information and steps to make this distribution. If you have additional questions please call Nicole Thomas, Chief Advancement Officer at 434.529.8203, or email her at nthomas@viacenters.org. Thank you!

Planned Giving

Planned giving, also referred to as legacy giving, is a charitable contribution made either during an individual’s life, or at his/her death as part of an overall financial or estate plan. Planned Gifts include gifts of cash, stocks, life insurance, real estate, or personal property and are very simple to document. They often allow individuals to make larger gifts to charitable organizations than they could make using only their current discretionary income. 

Types of planned gifts include:

  • Bequests – The naming of VIA as a beneficiary in your will or living trust is called a bequest.  Bequests can be made to direct cash or securities of a specific amount, or as a percentage of an estate’s value.  Bequests can also be made of personal property or real estate.  Bequests allow donors to retain their assets during their lifetime and are “revocable”, meaning donors may change beneficiaries to their estate at any time.
  • Gifts of Retirement Assets – Like a bequest, you can name VIA as a beneficiary of your retirement plan.  Also like bequests, you retain the assets throughout your lifetime, and you can change the beneficiaries of your retirement plan at any time.
  • Gifts of Life Insurance – Some community members have named VIA as a beneficiary in a life insurance policy. This gift is also revocable, allowing you to change the beneficiaries of your life insurance policy at any time.

The Virginia Institute of Autism has benefited significantly from generous community members who chose to financially support VIA through planned gifts. If you are considering including VIA as a beneficiary in your estate plans (or have already done so) - or want to learn more about planned giving, please call Nicole Thomas, Chief Advancement Officer at 434.529.8203, or email her at nthomas@viacenters.org. Thank you!