Donor Spotlight: Labh and Tahira Hira

Dr. Tahira Hira and her husband, Dr. Labh Hira, have been public radio listeners and supporters for as long as they can remember. Tahira Hira first found NPR when the couple moved from Canada to Iowa to start their positions as professors at Iowa State University in 1980. They have been listening to public radio ever since. “It fits my heart and my soul,” Tahira said. For Tahira and Labh Hira, NPR is queued up for every room and in every car that they have owned.

“Quality journalism is important for a free country to survive,” Tahira Hira said. “It is a service we are willing to pay for because journalism is important to civilization.  Quality journalism keeps us educated and informed.”  This is why the Hiras decided to make a special gift this year, a generous donation from their IRA as a qualified charitable distribution, in support of WGCU’s FM radio programming. 

Before moving to Estero about seven years ago, the Hiras had visited the area as representatives of Iowa State University, where both were faculty members and then administrators before retiring. Labh Hira was the school’s fourth dean of the College of Business, having led the college through a growth period marked by the opening of a new building and the beginning of a PhD program.  Tahira Hira is an international leader in the personal finance and consumer economics fields. Among other leadership positions she served on President George W. Bush’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. She retired as senior policy advisor to the Iowa State University president.

The Hiras’ background in fundraising and higher education has shaped their giving over the years. 

“We’re so grateful for this gift and the trust in WGCU it represents. And the fact that it is unrestricted lets us put it to the best possible use,” said WGCU’s Associate General Manager for Development and Community Relations Pamela Garvey.

A qualified charitable distribution is a direct transfer of funds from an IRA, payable directly to a qualified charity. Amounts distributed as a QCD can be counted toward satisfying your Required Minimum Distribution for the year, up to $100,000. The QCD is excluded from your taxable income. For 2020, the CARES Act includes a temporary waiver of RMDs, but donors can still choose to use this tax-advantaged method of giving to support their favorite organizations.

For more information about a leadership gift or a qualified charitable distribution, contact Jennifer Denike at (239) 590-2514 or

We recommend that you seek advice from your accountant prior to making a qualified charitable distribution as personal circumstances can have a significant impact on whether charitable rollovers are advantageous.

Author: Dayna Harpster