Options for Giving—Current Gifts

Cash Gifts

  • Tax deductible if donor itemizes deductions.
  • Up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income can be deducted in any one year.
  • Excess can be deducted over the next five years.
  • Actual savings depend on tax rate.
  • The higher the tax rate, the greater the savings.


  • Payable over a three to five-year period.
  • Deductible in the year a payment is made.

Matching Gifts

  • Takes advantage of programs offered by many employers.
  • Leverages donor's gift to a higher level.

Appreciated Property

  • If qualified as a long-term capital asset (a year and a day), property should be given outright.
  • Avoids payment of capital gains tax due if property were sold.
  • Deduction given for full value of property, limited to 30 percent of adjusted gross income.
  • Excess beyond 30 percent can be carried forward for five years.

Property That Has Lost Value

  • Donor sells the property, takes loss for tax purposes, then contributes the cash received from sale.
  • Deduction given from both the loss and the charitable gift.

Closely Held Stock

  • Produces a current tax deduction equal to fair market value of the stock.
  • Corporation may redeem shares of the stock from your institution.
  • Could reduce liability for accumulated earnings tax.

Real Estate

  • Possible for donor to make gift of residence, farm, or vacation home, reserving right of occupancy as long as donor and spouse live.
  • Irrevocable gift qualifies for immediate tax deduction based on present value of remainder interest.
  • Assign directly to the organization or, preferably, transfer through broker.
  • Amount of contribution is fair market value on the date of transfer.