Year End Giving Opportunities

Searching for Your Year-End Gift in Your Back Pocket

As we approach the holiday season (already!), you may be giving thought to making a year-end gift to your favorite charity. At a time when your dollars are stretched more tightly than usual, a different source of funds for those charitable gifts may be helpful. Here are two options to consider:

Gifts of appreciated stock: If you have stock that has increased in value since the date you purchased it, cashing in any portion of your portfolio can trigger capital gains tax. If you instead donate shares of stock to the American Red Cross, you should be able to avoid capital gains tax AND get a welcome tax deduction. As with any more complex giving strategy, you should consult with your tax advisor. Important note: If you are working with your broker or advisor to make the transfer of stock, be sure and notify the Red Cross. We will need to know:
  • Name and address of person making the gift,
  • Type of stock being donated,
  • Number of shares (if more than one type of stock, please provide number of shares of each type), and date of transfer.
This information will help to ensure that you receive proper credit for your gift for tax purposes. Plus, we want to be able to thank you for your kindness!

Gifts from your IRA: If you are 70- ½ years of age or older, and have an IRA, you must receive an annual distribution from your fund. This is your Required Minimum Distribution, or RMD. A law that was passed in December 2015, and made a permanent part of the U.S. tax code, allows donors to transfer all or a part of their RMD to a charity such as the Red Cross, without paying tax on the distribution. While a donor is not able to receive a tax deduction from this kind of gift, there may be enough benefit in avoiding taxes on your mandatory IRA payment. To make a gift from your IRA to the Red Cross, contact your plan administrator and provide him or her with a form to use when transferring funds to the Red Cross. As with gifts of stock, we encourage you to make sure that your administrator provides the Red Cross with the name and address of the actual donor.