Donating Stock to Charity – 2 Steps and 2 Benefits

Donating Stock to Charity – 2 Steps and 2 Benefits

Donating stock to charity is often the best method of charitable giving – but timing makes a difference! You want to give your stock at the right time for you and donate at the right time for you – and those times are often different.

When is the Right Time to Make Your Stock Gift?

Gifting appreciated stock that you have owned for more than a year should permit you to gain the current fair market value of the stock while not paying capital gains tax. Your stock donation may also receive a charitable income tax deduction of up to 30% of adjusted gross income of the appreciated stock value. The best time to donate appreciated stock is when its value is high and the timing is right for you financially. But what if that timing isn’t the “right” time to donate to the charity or charities you’re passionate about? Read on….

When is the Right Time to Donate to Charity?

While tax and stock value advantages are important, many donors believe that the best part of donating to charity is the ability to make a difference in the charitable causes we believe in. People often have a time of year or an inspiration that spurs the charitable giving process. These catalysts make our giving more meaningful – we treasure them.

You should give when it’s right for you. You should give on the holidays and occasions where and when you would normally give. You should give when a close friend shares a story about an incredible cause where you can make a real difference. You should give whenever it’s the right time to fulfill your charitable vision. But what if that timing isn’t the “right” time for gifting appreciated stock? Read on….

How Do I Make My Stock Gift and Donate to Charity at the Right Time for Me?

The next time it’s the right time for you to make a stock gift or the right time for you to donate to a charity, I would ask you to consider one word. Preparation. We prepare for many things in our lives, but how can someone prepare for something that may come at any time – when the stock market is up or when it’s a great time for charitable giving? If you are using appreciated stock to make charitable gifts – like many people are – then a donor-advised fund may offer the best option to prepare for the moment.

Donor-advised funds are giving funds that offer an easy, flexible way to lock in a charitable tax deduction for stock gifts in the tax year you make them and permit you to make grant advisements for charitable gifts any time that year or any time in later years. With a donor-advised fund donating appreciated stock can happen whenever you think it best – and you are ready to make charitable gifts whenever you think it best too.

Donating Stock to Charity – Your 2 Steps with 2 Benefits

Donating stock to charity is best seen as a two step process:

Step 1: Donate appreciated stock at the optimal time for you and

Step 2: Make charitable gifts at the best time for you too.

Using a donor-advised fund will help you separate the process of gifting appreciated stock and giving charitable donations so that you’re always ready to take each step when it’s the best time for you. That gives you two benefits – the benefits from timing your stock gift and the benefits from timing your charitable giving. Your preparation means your charitable giving will really be appreciated – for your benefit and the benefit of the charities you passionately support.


Andrew Hibel serves as President and is the Founder of The Advise Us Fund. He is also Chief Operating Officer and Co-Founder of HigherEdJobs. Andrew holds a B.A. in Economics and a M.Ed. from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from Indiana University, Indianapolis. He has been a planned giving officer for Penn State University and Advocate Charitable Foundation and served as Director of Gift Planning and Estate Administration for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.

The information in this blog post is general and educational. It is not intended nor should it be construed as legal, tax, investing or financial advice. Individuals should consult with their own advisor about charitable giving arrangements The Advise Us Fund® may describe.

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