During your lifetime, you can make gifts of appreciated securities to fulfill new or pledged gift commitments. By transferring securities from your brokerage account to SCI, you may benefit from important tax advantages (e.g., little or no capital gains tax) to fulfill current gift commitments. Also, you receive a charitable tax deduction based on the fair market value of the securities at time of transfer. You or your broker should contact SCI’s Development Office when transferring securities, as privacy laws otherwise preclude our knowing the donor’s identity.
Real estate can serve as a significant source of your gift to SCI. For example, you can use a Charitable Life Estate Contract to deed your home, vacation home, farm, ranch or condominium to SCI and retain the right to live on the property and/or receive income from the property for as long as you live. You receive an income tax deduction when the property is deeded to SCI and normally avoid any capital gains taxes when making the transfer. Your inheritance and estate taxes may be reduced at the time of your death. Gifts of appreciated real estate or securities allow you to avoid capital gains taxes.
To avoid capital gains liability, you must transfer real estate directly to SCI—not sell it yourself. If, however, the securities or real estate have decreased in value, you should sell the assets before making the gift, thus establishing a capital loss and potential tax deduction.
Some benefactors work with donor advised funds to make philanthropic gifts. In this model, you transfer cash or other assets to a tax-exempt sponsoring organization like a public foundation, the Episcopal Church Foundation or a commercial entity like Fidelity or Vanguard. You then recommend—but not direct—how much and how often money is granted to SCI or other charities—sometimes as easily as using a website portal. With donor advised funds, you also avoid the cost and complexities of managing a private foundation.
You can name one or more charitable organizations as account beneficiaries. You can also name successor advisors. If you do not name beneficiaries, your fund may revert to the giving fund of the organization managing your donor advised fund. Contact your charitable partner fund to obtain beneficiary forms, which you can change as circumstances warrant.
In return, you receive immediate federal income tax charitable deduction at the time you contribute to the account, along with the power to make recommendations on which charities to support whenever you want. You centralize giving and recordkeeping in one location. Also, you can start a family legacy of giving by encouraging your children help decide which grants to recommend.
Other planned gift vehicles proceed through probate, often target a specific estate-planning goal, and may have significant tax consequences to a donor, heirs or estate. Potential donors should work with family, legal, tax and financial advisors to maximize a gift’s potential for self, heirs and charity. You can do this with or without consulting SCI’s Development Office. Unless you take a current-year tax deduction, planned gifts remain revocable if your priorities or life circumstances change.
Gifts of tangible personal property (e.g., jewelry, coins, art, vehicles) may also be given to SCI. You set the appraised value on the gift for your tax purposes. Any gift over $5,000 must be independently appraised per IRS regulations.