After an 11-year bull market, you may be holding some long-term assets that have grown considerably. You may be wondering how to make the most of this moment, how your smart investing can have the best return.
If you know what I do for a living, you can probably guess that I’m going to ask you to consider donating stocks to your favorite charity. You are right! But you may be surprised at all the reasons why…
ROI for You
Donating stocks has several benefits over donating cash. Your cash flow isn’t interrupted, you can avoid capital gains and income tax on the money, and you could receive an income tax deduction right away.
You can also have a greater impact on the causes close to your heart; you’ll donate more than if you sold the same stock, paid taxes on it, and donated the rest.
Savvy donors have known these benefits for years and the word is spreading! More people are choosing to donate stocks than ever before and donors are giving larger stock gifts every year, research shows. It might make sense for you to join them. Of course, consult your tax advisor about your situation.
ROI for the Nonprofit
The gift of stock to a nonprofit is a higher dollar amount than if the stock were sold and taxed first. Most nonprofits are outstanding stewards of donor funds. So, a larger gift results in a larger impact.
But something even bigger happens!
Professor Russell James, Director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Planning at Texas Tech University, analyzed one million nonprofit tax returns over five years. He discovered the nonprofits that only accepted cash grew by 11% but those that accepted non-cash assets grew by 50%. And nonprofits that accepted appreciated securities grew by 66%!
The amounts of the gifts tend to be larger since over 90% of wealth is held in non-cash assets. When we ask for stock, Professor James explains, we are asking for more because it comes from the larger “bucket.”
There’s more to it from my perspective as a nonprofit executive. Sophisticated fundraising and financial management practices challenge us to up our game.
It takes time to learn about the benefits of stock donations and how to design and promote a stock donation campaign. It may seem overwhelming to use our limited bandwidth to learn about stocks, planned giving, or qualified charitable distributions, especially when every day brings urgent challenges, quick decisions, critical deadlines, and a tight focus on delivering the mission.
But nonprofit leaders must invest that bandwidth if we expect donors to invest in us.
The leaders who reserve energy for designing and executing a stock donation program are the same ones focused on sustainability, working “on the business, not in the business,” and persistently driving growth in their organizations. These forward-thinking leaders make the difference between growing by 11% and growing by 66%!
ROI for Society
Imagine what our region would look like if all our nonprofits grew by 66% over the next five years! Perhaps we could…
… eliminate childhood hunger.
… preserve and build enough affordable housing for everyone who needs it.
… ensure everyone has adequate healthcare.
… help our seniors age in place.
… equip all our youth with the education and skills to have lucrative, meaningful careers.
By donating stock to WARM and other great organizations, you will join other savvy donors in a movement to increase the impact of nonprofit missions as well as encourage nonprofit leaders to become more investment-minded and business savvy. The return on your investment is limitless!
Emma Dill - Dec 4, 2023
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