A Different Way to Donate

Over 1,000 miles from Wall Street, donors and nonprofits are seeing real gains from the stock market. Nonprofit gifts of stock waive many of the fees and taxations to the donor that are charged when stocks are sold for personal gain. Knowing these details can save investors money while benefiting people in need in the local community.

These reasons are why Pat Hepp and her husband Ralph became interested in gifts of stock. Ralph, now retired, served as an agricultural food and resource economics professor at Michigan State University for many years. Together, they looked through all of their assets and decided that gifts of stock were one of the best ways for them to give to St. Vincent Catholic Charities.


Pat and Ralph Hepp

“The first step is to make sure the organization that you want to give to can even accept the gifts of stock, because not all organizations are set up to,” said Pat. “Once we found out that St. Vincent was able to accept our donation, we looked through all of our stocks and calculated which were the best to give. We look at their gains and losses, and what we think would be the most profitable for both us and STVCC. We simply tell our broker which stocks we would like to donate. Also, we have to contact STVCC to let them know. The whole process is very simple.”

To determine which stocks to donate, there are a few key things you may want to consider. First, the stock needs to be matured, having been owned for at least one year. The next step is to see if the stock has increased or decreased in value. If the stock’s value has increased, there are benefits to transferring to a nonprofit. By doing so, there may no longer be a responsibility for paying the capital gains tax that would otherwise be associated with a transaction. Besides the financial advantage, the donor may also be able to receive a tax deduction for the value of the stock at the time of donation.

The benefits are not limited to just stocks that have increased in value. If the value of the stock has decreased, the stock can be sold and the remaining cash donated to the organization. Both a deduction of losses and a tax deduction are then available. Thus, the donor can avoid major losses while still making a difference in the community.

“If we are really going to make a difference on the most vulnerable in our community, we have to give to an organization that does the services that STVCC does,” said Pat. “We have a choice like everyone else to give it to anyone. But we want to give it here, because we believe in the agency.”

For more information about how to donate:

Visit stvcc.org/donating/ways-to-give, or contact Cindy Herfindahl at (517) 323-4734 Ext.1201 or herfinc@stvcc.org. Please consult your financial advisor or tax preparer for advice on your personal financial situation.

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