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Types of Gifts

When you’re getting ready to make a contribution to your fund or any fund at Aspen Community Foundation, consider these giving options.

Marketable securities​

Gifts of long-term appreciated stock to your donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation is always one of the most tax-savvy ways to support your favorite charitable causes because capital gains tax can be avoided. Gifts of publicly-traded stock, for example, are easy to transfer to your donor-advised or other type of fund at the community foundation. 

The community foundation team can provide you or your advisor with transfer instructions to make the process simple. As is the case with a cash gift, the community foundation will provide a receipt for tax purposes, and your gift of stock will be valued at the shares’ fair market value on the date of transfer. When the community foundation sells the shares, the proceeds flow into your fund without any reduction for capital gains taxes. This is because the community foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and therefore does not pay income tax. That would not have been the case, however, if you had sold the stock first and then transferred the proceeds to your fund at the community foundation; you’d owe capital gains tax on the sale. Especially in cases where you’ve held the stock a long time and it’s gone up significantly in value since you bought it, the capital gains hit can be significant.

If you are a business owner, you can work with your advisors and the community foundation team to explore how you might give shares in the business to your fund at the community foundation as a part of your overall estate plan. Not only will transfers be eligible for a charitable deduction during the year of transfer (and at fair market value if you held the shares for more than one year), but also these gifts could potentially reduce income tax burdens triggered upon a future sale of the business. Be sure to talk with our team well before any potential sale is in the works; otherwise, you could lose out on tax benefits.

As always, keep in mind that the Qualified Charitable Distribution (“QCD”) is a very smart way to support charitable causes. If you are over the age of 70 ½, you can direct up to $105,000 (in 2024) from your IRA to certain charities, including a field-of-interest, designated, unrestricted, or scholarship fund at the community foundation. If you’re subject to the rules for Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs), QCDs count toward those RMDs. That means you avoid income tax on the funds distributed to charity. Our team can work with you and your advisors to go over the rules for QCDs and evaluate whether the QCD is a good fit for you.

Aspen Community Foundation can receive a tax-deductible gift of real estate, such as farmland or commercial property, in a variety of ways. An outright gift is always an option; lifetime gifts of real estate held for more than one year are deductible for income tax purposes at 100% of the fair market value of the property on the date of the gift, which also avoids capital gains tax and reduces the value of your taxable estate. Other ways to give real estate include a bargain sale or a transfer to a charitable remainder trust which produces lifetime income for you and your family.

Don’t overlook life insurance as an effective charitable giving tool, whether by naming your fund, or any fund at Aspen Community Foundation as the beneficiary or, in the case of whole life policies, naming a fund as beneficiary and transferring the policy itself. If you transfer a policy, you may be able to make annual, tax-deductible contributions to the community foundation to cover the premium. 

The community foundation is happy to work with you to explore options for giving other non-cash assets to your fund, including:

  • Oil and gas interests
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Artwork
  • Collectibles
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