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Stock donations: Looking beyond the checkbook balance

What Tony Valazza has noticed in the decades he has served charitable clients is how common it is for them to think donating cash is the best approach. It’s only when he mentions their investments or other noncash assets that clients realize they can give so much more.

“My job is to show them what’s possible if they look beyond their checkbook balance,” the financial consultant says. “People don’t think about stocks or life insurance as a way to support charities until we talk about it.”

His clients Sue and Steve had a long history devoting their time and money to local causes. Everything changed for them when Tony explained how they could increase the impact of their gifts while also implementing strategies to reduce taxes.

The couple established a donor-advised fund with a gift to Thrivent Charitable of highly appreciated stock. They avoided capital gains on the securities they had held for years and benefited from a significant tax deduction spread over several years.

“Tony helped us become more strategic in our giving,” Steve says. “When you bought stock at $10 per share and it’s now valued at $80, it’s good for the charity and for us to donate it.”

Tony shares these ideas you can use to grow your business with charitable planning:

  • Explain bundling gifts. Some clients may not reach the standard deduction threshold for the tax year but by using a donor-advised fund they can bundle multiple years of donations with cash or noncash assets and designate gifts from their fund over time.
  • Include charitable planning in tax strategy conversations. Some clients may benefit from giving noncash assets to causes they already support or wish to in the future, so discuss this charitable option along with tax strategy.
  • Think about your own charitable goals. Tony was an advisor for 15 years before “the light bulb went on and I realized I could benefit from my own recommendations using charitable life insurance.”
  • Employ patience when introducing charitable concepts. It took one client more than a decade to implement Tony’s suggestion that he gift appreciated stock to Thrivent Charitable to fund a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT).

Tony says, “Helping clients give more than they thought possible is the most fun work we do.”
Thrivent Charitable accepts a wide range of noncash asset donations, including:

  • Publicly traded stocks and mutual funds
  • Real estate
  • Farmland/crops/livestock/equipment
  • Life insurance
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Privately held stock/family businesses
  • Personal property and collectibles

New this year, we have partnered with a secure, third-party cryptocurrency platform to allow donors to give nearly 100 cryptocurrencies at the time and date they choose.

To learn more about gifting noncash assets visit our noncash assets page.

Contact our team of gift planners to discuss unique solutions for your clients. Email us or call 800-365-4172 to get started.