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Smart year-end giving: Donate stock or IRA funds

Added on Thursday, November 30, 2017

With 2018 fast approaching, time is running out to take advantage of two smart year-end giving options: donating securities or IRA funds to The Salvation Army.

Both of these options feature excellent tax benefits, and both are easy to execute. Most importantly, donating securities – which include stock and mutual funds – or IRA funds to The Salvation Army fuels our mission to Fight for Good.

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring in 2017, now is a great time to donate from your portfolio.

“Many shareholders choose to sell when we see DJIA scores like this, but donating stock can be a more valuable choice,” said Craig DiLorenzo, Business Development Director at 3M and a Salvation Army advisory board member. “Not only do you avoid capital gains taxes and receive a charitable deduction at current stock value, you invest in families fighting poverty and provide hope for a better future.”

Here’s a closer look at each gift option:

Donating Securities

Giving securities is simple and begins by making a phone call to The Salvation Army at 651-746-3504 or 800-456-4483, ext 3504.

Once arrangements are made to transfer your securities to a Salvation Army account, they will be sold and the proceeds will be used to change lives.

These donations can yield remarkable tax benefits. Take, for example, a woman who gave us $600 worth of stock that she had originally purchased for $100.

“She was able to take a $600 charitable tax deduction for a gift that ultimately cost her $100 – that is smart giving,” said Kendra Brown, Planned Giving coordinator for The Salvation Army Northern Division.

You can even designate how The Salvation Army should use your donation. A Twin Cities couple took advantage of this opportunity by donating stock toward the purchase of new tables and chairs for the Minneapolis E. Lake St. Salvation Army (read story).

Donating from your IRA 

If you are at least 70½ years old, you can donate tax-free from your traditional or Roth IRA.

Donations from your IRA can be made in any amount, from $100 on up to $100,000. These gifts count toward your IRA Required Minimum Distribution amount for the year, yet they do not count as taxable income.

“This type of gift has great upside,” Brown said. “The tax savings allow donors to stretch their dollars further. In turn, The Salvation Army is able to serve more people.”

The most important stipulation of donating from your IRA is that you must not withdraw your gift into another one of your personal accounts. Your gift must be transferred directly from the custodian of your IRA to The Salvation Army.

To learn more about changing lives by donating securities or IRA funds, please call 651-746-3504 in the Twin Cities or toll free at 800-456-4483, ext 3504, in North Dakota or Greater Minnesota. Additional information can be found on our Planned Giving webpage.

Poverty is an everyday battle. People experiencing poverty are not without hope – their lives are just harder than they should be. The Salvation Army is helping to make their lives a little easier, thanks to your gifts of time and money. Join us in the fight for good by giving online or donating at a red kettle, becoming a volunteer bell ringer, or recruiting your own army as a fundraiser on Learn more about how The Salvation Army fights poverty in your community.