Gifts of Property or Securities

Gifts of Property or Securities

Because special rules may apply to gifts of this kind, we encourage you to consult with your tax or financial advisor and the Office of Gift Planning at 773.702.3130 or when considering such a gift.

Gifts of Real Estate

Gifts of real estate that have appreciated in value enjoy the same tax advantages as gifts of appreciated securities—you may claim a charitable deduction and avoid capital gains tax liability for the appreciation. In most cases, a gift of real estate entitles you to a charitable deduction for the property’s full fair market value. Property that is readily marketable and not subject to a mortgage makes the best type of real estate gift. Real estate can be used to make an outright gift or to make certain types of planned gifts. If you have a need for income, for example, real estate can be placed in a trust from which you receive income for the remainder of your lifetime. Consider also a gift of your residence that allows you to continue to use it during your lifetime, known as a retained life estate.

Gifts of Personal Property

When considering a gift, remember that valuable collections, works of art, and other forms of tangible personal property can be contributed. By donating such items during your lifetime, you can reduce the size of your estate (thereby reducing any estate taxes at your death) and may also receive a charitable income tax deduction in the year of the gift.

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

Many donors to the University of Chicago make outright gifts and pledges in the form of appreciated securities rather than cash, in order to benefit from extra tax advantages.

If you itemize, you are entitled to a charitable income tax deduction for the fair market value of your appreciated securities on the date of the gift. In addition, assuming you have owned the securities for more than 12 months, you will not have to pay capital gains tax on the appreciation—a tax you would owe if you sold, rather than donated, the securities.

You may also choose to use appreciated securities to fun a charitable gift annuity or charitable remainder trust, and convert a low-yielding asset into an attractive income stream.

About Closely Held Stock

Gifts of stock in a closely held corporation can also result in substantial tax benefits in the form of a charitable deduction and avoidance of capital gains taxes. Because special regulations apply to gifts of this kind, we encourage you to consult your tax advisor and the University's Office of Gift Planning when considering such a gift.


If you have any questions about giving or would like to make a gift, please contact staff at:

Office of Gift Planning