In addition to gifts of cash, Kepler supporters may make personal gifts of non-cash assets. Donors may find they can be more generous with non-cash gifts because of the additional tax benefits that may be associated with such gifts. There are also opportunities to give long-term arrangements including Life Income Gifts, Bequests and other options as part of an overall financial and estate plan.
Below are some of the most popular ways to give to give to Kepler.
- Gifts of Appreciated Property
- Gifts of Stock
- Gifts of Privately Held or Restricted Stock
- Gifts of Mutual Funds
- Product Gifts
- Specific Gifts of Goods
- Gifts of Life Insurance Policies
- Gifts of Real Estate
- Planned and Deferred Gifts
- Bequests and Estate Gifts
- Corporate Gifts
Donors who contribute property to Kepler College enjoy a double advantage: a federal income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the contributed property, plus avoidance of capital gain tax if the property has appreciated in value. Thus, the actual out-of-pocket cost of such gifts to the donor often can be substantially less than the value of the gift. The precise impact, of course, depends on the nature of the property contributed and the current tax bracket of the donor. In planning such a gift to Kepler College, a donor may wish to consider one or more of the opportunities listed below.
Gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual fund shares you have held long term (at least 12 months and one day) qualify for a charitable deduction based on the fair market value of the securities on the date of transfer. In most cases you will avoid any potential capital gain tax liability. Such gifts may be deducted for federal income tax purposes up to 30 percent of adjusted gross income, with a five-year carry-over provision available, if needed. It is generally inadvisable to give Kepler securities in which your capital gain is short-term (i.e., securities that you have owned for less than 12 months). In such cases, the deduction will be for the cost basis of the securities, not the current market value. You should not give Kepler College any property in which you have a capital loss. Rather, if you wish to dispose of such securities, you should sell them, establish a deductible capital loss, and then contribute the proceeds to the college.
The method of transfer varies depending on how the stock is held. Most stocks are either held by a broker in an account set up for a client or in certificate form.
Certificate Transfer: If you hold a stock certificate or bond, it may either be hand delivered or mailed to Kepler College. In the case of a hand-delivered certificate, you must sign a stock power and have the signature(s) guaranteed by a bank to complete the gift - a sample stock power document is available. The market value will be determined on the day the certificate is received and the stock power signed. When mailing certificates, donors should mail the certificates and a signed stock power, which has been signature-guaranteed by a bank, in separate envelopes on the same day. The market value of the gift will be determined by the postmark date. The donor need only sign the stock power; Kepler College will complete the form. The Donor should not sign the back of the certificate.
A donor who owns privately held stock, whether C corporation stock or subchapter S stock, may also wish to consider transferring such stock to Kepler College. In doing so, a donor would be eligible for a charitable tax deduction based on the fair market value of the stock and would avoid any potential capital gain tax on the appreciated value of the stock. The donor must provide a qualified appraisal for gifts valued at $10,000 or more. Should the donor wish to gain control of the stock at some future time, the donor or the corporation may be able to buy it back, thus establishing a new cost basis for the stock. In keeping with IRS guidelines, there can be no obligation on the part of the donor or Kepler College to buy or sell back the property at the time of the gift; otherwise the gain will be taxed to the donor.
Many individuals find that there are significant advantages to funding gifts to Kepler College with appreciated securities. Gifts of mutual fund shares have become an increasingly popular choice, especially in light of the dramatic growth of mutual funds as an investment vehicle.
Which mutual funds make the best gifts?
Giving mutual fund shares has the same beneficial effect as giving listed and actively traded stocks. Thus, mutual fund shares that have appreciated significantly since purchase (at least 12 months and a day) can be given without incurring any capital gains tax.
How does my mutual fund gift get transferred?
Normally the transfer of mutual fund assets is done electronically. Following instruction from you as donor, your mutual fund's agent transfers the shares into an existing Kepler College account. Please keep in mind that the effective date of the gift is the date Kepler College receives the shares in a Kepler account. This is important because this date determines the completion, value and deduction of the gift for tax reporting purposes. It is also important to note that this process can sometimes take up to six weeks to complete.
The transfer process:
Should you decide to make a mutual fund gift to Kepler College, we will send you a transfer form to complete and a sample of an instruction letter. You will need to have your signature on both the form and the letter guaranteed by a bank officer. If the fund is in more than one name, or the name of a trust, you may need additional signatures or other documentation. The completed package will then be sent directly to our mutual fund representatives who will contact your mutual fund company and arrange the transfer.
How does my mutual fund gift get valued?
The value of the gift is the NAV (net asset value) of the shares on the date Kepler College receives them. We will provide an appropriate acknowledgment of your gift for tax-reporting purposes.
Does it matter which shares are transferred from my mutual fund account?
It might, depending on your individual assets. Shares that are held less than 12 months are considered short-term and the charitable deduction for such shares is limited to the purchase price (cost basis). Shares held at least 12 months and a day are considered long-term; a deduction is permitted for the value of the shares on the date of transfer (again, the Net Asset Value on the date Kepler College receives the shares). If your account reinvests, it may be hard to know which shares were purchased when. If you have ever sold any shares, you will have had to determine cost basis in one of four methods:
1. First-in, first-out.
2. Specific-share method.
3. Average cost-single category method (in other words, average cost of all the shares you own)
4. Average cost-double entry method (short-term and long-term shares are separated)
Using either of the average cost methods at any time locks you into that method for the duration you are in that fund. So if you are already using that method, then it is likely that shares held both long-term and short-term will have the same average cost basis. If you have not used the cost average method, the default method is first-in, first-out.
Donors considering a gift of appreciated mutual fund shares are encouraged to contact their tax advisors regarding any personal tax implications of making a gift of such shares to Kepler College.
A gift to Kepler College of tangible personal property that has appreciated in value and that has been held long term (at least 12 months and one day) will entitle the donor to a charitable deduction for its fair market value if the use of such property is substantially related to Kepler's educational functions. Established works of art, computers, rare books, technical manuals, etc., are examples of such property. As with gifts of real estate, responsibility for determining the value of such property lies wholly with the donor.
We are currently not accepting book donations for the Kepler College Library, except to fill in titles not yet on file. Please call the Kepler office for the current status of book needs and approval prior to shipment.
Gifts of tangible property deemed not substantially related to Kepler's educational mission may also entitle the donor to a charitable deduction, but in such cases, the deduction will be limited to the donor's cost basis for the property.
If you, your company or an organization you belong to would like to donate to Kepler College but do not have a lot of resources, you can still help. Companies can expense many of the items below. Below is an example of the types items that will be very appreciated. Some of these items Kepler College can also use to help students (for example, computers or airline miles).
- Gift certificates for Kinkos, Office Depot, Staples, Circuit City or Office Max
- Office supplies - read/write CDs and DVDs, reams of paper, books of stamps, fastener type file folders, Avery labels
- Office equipment - new computers, monitors, keyboards or mouse, conference call phone system, network server with Microsoft server software
- Symposium equipment: digital recorder and high quality microphones for recording lectures, microphone and amplifier for lecturers.
- Airline travel miles - donate airline miles to help Kepler send representatives to conferences
Many alumni and friends have discovered that life insurance policies they purchased years ago have now outlived their original purpose and can provide an ideal means of making a significant gift to Kepler College. Life insurance frequently allows a donor to make a much larger gift than he or she would otherwise have been able to make.
Almost any type of real property can be given to Kepler College, including a personal residence, a vacation home, a farm or ranch, a commercial building, a subdivision lot, or an undeveloped parcel of land. Gifts of real estate generally should be free of indebtedness, although outright gifts of mortgaged property subject to so-called "bargain sale" rules (part sale/part gift) may be accepted. The gift may also be an undivided fractional interest (i.e., 25 percent) rather than the entire property. Three methods of transfer may be used:
- Outright deeding of the property to Kepler College;
- Gift of property with retained life income through a trust;
- Gift of a personal residence to Kepler College with retained life tenancy.
Current IRS regulations explicitly place the responsibility for determining the fair market value of real property on the donor. Donors considering such a gift should secure an appraisal from an independent, qualified real estate appraiser. Kepler College may also seek an independent appraisal, inspection and a Phase 1 Environmental Audit. The college also reserves the right to accept only property it deems usable and/or marketable.
A donor contemplating a major gift to Kepler College may also wish to consider transferring assets (generally cash or appreciated property) to the college while retaining the income from those assets for his or her lifetime and/or the lifetime of a spouse or other designated beneficiary. Properly implemented, these plans, commonly known as life income gifts, can allow you to enjoy a major tax advantage while offering the potential to increase your spendable income.
Kepler College donors may make gift provisions for Kepler as part of their estate plans through their wills, revocable living trusts, qualified retirement plans or life insurance policies. Additional information is available about these giving methods from the Kepler College Administrative Office. Kepler College will give appropriate honors, during their lifetimes, to those individuals who have already provided a gift to the college through a deferred gift arrangement or who plan to make a gift to the college through their estates.
The Kepler College Administration is happy to work with your company in making a gift to the college. Corporate gifts can be divided into two categories:
Cash or Appreciated Stock
- Unrestricted gift to annual operating funds
- Restricted gift to department, program or student group of interest
- Undergraduate scholarships to offset tuition
- Corporate graduate fellowships, which cover tuition and stipend
- Company products
- Company services