Gifts of appreciated Securities

Donating appreciated securities is an excellent way to show your support for Penn State. It may also provide you with significant tax benefits. The information below will help you learn more about how you can make a gift of appreciated securities.

Before transferring any securities to Penn State, please contact the Office of Gift Planning. The University must know the name of the stock and the number of shares in advance to ensure proper identification and registration of your gift.

Gifting Securities Held by Your Broker

The University holds a limited number of accounts with various brokerage firms. If you wish to transfer securities electronically via the Depository Trust Company (DTC) system, please contact the Office of Gift Planning (contact information below) for electronic delivery instructions. It is important to also instruct your broker/agent to notify the University at least 24 hours prior to delivery. The University will need to know what asset(s) will be delivered on your behalf. Please return to:

Gift Planning 212 The 103 Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 888-800-9170

Gifting Mutual Funds

Most mutual fund companies require a transfer from your account to an account established in Penn State’s name. Each mutual fund company has their own individual requirements and forms for transferring funds. Additionally, they generally require either a Transfer of Ownership form or a letter of authorization, each with a signature guarantee. You can obtain a signature guarantee at most banks simply by showing photo identification.

If you are considering a gift of mutual funds, please contact the Office of Gift Planning. We will need the name of the mutual fund that you will be transferring shares from, the symbol or cusip, the number of shares, and the expected dollar amount of the transfer. We can also provide you with detailed instructions and help you obtain the appropriate forms.

Gifting Physical Securities (Certificates) Registered in Your Name

If you hold stock certificates, please send them via first-class mail without an endorsement or assignment letter but with a letter stating the gift purpose to:

Gift Planning 212 The 103 Building
University Park, PA 16802
Phone: 888-800-9170

In a separate envelope, send one endorsed stock power form per certificate. The unendorsed stock certificates are not negotiable without signed stock power forms, and the latter are worthless without the certificates. Using separate envelopes protects you from security theft.

Endorse each stock power form by signing your name exactly as it appears on the front of the stock certificate(s). If the certificates are all in the same name, only one stock power form is needed. Do not complete any other portions of the stock power form.

Mail both the certificates and the stock power forms on the same day. The postmark will determine your date of gift for valuation.

Download the Stock Power Form .

Important Reminders

Know your dates

When Making a Gift to Fund a Charitable Gift Annuity, we will need to know the date of acquisition and the cost basis for your asset(s). We will also need to know if the asset is held individually or jointly. The securities you use to make your gift must have been held by you for at least a year.

Plan Ahead When Making Your Gift.

If you are making a gift at year-end for a tax deduction in that calendar year, be aware of the time it takes for assets to transfer completely, The transfer of mutual funds in particular can take six weeks or longer. For electronic transfers and transfers of mutual funds, the official date of the gift is the date the assets are received by Penn State. For gifts of physical certificates, the date of the gift is the postmark date.

Avoid Selling Appreciated Stock and Giving the University the Proceeds.

Although this will still count as a gift, the IRS will impose capital gains tax on your sale, depriving you of a key tax benefit.

Don’t Transfer Securities That Have Depreciated in Value.

The fair market value deduction rule works against you: if you bought the stock for $50,000 and it’s now worth $30,000, your charitable deduction will be limited to $30,000. You won’t earn a capital loss by making the transfer. Instead, sell the depreciated stock, claim the resulting tax loss as a single deduction, and then use the proceeds to make a tax-deductible cash gift to Penn State.