Gifts of stock: One of the most tax-efficient ways to give

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With tax season now in our rear-view mirror, I wanted to take this time to share some insights about one of the most effective and efficient ways to make a gift to your favorite non-profit or charity (Fresh Energy is one of them, I hope).

Giving a gift of stock, especially if it has increased in value since you bought it, is a win-win for the donor and for organizations like Fresh Energy who have a solid system in place for accepting (and immediately selling) stock.  According to Fidelity Charitable, the key advantages for giving appreciated securities, including stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds are:

  • Any long-term appreciated securities with unrealized gains (meaning they were purchased over a year ago, and have a current value greater than their original cost) may be donated to a public charity and a tax deduction taken for the full fair market value of the securities—up to 30% of the donor’s adjusted gross income.
  • Since the securities are donated rather than sold, capital gains taxes from selling the stocks or securities no longer apply. The more appreciation the securities have, the greater the tax savings will be.

Now, consider this win-win-win scenario. Last year, one of our long-term donors decided to make their contribution to Fresh Energy by donating Exxon Mobil stock—a perfect way to begin to divest from an industry that they didn’t want to support any way.  Our donor had received this stock as a child, and it had appreciated significantly over the decades. If our donor had sold the stock, they would have owed thousands in capital gains taxes on the increase in value.

By donating the stock to Fresh Energy, they were able to:

  1.  Make a significant investment in clean energy and energy efficient solutions.
  2.  Divest from the fossil fuels industry.
  3.  Avoid paying capital gains, making their gift 100% tax deductible.

A broad movement to divest in the old energy system and reinvest in the new clean energy future is supported by many churches, philanthropies, universities, cities, pensions and private investors. One of the earliest and most effective voices for this movement, Ellen Dorsey of the Wallace Global Fund, has said, “Investors who divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions will drive the energy transition the world must make. And those who move their money early will benefit, unleashing the innovation needed to secure our survival and ensure our prosperity.”

If you want to make investments in new and growing industries, see your financial adviser. If you want to advance the work to shape and drive new policies that will create markets for these technologies, invest in Fresh Energy.

Private investment is crucial to Fresh Energy, which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that depends on philanthropic support.  Leveraging private gifts is also crucial to speeding the transition to a clean energy economy. Our work over the past 25 years has spurred billions of  ventures – by utilities, entrepreneurs, companies large and small, and consumers – powering energy innovation, creating jobs, and driving the market toward new technologies like solar, wind, a modern electric grid, better buildings, and energy saving technologies.

Not everyone has ExxonMobil stock or other fossil fuel stock they want to divest, but you can quickly and efficiently make a gift of any stock.  The process includes just two steps:

  1.  Contact us for account information and directions, and to let us know that the gift is coming by    contacting Meggie LaValley at or 651 726 7561.
  2. Transfer the stock to our brokerage account. You or your stock broker can always call ours: Bob Shepard  of Southwest Securities, who specializes in advising investors on investments with social impact. Contact  him at or 952 746 1108.

Giving a gift of appreciated stock is the perfect way to support Fresh Energy. It’s tax-efficient for you, it’s painless and effortless for us to sell, and we can immediately put your money to work to help create the future you want.