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<<lmrobert asked about gifting appreciated stock to charities. I have done this for years, ranging from setting up an account for the church with my specific broker (accomplished with the help of the church treasurer) and then having the broker transfer X shares of Y stock to that account and sell immediately.>>

Yup...that's certainly the easiest way. And I have found very few charities that will refuse to open an account with YOUR broker in order to get a large contribution.

<<A second method I used was to have stock certificates issued in my name for various amounts of shares per certificate, then physically take this to the church treasurer, getting a contribution receipt based on the price on the day it was given.>>

Yup again...this method takes the risk of a stock downturn out of your hands and puts it in the hands of the charity...since the charity then must physically take the shares to their broker and deposit those shares. This could take a few days...and has some risk to them.

<<The method I currently use is something I find far more convenient, and that is the Fidelity Charitable Fund. I transfer stock from my account to this fund and get a charitable credit when it is transferred. The credit is for the median price for the day it is transfered, that is the midpoint between the high and low prices. Since it is from a Fidelity account, it is a simple bookkeeping entry. I then grant gifts from this Fund ($250 minimum, $50 increments) to whatever charities I choose, and they can be made at any time in the future. This has advantages for tax purposes if you itemize only on occasion.>>

Yup once again. I have a NUMBER of clients who are currently using the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund. It's quick, easy, and makes year end tax planning for charitable contributions a breeze.

GREAT POST Gapfan...right on the money. It gets my nomination for post of the week!!!

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