Imagine an auditorium filled with people who love your organization. They want to support your mission and give you gifts! This is great news.

But there's trouble, too: Only a tiny fraction of their collective wealth exists is cash. Very little of it is liquid. And very few of them have a sense of what it's possible to give besides cash.

Fortunately, if you are creative and experienced enough, you can find a way for virtually anything of value to be received by your organization. But, as with winning an election or raising a kid, you can't do it alone: You need support from your organization's leadership and a creative Business Office that's willing to work with you and your donors. (You can learn more about positioning your organization to receive assets in the Gift Administration Section.)

When engaging a prospect about gifting assets rather than income, consider what the donor needs most from you and your organization: Trust.

Donors need to feel trust around 3 core things:

  1. That you can help them through the gifting process.
  2. You know how to accept the gift smoothly and appropriately, and
  3. Your organization will use the gift in the way you agreed upon.

When you know how to inspire confidence in those areas, the door stands open to all manner of gifting possibilities.

This section takes a closer look at the significant number of asset types and how they can be successfully gifted. We've grouped them into eight categories:

  1. BUSINESSES. We've grouped details about the specifics of how to receive a gift from the owner of a particular kind of business according to the various business types
  2. COMMODITIES. The tax benefits to the donor of gifting commodities are generally nominal--but don't let an opportunity to accept commodities escape without exploring it
  3. REAL ESTATE. Real Property (aka Real Estate) can make a tremendously advantageous gift for your charity.
  4. SECURITIES. Without question, the most common non-cash asset that your organization will receive is a publicly traded stock.
  6. CASH. When a cash gift is significantly larger than their normal giving or what you had expected, it may be a good chance to ask the donor
  7. LIFE INSURANCE. Not infrequently, as the policy holder passes into retirement, life insurance becomes totally overlooked as an asset.
  8. RETIREMENT PLANS. We take a look at each of 6 types of retirement plans to get a sense for what differentiates one from another.

Each category starts with an overview and includes individual pages about sub-types, how to value the asset, how to gift it, tax issues, and more.

Please note that all content provided by Philanthropy Works is provided in the spirit of education. It is not legal or tax advice. This material merely provides an overview of, and does not purport to describe completely, the requirements established by Internal Revenue Code, the Treasury Regulations and related IRS pronouncements. You and your prospective benefactors must consult an attorney for legal advice. You will note there are occasions in the material where PW contributors offer prejudices and opinions; please accept them as such.