The market is up, but consider this option before selling that stock!

The stock market is once again near historic highs. The S&P Index recently hit a record, and other indexes aren’t far behind. If you own stock or mutual funds, this is great news. 

The downside is that, if you want to turn those shares into cash by selling them, you may owe taxes on “capital gain” — the difference between i) the price at which you purchased the shares, and ii) the price at which you sold them.

But there is a way you can make great use of those investments, avoid that capital gain taxation, and even get a deduction against ordinary income taxes! You can do this by transferring those shares to Duke as a charitable gift and directing them to have an impact on a part of campus most important to you.    

We summarized this technique in a Blueprints blog post by Phillip Buchanan in July 2019. If you’d like to move forward with a gift of stock, give us or your Duke development officer a call. Alternatively, you or your broker can notify Duke University’s Office of Alumni and Development Records by calling (919) 684-2338 or emailing You may also complete a stock gift notification form at

As always, we urge you to discuss all matters related to tax and financial planning with your personal advisors. In particular, many Americans are no longer claiming a charitable deduction as the result of tax reform that went into effect in 2018. There are ways to address that through smart charitable giving, too, though. Find out more about those strategies here

TAGS: Stock gifts Charitable giving stock market

About the author

Gift Planning

Duke University’s Office of Gift Planning specializes in charitable gift planning for estates, charitable trusts and annuities, and other complex current and future gift plans.

For more information, please contact the Duke University Office of Gift Planning at 919-681-0464 or