Top 3 reasons to make a charitable gift of privately or closely held securities

Donating gifts of appreciated stock or other closely held business interests (owned for at least one year) can be a smart choice for those who want to make a charitable gift.

Gifts of this type of security or business interest — often described as family, closely held, venture, restricted, or privately held—may provide a number of personal, financial and charitable gift benefits.  Although the gift may require a bit more planning than writing a check…it can be well worth the effort!

There are many factors that motivate donors to make a gift of privately held securities to Duke University.  Here are my top three reasons to consider doing so:

  1. Tax savings —A gift of privately held securities can provide an income tax deduction based on the appraised value of the securities.  In many cases, capital gains taxes will also be reduced or avoided – all of which lowers the “out of pocket” cost of your gift.
  2. Flexibility and wise planning — There are charitable gift options that make sense before closely held stock is sold and others that make sense after the stock is acquired in a buyback, purchase by key employees or an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), stock for stock exchange, merger with a public company or initial public offering (IPO).  In order to make the best choice for you and your family, it’s important to carefully consider your financial and personal objectives before making a gift.
  3. Leave a lasting legacy at Duke —  Consider how you want your support to be used at Duke, but do not let that delay your gift.  You can always decide on the gift use later if time is of the essence in terms of tax savings for this calendar year, an impending “legally binding sale agreement,” liquidation event, tax or estate planning opportunity or other good reason.  You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your contributions will help secure the future of Duke University for many generations to come.

There are many factors to consider before making a gift of privately held securities.  If you have an interest in learning more, please review our Frequently Asked Questions: Privately Held Securities

For more information, or to receive our free white paper on gifts of privately held securities, please contact the Duke Gift Planning Office. Our team of experts is happy to talk with you and your financial advisor to explore what may be the best option for you.  

TAGS: privately held securities legacy stock closely held securities

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