Gifts of Securities
Securities can be donated to the University by the following two methods:
1. Electronic Transfer
If the securities you wish to donate are held at a brokerage firm, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 610-758-3180 for instructions on electronically transferring your stock to one of the University's brokerage accounts. Lehigh has accounts at several brokerage firms, including Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Merrill Lynch, and Wells Fargo Advisors. This is the most expedient manner in which to transfer securities, since it is done electronically and therefore eliminates the need for most paperwork.
Please submit this online form to inform us of the intended transfer: Stock Donation Intent Form
2. Mail (USPS)
If the securities you wish to donate are in your possession, mail the unendorsed certificate to the Office of Finance and Administration, along with a letter authorizing the University to accept the securities on your behalf. In a separate envelope, mail a signed stock power for each of the securities you are contributing, being sure to leave the stock power form blank, as the University's broker will complete the form according to regulations. Please be sure to sign the stock power and letter of authorization exactly as your name appears on the stock certificate. All owners listed on the stock certificate must sign the stock power and letter of authorization. Stock power forms are available from your broker, banker, or from the University's Finance and Administration Office or Development Office, or you may download this form. For your convenience here is a Letter of Authorization.
Points to remember when donating gifts of securities:
- Notify the Office of Finance and Administration at 610-758-3180 of your intended donation, including the details of your securities transfer and the desired purpose of your donation.
- You are advised not to send securities to a corporate transfer agent because this will cause considerable delay in the completion of your gift.
- If you sell your stock in your name and send the proceeds to Lehigh, you may be liable for capital gains tax.
- A charitable gift of securities is considered to be completed on the "date of delivery" (when the stock is in a Lehigh brokerage account, registered in Lehigh's name (or on the postmark date if mailed). The date of delivery determines the value of the gift.
- A substantial tax advantage may be available to you if you give highly appreciated securities. For example, when the tax deduction for a charitable gift and the effects of such a gift on capital gains tax are taken into account, the actual cost to you may be significantly less than giving the cash equivalent to the value of the securities.
Gifts of Real Estate:
Gifts of real estate can be donated to the University in the form of undeveloped property, a personal residence, rental property, or commercial property. The owner of the property is entitled to an income tax deduction based on the appraised value of the property. The donor must submit a copy of a qualified appraisal with his/her income tax return for the year of the gift. Also, IRS Form 8283 must be submitted and signed by Lehigh acknowledging the gift.
There are several ways of making a gift of real estate to Lehigh. You may make an outright gift of your property or give Lehigh a part interest; sell your property to Lehigh at a price below market value, making a gift of the difference; or give your home to Lehigh, yet continue to live in it for life.
Lehigh carefully examines each piece of real estate prior to its acceptance as a gift in order to reduce the possibility of liability issues related to Lehigh owing the property.
Gifts of Life Insurance Policies:
Gifts of life insurance policies can be donated to the University by the following methods:
- Donate a fully paid-up policy – in financial planning, it is quite common to discover that some policies purchased years ago no longer serve as viable security now. Naming the University as irrevocable owner and beneficiary may provide an income tax charitable contribution, the amount of which will be determined by your tax basis in the policy.
- Donate a partially paid-up policy on which premiums are still owed - the income tax charitable contribution you receive will be the approximate cash surrender value. Additional deductions will be generated by any further premium payments you make.
- Donate a new policy – the income tax charitable contribution you receive will be based on the premiums you pay, once Lehigh is named the irrevocable owner and beneficiary, provided that under applicable state law there is an insurable interest.
- Please note that although there is no immediate charitable tax deduction for naming Lehigh as the beneficiary and not the owner of the policy, assignment may result in a future gift to the University, thereby reducing your estate taxes.
For more information on making donations to Lehigh University, including details on the University's Lehigh Fund and Planned Giving Program, please visit Giving to Lehigh.