Gifts of Securities - F.A.Q.

The following information is intended to help answer some common questions about gifts of securities. For questions about how a gift of securities would be treated in your personal financial situation, we encourage you to seek the counsel of your own professional advisers. Barnard College cannot provide personal accounting, tax, or legal advice.

Q. How is my gift valued?

A. According to IRS requirements, donated securities are valued at the average between the highest and lowest selling prices for the securities on the gift date. The gift date (i.e., the date a gift of securities is considered complete) is the date that the securities pass unconditionally from your control.

  • If the securities are transferred to Barnard’s account at JPMorgan Chase, the gift date is the date the securities are received in our account.

  • If the securities are re-registered in the name of Barnard College, the gift date is the date of re-registration.

  • If the securities are transferred to Barnard on the books of a bank or brokerage firm, the gift date is the date on which the securities are moved into an account in the name of the College.

  • If you mail the securities, the gift date is the date of the later postmark of the certificate and the separately mailed stock power form.

  • If you deliver the securities in person, the gift date is the date on which the College takes possession of the securities.

Please note: By law, a gift of securities is not considered complete until you have relinquished control of the securities as outlined above. Giving instructions to your broker does not constitute completion of a gift. If you write a letter of instruction to your broker on December 27, but the securities are not transferred until the following January 2, the gift date is January 2.

Q. How is the value of my charitable contribution determined?

A. For those who itemize their federal income tax deductions, the full fair market value of a gift of appreciated securities that have been held for more than one year (long term) constitutes a charitable contribution in the year the gift is made. Charitable deductions for gifts of capital gain property, like stocks, are limited to 30% of your adjusted gross income. Any excess amount not claimed in the year of the gift may be carried forward for five additional years.

If the donated securities were held for one year or less, your charitable contribution is equal to your cost basis in the securities.

Q. What if I have holdings that have depreciated?

A. If you own securities that have depreciated in value and you have reason to use the depreciated asset to make your gift, it is generally better not to donate the shares themselves. Rather, you might want to sell them yourself, establish a tax loss, and then donate the proceeds to Barnard. Consult with your advisers before moving forward with a gift of this kind.

Q. May I make a gift of securities without sacrificing income from my assets?

A. Securities gifts may be made outright to Barnard or used to fund a life income plan with the College (for example, a Charitable Gift Annuity, Charitable Remainder Trust, or a contribution to the Pooled Income Fund). A life income arrangement would generate payments—often greater than stock dividends—to you and/or others for life or a set term of years. With a life income gift, funds become available for use by the College when the life income arrangement ends.

Q. May I give a smaller number of shares than my certificate represents?

A. Barnard would be pleased to arrange for a stock certificate or bond to be divided in the event you wish to give fewer than the number of shares or bonds the certificate represents. If you are holding the stock certificate or bond, simply send it to us in accordance with the transfer instructions for mailing stock certificates and indicate in your cover letter your social security number and the number of shares (or the dollar amount of the bonds) you wish to donate. A bank or brokerage firm must guarantee your signature on the stock or bond power. Barnard will arrange for a new bond or certificate for the remaining shares to be issued and returned to you, and will contact you for additional information if required by the corporation or transfer agent.

Q. May I give shares of a mutual fund?

A. Yes, but please note that mutual fund shares may not be transferred through the DTC system. This means that they cannot be transferred electronically to Barnard’s account at JPMorgan Chase. If you are considering a gift of mutual fund shares, please call Audra Lewton in Planned Giving at 212.870.2534.

Q. May I give closely held stock?

A. You may indeed make gifts of closely held stock and other securities that are not readily marketable, and, in doing so, you may realize many tax advantages. Since these gifts involve special handling, you are urged to call Audra Lewton in Planned Giving at 212.870.2534 to explore the alternatives for structuring your gift.

If you are planning to make a gift of securities, please contact Yvette Edlow in Barnard’s Development Office:

Call 646.745.8301
Fax 646.745.8300
Send an e-mail to

Write to:
Barnard College
Planned Giving
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027-6598