If you contribute long-term appreciated securities that have been held for over one year, you enjoy a two-fold tax benefit: first, a charitable deduction for the fair market value of the securities; and second, no capital gains tax on the appreciation (difference between the cost basis and the current fair market value). You may deduct a gift of securities on your federal income tax return of up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. Similar to gifts of cash, there is a five-year carry-over allowance in order to realize the full benefit of the deduction.
Example: To establish a scholarship, Kathryn gives securities to Meredith College that she had purchased for $50,000 10 years ago. The securities have appreciated and are now worth $100,000. Kathryn can take a charitable deduction of $100,000. She also avoids the capital gains tax on the $50,000 appreciation. Meredith College can sell the securities tax-free because of its not-for-profit tax exemption and reap the benefits of the full $100,000 of the gift.