Options when making a donation:
Cash, check, or credit card
Perhaps the best-known way to support the hospital is through cash gifts, including check and credit card payments. You can double, or even triple, your contribution by finding out if your employer will match your gift. You can also honor or memorialize a loved one through your contribution.
Other gifts of assets include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, personal property, life insurance and closely held business stock. All gifts of assets provide you with an opportunity for charitable deductions and additional tax savings.
Pledges provide you an opportunity to make a larger gift than you otherwise thought possible by committing your gift over a period of one to three years. Ideally, your pledge should be documented in writing.
Gifts of appreciated securities: stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other assets
Appreciated stocks and bonds are also popular assets you can donate to the hospital while enjoying a greater tax benefit than for an equivalent cash donation.
Donating appreciated assets entitles you to a charitable deduction for the fair-market value of the donated asset, while avoiding the capital-gain tax you would otherwise pay upon the sale of the appreciated securities. This tax deduction may be up to 30 percent of your adjusted gross income, and any amount over this limit may be carried forward for five years.
The rules about giving real estate are essentially the same as for gifts of securities. Almost any type of real estate may be donated: undeveloped land, farms, commercial buildings, vacation homes or your residence.
Tangible personal property: artwork, collectibles, and other items
As with gifts of long-term capital-gain securities or real estate, you are entitled to a charitable deduction for a gift of long-term capital-gain tangible personal property such as works of art, rare books and stamp or coin collections, etc. (Note: The capital-gain tax rate on such assets is 28 percent.) How much you can deduct depends on the so-called standard of “related use.”
Often, people don't realize that life insurance proceeds are taxable in their estate. Fully paid-up policies can prove very attractive as gifts, particularly when a policy has outlived the purpose for which it was originally purchased.
Closely held business stock
You may realize substantial tax benefits for this type of gift. For business owners and their family members with a substantial portion of their estates linked to their business, a gift of closely held stock can provide planning flexibility and tax minimization.