Gifts of Non-cash Assets

People often believe that they can’t afford to support charitable causes because they don’t have large bank account balances or investment portfolios.  But in truth, many people have non-cash assets that can be given without negatively impacting – or even positively impacting – the investor’s financial situation.

Some of the more common gifts of non-cash assets include farm commodities, coin collections, stamp collections, art, or antique cars.  But consider the example of Mr. Jones.  Mr. Jones is the general manager of a manufacturing plant.  As a graduate of Friends University, he writes a check each December to an endowed scholarship in his parent’s names.  However, he had a robotic welder that was no longer being used at the plant.  Instead of writing a check on behalf of the business each year from their operating account, it was suggested that he use the robotic welder for his next gift.  Because it was fully-depreciated on the company books, he would have paid capital gains on the equipment had he sold it.  Instead, he gave the welder to the Wichita Community Foundation.  As a 501c3, they were able to sell it without paying any taxes.  Once sold, they wrote a check to Friends University as directed by Mr. Jones.  With this gift, Mr. Jones freed up storage space, made a charitable gift to an organization he wanted to support, saved the capital gains taxes, and saved money that would otherwise have lessened his operating account.  While not everyone has a piece of capital equipment laying around, think instead about a business owner with excess or obsolete inventory.  Or an individual with Uncle Joe’s stamp collection collecting dust in the attic.

Another example is Farmer Bob.  Farmer Bob had a great year.  Commodity prices were high and he had a bumper harvest.  Had he realized all of the income from his grain harvest, his taxes would have been 15% higher than they had ever been before.  Instead, Farmer Bob called the Mennonite Foundation on his way to the grain elevator and gave 15% of his harvest to them.  He then made the elevator aware of the gift so that they could write a separate check to the Mennonite Foundation for that portion of the wheat.  Per Farmer Bob’s instructions, that check was then given to Friends University.  Not only did this gift off-set some of Farmer Bob’s income taxes, but he was still able to claim the expense of the seed, fertilizer, tractor and combine fuel, etc. that was used in the production of the wheat.

While non-cash assets may not be the first thing of which people think when considering a charitable gift, it is a wonderful and meaningful way for everyone to get involved in supporting this wonderful institution. If you are passionate about Friends University but you are not sure how to give, call the University Advancement office at 316.295.5803 for a no-obligation appointment.