Any donor or prospect faces an array of giving opportunities, which can be represented in a pyramid. The highest volume/lowest value gifts are at the top of the “gift pyramid”; the highest value/lowest volume gifts are at the bottom. At the top of the gift pyramid, then, is cash. Typically, this is where most giving happens.
But there are opportunities for a businessperson or a person of wealth to give from any of the non-cash areas. Many are already giving gifts of publicly traded stocks; however, giving hard assets like automobiles, trucks, boats, planes, or RVs — assets that a person has no further need of, but could give the ministry significant benefit (and give the donor some tax benefit) — is also an option. People can make gifts of these smaller value items, and your organization can help the donor transfer, liquidate, and turn them into gifts that can be directed into your ministry.
There are numerous potential gifts that rarely get onto the “radar screen” of a business owner’s mind: business inventory, for example. Products that are not moving, equipment stuck in warehouses, things that are of no use to the donor but cost money to store — these represent tremendous potential in multiple ways. If the individual liquidates them, he gets only pennies on the dollar. But if he donates them (properly), he can get a deduction equal to the cost basis of the inventory (what he paid for it, plus what he paid to improve it, minus depreciation). If the materials are used to help people in need, the donor can actually get a gift tax deduction in excess of his basis!
Real estate gifts — whether residential, investment property, rental properties, commercial properties — are excellent resources for gifts. These assets carry with them a death tax if the individual dies holding them, a gift tax if he tries to pass them to his children, or a capital gains tax if he sells them. Each transaction creates significant high-value giving opportunities for the individual with these assets
*Like what you just read and want to learn more? Check out, More Than Money: The Truth About High-Capacity Givers