How to Make a Gift
Quick and secure online giving is available through the USC Upstate alumni community website.
Current gifts are gifts made in the prevailing fiscal year that the University may be able to utilize immediately. They are often called "outright" gifts or "immediate" gifts. Current gifts may be applied to help fund scholarships based upon academic credentials, financial need, or both. They may also benefit a specific department, school, college, or the library, etc. When you name a specific purpose or place to receive the benefit of your donation, it is referred to as a "restricted" gift. A current gift of $1,000 or more entitles a person to membership in the Gold Dome Society.
Gifts of cash are the most common form of contribution to the USC Upstate Foundation. A gift of cash is easy to accomplish, and the gift is not subject to gift or estate taxation. A contribution postmarked in December is deductible for that tax year even if the University receives it in January, provided the account against which the check was written had sufficient funds to cover it in December.
Gifts of cash are fully deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). If the cash gift exceeds 50% of your AGI in the year of the gift, the remaining amount of the gift may be carried over and used as a deduction for up to 50% of your AGI until the gift amount is exhausted or up to five years, whichever comes first. The gift amount is removed from your estate.
Gifts of appreciated stocks or bonds have the same positive benefit to the University as a gift of cash--however, a gift of securities is usually more beneficial to you, the donor, than a gift of cash.
A gift of marketable securities which has been held longer than one year entitles the donor to charitable deduction of the full fair market value (FMV) of the securities. The FMV is determined by the average of the high and low sales prices of the stocks on the gift date. You may apply the gift as a deduction up to 30% of your adjusted gross income (AGI) in the case of securities, with the same five-year carry-over provision--and avoid gift and estate taxation, as with gifts of cash. In addition, you avoid paying any taxes on capital gains on the appreciation in the value of the securities. This can be a major benefit to you if you have held securities over a number of years and if they have grown in value.
Transfer of Securities
- A commitment of securities, either specific or approximate, may be pledged. The dollar totals would be recorded only as payments in shares are actually received and valued on the day of the gift.
- Transfer instructions for the USC Upstate Foundation are listed :
- The Smith Barney account number is 833-106668 and it is titled USC Upstate Foundation. A stock gift should be transferred to Smith Barney via DTC number 0015. If you have further questions, please contact Stanford McMillan at 864-594-3443 or 800-934-0340 or Michael E. Irvin at 864-503-5217.
The rules for gifts of real estate are essentially the same as for gifts of securities. Any real estate may be donated. You receive a charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the unencumbered real estate. You may apply the deduction up to 30% of your AGI in the year of the gift with the five-year carry-over provision. You avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation you have in the property. There are no gift taxes, and you have removed the property from your estate, thereby reducing your estate taxes.
Almost any type of real estate may be contributed: undeveloped land, farms, commercial buildings, vacation homes, or your residence.
Potential gifts of real estate are evaluated by the USC Upstate Foundation on a case-by-case basis before acceptance. The Foundation must consider insurance, environmental impact, maintenance, property tax liability, and other potential risk factors, including special tax provisions which apply to certain types of real estate.
Historically, rules pertaining to the charitable deduction for works of art have changed from year to year. Please check the current year's deduction before making any decisions. When the donor is the creator of a work of art, the donor's tax deduction is limited to the cost of creating the item donated.
Tangible Personal Property
Rare books, art, antiques, precious stones, gems, and coin or stamp collections, as well as equipment or other items which can be put to use immediately--such as computer equipment--are considered tangible personal property. These donated items must have been held for over a year. There are two main categories of tangible personal property:
1. items related to the University's purpose, and
2. items not related to the University's purpose.
Gifts of related-use items allow the donor an income tax charitable deduction of the appraised value of the gift on the date of the gift (up to 30% of the donor's adjusted gross income with the five-year carry-over provision).
Gifts of unrelated items allow the donor a deduction only of the item's cost basis. Every potential gift item of tangible personal property is evaluated on an item-by-item basis by the University's Planned Giving Office to determine if it is related-use property. Please consider a gift of cash or securities to provide for the maintenance of special collections.
Bargain sales are sales of property, such as securities or real estate, to the USC Upstate Foundation for less than the full fair market value. A bargain sale consists of a sale portion and a gift portion. Usually, the University pays you an amount equal to your cost basis in the asset. This way you are able to recover your original investment. A portion of the appreciation of the asset is considered a gift to the University, and you receive a tax deduction for this amount. You will owe taxes only on the part of the gain attributable to the bargain sale. The gain to be recognized is determined by dividing the selling price to USC Upstate Foundation by the fair market value, then multiplying that result by the total gain in value.
Life Income Gifts
A donor creates a Life Income Trust by transferring ownership of an asset to the USC Upstate Foundation.
To maximize tax benefits and provide for the enhancement of USC Upstate, donors typically transfer appreciated personal property and receive income for one or two lives, as elected. The benefit to the donor includes not having to realize capital gains taxes, providing for life income and receiving an immediate tax deduction. The University benefits from receiving the corpus of the Trust after the termination of the agreement.
Employer Matching Gifts
Many companies agree to match or multiply donations made to the University by their employees. To enhance the value of your gift, contact your employer's personnel office about matching gift opportunities.