Maybe you would like to give a generous end of the year gift to a ministry like Jews for Jesus but are wondering how to work it out in the confines of your budget. Here is a great opportunity for you to do just that:

Many people find that the best way to make charitable gifts is in the form of marketable securities that have increased in value. One reason it can be economical to make a gift of securities stems from what might be considered a double tax benefit.” When you give stocks, bonds, or shares in a mutual fund that have increased in value and been owned long enough to qualify as long term property, you are entitled to a federal income tax deduction based on the current fair market value of the security, regardless of the original cost. A second benefit of donating stock is that the gift does not reduce your current cash position as an outright gift does. In fact it increase cash flow because of the reduction in federal income tax in the year of the gift.

If your securities have decreased in value, it is usually wise to sell them and give the proceeds instead of the stock. You may then receive tax benefits from all or a portion of the capital loss. Be sure to check with your tax advisor to see which situation would benefit you the most.