Non-cash gifts

Although cash is the most common form of gift to the Institute, there are many other avenues for making a contribution, including the possible IRA charitable rollover provision.

Securities and mutual funds

Giving appreciated securities or mutual funds is a fast and easy way to make a gift to MIT. Gifts of stock can be directed to any area of the Institute, and can help you —

  • diversify your assets, and
  • minimize capital gains taxes.

It is almost always a better strategy to give appreciated securities directly to the Institute, rather than selling them and donating the proceeds of the sale. In fact, many alumni find that the tax benefits associated with giving appreciated securities to MIT actually allow them to increase the size of their gift. If you own securities that have lost value, you can sell the stock, take the capital loss deduction, and make a gift to MIT.

A planned gift of appreciated securities, such as a charitable remainder trust, can provide you with a lifelong income stream that exceeds what you would otherwise have received in dividends.

Here are instructions for giving appreciated securities:

It is also possible to make a gift using shares of mutual funds. Here are instructions in PDF form for transferring mutual fund gifts to MIT.

Questions about gifts of stock or mutual funds can be directed to:

MIT Office of the Recording Secretary
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Closely held stock

Don’t believe the conventional wisdom: you can make a charitable gift of closely held shares of stock in your own company, and receive the same tax benefits as if those shares had been publicly traded.

You must secure a qualified appraisal of stock in order to receive this deduction. MIT can sell the shares back to the company, either for a lump sum or a promissory note, on the condition that there has been no prearrangement with the company.

Questions about closely held stock gifts can be directed to:

MIT Office of the Recording Secretary
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IRA Charitable Rollover Gifts

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA 2006) has allowed individuals to make distributions of up to $100,000 from their traditional, rollover, or Roth IRAs without those distributions counting as gross income. Prior to PPA 2006, a donor would have had to report the $100,000 withdrawal as income, and then declare an offsetting income tax deduction for the charitable contribution.

Thanks to the tax legislation approved by Congress at the end of calendar year 2012, you once again, for the 2013 tax year have the opportunity to make a gift to MIT from your individual retirement account (IRA), traditional, rollover or Roth IRA, while also enjoying a federal tax benefit. Providing you are at least 70.5 years old, you may be permitted to make tax-free contributions of IRA proceeds to a charitable organization, if you have the funds transferred directly to MIT.

Without this law, withdrawals from IRAs for charitable gifts are taxable to the donor. Under this law, if you are at least 70.5 years of age and have an IRA, you may make a tax-free gift of up to $100,000 per year to MIT until the end of 2013.

Moreover, the amounts given to MIT under this provision will count in the amount that federal law requires you to withdraw every year from your IRA. Your tax-free gift may be in payment of an existing pledge or a new gift.

How does this work? You must follow the requirements, including:

  • The gift may be any amount, up to a maximum of $100,000 per year.
  • The gift must be an outright gift, not a planned or deferred gift.
  • You may not receive a benefit from MIT in return for the gift.
  • You must be at least 70.5 years of age.
  • The gift must be from your traditional or Roth IRA, as opposed to another type of pension plan.
  • The amount you give must be otherwise taxable if distributed directly to you.

You must make the gift directly to charity by instructing your IRA trustee or custodian to distribute the funds directly to MIT. MIT is a qualifying 501(c)(3) institution. Its tax identification number is 04-2103594.  The provider should send the payment to:

Office of the Recording Secretary, MIT
600 Memorial Drive, W98-308
Cambridge, MA 02139


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Other assets

You can significantly benefit MIT and at the same time reduce your taxes by giving assets other than cash and stock.

Retirement assets

When retirement assets—those held in qualified retirement plans or in individual retirement accounts (IRAs)—pass to heirs, they can lose up to 85% of their value to estate, gift, and income taxes. If you designate them to MIT, they are not taxed and their full value supports the purpose you choose. Thus, giving retirement assets magnifies your impact without costing your heirs.

For taxpayers over age 70½, the IRA charitable rollover provision allows tax-free distributions directly to charity from traditional or Roth IRAs in 2008 and 2009.

Real estate

By giving real estate, you can avoid the capital gains taxes and brokers’ fees often associated with selling these assets. You may give real estate outright to MIT, or use it to establish a gift that pays you income.

Such contributions may consist of a full or partial interest in almost any kind of property, including—

  • residence,
  • vacation home,
  • farm,
  • ranch,
  • condominium,
  • cooperative apartment, or
  • commercial property.

Personal property

Gifts of personal property are a creative way to earn a tax deduction while helping MIT. You can give equipment, artwork, rare books, or any other kind of property that the Institute can use in its educational mission. We would be happy to consult with you about gifts of personal property.

Questions about each of these types of gifts of other assets can be directed to:

MIT Office of Gift Planning
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