Ways to Give to the American Physical Society
Gifts of Cash
Gifts of cash are an easy and immediate way to give to APS programs. Members of APS can provide a contribution when renewing their annual membership invoice, or make a secure online contribution with a credit card. Check payments should be made payable to The American Physical Society. From a tax standpoint, your cash gift is deductible from your itemized federal income tax return for the year in which the gift is made.
Select major campaigns of the Society can accept your contribution in the form of a pledge payment. This method offers additional flexibility by allowing you to make payments over a period of time.
Give the Gift of Stock
Why make a gift of stock? If you itemize your tax returns, gifts of securities entitle you to a federal income tax charitable deduction. In the case of appreciated securities, you may deduct the full fair market value of your gift once you have held onto the securities for at least one year. You may use your deduction up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. You are permitted to carry any unused deduction forward for up to five additional years. In addition, you will avoid paying capital gains tax on the stock you donated to APS.
How do I make a gift of stock?
A gift of stock can be donated to the APS by an electronic transfer or via mail. Please contact the Darlene Logan, APS Director of Development, for more information. Darlene Logan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or (301) 209-3224.
Note: The value of your stock is determined by using the postmark date on the envelopes in which the certificates and stock power are mailed to APS (mail transfers) or by the date on which the broker transfers the stock to APS (electronic transfer.)
If either you or your spouse is employed by a company with a matching-gift program, it is possible that your gift to the APS will be matched by the company. Since company programs differ widely in their matching policies, please check directly with your company regarding its procedures.
Gifts of Property
Similar to donations of appreciated securities, certain gifts of property, such as real estate, can be deducted for tax purposes at their fair-market value. In the case of real estate, the fair-market value is established by performing an independent appraisal on the property.
Corporate or Business Gifts
If you are a director, principal stockholder, or officer of a Corporation, you may wish to arrange for a company gift. Corporations are permitted to make deductible contributions of up to 10% of their net income before taxes. If you have a closely held, family-held corporation or business, you may avoid double taxation by making company gifts rather than personal gifts to the APS. (Corporate earnings are taxed at the corporate level, while dividend earnings are taxed as personal income.)
Charitable Remainder Trusts
If you would like to make a substantial gift to the APS, but do not want to lose the income you currently earn from your assets (invested cash, securities, real estate, or other property), you should consider establishing a charitable remainder trust.
A charitable remainder trust, funded by assets that you choose, can pay income to one or more non-charitable beneficiaries (including you) for life or for a fixed number of years. At the death of the last surviving beneficiary, or at the expiration of the fixed period of years, the assets of the trust are transferred to APS. The non-charitable beneficiary's income can be either a fixed dollar amount or a fixed percentage of the trust's assets. In the second case, the income will vary as the value of the trust fluctuates.
Establishing a charitable remainder trust simultaneously increases your current income, produces a current income tax deduction, minimizes capital gains taxes on appreciated investments and provides a meaningful gift to the APS.
Charitable Lead Trusts
If you have significant additional income at your disposal, but do not wish to relinquish an asset, you can establish a charitable lead trust. A lead trust will provide income to the APS for a specified period of years, after which the trust's assets may be passed to your heirs. Lead trusts take a number of forms, each of which offers different tax and estate-planning considerations.
Gifts of Life Insurance
Contributing a gift of Life Insurance allows you to choose between giving a gift of an existing life insurance policy, or purchasing a new policy with the APS as owner and beneficiary. The replacement value (essentially, the cash surrender value) of an existing policy can be claimed as a charitable deduction. In addition, once a gift of an insurance policy has been made, subsequent annual premiums are deductible as charitable contributions.
Life insurance may also play a part in planning other kinds of contributions, such as charitable remainder trusts. For instance, when establishing a trust, some donors use either a portion of their trust income or the savings stemming from their immediate tax deduction to purchase a life insurance policy benefitting their heirs. Thus, replacing the assets used to fund the trust.
Gifts of Retirement Funds
In order to avoid the potentially high taxes which can be levied against your estate, you may want to consider making a charitable contribution using your retirement assets. As you plan for your retirement it is important to remember that retirement assets can be subject to two levels of taxes when they are left to a non-spouse beneficiary -- income and estate taxes.
In addition, if your estate (anything you own at your death) exceeds a certain level ($1,000,000 in 2013) then it would be subject to federal and state death taxes. However, there are several exceptions that allow you to avoid these additional taxes. For example, you will not owe estate taxes if you name your spouse as the beneficiary. A special provision in the tax law allows your surviving spouse to defer taxes by rolling over the inherited distribution from the retirement account to an IRA. Keep in mind that if you name anyone else besides your spouse as a beneficiary they will not be able to take advantage of this provision. Nor will your estate owe taxes (estate or income tax) on any asset you donate to a charity. Therefore, by choosing to name a charity as a beneficiary of your retirement assets, (possibly in the form of a charitable remainder trust), your heirs will be able to receive income from the trust for his or her lifetime while the charity can benefit from the assets.
If you would like to maintain your current financial status, and avoid estate taxes, you may choose to make a future charitable contribution by naming APS as a beneficiary in your Will (or revokable trust). When creating a bequest you can specify what form your gift will take, it can be a percentage of your estate, a fixed dollar amount, or the remainder of your estate after gifts to others. In addition, you may also make gifts of securities or create a charitable remainder trust by outlining this in your Will (or revokable trust). A charitable bequest to APS will qualify for an estate tax charitable deduction, resulting in additional savings.
If you plan to include the APS in your Will (or revokable trust), we suggest that you and/or your attorney consult with us on the wording of the bequest, to ensure that your intentions can be carried out exactly as you wish. APS will recognize documented bequest intents in the APS Bequest Society.
The APS welcomes your inquiries. We recommend that you also consult with your own attorney or tax advisor before making any commitment. The APS Development Office will be glad to participate in discussions with your advisers and to provide any additional information.
Director of Development
Phone: (301) 209-3224