Can I Donate Stock to the Wilderness?

Yes! And there are benefits for you and the ministry.

Donating stock is easy to do, and may reduce your income taxes and increase the amount you can contribute. Here’s how it works:


Let’s say, for example, you bought 100 shares of XYZ Corp. more than a year ago at $20 per share, for a cost basis of $2,000 (100 x $20). If XYZ now trades at $50 per share, the fair market value of your 100 shares has risen to $5,000 (100 x $50). And you have a $3,000 taxable gain ($5,000 market value – $2,000 cost basis).

Donation Method Comparison

Scenario 1: Donate Cash Proceeds From Selling Shares
TWFM Receives $4,400 Cash. You Pay $600 Tax.

If you sell those shares and donate the after-tax proceeds, you would owe federal and state income taxes of about $600 assuming a 20% tax rate ($3,000 capital gain x 20% tax rate). After selling and paying taxes, you have $4,400 of cash left over to donate ($5,000 – $600).


You can generally itemize the $4,400 contribution as a charitable tax deduction.

Scenario 2: Donate Shares Directly To TWFM
TWFM Receives $5,000 (Market Value). You Pay No Tax.

Alternatively, instead of selling shares (Scenario 1), you could donate the same 100 shares of XYZ directly to the Wilderness. The $3,000 capital gain is not recognized for tax purposes, so the $600 in taxes goes away and TWFM benefits from receiving the full $5,000 market value of the donation, instead of only $4,400 in Scenario 1.

You can generally itemize the $5,000 contribution as a charitable tax deduction.

This example assumes the shares given are of a publicly traded company, and you have held the shares for at least one year (called “long-term”). Shares held less than one year (or “short-term”), or shares of a privately held company have different and less advantaged tax implications.

Note: If you have stock with a loss (market value is less than the cost basis), it is usually better to sell it and give the proceeds, not donate it directly, so you can take the loss as a reduction of income on your tax return.

Please consult with your tax advisor about your specific tax situation as the information provided here is general in nature and not intended to be used as tax advice.

How To Donate Stock To The Wilderness Fellowship Ministries

  1. If you wish to explore donating stock, please contact the Wilderness’ Treasurer, Brian Stephany at or 763-732-8398. He can help answer any questions.
  2. When you’re ready to donate stock, download and complete the following simple one-page TWFM Gift of Stock Form. Then give your completed form to your stock broker who will facilitate the donation per your instructions. Please ensure your broker knows not to sell the stock but to “transfer in-kind”.
  3. Please contact the TWFM Office to let them know of their incoming stock donation, so they can be looking for it and personally thank you for your generosity.

— Brian Stephany —


Our Team includes Wilderness Fellowship Board Member Brian Stephany

Board Member Brian Stephany

Form Notes

  • Donor’s Broker/Financial Advisor: Donor’s Broker is the financial institution which holds the stock in a brokerage account. This could be directed through a financial advisor working for the broker or self-directed by contacting the broker’s institution.
  • Security: Any publicly traded company, for example 3M; J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Symbol of Security: The exchange’s Ticker Symbol for the Security; Examples: 3M (Ticker Symbol: MMM); J.P. Morgan Chase (Ticker Symbol: JPM)
  • CUSIP (optional): To find the CUSIP of a Security, see
  • Number of Shares: the number of shares of this Security (stock) you are donating
  • Particular Share Lots Dates (optional): When a donor chooses to give shares of a stock position, they may not want to give all (100%) of the shares, but only a portion of the shares held.  Many times, one stock position will have many layers because the stock (and dividends) were added over the years with each layer having a different cost basis and resulting different capital gain per share.  A financially astute donor will want to donate the layer(s) with the lowest cost basis because it shelters the highest capital gains from taxation.  Thus, they can specify to their broker which layer or layers within the position they wish to donate so their contribution maximizes tax efficiency.  Mutual funds do not have layers.