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Charitable Giving Beyond Money: How to Donate Stocks, Airline Miles, Credit Card Points, and More

Gift-giving to charity can mean giving points, stocks, and more.

Most people have a nonprofit or two that they just love. One of your favorite charities may come to mind each time the topic comes up. You may even donate regularly to that organization, which is noble. But what else can you do for your favorite group of do-gooders?

Believe it or not, there are tons of ways to support nonprofits that don’t involve cutting a check. Here are four non-cash ways to donate to your favoite charity.

Stock It To Ya

If you don’t know how to donate stocks, don’t worry --- a financial planner or investment broker will know exactly what to do to get the ball rolling. Your charity of choice will likely have received a donation that’s similar in the past. Resist the temptation fork over the proceeds to appreciate securities. If you go that route, you’ll pay higher capital gains taxes, and your benefactor will receive much less than if you were to just donate the stocks.

Another way to donate stocks is to designate a charitable foundation as the beneficiary to your life insurance policy or IRA.

Time Is Money

Volunteer hours are another great way to give to your favorite charity. Ask how to work remotely for them if you’re homebound— or if their operations are not local to you. Regularly get involved so the team learns to depend on your help. Over time, your time and energy investment will have added up to thousands of dollars they didn’t have to scrape together to pay someone else.

Stuff It

To you, those items may be cluttering up your closets or living spaces, but to a single mom or retired vet, they may be treasures. Things like used furniture, clothing, toys, mobile phones and even cars are great items to give to a noncommercial institution.

Often, people donate t-shirts when socks are most needed. Or canned goods but no spices. Phone your favorite charity and ask: Of which items do you have a surplus? What would you rather have this time of year? Their answers may surprise you.

On Point

Have you ever considered donating all those airline miles or hotel points? If your points have an expiration date and you cannot use them, why not give them away? Not only will your nonprofit get the points, they may also get a match from your credit card company, doubling your gift! To get started, find your airline, credit card, or hotel chain on The Points Guy website. You’ll see information on how to give away those valuable, hard-earned points.

Remember, points are not a good reason to use credit cards or loans. If you have accumulated points as “rewards” but have gotten into debt doing it, call a nonprofit credit counselor to learn what options are open to you.

Give and Let Give

It’s good to have a line-item in your monthly budget just for charitable giving. But sometimes, you accumulate other things that can be donated, too.

Knowing how to donate stocks, man power, or points is just a matter of doing some light research. The true hurdle is becoming the kind of person who wants to donate at all. So if you’re there, pat yourself on the back. And of course, remember to get a receipt for taxes!

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