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Helpful Tips for Year-End Giving

Thank you for considering a gift in support of the extraordinary students, faculty, and staff that make Swarthmore so special! As the end of year approaches, we hope these helpful tips and reminders can help you make the most of your year-end charitable giving. 

Special Charitable Giving Incentives for 2021

  • Claim a charitable deduction of $600 for couples or $300 for individuals for cash donations made in 2021 — even if you don’t itemize your deductions.
  • Deduct cash gifts up to 100% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). The usual deduction is limited to 60% of AGI. Especially generous donors could manage to reduce their 2021 federal income tax liability to zero.
  • Read more about special giving incentives for 2021.

Other Smart Giving Options

Gifts of Appreciated Securities

Giving appreciated stock you have owned for more than a year is one of the most tax-advantaged ways to make charitable gifts. You will avoid capital gains tax that you would owe if you sold the stock, and you will receive a federal income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the securities. If you would like to make a gift of appreciated securities, we recommend contacting your investment advisor as soon as possible to ensure your gift can be completed by Dec. 31.

Instructions for giving securities to Swarthmore College [PDF].

Charitable Gift Annuities

A Swarthmore charitable gift annuity will pay you guaranteed income for life regardless of market fluctuations. If you use cash to create a gift annuity in 2021, the resulting charitable deduction could be used to offset up to 100% of your adjusted gross income. 

Your annuity rate is based on your age, the date of your gift, and when your annuity payments begin. If you are age 50 or older, you can request a personalized illustration to see how a gift to Swarthmore could pay you income for life. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact Renée Atkinson, Director of Gift Planning, at 866-526-4438 or

IRA Rollovers

If you are age 70½ or older and have an IRA, you can make a taxwise gift to Swarthmore. An IRA charitable rollover, or qualified charitable distribution, allows you to contribute up to $100,000 from your IRA directly to Swarthmore without having to pay federal income tax on the withdrawal. 

In addition, since cash gifts in 2021 are deductible to the full extent of your adjusted gross income, you could choose to make a withdrawal and use it to make a larger charitable gift than otherwise. In some cases, it could be possible for the deduction to offset the taxable withdrawal.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about these strategies, or your year-end giving to Swarthmore in general, please do not hesitate to reach out.