Three Tips on Timing Your Year-End Charitable Gift

Posted October 2017

Now that the leaves are falling, it’s high time to think about your year-end charitable gifts—and to make sure that you time them to your best advantage. The end of the year is the most popular time for charitable gifts partly because it’s the “giving season” and partly because donors are running out of time to take advantage of the 2017 tax benefits of their generosity. Here are timing tips for:

  1. Gifts of securities
  2. Gifts of mutual funds
  3. Gifts by check

1. Gifts of securities
Securities are among the most popular assets for making charitable gifts. If you plan to take a charitable deduction on this year’s tax return, you will want to be careful to execute your transaction so as to complete your gift to us this year.

Practical tips:

  • If you hand-deliver a properly endorsed stock certificate or an unendorsed stock certificate and a properly endorsed stock power, the gift is effective on the date we receive it.
  • If you deposit these documents in the mail, the postmark constitutes the date of the gift. For safety, it is important to send the stock certificate and the stock power separately when sending securities through the mail.
  • If your securities are held in a brokerage account, ask the broker to call us for instructions for completing an electronic transfer. The gift is effective when the stock is transferred from your account.
  • Remember that the value of your gift depends on the date it is completed.

2. Gifts of mutual funds
It is important that you contact us before making a transfer of mutual funds, as completing this gift often requires additional steps. These include:

  • You write a letter or complete a form provided that instructs the fund’s transfer agent to transfer shares. Your signature should be medallion guaranteed.
  • The Met must sometimes create an account to accept the shares.
  • The date of the gift is the date the shares are credited to our account.
  • Please allow extra time to complete the transfer.

3. Gifts by check
The effective date of your charitable contribution is the day you mail or hand-deliver the check to us, provided it is not postdated. For example:

  • A check dated December 31 and mailed and postmarked on that date is deductible this year—even if we receive the check in the New Year.
  • A check mailed in December but postdated for January cannot not be deducted on this year’s return.
  • Also, a check dated in December but not mailed or handed to us until January cannot be deducted on this year’s return.

We are here to help
If you have questions about the proper way to transfer any type of asset, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to assist you in making an effective transfer to ensure your deduction this year. All inquiries are kept strictly confidential.

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For further information, please contact:

Office of Planned Giving
The Metropolitan Opera
Lincoln Center
New York, NY 10023

Phone: 212-870-7388
Email: encoresociety@​
Tax ID Number: 13-1624087


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This publication was prepared by Pentera Inc., an Indiana business corporation, which is independent of the Met. Pentera is solely responsible for its content, and the Met disclaims all liability. The information is intended to introduce certain concepts, and we caution you not to rely on it for any legal, tax, or other purpose. You should obtain the advice of your own legal and tax advisors before making any gift.

© Pentera, Inc. Planned giving content. All rights reserved.