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When donating stock, most people simply transfer the stock directly to United Way as described below rather than selling it. This allows you to claim a charitable contribution on the day of the transfer to United Way and not have to pay the capital gains tax on the securities. United Way will be responsible for any fees related to the sale of the stock.

Below is information on making a gift to the United Way using a stock transfer:

  1. Identify the stock you want to donate.
  2. Contact your investment advisor and send a written request that shares will be transferred into United Way of Central Maryland’s account. (Stock certificates do not need to be put in United Way’s name.)
  3. Send a copy of the letter to Donor Services-Stock, Attn: April Crews, United Way of Central Maryland, 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite. 340, Baltimore, MD 21230 to inform us of the transferred shares. We will contact the investment advisor regarding the immediate sale of the shares.
  4. If you are donating stock certificates, please sign the back of the certificate(s) and submit with a brief letter stating the amount of shares and what type of stock is being donated to the previously stated address.
  5. United Way of Central Maryland will send you a receipt for the mean value (average of the high and low price) of the shares on the date the shares are received in United Way’s account.
  6. United Way has accounts with most major firms. Please click here for a list of our preferred Investment Advisors.

For answers to your questions about Stock donations please visit or call 667.217.4769 for assistance. 


Income tax laws encourage contributions to public charities like United Way by providing—within the tax code—income tax deductions for donors who itemize on their federal tax returns.

Donors can make gifts at reduced costs: for example, if you make a cash contribution of $10,000 to United Way, you may claim a deduction of $10,000 on your income tax return. In this scenario, if you are in the 37% marginal income tax bracket, you will reduce your overall federal tax liability by $3,700.* In effect, you can give United Way $10,000 at a cost to you of $6,300.


If your gift was in appreciated stock as shown in the chart, with a cost basis of $3,000 (therefore gain of $7,000), the cost to you would still be $6,300, which is more advantageous to you than selling the stock directly and paying the capital gains tax.

graph chart with donation amounts

*There may be additional savings in avoiding Maryland state income tax. Charitable gifts are subject to the deduction limits set by the Internal Revenue Code. Any excess deductions can be carried over an additional five years. Additionally, charitable deductions are subject to the phaseout of itemized deductions for certain high-income taxpayers. This material is intended to be illustrative only; we encourage individuals to review their plans with their own tax counsel to ensure that their particular circumstances are fully considered when calculating the tax consequences of any charitable gift.