Giving gifts of stock: The basics

5 questions with Jeff Mindlin, vice president of investments, ASU Enterprise Partners

October 13, 2017

What are some of the ways one can give appreciated investments as a gift?

There are two ways to donate appreciated investments: the first way is to sell the stock, bond or mutual fund share and donate cash proceeds from the sale. Alternatively, securities can be contributed directly as a gift in-kind portrait of Jeff Midlin Jeff Mindlin, vice president of investments, ASU Enterprise Partners Download Full Image

How can gifts of stock or mutual funds maximize tax benefits?

A gift of appreciated securities may qualify for a charitable tax deduction and may avoid the long-term capital gains tax on the appreciated value of the asset. Stocks or bonds held more than one year that have increased in value may qualify for a deduction equal to the full market value of the gift.

For example, let’s say you purchased a stock a few years ago for $25,000 and that stock is now worth $100,000. If you donated the stock, you could get a full deduction of the $100,000 while avoiding the $75,000 taxable capital gain.

With stocks or bonds worth less than the price you paid for them, the wisest course is to sell them and donate the cash proceeds. The sale will establish a loss that may offset other capital gains income.

How are gifts of stock used by the ASU Foundation?

In the past, appreciated securities were donated to the ASU Foundation as outright unrestricted gifts, to establish an endowment or to directly support any of 5,000+ campus initiatives.

Is there a maximum or minimum dollar amount worth of stocks required to make a donation that benefits ASU?

There is no minimum or maximum required dollar amount. However, if the proceeds intend to establish an endowment, there might be minimum guidelines.

Recently, we have seen an uptick in corporate officers and directors gifting a portion of their company shares. In most cases, this works like any other stock gift, but can get more sensitive with smaller companies whose shares do not trade with as much liquidity. In these cases, we exercise great care to ensure that liquidating the shares has minimal market impact to stock price. We can coordinate our efforts between the donor and trade desk to work out of the stock over a prescribed amount of time to minimize market impact while maximizing value of the deduction and value of the gift to the university.

What are some reasons that might make it a good time to donate stock?

With the stock market at all-time highs, it is likely that donors are holding onto stocks that have large unrealized capital gains.

At the same time, we are currently in the second longest bull market in history. While most experts do not see a big crash around the corner, the risk vs. reward is starting to get less attractive as stock valuations get stretched and complacency grows.

All things considered, it may well be a good time to take advantage of the high levels of the stock market to maximize the value of a deduction before we see any kind of sell-off that might lessen the impact of the gift as well as the potential tax write-off.

We encourage donors to consult with their tax advisors for questions about the deductibility of their gifts. To make a security gift or learn more, please visit 

ASU team among first user groups at Europe’s brightest light source

October 13, 2017

A team of ASU scientists led by Professor Alexandra Ros in the School of Molecular Sciences and the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery, has been just the second user group to conduct experiments at the brand new European X-ray free electron laser facility (EuXFEL) in Hamburg, Germany. This 1.5-billion-dollar facility is the third, and far the most powerful, X-ray laser in the world. After ten years of construction, it opened for first experiments just a month ago.

The XFEL best known to U.S. scientists has been the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) facility where the now-famous work on crystallography of protein nanocrystals (by the ASU team led by Professors John Spence and Petra Fromme) was carried out. SLAC and its companion in Europe, also at Hamburg, have been very successful and in consequence, have become heavily overbooked. The coming-on- line of the new facility, with its giant 2.6-mile accelerator tunnel and atomic length scale resolution, will relieve some of the demand on the other facilities, while offering grand new possibilities in the physical sciences as well. ASU team among the first user groups at Europe’s brightest light The ASU team with EuXFEL beam line scientists during one of the designated shifts. The experimental hutch is behind the team. From left: Nadia Zatsepin (ASU), Jorvani Cruz Villarreal (ASU), Patrik Vagovič (EuXFEL), Petra Fromme (ASU), Jose Meza Aguilar (ASU), Alexandra Ros (ASU), Jesse Coe (ASU), Ana Egatz Gomez (ASU), Gerrit Brehm (ASU / Georg August Univeristy Goettingen), Austin Eichelmeyer (ASU), Richard Kirian (ASU), Richard Bean (EuXFEL), Marc Messerschmidt (EuXFEL), Katherina Doerner (EuXFEL). Download Full Image

ASU is the only U.S. institution leading one of these first pioneering experiments at the EuXFEL, which took place from September 21 to 25, 2017. Professor Ros’ team and collaborators worked at the recently opened facility to perform crystallography experiments at the SPB/SFX (Single Particles, Clusters, and Biomolecules and Serial Femtosecond Crystallography) experimental setup.

The SPB/SFX instrument will be used to gain a better understanding of the shape and function of biomolecules, such as proteins, that are otherwise difficult to study. Several of the seven first experiments on this instrument will focus on method development for these new research opportunities at the European XFEL or ways to reduce the amount of precious sample used for the examination of biological processes. Other groups will be studying biological structures and processes such as the water splitting process in photosynthesis.

The goal of Ros’ team is to solve one of the main challenges of the EuXFEL based on its unique pulse train structure: The X-ray shots (destroying any solid material) come in 10 pulse trains per second with several thousand X-ray shots in one of the trains. Within each train these shots are only 1 millionth of a second apart. The means of delivering tiny crystals super-fast to the X-ray beam, so that each of the X-ray shots hits a fresh crystal without the requirement of using huge amounts of the precious crystals is a major challenge.

ASU team among the first user groups at Europe’s brightest light source

(From left) Ana Egatz Gomez, research scientist, Jorvani Cruz, graduate student, and Alexandra Ros, associate professor and principal investigator, aligning and assembling the droplet injection setup on top of the vacuum chamber in the SPB/SFX hutch at the EuXFEL.

Professor Ros has developed a novel microfluidic system that was tested and implemented for the first time at the beamline allowing researchers to deliver droplets of biomolecule crystals within an oil phase and thereby inject the crystals in the aqueous phase only when the fast X-ray laser fires its pulse trains. The protein chosen for this study was the enzyme 3-deoxy-D-manno-octulosonate 8-phosphate synthase (KDO8PS), which is a potential antibiotic target.

Being one of the first three user-teams at the newly opened EuXFEL came with plenty of challenges, but the ASU team was up to the task! They successfully generated the tiny aqueous protein crystal droplets in an oil phase, injected them creating a fast jet and saw the first images from the diffraction of the enzyme crystals. The data obtained are currently being evaluated and preparations for publishing the results are under way.

The ASU team members who participated during the beam time on site in Hamburg included Austin Echelmeier, Jorvani Cruz-Villarreal, Ana Egatz-Gomez, Gerrit Brehm, Jesse Coe, Jose Meza Aguilar, Nadia Zatsepin, Petra Fromme, Richard Kirian, and Alexandra Ros. Stella Lisova, Sebastian Quintana, Uwe Weierstall and John Spence participated remotely. The experiment was supported by the Sample Environment group at the EuXFEL, the beam line scientists at the EuXFEL, and Professor Henry Chapman’s team at DESY, Germany. The project is financially supported by the NSF BioXFEL Science and Technology Center, the Biodesign Center for Applied Structural Discovery as well as a grant from NIH.

Jenny Green

Clinical associate professor, School of Molecular Sciences