Timing, taxes and end-of-year gifts

Timing of a gift—when it is given, received and considered for tax purposes—is critical and varies depending upon what is being given and how. This is most important during the busy end-of-year giving season. According to the IRS, a gift is made on the date it is unconditionally delivered:

Checks: on the date it is postmarked (not the date of the check).

Credit Cards: on the date that it is processed (not the date it is postmarked)

Credit Card Tip

If mailing a credit card donation in December, please mail early in the month. We process them on the date we receive them, but mail delivery can be very slow, especially toward the end of December. To protect your yearly tax deduction it may be wiser to make the donation online or by telephone 574-284-5641.


  • Hand-delivered: on the date that the endorsed paper certificate is hand-delivered to a qualified organization or its agent.
  • Mailed through regular mail: the date it is postmarked. (For security reasons, this should be a two-step process: 1) mail the unendorsed certificate and a cover letter in one envelope 2) mail a signed, signature guaranteed stock power in a separate envelope. Send both via Registered Mail.)
  • Transferred electronically by your broker: the date the stock transfer is credited to our brokerage account (not the date you gave the instructions to the broker).

Stock Tip

Please let us know in advance if you are planning to support us with a donation of stock, especially if you are transferring it electronically, so that we can help make the transfer go smoothly. We’ll be able to provide the up-to-date routing numbers and alert our broker.

For more information:

  • Please consult your personal financial or legal advisor.
  • IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions
  • IRS Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property

Please note: This information is for reference only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Be sure to work with your attorney and tax advisor when making planned gifts.