Personal Property

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A gift of artwork, coins, antiques, books, or other personal property can be an excellent way to support Bryn Mawr.

A gift of personal property may be right for you if:

  • You own artwork, antiques, or a collection of value that you no longer want
  • You own books you no longer want but believe they may be right for our collection. (Bryn Mawr College Libraries General Gift-in-Kind policy)
  • You own other personal property that would be useful to us
  • You want to save income taxes or capital gains taxes
  • You would like to make a gift to Bryn Mawr

How It Works

You give your personal property to Bryn Mawr. We either put your property to a use related to our mission, or we sell your property and use the proceeds.

Helene Mortensen '79 owns a work of art that was recently appraised at $200,000. She originally paid $25,000 for the work of art.
After a discussion with Helene, her husband and their advisors, we agree that it would be best for Bryn Mawr to sell the art work and use the proceeds towards creating an endowed scholarship fund. Helene is pleased that the value of her work of art will provide immediate support for this purpose.  
Because Bryn Mawr will sell the art work and use the proceeds, Helene will be able to deduct from her income taxes the $25,000 she paid for the work of art. Helene and her husband understand this and are anxious to proceed with her gift, knowing that her gift will provide important support for students at Bryn Mawr.

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Gifts of artwork, coins, books and other collectibles 
You can use artwork, coins, and other collectibles to make a generous gift to Bryn Mawr. Depending on the property you give us, we may either keep your property and use it for our charitable purposes or sell it and use the proceeds.

To learn more about Bryn Mawr College Libraries General Gift-in-Kind policy, click here

Gifts of other personal property 
You may own equipment, supplies, or other personal property that you no longer need and would be useful to us. Please discuss these items with us prior to your donation to determine which ones we will be able to put to productive use.

Relieve yourself of responsibility 
Maintaining valuable collectibles, such as a work of art or an antique, can be a big responsibility. By giving your collectible to Bryn Mawr, you will no longer be responsible for keeping it secure, preventing its deterioration, or paying to insure it against damage or loss. If you are in this situation, consider making a gift of the item or items to us.

Tax benefits 
Your gift of personal property will save you income taxes and capital gains taxes.

If we are able to use the item(s) you give us to advance our charitable purpose, you will be eligible for a charitable income tax deduction equal to the full appraised value of your property. If we cannot put your property to a "related use," or you direct us to sell your property immediately for cash, your charitable income tax deduction will be limited to the amount you paid for your property.

Whether or not we are able to put your gift property to a related use, you will avoid all potential capital gains tax on your property. If you were to sell this property, you would have to pay a special 28% tax on the difference between its current value and what you paid for it, rather than the 15% tax applied to sales of securities.

You may also save estate taxes, as once you give your collectible or other personal property to Bryn Mawr the property will no longer be part of your estate.

Appraisal requirements 
You will need a qualified independent appraisal of your property in order to establish the value of your gift. If you give personal property valued at $5,000 or more and you wish to take a charitable income tax deduction for your gift, you will need to include this appraisal with your federal income tax return.

Consult with us before making your gift
It is important that you discuss with us the personal property you are considering for donation before you make your gift. We want to be sure that we can accept the property you have in mind.

Also, we will want to discuss with you what will happen to your property once we receive it. We want to be sure we will be able to carry out your wishes. This discussion will also help you anticipate the likely tax benefits of your gift.