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 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 Wellesley.

How it works

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

How Your Gift Helps


Your gift to Wellesley College helps us provide an excellent liberal arts education to women who will make a difference in the world by ensuring that we have the resources to:

  • Remain deeply committed to gender equality as foundational to societal progress well into future generations.
  • Value the equal dignity of every member of the community and our sustained connection to one another, to our campus, and to our mission.
  • Advance our mission by working together as a community—faculty, students, staff, and alumnae—guided by deeply held shared values.
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Gifts of artwork, coins, and other collectibles

You can use artwork, and other personal property to make a generous gift to Wellesley. We will use the property you give us to further our mission.

Gifts of other personal property

You may own equipment, supplies, or other personal property that you no longer need and that 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 works of art or antiques, can be a big responsibility. By giving your collectible to Wellesley, 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, provided you itemize, 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 an immediate income tax charitable 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 income tax charitable 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 property that is considered a collectible, you would have to pay a special 28 percent tax on the difference between its current value and what you paid for it, rather than the 15 percent tax applied to sales of securities.

You may also save estate taxes, as once you give your collectible or other personal property to Wellesley 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 an income tax charitable 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.


Chandra Cardenas has been an avid stamp collector since she was a kid. Her collection was appraised for insurance purposes last year at $20,000. Chandra paid only about $2,000 for her stamps.

Chandra is in her 80s now and is no longer adding to her collection. None of her children has expressed an interest in taking it over. A devoted supporter of Wellesley College for many years, she wonders whether we could make good use of her collection.

After a discussion with Chandra and her advisors, we determine that it would be best for Wellesley to sell the stamp collection and use the proceeds. Chandra is pleased that the value of her stamps will help support the College and that the stamps themselves will end up in the collections of others who will enjoy them as much as she has.

Because Wellesley will sell the stamps and use the proceeds, Chandra will be able to deduct from her income taxes only the $2,000 she paid for the stamps. Chandra understands this and is anxious to proceed with her gift, knowing that it will provide valuable support to Wellesley, as well as settle what is to become of her beloved stamp collection.