Growing in Generosity

Inspiration for Your Legacy Journey

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”

Proverbs 16:3

Is it Time to Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth?

The unusual idiom Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth has its roots in the days when horses were used for work and transportation. If you were given a horse, it was best to receive it as is, because if you opened its mouth and checked its teeth, you might have discovered this generous gift was not in the best shape for serving your purposes. Today, we use it to mean don’t criticize a gift you’ve been given.

What if you thought about this quirky phrase a bit differently, especially when it comes to making a difference for the causes and organizations you care about?

Here’s what we mean: Cash is the common go-to when it comes to giving. But you may have other non-cash assets, such as appreciated stock, you may not have considered when giving to your favorite charities. When you look this gift horse in the mouth, here’s what you’ll find:

Your gift of stock helps you steward wisely. In addition to the capital gains and income tax savings that help you manage your finances well, your gift of stock can also be a tool for stewarding a legacy of generosity. It opens the door for conversations with your loved ones about your values, the importance of giving, and the causes that are close to your heart.

Your gift of stock supports the work of charities. When you donate appreciated stock, bonds, or mutual funds, your gift can be up to 20% larger because you avoid the taxes you would have to pay from selling those assets and donating the cash. Simply put, your gift goes further to make an even bigger difference.

Writer Edith Wharton once wrote, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” You can spread the light by taking time to carefully examine your giving options. When you do, you’ll find some creative ways to support the work of charities you love and impart a legacy of giving that can make a difference for years to come.

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