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Got a small amount of shares? Donate them to ShareGift

Got a small amount of shares? Donate them to ShareGift

If you own old shares it will be too much trouble or expense to sell yourself, there is an easy way to get shot of them and help good causes at the sa

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If you own old shares it will be too much trouble or expense to sell yourself, there is an easy way to get shot of them and help good causes at the same time.

ShareGift accepts donations of shares, which typically tend to be worth around £15, and are more of a nuisance than anything else to the holders, since trading fees could wipe out almost all the profit. 

Free trading apps now mean you can buy and sell shares without commission but may not deal in the more obscure stocks, whereas popular online platforms can charge £5-12 and other brokers significantly more.

Donate to good causes: Do you own a tiny number of old shares it’s not worth the cost or hassle of selling?

Donate to good causes: Do you own a tiny number of old shares it’s not worth the cost or hassle of selling?

Donate to good causes: Do you own a tiny number of old shares it’s not worth the cost or hassle of selling? 

ShareGift accumulates shareholdings that may be too tiny, difficult, or even impossible for individuals to dispose of, sells them in a way that realises as much value as possible, and donates the proceeds to a huge range of charities suggested by donors.

A charitable organisation itself, ShareGift has made 8,778 donations worth a total £37,207,000 since its launch in 1996. 

It has supported 3,139 charities to date, and says: ‘We ask all our donors for charity suggestions, regardless of the value of the shares donated, and it is this information which drives our charitable donations.

‘Over the years we have received thousands of suggestions for hundreds of different charities. Our aim has always been to support every charity which is suggested to us.

How do you sell shares? 

Find out how the process works and what it typically costs here.

‘ShareGift is cause-neutral; we don’t try to weigh the relative value of the charities which are suggested to us.’

Some larger charities also accept donations of shares direct, but most find small value amounts just as much trouble to sell on as an individual would, while ShareGift specialises in offloading them.

Head of operations David McIntosh says it doesn’t advertise its services, but people come to hear about what it does a variety of ways, including from companies where they are invested and other charities.

He explains the kinds of circumstances where people decide to donate their holding, via a transfer to ShareGift at no cost to them.

– A long-standing shareholding that is practically worthless: Stock might have been purchased many years ago, and the firm done badly or been split into two, where one arm’s shares become unsellable.

– Inherited shares: Beneficiaries may want to avoid probate and solicitor fees involved in having to sell small amounts of stock.

– ‘Drip’ schemes: This is where people have reinvested dividends to buy shares, or fractions of shares, from a company directly, but only end up with a small amount.

David McIntosh: ShareGift has supported 2,956 charities to date

David McIntosh: ShareGift has supported 2,956 charities to date

David McIntosh: ShareGift has supported 2,956 charities to date

– Lost share certificates: When getting these replaced, people have to buy an ‘indemnity’ against the risk of their missing certificates being used fraudulently, and although the cost might be low for a tiny holding, it might not be worth the expense.

McIntosh says: ‘We get tens of thousands of donations and hold thousands of shares in our name. They build up to a point where they are sellable.

‘If not, we hold onto them, as they can produce a small dividend.’

ShareGift, which has two full-time and three part-time staff, was co-founded by Viscountess Mackintosh of Halifax, who came up with the idea during her years working in the City, and Matthew Orr who also co-founded broking firm Killik & Co.

ShareGift’s share portfolio is maintained by the custodians Platform Securities for free, and share dealing is carried out by Killik & Co which waives its usual fees.

Find out more about ShareGift and how to donate shares here. 

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This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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