Our church—like many others, I'm sure—maintains an account with a financial brokerage firm in order to facilitate donations of stock or other equities without first having to liquidate them. Could gifts of stock be considered "noncash" donations?
Yes, gifts of stock are considered contributions of noncash property. It is important to note that a number of special considerations and requirements apply to stock, depending on the nature and value of the contribution. For example, publicly traded stock contributed to a church or charity must be documented by the donor on Part A of Form 8283. Additionally, the donor must obtain a proper acknowledgment from the church or charity substantiating the stock gift. (The Form 8283 alone is not adequate substantiation to support a charitable contribution deduction for a gift of noncash property valued at $250 or more, including stock.) You can get further guidance from a qualified CPA or from Chapter 3 of my book, Church Finance.
—Mike Batts, CPA and editorial advisor for Church Finance Today