Ways to Give

Philanthropy is a highly personal endeavor, so we offer many options for making a gift to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

A gift of cash, check, or by credit card is the quickest and simplest way to support the ISO and receive a full charitable deduction. And if your employer has a matching gift program, your personal gift can be doubled!

Gifts of Assets

Appreciated Securities

Typically transferred to the ISO as an appreciated asset. When you make a gift of appreciated securities or mutual funds that you have held for more than one year, you can reduce or even eliminate federal capital gains taxes on the transfer. You may also be entitled to a federal income tax charitable deduction based on the securities’ fair market value at the time of the transfer.

Real Estate

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property, or undeveloped land.

When you make a gift to the ISO of appreciated property that you have held longer than one year, you qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction, eliminating the capital gains tax. Plus, you unburden yourself of the property’s maintenance costs, property taxes, and insurance.

Tangible Personal Property

Valuable personal property can make suitable charitable gifts today or after your lifetime. The financial benefits of the gift depend on whether the ISO can use the property in a way that is related to our mission. Consult your financial advisor for specifics and IRS requirements on gifts of tangible personal property.

Closely Held Stock

Closely held stock can support the ISO in the form of an outright gift. You can make a gift of closely held stock as long as the constituting documentation for the business permits additional owners and it is debt-free. The donation of closely held stock first requires you to value the interest in the business entity.

Gifts of Appreciated Stock

You can maximize your tax savings by donating appreciated stock if you have owned the shares for a year or more. More information about the tax savings of donating securities instead of a cash gift is available here. Contact your broker and instruct them to send the shares to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and provide the following information:

Raymond James / 1310 E 96th Street / Indianapolis, IN 46240
Account Number: 14494375
DTC#: 0725
Attention: Kathy Richardson / 317-573-1777

Qualified Charitable Donation

If you are 70 1⁄2 years or older, you may make a tax-free Qualified Charitable Donation to the ISO by instructing your financial planner to send a gift from your account directly to the ISO.

IRA Charitable Gift

If you have an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and are 73 years or older by December 31 of this year, you may avoid paying taxes* on your Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) from your IRA by instructing your financial planner to make a gift to the ISO directly from your IRA.

Click here to calculate your required minimum distribution.

Retained Life Estate

Transfer your home ownership to the ISO while retaining the right to live in it! You receive a charitable tax deduction the year you make the gift, and when the ISO sells the property at the end of your life the proceeds directly benefit the ISO.

Gifts That Pay You Income

Donor-Advised Fund

Donor-advised funds (DAF) are a charitable investment account for the sole purpose of supporting organizations you care about, and are the nation’s fastest-growing giving vehicle. When you make an irrevocable contribution of cash or other financial assets to your DAF, your donation is immediately tax- deductible and your investments can continue to grow tax-free within the Fund until you advise on how you would like your charitable gift to be distributed. DAFs are one of the easiest and most tax-advantageous ways to give, and you can recommend grants to the ISO and other IRS-qualified public charities. Learn more here.

Charitable Lead Trust

A charitable lead trust is an irrevocable agreement in which a donor transfers assets to a trust that creates an income or “lead” interest for one or more qualified charitable organizations. Payments are made to the ISO and other charitable beneficiaries for a defined term or for the lifetime of one or more individuals. At the end of the trust term, the remainder of the trust’s assets are transferred either to the donor or to another individual — typically the donor’s heirs.

Unique Gifts 

Charitable Gift Annuity

A charitable gift annuity is an arrangement between you and the ISO in which you transfer assets to the Symphony and subsequently receive a regular payment for life based on the value of assets. The annuities simultaneously provide a charitable donation, a partial income tax deduction for the donation, and a guaranteed lifetime income stream for you, your spouse, or other beneficiary. At the end of your lifetime, the assets are retained by the ISO.

Charitable Remainder Trusts

A charitable remainder trust is an irrevocable tax-exempt trust that pays income interest to an individual (non-charitable beneficiary), who is typically the trust’s donor, for either a fixed period of time (up to 20 years) or for the individual’s lifetime. At the expiration of the trust term, the remainder interest is distributed to the ISO and/or other qualified charitable organizations of the donor’s choice as specified in the trust document.

There are two types of charitable remainder trusts:

  • Charitable remainder annuity trusts distribute a fixed annuity amount each year to beneficiaries based upon the value of the initial asset contribution. Charitable remainder annuity trusts may only be funded once and do not allow future additional contributions to the trust.


  • Charitable remainder unitrusts distribute a unitrust amount each year to beneficiaries, which is a fixed percentage of the value of the assets at the beginning of each calendar year. The trust assets are revalued annually, so the income interest can increase or decrease with the value of the trust. Additional contributions to the trust are permitted.

Future Gifts

Bequests (Wills or Trusts)

You can leave a gift to the ISO in your will or estate plan. This distribution will be fully deductible for federal estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the deduction your estate can claim. Moreover, the gift is usually exempt from state inheritance taxes.

Revocable Living Trust

A revocable living trust defines how your assets are to be distributed at the end of your lifetime. You retain control of the assets during your life, and can amend or change the trust at any time. Income earned by the trust’s assets goes to you and is taxable, but the assets themselves do not transfer from the trust to the ISO and other beneficiaries until the end of your lifetime. Once your assets belong to the trust, they do not have to go through the probate process upon your death.

Life Insurance

When the original purpose for a life insurance policy no longer applies, you can use it to support the ISO. You can name the ISO as the new beneficiary, make a gift through an existing policy, or make a gift of a new policy.

Retirement Plan Assets

Retirement plan assets are a great way to support the ISO; they not only help support our future operations, but also can provide tax relief for your loved ones. Money in your employee retirement plan, IRA, or tax-sheltered annuity has yet to be taxed, which means your beneficiaries will owe federal income tax on any distributions they receive from these accounts.

Consider directing your retirement plan assets to the ISO and leaving your loved ones assets that will be taxed less heavily. As a nonprofit institution, the ISO is tax-exempt and will receive the full amount of what you designate to us.

Additional Ways of Support

Donate Your Unused Tickets

If you find that you are unable to attend a concert for which you’ve already purchased tickets, you can donate those tickets back to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. This return will be tax-deductible and can be made any time before the concert start time. If you want to donate your tickets, please fill out the form here.

Corporate and Foundation Gifts

The ISO offers multiple ways your company or foundation can make an impact on the community. If you are interested in learning about these opportunities, please contact 317-229-7094.

Questions? Please contact donations@indianapolissymphony.org or 317-742-9579.

Please consult with a financial planner to see what opportunities are best for you.

*Tax-deductibility: The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is a nonprofit institution designated by the IRS as tax-exempt as defined in section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Your total tax contribution is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law, less the fair market value of any benefits you may use.