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Share giving

Water vole feeding in a ditch

Image: Tom Marshall

People support the RSPB in many ways, some obvious, others perhaps more unexpected, but all are extremely welcome to a charity constantly needing to raise funds for its conservation work.

Giving shares is an effective way to support our conservation efforts. As we strive to create new nature reserves and maintain our continuing commitment to manage those we have, in the best possible way for both wildlife and visitors, we must have a continuing flow of income to fund our work.

What have shares helped us achieve?

Gifts of shares play a part: such donations helped us to establish new nature reserves at Rainham Marshes on the London/Essex border and Brading Marshes on the Isle of Wight (find out more about them by clicking on the links to the right).

These are just two examples of nature reserves where a gift of shares helped wildlife directly. Large numbers of birds have benefited from the generosity and kindness of RSPB members at both places, and at Rainham, the reserve is home to one of the largest and densest populations of water voles in the UK.

These little animals have suffered from changes to waterside habitats, pollution and the spread of released American mink, which are predators on much wetland wildlife. Places such as Rainham Marshes give them a lifeline and our members’ generosity with gifts, including shares, has been invaluable.

Why give shares to the RSPB?

Giving shares is a highly tax efficient way to support a charity. Shares worth somewhere around £100 million are given to charities each year. Such donations attract income tax relief, enjoy exemption from capital gains tax - and the tax relief goes to the donor. This allows the donor to choose who benefits from this relief as a result of the charitable support.

'We always put money into conservation as promptly as possible, so we sell all these shares straight away and use the proceeds directly in our conservation work.'

A basic rate taxpayer giving shares worth £1,000 can reclaim £200: so to the donor, the cost would be £800 but to us, the value would be £1,000. For a higher rate taxpayer, the cost of giving to the RSPB a gift of £1,000 would be just £600. In spite of recent changes to inheritance tax, for larger estates giving shares still offers a way to reduce an inheritance tax burden. 

We always put money into conservation as promptly as possible, so we sell all these shares straight away and use the proceeds directly in our conservation work.

How to do it

A gift of shares of any size can help us. We work with a charity called ShareGift which specialises in handling small donations of shares that would be expensive for us to process ourselves. Share giving is a little known but wonderful way to support the RSPB. If you would like to know more, please call 01767 680551 and ask to speak to someone about share giving.

Smaller numbers of shares

If the gift of shares is valued under £200, it should be directed through a special charity called ShareGift, with the RSPB nominated as the beneficiary. ShareGift helps charities to deal with small numbers of shares efficiently. Donors wanting to know more about this should call ShareGift on 020 7828 1151, or click on the link to the right to visit its website.

Tell your friends

Why not email a friend to let them know about share giving, or print this page?