Making Cents: Thinking of charities at Christmas

The support of charity gift collections, from shoeboxes to Bóthar’s sheep, comes from this desire to use the extra that some of us have to help those who need it.

Making Cents: Thinking of charities at Christmas

At a time when many of us are spending more than we do in any other month of the year, and we see children in particular being showered with gifts, charitable donations seem more important than ever. The support of charity gift collections, from shoeboxes to Bóthar’s sheep, comes from this desire to use the extra that some of us have to help those who need it.

Recently solicitor Emma Comyn, a partner in Comyn Kelleher Tobin’s conveyancing team, told me about another way of donating to charity, for those who have shares to give rather than cash.

As a specialist in the area of probate, Ms Comyn guides people every day on what to do when their loved ones pass away. For those who inherit shareholdings and wish to donate them to charity, she recommends they consider the ShareGift service.

ShareGift is a charitable share giving service now being used by many Stock Transfer Companies, including Computershare, and publicly traded companies such as Verizon, Vodafone, AIB Group and Bank of Ireland. ShareGift also accept donations, of low and high value shareholdings, from living donors and so are also an option for those considering a charitable share donation.

So how does it work?

ShareGift is a registered charity. The shares are registered in the name of ShareGift and placed within their portfolio of shares.

“Shares are aggregated within the portfolio until enough of anyone holding is accumulated to sell,” Ms Comyn explains. “In the meantime, shareholdings may attract dividends or capital payments, and all of this helps create a pool of funds.

“Stock Transfer Companies and publicly traded companies currently working with ShareGift have drafted convenient forms to enable the smooth transfer of shareholdings.” But stocks in companies that don’t currently work with the service can also be accepted.

“If the company the stocks are held in is not affiliated to ShareGift shares can be transferred in the normal course to ShareGift as if they were any other new shareholder,” Emma says.

Since 2016, ShareGift have made donations totalling in excess of €1 million to charities in Ireland.

“We do not accept applications for funding, and have selected eight charities who undertake work in Ireland,” ShareGift say.

These organisations cover a wide range of charitable activities, and have been selected to reflect the varied charitable interests of the donors and the companies we work with.

It is important to note the donation is made to the fund rather than the specific charity. The charities ShareGift donates to in Ireland are Barretstown, Focus Ireland, Youth Work Ireland, Irish Cancer Society,The Community Foundation for Ireland, Special Olympics Ireland Laura Lynn Children’s Hospice and the ISPCA.

The main query from potential donors is about the tax consequences. The situation differs depending on whether or not you inherited the shares. “As charitable legacies are not subject to Capital Acquisitions Tax (the tax payable on gifts and inheritances), as regulated by the Charities Regulator, this will also apply to shares donated to charity,” Ms Comyn says.

And if not? “If a living donor decides to donate a shareholding to a charitable organisation the provisions of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 will apply,” she explains “An individual may engage in tax-efficient giving of a sum more than €250 but less than €1m to an “approved charity” annually.

"This relief comes in the form of income tax relief for cash-based gifts; lump sum donations and regularly debited payments both qualify for this relief. However, if a gift is that of shares the donor can choose which tax relief they would like to avail of, income tax relief or Capital Gains Tax (CGT) relief. The benefit is assessed by Revenue as the market value of the shares at the time of the donation.”

You can visit the Charitable Donation Scheme on for more information on tax implications.


If you are caught for a last-minute gift while visiting friends and family over the next week or so, Aldi have a Special buys range going on sale this Thursday that includes some beautiful festive bouquets at reasonable prices. Aldi’s Specially Selected Yuletide Joy Bouquet, comes complete with water bubble for €14.99.

For extra value, with Aldi’s Specially Selected Christmas Tulips in Ceramic Jug, for €14.99, you get 18 stems of tulips, and a jug that can be used again and again. At a slightly higher price point, the retailer is selling a Christmas Cheer Bouquet or a Winter Wonderland Bouquet, both €19.99.

And if you really need to impress the in-laws on Christmas Day, the pièce de résistance, Aldi’s Specially Selected Exquisite ‘The Showstopper’, goes on sale for €39.99. Designed using a variety of flowers, the bouquet is hand tied and presented in a gift box.

More in this section

Send a special message, and a
festive Irish Examiner eCard, to the people you love this Christmas. 

Send Here

In the Kitchen with

ieFoodLogo   Video Series

Join Darina Allen for Stir It Up Sunday and cook along with her as she makes her mother’s plum pudding recipe. She also makes Mrs Hanrahan’s sauce - a recipe that is so delicious that Darina says people ask for more plum pudding just so they can have more sauce!

Join Darina Allen as she makes her mother's plum pudding with Mrs Hanrahan's sauce.

Watch Here
Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day. PS ... We would love to hear your feedback on the section right HERE.


The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up