If a client wants to donate $1,000 to her alma mater, the simplest strategy may be to just write a check. But she might also consider giving the school, say, $1,000 worth of Apple shares she bought years ago for $200.

Those shares may be worth $850 or $800 or even less to her, after tax on a sale, yet she'll get a $1,000 tax deduction for the charitable gift. And she'll still have that $1,000 in her checking account, because she made her donation from appreciated assets rather than cash.

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