Charitable Bargain Sales

In a charitable bargain sale, The Nature Conservancy purchases real estate or securities for less than fair market value. The difference between market value and the purchase price represents the donation, which qualifies for an income tax deduction and is exempt from a capital gains tax. This type of gift is a good fit for those who want to 1) use their home or other appreciated asset to make a gift but want to retain some of its value for personal needs, or 2) are looking for a gift that can return financial benefits and capital gains tax relief.

For more information contact one our gift planning experts at (877) 812-3698 or at, or request a personal proposal.

How It Works
  1. You sell property to The Nature Conservancy for a price below the appraised market value, resulting in a transaction that is part charitable gift and part sale.
  2. The Nature Conservancy may pay the purchase amount up front or issue an installment note for a number of years and an interest rate that are mutually agreed upon.
  3. The Nature Conservancy may use the property, but usually sells it and uses the proceeds for purposes specified with the gift.
  • Receive an income tax deduction for the appraised market value of the donated portion of the property.
  • Pay no capital gains tax on the donated portion of the property.
  • Can use cash from the sale portion to retire a mortgage or purchase other property.
  • Gain satisfaction in making a significant gift to The Nature Conservancy during your lifetime.
More Information
  • As with all gifts of real estate, The Nature Conservancy must review and approve the transfer before the bargain sale can be completed.
  • Transferring real estate or securities that are not publicly traded requires securing an independent appraisal to establish the property's value for the charitable deduction.
  • Transferring property that carries a mortgage or other debt can result in income tax liability.

Example: You plan to tap into your current home’s equity to pay entry fees at a retirement facility. But your home has appreciated significantly over the years, and you would like to use some of the excess value to fund a gift to The Nature Conservancy in the way of a charitable bargain sale. The first step is to secure an independent appraisal stating the worth of the house. You learn that it is worth $1,000,000; the Conservancy pays you $600,000.

Fair Market Value$1,000,000
Cost basis$200,000
Capital gain$800,000
Selling price$600,000
Charitable deduction$400,000
Donation portion of transaction ($400,000 / $1,000,000)40%
Capital gain related to donation (.40 x $400,000)$160,000
Purchase portion of transaction ($600,000 / $1,000,000)60%
Capital gain related to sale* (.60 x $800,000)$480,000

NOTE: The first $500,000 (for a couple) or $250,000 (for an individual) of capital gain on a primary residence is excluded from tax, so neither portion of gain was taxed in this example. If a different piece of property had been donated, the $480,000 gain related to the purchase would have been subject to capital gains tax.

Learn More

For more information contact one our gift planning experts at (877) 812-3698 or at or request a personal proposal.

You can protect freshwater habitats and other natural places by making a planned gift with The Nature Conservancy. Contact us today.

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