Donate shares

Donating shares to help people overseas is both easy for you to do and tax effective. Your gift of shares will be exempt from capital gains tax and in some cases may reduce your taxable income by the market value of the shares gifted.

How does it work?

You can claim tax relief equal to the market value of the shares on the day you make the gift, together with any associated costs such as brokers' fees. The relief is against your income tax for the year.

For example, if the shares you give are worth £1,000, VSO will benefit from that gift and you will pay £220 or £400 less in income tax that year, depending on whether you are a basic rate or higher rate taxpayer.

What’s interesting is you are exempt from paying capital gains tax on any increase in the value of the shares since you bought them. In theory this could mean an extra "saving" of up to 40% for a higher rate taxpayer.

Tax relief is available for certain shares and securities. For more information see the Inland Revenue's guidance notes

What do I need to do to make a gift of shares to VSO?

There are organisations to help guide you through the process. You can make a gift of shares and name VSO as the charity you wish to benefit from the proceeds.

For more information, the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) provides a range of services to handle gifts of shares, both large and small. You can contact CAF on 01732 520 000 or at Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4TA.


If you have a small number of shares, you can make a gift through ShareGift, which will be added to shares given by other people. You can suggest VSO as a beneficiary of ShareGift when you send in your shares. Contact ShareGift on 020 7337 0501 or visit

What next?

When making your gift of shares please remember to:

  • specify VSO as the beneficiary charity
  • keep evidence of the gift, and of the date it was made
  • claim the appropriate tax relief. 
Children during a lesson in a Temporary Learning Centre supported by VSO in Lamjung district, Nepal.

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