Cash is a frequently used asset for all forms of charitable gifts and provides the most immediate tax deductions.
Gifts of highly appreciated securities enable the donor to deduct not just their original cost, but also any "paper profit" present in the gift. There are no capital gains taxes due when you gift securities. Mutual funds and other types of investments offer the same advantages.
Tax benefits available for gifts of highly appreciated real estate are virtually identical to those for gifts of securities that have increased in value. You will avoid capital gains tax on your profit and receive an income tax charitable deduction for the full fair market value of the property you contribute.
Many of our friends own stock in their own businesses that can be given at extremely low cost, providing personal deductions that are "paid for" by the company.
Most retirement plans, annuities and life insurance policies let you decide who benefits from your assets in the event of your demise through the designation of beneficiaries. The Prairie Lakes Healthcare Foundation has benefited from being listed as a beneficiary.