If you have stock that has been held for more than one year, you can donate the appreciated stock to the church, deduct the fair market value of the stock as a charitable deduction, and pay no tax on the unrealized gain.
Selling the stock yourself and taking a deduction for the cash gift may actually result in higher taxes. First, because of the increased standard deduction, an itemized deduction has lost some value. Also, the taxable gain on the stock will increase your Adjusted Gross Income which will increase your Ohio taxable income. If you are receiving Social Security, the additional income may increase the tax burden on your benefits.
If you are considering doing this, talk to us first. The church has a brokerage account that will allow a quick and painless transfer. If you talk with your financial advisor first, they will probably want to open a new account that will double the paperwork and delay the transfer.
If the stock has a loss, you may want to sell it first, donate the proceeds to the church, for an itemized deduction, and deduct the loss on your tax return.