Even during periods of stock market turmoil, many people own publicly traded securities with long-term appreciation (held longer than one year). These assets are often the best to donate as they provide a greater tax benefit. In order to preserve maximum tax advantages, you should transfer the actual securities to us rather than the proceeds from a sale.
If you have stock losses, generally you should not contribute the stock, but rather sell the stock yourself to realize the loss for tax purposes. You can then contribute the proceeds and take a charitable deduction.
Mutual fund shares can provide the same tax advantages as gifts of appreciated stock. Mutual fund transfers often require several days, so plan ahead and initiate the transfer well before December 31.