Share giving

Turn your unwanted shares into lifesavings by donating them to the RNLI.
Barrow lifeboat crew onboard their Tamar class lifeboat Grace Dixon

Photo: RNLI / Nigel Millard

Barrow Tamar class lifeboat Grace Dixon 16-08

We all benefit

Charity donations of shares are a valuable source of income for us, as we turn them into funds to support our lifesaving work. They help us train, equip and kit our volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards.

And you can benefit too. The good news is that when you donate shares to the RNLI, you may be entitled to relief from income tax and capital gains tax on the value of your donation. This may be important to you if you’ve already reached your annual tax limit. 

For further information, contact your financial adviser or tax office.

How to donate shares

There are two ways to donate shares, depending on their value:

  1. If your shares are worth more than £500, you can donate them to us to sell through our stockbrokers. Simply complete and submit the contact form below.
  2. If your shares are worth less than £500, it might not be cost-effective for us to sell them ourselves. We work with a share donation charity, ShareGift, to handle small holdings on our behalf. See ShareGift for more information.


What type of shares can the RNLI accept?

The RNLI can only accept donations of shares that are:

  • in UK listed companies
  • ordinary shares
  • gilts
  • unit trusts and bonds
  • in the donor's name (please do not transfer shares into the RNLI's name as this causes administration problems).

Can the RNLI accept shares in nominee accounts?

Yes, just indicate that the shares are held in a nominee account when you fill out the contact form

What will the RNLI do with my shares?

It is the RNLI's policy that, when we receive gifts of shares, they are sold as soon as possible. If we hold onto your shares, their value might change and we believe that we should not speculate with gifts entrusted to us. Once you have filled out the contact form, your enquiry will be directed to our stockbrokers.

What are the benefits for me if I donate shares to the RNLI?

Income Tax

If you donate shares to RNLI, you can get income tax relief on the donation. For instance, if you are a higher rate taxpayer and donate £1,000 worth of shares, you will get £400 tax relief. Or, if you pay tax at the standard rate, the relief would be £200. You can claim this on your self-assessment tax form, or by contacting your local tax office.

Capital Gains Tax

Normally, if you sell shares for more than what they were valued at when you acquired them, this is known as making a Capital Gain. You can make gains of up to an annual limit (the allowance for the tax year 2016-17 is £11,100) without having to pay tax on this money but anything above that will be subject to Capital Gains Tax (up to 40%). However, you will not have to pay any of the tax on shares that you donate to the RNLI. This exemption may therefore be important to you if you have already reached, or are likely to reach, the annual limit.

What are the benefits to the RNLI?

Share donations are an alternative to cash donations and are increasingly becoming a valuable source of income for the RNLI.

How do I actually transfer shares to RNLI?

All you need to do is complete and submit the contact form. Your contact details will be passed to our stockbrokers, Charles Stanley, who will contact you soon afterwards to make arrangements for the transfer and sale of your shares.