Sharing a Gift – Making a Gift of Shares: Michael Bostelmann (A 61-66)

October 29, 2018

Maybe I am a sucker for good, well drafted begging letters, maybe Tony Billington just pitched it right but when he approached me to support the indoor tennis centre and then again, more recently, the new shale courts I had little option than support this whole heartedly. Tony also knew full well that my wife is a keen, life-long tennis player – a two-pronged attack.

Most people who give to charity will say that it is a rewarding and satisfying experience, especially if there is a close relation to the charity and the results can be seen at first hand. For this reason, I tend to make gifts to charities I know well and where I am confident the gift will make a difference. Bradfield fits the bill perfectly. I know it well and visit regularly, so I can see what is done with donors’ money. Running is my sport but it needs little financial help, no special equipment, no expensive courts, no flood lit pitches, so tennis fitted well because one can see real tangible results and just look at the recent successes of tennis at Bradfield.

Being a former accountant, I also enjoy planning this giving to be as cost effective as possible, thereby enabling me to be more generous. Gift aid is good and beneficial, but there are other cunning plans. I had a share portfolio with investments pregnant with gains, my investment adviser was at his wits end because he could not dispose of these without incurring substantial tax.


I suggested gifting these shares to charity and hey presto, no tax on the gains (Gifts of share to charity are exempt CGT) and full income tax on the value – TWO tax reliefs in one gift. The Government is very generous.


What is there not to like, generous Tax relief and hugely successful Bradfield projects where real results can be seen. On both of the tennis projects I got a real kick in seeing at first hand the superb facilities that resulted from the appeals; indeed, it continues to be satisfying to see them. There are lots of other big, tangible assets that have been funded from gifts and I am sure the donors get a lot of satisfaction in seeing ‘their’ project brought to fruition.

Perhaps a less immediately visible impact is the desire of Bradfield to build up its bursary funds, but here one just needs to visit the school and talk to the students to see the real benefits gained by those who have been supported with grants or bursaries.


I get a thrill every time I visit my old college and talk to students; my goodness I am sure that in my day I was not as confident and articulate as the modern Bradfieldian, it is a joy to talk to them. So again, my support was an easy choice.