Donating securities is tax smart – and lets Marie Korey save rare books for scholars

Apr 14, 2022
Marie Korey and Richard Landon stand in front of a spectacular, wide, 80 metres high waterfall.
Marie Korey with her late husband Richard Landon at Iguazu Falls in Argentina.

Marie Korey has loved rare book libraries since the day she first walked into one as a student. Today, the retired librarian continues to share her passion by funding acquisitions for the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Her tax-smart strategy? Donating securities and life insurance.

“I went to library school in Philadelphia,” says Korey, “and one of the first courses required us to go and visit different libraries. I visited the Library Company of Philadelphia, which has a huge collection of historical books and manuscripts, and I came home and told my mother that I wanted to work there.”

It was the beginning of a lifelong love. Korey landed an internship at the Library Company, which led to a job. After meeting her future husband, Richard Landon (1942-2011), then head of the Fisher Library, at a rare books conference, she moved to Toronto and worked at Massey College’s library until retirement.

In 2012, Korey donated securities to U of T to set up the Richard Gerald Landon and Marie Elena Korey Fund. From its inception, the fund has enabled the University to acquire exciting books and manuscripts. Korey continues to make annual donations using appreciated securities and has ensured a legacy far into the future by making U of T owner and beneficiary of a life insurance policy.

The advantages of donating securities

“Some time ago,” explains Korey, “one of the Friends of the Fisher who was an investment portfolio manager suggested making donations with appreciated securities, because then you are handling two aspects of what an appreciated security means. You have value to donate and you don’t have to pay capital gains.”

“Separately, my financial advisor proposed donating life insurance. It would allow for some of the investment portfolio to be used immediately, in the form of the premium, and also in effect more than double the eventual value of the donation.”

I’m maximizing the value of the security, bringing down my tax liability, and carrying out what Richard and I wanted to do.

How this works: annually, Korey donates securities to the University to pay the annual premiums on the life insurance policy. She receives a tax receipt for the fair market value of the securities, and she pays no capital gains tax on their appreciation. She has also made a provision in her will to enhance the fund and has named the fund as the direct beneficiary of her registered plans and tax-free savings accounts—reducing the amount of probate her estate will incur.

“It means book acquisitions are being made right now, and I’m maximizing the value of the security at the same time as I’m bringing down my tax liability. And I’m able to proceed with the knowledge that I’m carrying out what Richard and I wanted to do,” she says.

I’m maximizing the value of the security, bringing down my tax liability, and carrying out what Richard and I wanted to do.

Donating public securities is a tax-smart way to support U of T.

By using her appreciated securities, Marie Korey was able to start her impact fund in her lifetime and receive immediate tax benefits. Donors who make a gift of securities:

• Receive a charitable tax receipt for the fair market value of the donated security

• Benefit from a capital gain inclusion rate of zero when they directly donate eligible securities

• Reduce the cost of making a donation

Helping students research the lives of books… and the people who love them

“The Fisher has acquired some remarkable examples of early library catalogues using the Landon/Korey fund,” says David Fernández, U of T’s Rare Book Librarian. “The Bibliothecae inclytae Reipub. Augustanae (1600) documents the Augsburg City Library collection, which was the second most important public library in Germany. It’s a valuable reference tool for the contemporary scholar.”

Korey’s own favourite acquisition is two manuscripts recording the private collections of the Bibliotheca Gaisfordiana. These handwritten lists of books collected by two classical scholars, a father and son, shed light on book collecting in England in the 19th century.

“The impact of these acquisitions is mostly visible in the classroom,” says Fernández, “for graduate students learning about provenance research [the history of valuable objects]. In one course, students studied books written, published, printed, sold, and owned by women—catalogues offered the evidence about the role of women in book history in general.”

Each book is more than an object. As we interact with it, we add to its life story and it adds to our life story.

The stories hidden in a rare book’s provenance are the heart of why Korey is excited about helping U of T acquire these artefacts. “I’m always interested in history,” she says. “Each book is more than an object, more than just the text. It has a life story. And as each of us comes into contact with the material, we interact with it and we add to its life story, and it adds to our life story. It’s a way of constantly growing mentally. I can’t imagine a life without books.”

Each book is more than an object. As we interact with it, we add to its life story and it adds to our life story.

Our team would love to help you create an impact through giving. We’d be pleased to discuss charitable giving strategies and tax implications with you. For more information, please contact Michelle Osborne, Executive Director, Gift Planning at 416-978-3811 or

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