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Donor Advised Fund FAQs

Establishing a Donor Advised Fund with the Foundation allows you to remain actively involved in suggesting uses for your gift. These flexible funds for individuals, families and businesses are ideal for satisfying a range of community interests.

Below are answers to frequently asked questions that you may have about Donor Advised Funds.

Opening a Donor Advised Fund means you can take full tax advantage of a financial windfall now and spread your giving out over time to charitable organizations. Some of our Fund Donors view their funds as philanthropic investment accounts and add to them regularly in order to make a significant impact in the future. Some Fund Donors actively involve their children and grandchildren in the process, creating a legacy of generosity. On the other hand, some Fund Donors especially appreciate the ability to remain anonymous, an attractive option that can be a standing request or one that is exercised only occasionally. You have the freedom to decide.

A gift of $5,000 cash, marketable securities, real estate and other real property accepted by the Board of Directors is required in order to open a DAF with the Foundation. Once our establishing documents are signed by all parties (you and representatives of the Foundation), you become a Fund Advisor and can begin making grant recommendations from your fund.

Only Fund Advisors listed on the original Fund Agreement are permitted to make grant recommendations from a Fund. Additional advisors, such as children or grandchildren, can be added. Please let us know in writing.

Fund advisors can make recommendations from their Fund as often as they like.

The minimum grant recommendation is $100.

All grant recommendations must be received in writing, by fax or by email. Please include the name and address of the organization you are recommending, the amount and any requested designation for the grant. Grants can be made in the name of the Fund or anonymously. Please indicate with your request.

According to the IRS, an organization described as 501(c)3 is tax-exempt and eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions. Churches, schools, hospitals and government units with 509(a)1 status and public safety groups with 509(a)4 status are also eligible for grants from Donor Advised Funds. Individuals are not allowed to receive grants from Donor Advised Funds.

The word “pledge” implies a legal obligation. If you were to pay that pledge from your Donor Advised Fund, the IRS would see it as discharging a personal debt that you have and you would owe taxes on the value you receive.

No portion of event expenses can be paid through your fund. You may pay the entire sponsorship amount from your fund as long as neither you nor anyone known to you will benefit from the donation by attending the event.