What is a donor-advised fund?
A donor-advised fund (DAF) provides donors with a centralized charitable giving vehicle.
It allows philanthropically inclined individuals, families, and corporations to make an
irrevocable charitable gift to a public charity that sponsors a DAF program and take an
immediate tax deduction. Most sponsoring organizations of DAFs accept cash
equivalents, securities, and certain other assets.
How does it work?
- Establish your DAF by making an irrevocable, tax-deductible donation to a public
charity that sponsors a DAF program.
- Advise the investment allocation of the donated assets (any investment growth is
- Recommend grants to qualified public charities of your choice.
Main advantages of a donor-advised fund
Simplicity—The DAF sponsor handles all recordkeeping, disbursements, and tax
Flexibility—Timing of your tax deduction can be separate from your charitable
Tax efficiency—Contributions are tax-deductible, and any investment growth in the
DAF is tax-free. It is also easy to donate long-term appreciated securities, eliminating
capital gains taxes and allowing you to support several charities from one block of
Family legacy—A DAF is a powerful way to build or continue a tradition of family
No start-up costs—There is no cost to establish a donor-advised fund. However,
there are often minimum initial charitable contributions to establish the DAF
(typically $5,000 or more).*
No transaction fees—Once approved, 100% of your recommended grant goes to
your qualified public charity of choice.*
Privacy if desired—Donors may choose to remain anonymous to the grant recipient.
* Sponsoring organizations generally assess an administrative fee on the assets in a DAF. These fees vary
by the charity that sponsors a DAF program.