Donor Advised Funds Make Charitable Giving Flexible and Personal

Community Foundation Corner

Quad Cities Community Foundation

By Anne Calder, Vice President of Development

Quad Cities Community Foundation Logo

One of the best parts of my work at the Quad Cities Community Foundation is speaking with community members about generosity. Time and again, people tell me they want to be confident their donations are making a meaningful difference to the causes and community they care about.

People are also interested in giving strategies that will create a legacy, and if that giving comes with tax advantages, all the better.

Donor advised funds (DAFs)—like those offered at community foundations—are increasingly popular, highly flexible giving vehicles that meet these charitable goals. Just as the name states, DAFs allow you to advise charitable grants to nonprofit organizations of your choice. DAFs can be opened by individuals, families, and even businesses and can be sources of permanent charitable grants or fully expendable.

In other words, DAFs come with options. No matter what arrangement you choose, each contribution to a DAF can bring a tax deduction, with ever greater tax savings by bundling giving to achieve itemized deductions in the years gifts are made.

Gifts can be made at any time to a DAF, and the organization holding your fund can help you gift stock and other assets—another example of how flexible this method can be. Charitable grants can then be made from your fund to your community and the nonprofits you care about right away or over time, and your fund can grow while invested.

Many people choose DAFs because they can involve multiple generations in the joy of giving. My own family uses a DAF as an easy way to organize our giving, bring our family into conversations around giving, and support the communities and causes that are close to our hearts.

While there are many tools to help make the most of your charitable giving, DAFs are among the most useful for giving and giving back.