Donor Advised Funds have become a preferred charitable-giving vehicle for millions of Americans. A DAF is like a charitable investment account, allowing donors to donate assets and receive a tax-deduction now, while paying those assets out now or over time to the charities they care about. Here’s a quick overview:
- Various institutions allow you to set up your own Donor Advised Fund under their umbrella. You can then contribute cash, publicly traded stocks, real estate and other assets into your DAF. When giving appreciated stock to a DAF, capital gains are not taxed. You are considered to have made a completed charitable gift when you contributed to your DAF.
- A contribution to a donor-advised fund is an irrevocable commitment to charity; the funds cannot be returned to the donor or any other individual or used for any purpose other than grantmaking to charities. But while you’re deciding which charities to support, your donation can potentially grow, making available even more money for charities.
- You can make additional contributions into your DAF at any time, and you can request charitable distributions from your DAF at any time.
- Donor Advised Funds can also be passed on to your heirs, who can continue making charitable gifts, thus allowing your legacy of generosity and stewardship to continue.