Benefits of a Donor-Advised Fund

1. Low cost

With a donor-advised fund, costs are minimal. Starting a donor-advised fund is free. You make your charitable donation to establish the fund, and the administrator charges a nominal annual fee, typically 2 percent or less to cover administration and investment fees – but only after you have received your full tax deduction for gifts to the fund.

2. No administration for you

Donor-advised funds relieve you of all the work. The administrator handles all the due diligence, record keeping, check writing, gift acceptance and tax filings.

3. Greater tax deductibility

Donations to donor-advised funds are deductible up to 60 percent of adjusted gross income on gifts of cash, and 30 percent on gifts of appreciated assets like stock, mutual funds and real estate. Deduction limits on gifts to private foundations are 30 percent and 20 percent, respectively. Donating long-term appreciated assets to a donor-advised fund may even eliminate capital gains taxes.

4. Strategic charity

Donor-advised funds give you time to plan and be strategic about your charitable giving. Establish or donate to your fund when it makes the most tax sense, then distribute charitable gifts through grants from the fund when the right charity or project comes along. In the meantime, your donor-advised fund’s assets will be invested, with earnings growing tax-free.

5. Streamlined gift accounting

Support as many charities as you wish through your donor-advised fund. For tax purposes, you only need to track your contributions to the fund. Are multiple members of your business or family conducting charitable giving? By consolidating everyone’s charity in a donor-advised fund, you can minimize confusion and duplication.

6. Privacy

While private foundation giving is public record, grants made through donor-advised funds can be made anonymously if you wish. You can also name your fund in such a way that fully protects you from funding appeals.

7. Legacy

Donor-advised funds make a statement. You can name them for your family or company, or in honor of a co-worker or loved one. They are also an effective way to encourage philanthropy among your family or employees. You can involve your children, grandchildren and even future generations of family members in your grantmaking and name them as successor advisors. You can also endow your donor-advised fund so it will grow in perpetuity and later select a specific nonprofit or cause for your fund to permanently support upon your death.

The Donor-Advised Fund Originators

Community foundations pioneered donor-advised funds back in 1931. In the 1990s, many national for-profit companies and some major nonprofits began offering them, too. But, we still believe your best partner is close to home, and if you live or work in Greater Akron, your local donor-advised fund partner is Akron Community Foundation. We offer everything the others do, but in your backyard, with the following extra benefits the others can’t offer:

We’re accessible online, by phone and in person.

No question, you’ll find our website to be complete and informative. We also respond quickly to email and phone calls. But the special advantage of working locally comes when you want to meet someone face to face. Our helpful staff is always ready to meet in person with you, your family, or your advisor about any issue you wish to discuss, from gift planning to grantmaking. Our office is centrally located in downtown Akron, and we offer free, convenient parking in our on-site lot. Or, we can come to you. We also host family grant-making sessions, should you want them.

We help you learn about local nonprofits.

A donor-advised fund at Akron Community Foundation opens your door to the region’s best knowledge about nonprofits and issues, from education and the arts to homelessness and the environment. We’ll share with you our 60+ years of experience – including which organizations are collaborating, which ones meet a service gap, and where your grantmaking will be most effective – but only when you ask: We’ll never interfere with your personal charity.

Our administrative fees are low and stay in your community.

Create your donor-advised fund at Akron Community Foundation, and your administrative fees directly benefit Summit County; they don’t go to a broker’s pocket on the other side of the country. Plus, our 1.25 percent administrative fee is one of the lowest in the industry.

We’re happy to work with your advisor.

We understand how important your relationships are with your legal and financial advisors. We often work with advisors to set up charitable funds, and we also have relationships with nearly all of the region’s banks. If you wish to establish a large fund with us, you can even request that your advisor continues to manage the fund’s assets.

We’ll always be here, for you and future generations.

Like the nation’s 1,200 other community foundations, Akron Community Foundation’s endowment is invested and managed to ensure that we last forever. If you choose to endow your fund, you create a charitable legacy that will give back forever in your name. You can be confident that we will always honor your charitable intent, whether you choose to pass your donor-advised fund on to future generations, convert your fund to benefit a favorite nonprofit or cause in perpetuity, or support the community foundation’s focus on community issues.

We offer many tax-smart ways to give.

We’ll work with you or your professional advisor to determine the best asset to start your donor-advised fund. You can donate a wide variety of assets, including cash, appreciated stocks, closely held securities, real estate and personal property. You’ll always receive the maximum possible charitable tax benefits. You can also plan for the future. We offer estate planning options such as charitable remainder trusts, which enable you to design future charitable gifts, convert underperforming assets into a current income stream, and limit your tax exposure.

You might also be interested in:

  1. What is a Donor-Advised Fund?
  2. Ways to Grow Your Fund
  3. Current Donor-Advised Funds
  4. Professional Advisors
Margaret Medzie
Margaret Medzie Vice President and Chief Development Officer
Call me at 330-436-5610 or email me
Interested in Starting a Donor-Advised Fund?

Together, we can create a strategic plan for your charitable giving.