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What is a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF)? Thumbnail

What is a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF)?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a tax advantaged way to give to your favorite charities. You can establish a donor-advised-fund through a public charity by creating an account and contributing cash, securities, or other types of assets. Typically, you can take a tax deduction in the year of the contribution. The contribution is listed as a charitable deduction on your Schedule A, if you itemize deductions. You can invest the funds inside of the account and they grow tax-free. When you’re ready, you can request a “grant” to any eligible public charity. Once the contribution is made into the DAF, it is considered an irrevocable gift, meaning you can’t take it back and its only use after that point is for making grants to qualified charitable organizations of your choosing. A DAF can accept many types of assets including highly appreciated assets, which may benefit you by saving on potential capital gains tax you could otherwise be exposed to if you were to sell the asset outright. To establish a DAF, you need to choose a sponsoring organization, which may be a community foundation or a financial services company. Some financial services companies offering DAFs include Fidelity, Schwab, and Vanguard.

Check out a couple other recent pieces in this series, where we covered Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs).

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