Donor-Advised Funds Make Giving Easy

Functioning much like a personal charitable savings account, a donor-advised fund (DAF) is a simple and tax-efficient way to contribute to important causes

© Scott Fink

Functioning much like a personal charitable savings account, a donor-advised fund (DAF) is a simple and tax-efficient way to contribute to important causes. The donor creates an account and contributes cash, stock, or other assets such as real estate or artwork, and the donor can take an immediate tax deduction for the gift. The account is controlled by a nonprofit, called a sponsoring organization, that invests the assets and manages the donor’s account. Community foundations often serve as sponsoring organizations. Once the fund is established, the donor tells the sponsoring organization which nonprofits to donate to from their DAF.

Over the last several years, donor-advised funds have been among the largest recipients of charitable giving in the United States. Americans have established more than 700,000 DAF accounts to date.

If you have a donor-advised fund, you can put the dollars that you have already gifted to work for Ducks Unlimited. Here’s how:

  • Donor-advised funds can be used to support DU’s mission. In fact, with a large increase in the number of funds over the last several years, DAFs are a great source of direct gifts to help finance DU’s conservation work. Gifts may be restricted or, even better, unrestricted, which will help address DU’s greatest needs. You can use your DAF to make a perpetual recurring gift to DU or give annually for a certain period of time. These gifts can also be credited to your local event, helping to raise your chapter’s ranking in end-of-year awards.
  • Donor-advised funds can be used as underwriting as long as 100 percent of the gift goes to the event being underwritten. If you cannot attend your local dinner, you can still support the event by sponsoring a table, giveaways, or even the bar—a DU favorite. You can’t buy a table, dinner tickets, or auction items for yourself or for your colleagues with DAF dollars, but you can make your regional director’s day by helping make the local event a success.
  • Donor-advised funds can also be used to provide gift memberships for anyone who is not a member of your family. So, if you want to support your event by sponsoring new Bronze Sponsors, DAF funds can do that.

Since you receive your tax deduction for these dollars when you make the original gift to the DAF holder, you cannot use DAF funds to purchase dinner tickets, auction items, or anything from which you or your family receive a personal benefit. Some DAF holders also don’t allow these funds to pay for a pledge, but recent IRS regulations may relax this restriction.

Let us help you put your dollars to work through the support of Ducks Unlimited’s continental conservation efforts. Call DU today at 901-758-3986 to get started.