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6 Ways You Should Suggest Your Donors Use Their Donor Advised Funds

Greg Warner is CEO and Founder of MarketSmart, a revolutionary marketing software and services firm that helps nonprofits raise more for less. In 2012 Greg coined the phrase “Engagement Fundraising” to encapsulate his breakthrough fundraising formula for achieving extraordinary results. Using their own innovative strategies and technologies, MarketSmart helps fundraisers around the world zero in on the donors most ready to support their organizations and institutions with major and legacy gifts.

iStock_000017057042_Large1. For memorials
Let donors know that they can turn their Donor Advised Fund into a sort of “memorial fund” to honor a late spouse, family member or friend.
 
2. For bequests
Supporters (especially those with no children) can designate your charity as the beneficiary of a Donor Advised Fund.
 
3. For timed distributions of bequests
Suppose the donor wants to designate your charity as beneficiary but fears that your organization can’t absorb a large sum of money all at one time. They can choose a percentage or specific dollar amount to be distributed over time (such as 5 or 10 years… or until the account reaches zero).
 
4. For giving appreciated stock
If a donor has stock with Fidelity, Schwab or Vanguard and they’d rather give it away than pay capital gains tax, they can simply move it into a Donor Advised Fund and then again to your charity— and it can be done easily in a matter of minutes online.
 
5. For teaching their kids about charity
Maybe your donors might want to name their children as successor advisors on their accounts to help them carry on the family tradition of philanthropy. Or they might want to create new accounts for them to manage on their own.
 
6. For building scale (and a sense of community) by forming “giving circles” with other Donor Advised Fund owners
Supporters might want to make a bigger impact by teaming up with other like-minded Donor Advised Fund owners. For instance, maybe a school needs money to kick-start funding for renovations of a beloved social hall that many alumni remember fondly.  Helping them collaborate on the gift using their Donor Advised Funds might be a great way to get the job done and allow donors to enjoy a sense of community while reaching a shared goal.
 

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5 responses to “6 Ways You Should Suggest Your Donors Use Their Donor Advised Funds”

  1. betty johnson says:

    Greg – or anyone – is there a place in each state to go and find out who has donor advised funds? And/or any information on them? Thanks

  2. betty johnson says:

    Greg – or anyone – is there a place in each state to go and find out who has donor advised funds? And/or any information on them? Thanks

  3. Greg Warner says:

    Hi Betty- I started to create a list of them but it was a bit overwhelming. There are over 700 community foundations alone and many of them have DAFs. If you find such a list, please let me know.

  4. Greg Warner says:

    Hi Betty- I started to create a list of them but it was a bit overwhelming. There are over 700 community foundations alone and many of them have DAFs. If you find such a list, please let me know.

  5. Item 2 very important, particularly for donors who might not have any heirs (or direct heirs such as children). One contract that I read said that if the donor did not designate a beneficiary of the DAF the remainder would be deposited in the foundation’s account.

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