Seven reasons to give through a Donor Advised Fund at The Community Foundation

The foundation offers strategic advising to help local donors connect with causes they care about.

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  • | 12:00 a.m. November 30, 2023
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Donor Advised Funds have grown in popularity since they were first incubated at community foundations decades ago. Today, they house more than $234 billion in assets nationwide, offering advantages in comparison to – or in addition to – a private foundation. The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida offers Donor Advised Funds as well as strategic advising to help local donors connect with causes they care about right here in Northeast Florida. We are proud to work with professional advisors, including estate attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors, to help their clients achieve their charitable and financial goals.

Marcus Rowe

“In business, I often have partners who I go to because they’re the experts in their field,” said Marcus Rowe, a wealth advisor in St. Augustine. “The Community Foundation is the expert on stewarding giving toward making impact within our community.”

Here are seven reasons to use a Donor Advised Fund at The Community Foundation.

1. Turn to us as a trusted philanthropic partner

The Community Foundation staff is a trusted guide to help our donors achieve their philanthropic goals. We work with not-for-profit organizations every day, and we are happy to supply as much (or as little) advice, guidance, assistance, support and help as is requested by our donors.

Martha Frye Baker

“Thanks to the organization’s deep knowledge of the community and its needs, The Community Foundation provides a fantastic resource for our giving,” said Martha Frye Baker, a member of our board of trustees. “The Community Foundation plays a key role in identifying and solving community problems here in Northeast Florida.”

2. Maximize joy of giving and simplify record-keeping

With a Donor Advised Fund, donors don’t need to keep receipts for each of their tax-deductible charitable donations. Donors receive just one receipt from The Community Foundation for the contribution they make to their Donor Advised Fund, and there is no need to track each grant for tax purposes.

“Giving becomes easy, enjoyable, and even fun with a DAF,” said Ryan Schwartz, a fundholder since 2009. “The foundation does all of the legwork.”

DAFs also provide flexibility with the timing of gifts and grants. With a Donor Advised Fund, you can make contributions in the years when it makes sense, and not in the years it doesn’t. Yet you can still recommend distributions out of the account even in years when little or no money goes in.

3. Put capital gains to work for a good cause

When you give appreciated securities to The Community Foundation, you receive a charitable deduction for the full value, without losing the appreciated amount to capital gains taxes. The Community Foundation regularly accepts gifts of appreciated securities, then sells the stock immediately and puts the resulting cash in your fund.

4. Invest charitable dollars for maximum impact

Charitable dollars in Donor Advised Funds can be invested to preserve capital and enhance long-term grantmaking power. We also work with donors’ financial advisers to create a custom asset management strategy, allowing assets to stay under management.

5. Create a lasting legacy

A Donor Advised Fund offers various options to create a lasting legacy upon your death. You can designate who should take over the responsibility of recommending grants in the future, or convert your DAF into an endowed fund that ensures your impact lasts in perpetuity.

Frank V. Oliver

Frank V. Oliver, for example, was a prominent businessman in Palatka who created several endowed funds supporting the community after his death. “Frank was committed to Putnam County, and he wanted to establish a permanent source of support that could be responsive to the evolving needs of the community,” said Joyce Oliver, Frank’s widow.

The Community Foundation has been here for nearly 60 years, and will be here managing your charitable assets for many more.

6. Make grants anonymously to charities of your choice

If you would like your contributions to be given to charities anonymously, The Community Foundation will carry out your wishes. The recipient organization would only see The Community Foundation’s name on the check. You can make the decision to be anonymous or not on a case-by-case basis.

7. Get started in a few easy steps

John Zell

Starting a Donor Advised Fund is very simple. The minimum amount to open one is $10,000 for a non-endowed fund or $50,000 for an endowed fund. To start, you only need to sign a fund agreement and send it with your money or appreciated securities. You can then send distribution recommendations by mail, fax or even using our simple online portal. To get started, contact John Zell at (904) 224-7209 or by email at [email protected].

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