Donor-Advised Funds

        Donor-Advised Fund Infographic

After establishing a donor-advised fund, you can manage your fund online. Also, our staff is here to help you identify ongoing goals for your fund, targeting the issues you care about most. Grants are issued to nonprofits in the name of the fund (or anonymously if you prefer). It's a simple, powerful, personal approach to giving.

Donor-Advised Fund Frequently Asked Questions

How do I setup a donor-advised fund?

Setting up a donor-advised fund is easy and can be done within 24 hours. All you need to do is select a name for your fund, sign a grant agreement and contribute at least $10,000 to get started.

What is the minimum amount required to open a donor-advised fund? 

$10,000 is the minimum required balance. We manage funds as large as hundreds of millions.

How do I make grants?

In your fund agreement you will identify fund advisors who direct the grantmaking. The fund advisors will receive access to our online portal where grantmaking is easy. Our staff is also here to assist donors in grantmaking.

Can more than one person be an advisor?

Yes. In addition to individuals, groups, boards and companies can also be named.

Can a donor advisor change current advisors or name successor advisors?

Yes. Successor advisors may be named at any time. Fund advisors can also be changed at any time. A majority of fund advisors must approve a change. Please contact us for the necessary form.

What kind of grants can a donor-advised fund give?

Donor-advised funds can recommend grants to any nonprofit organizations in support of charitable activities. You may choose to define a cause or philanthropic interest or have a broad scope of giving.

How often can grants be recommended?

As fund advisor, you can recommend grants as often as you like and have sufficient balance in your fund.

Can a donor-advised fund make grants to individuals?

No. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 prohibits making grants from donor-advised funds, including scholarships, directly to individuals. Grants must always be made to a nonprofit organization.

Do grants have to be made every year?

No. Unlike a private foundation, grants do not have to be made every year, nor does a minimum percentage need to be granted. If no grants have been made from a fund for three years, we will collaborate with your chosen fund advisors to be sure the charitable purpose of the fund is accomplished.

Is fundraising for a donor-advised fund permitted?

Yes, but we ask you to contact us prior to beginning any fundraising efforts so we can talk about the guidelines and policies. This also ensures we can properly acknowledge gifts received from fundraising activities. Also, it's important you know that fundraising expenses cannot be paid out of a donor advised fund.

Geri Jacobs, ChFC, CLU
Director of Charitable Gift Planning

Sarah Beeks HigdonSarah Beeks Higdon, MBA, CAP©
Director of Charitable Giving, Collin County

Kathryn L. McGill, CAP©
Advisor Relations Officer

Email one of us about opening a donor-advised fund.

Did you know?

Donors distributed $7.77 billion to donor-advised funds in 2010 across the US, an increase of 25.5 percent compared with 2009. (Source: 2011 Donor Advised Fund Report from National Philanthropic Trust)

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