Total charitable impact

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 
Contribution & funding questions:

Q. How do I open an account and make a contribution?

A. Click the "Open account" button on the right side of this page. The entire process takes about 15 minutes. Please do not use the browser's back button to navigate between screens.  If you need to go back to the previous screen, please use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the screen. You may fund the account immediately after opening. For specific detailed instructions for each asset type, please click here.

Q. How do I check the status of my contribution?

A. For specific detailed instructions for each asset type, please click here.

The quickest way to check the status of a particular contribution is to log on to your account.  Once logged in, scroll to the bottom of the screen to see recent transactions (those entered in the past 90 days).  For detailed transaction across the entirety of your account, please visit the Reports > Transaction Summary section of your account. Please see a list of contribution statuses and descriptions below:

Status Description

Pending Review

Additional research is being completed to verify that the assets and/or transaction is in good order. In some cases, additional action may be required by the donor.  Account advisors may see a prompt for additional action once they log in to their account; Vanguard Charitable will initiate outreach as necessary.

​Entered

Donor contribution has been entered and is waiting for quality assurance review by Vanguard Charitable. In some cases, additional action may be required by the donor. Vanguard Charitable will initiate outreach as necessary.  

​Assets needed

Vanguard Charitable is waiting for a mutual fund or security, donated from an account not at Vanguard, to arrive into Vanguard Charitable’s brokerage account. The transfer of assets must be initiated by the holding firm.

​Transfer in process

Vanguard Charitable is waiting for a security, donated from a Vanguard account, to arrive into Vanguard Charitable’s brokerage account.

​​Assets received

Assets have been received into Vanguard Charitable’s brokerage account and will be liquidated as soon as operationally possible.  

​​Assets sold

Assets have been sold by Vanguard Charitable and proceeds may be expected to be available in the account within the next five business days.

Assets pending settlement

Proceeds are expected to be available in the account on the following business day.

​Complete

Proceeds are available for granting in the account. For more information about how to value your contribution, click here

 

Q. What are your minimums? Do I need to maintain a specific balance?

A.  Our minimum to establish a new account is $25,000. See below for details:

Initial contribution minimum

$25,000

Additional contribution minimum

$5,000

Annual maintenance fee for accounts with less than $15,000 (assessed annually in March)

$250

 

Q. Can I contribute directly from my IRA to satisfy my required minimum distribution (RMD)? Are you eligible to receive direct IRA rollovers as part of the qualified charitable distribution (QCD)?

A. Assets must be claimed as income first, and can then be contributed to a donor-advised fund. Unfortunately, donor-advised funds are ineligible to receive direct IRA rollover contributions.  Please contact your tax advisor to determine if this is the correct approach for your personal situation. 

You can donate your RMD to Vanguard Charitable’s Sustainable Disaster-Relief Fund (SDRF), which supports communities recovering from natural disasters. The SDRF is a field-of-interest fund (targeted for a specific need), not a donor-advised fund. As a result, it is eligible to receive QCDs. But because the SDRF is not donor-advised, you will not have discretion over grants from this fund. Click here for more information.
 

Q. I need to specify which shares/lots to contribute, how can I identify specific lot cost basis?

A. Click here for information about identifying specific lot cost basis information for contributions from Vanguard for information on the default cost basis and how to specify lots. 
 

Q. How can I transfer securities or mutual funds held at Vanguard fully electronically?

A. If you meet the following criteria:

  • The value of the gift is less than or equal to $2 million.
  • All registered owners have a Vanguard.com logon.
  • Contribution is from an individual, joint, or trust account. (Assets held in a Managed account, including Personal Advisor Services, cannot be transferred electronically.)

Then choose “Asset held at Vanguard” on the Make a Contribution page and click on the “I am eligible for electronic authorization” button. If you need to specify shares, make sure you read our guidelines for specific lot cost basis first.
 

Q. How long does it take for my contribution to be available to me in my account?

A. The chart below details the standard timeline for liquidating stock and mutual fund shares, once the asset and required paperwork is received in good order by Vanguard Charitable. The schedule may vary depending on the circumstances of the donation, current market schedules, and asset being donated, such as restricted stock, thinly traded securities, and special assets.

Asset type

Business Day 1

Business Day 2

Business Day 3

Business Day 4

Business Day 5

Stock1

Asset received at Vanguard Charitable

Asset sold as soon as possible

Trade in settlement

Trade settles, and proceeds sweep to Vanguard Charitable’s money market account2

Proceeds exchange to selected investment options

Mutual fund held outside Vanguard (transfer process takes 4-8 weeks3)

Asset received at Vanguard Charitable

Asset sold

Trade in settlement

Trade settles, and proceeds sweep to Vanguard Charitable’s money market account2

Proceeds exchange to selected investment options

Vanguard mutual funds held at Vanguard

Asset received at Vanguard Charitable; proceeds exchange to selected investment options

 

 

 

 

 

Q. I transferred shares a few days ago, why can’t I see them?  Why hasn’t my account balanced changed?

A. Securities take nearly a business week to settle and be reflected in the balance of your account.  To view the status and details of your transaction, click "Contributions -> Contribution activity" and click on the date of your transaction.  The confirmation page will show the date the shares were received, the date the shares were sold, sale price, and settlement date.  This information is filled in as it becomes available. As long as the assets are received by December 31 you can claim a 2017 tax deduction.
 

Q. How can I view the details of my transaction?

A. From your Vanguard Charitable online account page, click "Contributions -> Contribution activity" and click on the date of your transaction.  The confirmation page will show received date, sale date, sale price, and settlement date.  This information is filled in as it becomes available. For further guidance on claiming a tax deduction in 2017, view our How to value your contribution guide.
 

Q. Where can I find my tax substantiation letter?

A. Once your contribution is complete, your tax substantiation letter will be available in the "Reports" section of your account.  For more information about how to value your contribution, click here
 

Granting questions:

Q. How quickly can I recommend a grant to charity after opening an account?

A. You can recommend a grant online at any time when funds are available in your account.  For new accounts, you will not be able to enter your grant recommendation until your contribution has settled and the net proceeds are reflected in your available balance. Our grant minimum is $500.

Q. To which organizations can I grant?

A. Vanguard Charitable can generally issue grants to organizations that are in good standing with the IRS, qualify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3), and are classified as public charities under Section 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code at the time the grant is approved. This includes religious and government organizations.  Vanguard Charitable may also approve grants to Type I, Type II, functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations, and intermediary organizations.  For more information please see pages 24-25 of our Policies and Guidelines.


Q. Can I specify the specific purpose of my grant?

A. Yes, in addition to choosing the recipient charity, advisors may also recommend a specific purpose for grant funds.  Grants cannot be made for lobbying purposes, to support political campaigns, to support specific individuals, or for any purpose that is not charitable.  Common purposes that can be selected during the grant recommendation process include, but are not limited to,: general operating expenses, annual funds, scholarship programs, or specific projects.


If you have any additional questions, please contact a Vanguard Charitable representative

 

1 If a stock is thinly traded, selling all contributed shares on the same day may not be feasible. Vanguard Charitable will use its discretion to sell thinly traded securities as quickly as possible without significantly impacting the market price of the security. Thinly traded securities must be preapproved by Vanguard Charitable before they are contributed. There is no definitive timeline for restricted stock, as processing depends on the cooperation of the transfer agent and company issuing the shares. Contact Vanguard Charitable with questions.

2 Interest earned overnight in the money market account is used to offset Vanguard Charitable expenses.

3 Mutual funds can take between one and three days to settle. The settlement period is specific to the fund and determined by the fund company.