Total charitable impact


Donor-advised fund

A tax-effective way to consolidate, accrue, and grant assets to 501(c)(3) public charities.

Donor-advised funds may only issue grants to other 501(c)(3) public charities. The structure of this option allows charitable assets to be invested in the markets, providing the opportunity for tax-free growth. Minimum initial contributions vary by donor-advised fund. At Vanguard Charitable, the minimum initial contribution to open an account is $25,000.

Most individual donor-advised accounts are not subject to annual spending requirements, although many are required to make at least one grant every few years. Donor-advised funds can support a variety of legacy plans.

An effective option for individuals who:

Need an immediate tax deduction and the option to contribute all types of assets. Do not require complete control over assets or administrative details of giving.

Criteria Characteristic Details
Tax efficacy Full Full deduction based on fair market value: 60% AGI for cash gifts, 30% for securities held more than one year.
Cost Low Expenses are minimal (typically less than 1%) and are used to cover organization's investment and administrative costs.
Control Moderate Recommend investments and grants; no direct control over assets.
Distribution to charity Some restrictions Generally support any 501(c)(3) public charity as long as you do not personally benefit.
Legacy options Many Create a personalized succession plan that passes/splits your account and/or gifts remaining assets to charity.
Recognition v. anonymity Flexible Choose when and how your name shows each time you recommend a grant.


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Comparing donor-advised funds to private non-operating foundations