DonorsTrust is a philanthropic public charity established to promote liberty through limited government, personal responsibility, and free enterprise. As such, it only partners with donors who have similar ideals in order to protect and exercise their charitable intent.
The Trust's largest philanthropic program is donor-advised funds. These are individual accounts established by donors who make grant recommendations to nonprofit groups that qualify within the mission and purpose of DonorsTrust.
Since DonorsTrust does not have an endowment and most donors direct their own grantmaking, DonorsTrust does not entertain unsolicited grant proposals or other types of informational submissions. On the occasion that DonorsTrust is able to support groups from its unrestricted fund, only pre-selected organizations are considered.
However, there are other ways in which you might find DonorsTrust useful in securing grants from donors. Consider the following questions in determining how DonorsTrust could be of help to your organization.
Q. Do you have a donor who is uncomfortable with endowments but wants to give you a large gift?
An individual is interested in giving you a large gift to use over several years but is not the sort to "write a blank check."
Suggest that your donor open a DonorsTrust account with the gift. Your
donor will immediately receive his full tax deduction and the gift will be set-aside for charitable purposes. He can then disburse grants to you when project details are determined or as the project and your relationship progresses.
Q. Do you have a donor whose spouse or family won't support you after he's gone?
You know your donor is thinking about setting up a private foundation or a bequest. If so, you know you might not see another dime since his family may end up funding groups he has actually disagreed with all these years.
Suggest that your donor set up a DonorsTrust account and prepare a specific charitable intent statement-even listing what charities he will or won't fund. He can then safely appoint family members as the account's successor-advisors and rely on the DonorsTrust's mission and board of directors to ensure that grants aren't made outside the protective boundaries of his intent and the mission of DonorsTrust.
Q. Do you offer planned giving options for interested donors?
You know you are losing bequests and other planned gifts (not to mention portions of gifts to taxes) because you aren't able to offer your donors an array of planned giving options.
Use DonorsTrust instead of spending time and money setting up your own planned giving shop. DonorsTrust can facilitate simple gifts of cash, appreciated stock, or bequests as well as more complex situations like gifts of closely or privately held stock, property, and charitable remainder trusts through donor-advised accounts. The donor can make grants to you or name you as a beneficiary or successor-advisor to the account. It's planned giving at no cost to you.
Q. Do your corporate or individual donors desire absolute anonymity?
Your donor wishes to keep his charitable giving private, especially those gifts that fund sensitive or controversial issues. You can usually maintain his anonymity in-house (when his gift is less than 2% of your annual revenue), but he might have to report his grants on Internet accessible tax returns.
When a DonorsTrust account is set up, the donor's contributions to the account are essentially made to a third party. As such, any grant disbursements the donor recommends legally comes from DonorsTrust and will therefore remain as anonymous as he wishes.
Q. Do you jeopardize your public support test each time you accept a large gift from a donor?
Taking a large gift from an individual, foundation, or corporation can jeopardize your public support test and your non-profit status. But gifts from a donor-advised plan like DonorsTrust don't count against you since they come from a fellow 501(c)(3) public charity. Ask your donor to open a DonorsTrust account and disburse the gift from there. Your donor receives the tax deduction he needs while you maintain your non-profit status.