Category Archives: Donor-Advised Funds

Starting Over with a Donor-Advised Fund

Starting Over with a Donor-Advised Fund

An accurate, albeit overused phrase is “to wipe the slate clean”. While perhaps outdated in its technology (what 25-year-old has ever experienced a classroom ‘slate’?), the reference to starting over again is clear.

I’m sympathetic to the notions of grace, forgiveness, success and failure that provide the basis for the philosophical concept of starting over (again).  But, let’s be honest, …

read more »
The Rich-Only Myth: DAFs as a Tool for All

The Rich-Only Myth: DAFs as a Tool for All

When I first visited the Stephenson’s home outside of San Francisco, I thought I had the wrong house. After circling the block and returning to the same modest house that supposedly belonged to a long-time, not-insignificant client, I realized something.

The house was right. My mindset was wrong.

Donor-advised funds often get cited as a tool for the wealthy – …

read more »
Keep the Relationship, Change the Means in Your Giving

Keep the Relationship, Change the Means in Your Giving

“But I worry about giving up the relationship I have with the groups I support.”

More than a few people express this fear when we are discussing the benefits of a DonorsTrust donor-advised fund. I understand the sentiment. After years of directly supporting certain groups, it feels strange to jump to a more indirect approach.

However, using a donor-advised fund …

read more »
Specialization Can Save Your Plumbing and Philanthropy

Specialization Can Save Your Plumbing and Philanthropy

I spent much of my pre-July Fourth celebration in my basement, dealing with a backed-up sewer line. It’s not exactly what I had planned, but, alas, it’s been an ongoing issue for a few years. And, well, y’know “stuff” happens.

There is no metaphor here for philanthropy, per se. Nor for donor intent or issues affecting DonorsTrust’s principles of limited …

read more »
Americans Gave More than Ever in 2017

Americans Gave More than Ever in 2017

Good news! Giving USA’s annual survey of charitable giving in America reports that overall contributions by Americans in 2017 increased by an inflation-adjusted 3%. Individuals, foundations, and corporations donated more than $400 billion into the non-profit sector, the most ever.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy offers a nice synopsis of the survey’s findings, as well as an interesting perspective (and …

read more »
Basics: Requesting a Grant from Your DAF

Basics: Requesting a Grant from Your DAF

Donor-advised funds offer many terrific benefits, but, at the end of the day, DAFs exist to facilitate one goal – making contributions to your favorite charitable causes. Understanding the processes involved in making those grants, both the seen and unseen, allows clients to more easily use their fund to advance their philanthropic goals.

On the surface, the process is simple. …

read more »
Always Making Progress for Liberty

Always Making Progress for Liberty

DonorsTrust exists to ensure a steady flow of philanthropic capital into the liberty movement as well as to the myriad of organizations bringing private solutions to bear on social problems. Some progressives view is as nefarious, even as they aggressively seek to expand their network of similar institutions. We – and our clients – merely view the DonorsTrust model as …

read more »
Why Ann Gives: Turning the Focus Around

Why Ann Gives: Turning the Focus Around

In 2018, we will continue sharing first-hand stories of how clients use their DonorsTrust donor-advised accounts in different ways. This is Ann Fitzgerald’s story, the fourth installment in our series. You can read the previous article from Peter Flinch here.

How much time do you spend thinking about other people’s money?

If you work for a nonprofit in the …

read more »
Common End-of-Year Questions We Hear at DonorsTrust

Common End-of-Year Questions We Hear at DonorsTrust

While we don’t get many inquiries about last minute gift ideas (you’re on your own for that!), we do receive a diverse range of questions at the end of the year. As you can guess, many people focus their charitable giving as the calendar winds down towards December 31. Below, I’ve listed several of the common questions we at DonorsTrust …

read more »