A donor-advised account is the easiest, most efficient way to manage your charitable giving. 

You establish your account at a non-profit institute such as DonorsTrust with a minimum deposit.  Through the account, you, your family, or designated heirs can recommend grants to public charities. All contributions to the account are immediately tax deductible and as such are legally controlled by the organization that offers it. You may make grant recommendations to a variety of local or national non-profit organizations at any time throughout the life of your account.


It affords you efficient and superior tax treatment–greater than that offered by private foundations and other financial planning tools.

With an initial contribution of $10,000, you can set up a personal account at DonorsTrust funded with appreciated assets, cash, publicly traded securities, privately-held stock, or real estate. Capital gains taxes are not assessed on appreciated assets and all contributions qualify for the maximum charitable deduction allowable by the IRS Code for public charities. Your tax deduction(s) are immediate and are calculated in the year you make the contribution(s).

You may invest your account’s assets (managed by Merrill Lynch) according to a personalized strategy, allowing for tax-free growth and the potential for greater asset distribution among your philanthropic interests. During the life of your account, there are no required distributions and no annual excise taxes.

You should consult with your professional tax and legal advisors to determine the tax implications of your gifts as well as any associated reporting requirements. For further guidelines on the tax treatment of charitable contributions, please request a copy of The Donor’s Guide to DonorsTrust.


If you wish to develop a charitable giving plan, a DonorsTrust donor-advised account could be your most valuable financial planning tool.

Since contributions are immediately tax-deductible when placed in your personal account, there is no pressure to disperse the account assets. This allows you to approve grants at your leisure and to your satisfaction.

In this way, your account operates much like a private foundation with DonorsTrust managing the administrative and regulatory burdens often accompanying charitable giving. With those headaches alleviated, you can focus on where you want to give and how you want to structure the gift. Whether you make large charitable gifts or several smaller gifts, DonorsTrust can administer them all at once or only as the stewardship of the recipient organization(s) is apparent.

If you wish to involve your heirs in administering your charitable assets but want to guarantee that your charitable capital will be spent on causes consistent with your principles, be assured that your appointed successor-advisors can only recommend grant disbursements falling within your stated charitable intent and the mission of DonorsTrust.


DonorsTrust affords you the security of preserving your charitable legacy beyond your lifetime.

Unlike other donor-advised plans, DonorsTrust is absolutely committed to a clearly defined purpose and mission–supporting causes and public policies that preserve our constitutionally protected liberties and strengthen American civil society through private institutions rather than government programs. If this commitment aligns with your personal charitable goals, DonorsTrust can be trusted to honor your charitable legacy.


At DonorsTrust, you can elect personalized program assistance in devising, structuring, and implementing your charitable giving strategy.

DonorsTrust can work with you to ensure accountability from a grant recipient or advise you in achieving a specific philanthropic goal. You can achieve all of this while receiving the immediate tax benefits accorded gifts to public charities.


You can design your DonorsTrust donor-advised account to build your legacy of liberty.

Over the life of your account, approve personally selected family members or heirs to be involved in your philanthropic activities. Choose whether these trusted appointees are involved during or after your lifetime–either way lengthening the value and impact of your charitable legacy. Rest assured that their involvement would never compromise your original charitable intent.

Start Protecting Your Intent Today.

To learn more about how a donor-advised account can help you protect your donor intent, click below to download your copy of 8 Steps to Securing Your Donor Intent. This step-by-step guide offers practical steps you can do starting today to ensure the principles you hold dear get advanced through your charitable giving, both now and in the future.


  • Peter Lipsett

    Peter Lipsett is vice president at DonorsTrust. He also leads DonorsTrust’s Novus Society, a network of donors under 40 committed to growing their philanthropic know-how. He has a dual degree in political science and theater from Davidson College and finally got a practical credential with an MBA from George Mason University.

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