Donor Advised Fund (DAF)
Donor advised funds (DAFs) have become a popular way of supporting charities while exercising more control and input than is available with an outright gift. Like a Support Organization, a donor advised fund is regarded as a public charity. It tends to be more flexible than a Private Foundation. The Church's donor advised fund allows you to give your cash or marketable securities at a time that is advantageous for tax purposes, allowing you later to decide which charities you would like to support. You may give all of the proceeds from the fund to the Church and its institutions, or you may choose to give up to 60 percent to other charities of your choice.
The typical donor:
- Wants to time the gift to his or her tax situation.
- Desires to involve the family in gift-making decisions.
- Wants to give now, but not sure which charity he or she wants to benefit.
- Desires to assist the charities and institutions of the Church.
Gift features and benefits:
- Gift tax deduction based on full market value
- Separates timing of gift with delivery to charity
- Creates philanthropic training ground for the family
- Allows family involvement after your death
How Do I Make a Gift Using a Donor Advised Fund?
A donor advised fund for the Church and its institutions is administered by the Deseret Trust Company. You sign appropriate documents or complete an online application, and then transfer cash or marketable securities to Deseret Trust Company. When ready, you and those family members you select advise Deseret Trust Company as to those charitable causes that you wish to receive income and any principal you desire to give. Your decisions may differ from year to year. You should be sure your financial and legal advisors are part of your gift strategy team. Use of a donor advised fund is only effective as a part of an overall financial and estate plan. The professional staff at LDS Philanthropies can assist you and your advisors in participating in the donor advised fund.
Other Facts You Should Know about a Donor Advised Fund
There are many advantages of a donor advised fund:
- Flexibility in timing and where you give: you can make a gift to the Deseret Trust Donor Advised Funds and take an immediate charitable income tax deduction; you can choose later those charities to whom you desire to make gift distributions and how much they will receive.
- Tax benefits: tax benefits are more favorable than those available by using a private foundation.
- Less complex: you are not required to file separate tax returns or accountings; donor advised funds are not subject to private foundation rules.
There are also some disadvantages of a donor advised fund:
- Limited control: you do not enjoy the same control as you would with a private foundation.
- Reduced charitable emphasis: some for-profit institutions that offer donor advised funds may care more about management of the assets than the gifts created.