Donor-Advised Funds

What is a donor-advised fund?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) provides donors with a centralized charitable giving vehicle. It allows philanthropically-inclined individuals, families and corporations to make an irrevocable gift to a public charity, take an immediate tax deduction and then recommend grants from the fund over time. Most sponsoring organizations of DAFs accept cash equivalents, securities and certain other assets.

Willamette University’s tax ID number is 93-0386972.

How does it work?

  • Establish your DAF by making an irrevocable, tax-deductible donation to a public charity that sponsors a DAF program (examples: Oregon Community Foundation, Schwab Charitable, Fidelity Charitable).
  • Advise the investment allocation of the donated assets (any investment growth is tax-free).
  • Recommend grants to qualified public charities of your choice (example: recommend a grant to Willamette University).
  • Clients of Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable and BNY Mellon can easily make a designation through the DAF Direct window on this page.

Main advantages of a donor-advised fund

  • Simplicity. The DAF sponsor handles all record keeping, disbursements, and tax receipts.
  • Flexibility. Timing of your tax deduction can be separate from your charitable decision making.
  • Tax efficiency. Contributions are tax-deductible, and any investment growth in the DAF is tax-free. It is also easy to donate long-term appreciated securities, eliminating capital gains taxes and allowing you to support several charities from one block of stock.
  • Family legacy. A DAF is a powerful way to build or continue a tradition of family philanthropy.
  • No start-up costs. There is no cost to establish a donor-advised fund. However, there are often minimum initial charitable contributions to establish the DAF (typically $5,000 or more).*
  • No transaction fees. Once approved, 100% of your recommended grant goes to your qualified public charity of choice.*
  • Privacy if desired. Donors may choose to remain anonymous to the grant recipient.

* Sponsoring organizations generally assess an administrative fee on the assets in a DAF. These fees vary by the charity that sponsors a DAF program.

For more information, please connect with us at annual-fund@willamette.edu.


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