Giving Insights

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Donor Advised Fund

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1. Keep Track of Fewer Charitable Receipts
For any charitable contribution over $250, the IRS requires that you obtain – and retain – a receipt containing the right kind of language. With a donor-advised fund, there’s no need for you to handle individual receipts to charities; you’ll receive one receipt from us for the contribution you make to your fund and that is sufficient for the IRS.

2. Avoid Capital Gains Taxes on Appreciated Securities
An appreciated security is simply a stock or bond that is worth more now than when you bought it. There are significant tax advantages to donating an appreciated security, but it can be complicated. With a donor advised fund at The Community Foundation, just have your broker follow our stock transfer instructions. We’ll sell the stock immediately, put the proceeds in your fund, and then you can recommend donations to various worthy causes whenever you choose.

3. Donations Continue to Grow
All endowed donor-advised funds are added to The Community Foundation’s pool of assets. The Investment Committee, with the help of consultants who specialize in community foundation and other endowments, uses a closely monitored comprehensive asset allocation model designed to maximize long-term growth while minimizing volatility. Current financial performance figures and other investment information are available to the public and on our website.

4. Fund Growth is Tax Free
As a 501(c)3 organization, The Community Foundation pays no income tax. All that growth in your donor-advised fund is completely tax-free (not just tax-deferred like your 401k.)

5. Use the Fund to Make a Difference in Perpetuity
A donor-advised fund offers various options upon your death. You can designate who should take over the responsibility of recommending future contributions or specify what types of charitable institutions and/or interests to fund in the future. We have been here for nearly 50 years, and we have built a reputation as a place you can trust that your charitable intent that will be honored in perpetuity.

6. Ability to Distribute Funds Anonymously
If you would like your contributions to be given anonymously, we will set up your fund so that the recipient organization only sees The Community Foundation’s name on the check. You can decide to be anonymous or not on a case by case basis.

7. Flexibility of Contributions
Some years it makes more sense to contribute assets than others. With a donor-advised fund, you can make contributions to your fund—or forego them—as you wish. Yet you can still recommend distributions out of the account even in years when little or no money goes in.

8. Availability of Advice and Assistance
Most people are not experts at determining what causes are worthy. We deal with not-for-profit organizations every day, and are happy to supply advice, guidance, assistance, support and help as requested. In addition, we work with donors and their advisors to maximize the satisfaction with the grants made from advised funds.

9. Easy to Get Started
Starting a donor-advised fund is simple. You may open one with as little as $10,000 for a non-endowed fund or $50,000 for an endowed fund. To start, just sign a fund agreement and send it with your money or appreciated securities. You can then send distribution recommendations by mail, fax or even using our simple online portal. To get started, contact John Zell at 904-356-4483 or by email at

10. Low Fees
Donor-advised funds are charged a low fee of 1% or less based on the fund’s balance, and a one-time grant of 1% on all new contributions to support The Community Endowment Fund, which allows Advised Fund holders to actively participate in the Foundation’s discretionary grantmaking initiatives. These initiatives improve the communities in which we live and work—like efforts to improve the quality of public education in Duval County, expand affordable housing for working families while restoring depressed neighborhoods and strengthen the not-for-profit sector in Northeast Florida.

Please contact either John Zell or Tom Caron at The Community Foundation for assistance, 904-356-4483

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