Optimize Your Charitable Giving with Donor Advised Funds

By Tim Hughes, CFP®, Director, Bronfman Rothschild Wealth Advisors

In addition to the personal fulfillment many individuals find by supporting charitable causes special to them, a thoughtfully planned and implemented charitable giving strategy can result in greater tax savings and after-tax results. For investors who own appreciated assets such as publicly-traded or privately-held stock, mutual funds, real estate, or a sizeable IRA, there are significant benefits to gifting those assets to qualified charities, instead of writing checks or using a credit card (far beyond credit card rewards!).

There are many different vehicles for charitable giving, including direct transfers to a charity, donor advised funds, private foundations, qualified charitable distributions, and charitable trusts, each with pros and cons and varying levels of complexity. However, donor advised funds arguably have the broadest potential appeal as a tax-efficient gifting strategy, while also offering ease of administration. As each person’s tax circumstances are unique, it is always recommended that donors consult with a tax professional before acting on any strategy.

Interested in reading about donor advised funds?

Tell us a little about yourself to learn more:

  • The fundamentals of a donor advised fund and how to compare them
  • The transfer mechanics of funding and making grants from a donor advised fund
  • How to use a community foundation in lieu of a large custodian donor advised fund