One of the most flexible services that we provide is a donor-advised fund.
From the Council on Foundations, donor-advised funds make philanthropy easy and fun. In a donor-advised fund, donors make an irrevocable contribution to a fund, claim a charitable deduction on their income tax returns, and then recommend how the money in the fund should be distributed to charity. Community foundations are expert at receiving and managing gifts of cash, real estate and assets like privately held business shares, venture capital and intellectual property. The donated funds are invested in the financial market so they can keep growing. The biggest advantage of creating a fund through a community foundation is that they know—and live in—the community they serve.
Download a report by the Council on Foundations about the importance of donor-advised funds here.
Charities Increasingly Shift Assets To Donor-Advised Funds.
The Wall Street Journal (link to article, 4/22/09) reports, "Frustrated by the upkeep, philanthropists are increasingly unwinding their private foundations into donor-advised funds, which invest assets and make grants to charities from individual accounts based largely on donors' recommendations." Donor-advised funds "can cost thousands of dollars less to maintain than foundations." Donors advise the fund "on where the grants should go, but the funds don't have to make distributions as often as a foundation would. Donors can also give many types of assets -- including cash, securities and even art -- depending on the fund's specific rules."