For most people, giving is an important part of succeeding. However, there are three common impediments for most upper middle class and the moderately wealthy demographic:
Many people would like to see the fruits of their gifts before they die.
Most people would like to be able to strategically give to maximize the effects of their gifts with tax efficiency.
Almost everyone, with the previous two concerns, would like to accomplish them without the huge administrative costs of running their own foundation or non-profit.
If this sounds like you then a Donor Advised Fund may be the solution to your problem.
What is a Donor Advised Fund:
A DAF is a charitable vehicle that that is administered by a a non-profit organization that is created to manage the charitable donations of individuals or other institutions. The grantor generally gives up ownership of the assets but retains control of investment selection and how and when the monies are distributed to qualified charities.
Who uses DAFs and for What?
People that want to support multiple charities over a number of years with one gift.
People that want to give eventually or over time but want/need the tax deduction now:
Someone experiencing an extraordinary high income in a specific year or series of years.
Someone selling a highly appreciated asset.
Someone considering a large Roth conversion.
People who have concerns over starting their own foundation:
They want to give but do not have enough to start their own foundation (at least $250k but really you’d want to have more than $1M for economy of scale).
They don’t want the responsibility and/or expense even if they could afford to start a foundation.
They may be concerned over the lack of privacy of a foundation.
People/Organizations that want family, extended family, and/or other important friends/colleagues to be able to give together or collaborate in the actual selection and practice of giving.
People/Organizations that are concerned about their charity’s ability to handle a very large one-time gift.