Donor Advised Funds


A personal approach to giving.

Establishing a Donor Advised Fund allows you to make a gift to your community foundation then remain actively involved in suggesting uses for your gift. You can work with the community foundation’s professional program staff to suggest ongoing uses for the fund – targeting the issues you care about most. Grant awards are issued to charities in the name of the fund (or anonymously if you prefer). It’s a simple, powerful and highly personal approach to giving.

Donor-advised funds allow philanthropic people to take an active role in grant making without the expense and work of running a private foundation.

There are many reasons why people establish donor-advised funds. The most important is they are generous and committed people with a passion for their causes and their community.

Establishing donor-advised funds with SDHDF gives you access to the foundation’s knowledge of and experience with a range of local charitable organizations. Through events, newsletters, and site visits, you can learn about effective charities and programs that you may not have discovered on your own. SDHDF staff can also offer advice as you define your philanthropic goals and devise giving strategies to meet those goals.

Donor-advised funds can be setup as endowment funds that preserve the principle of the original gift and create a lasting legacy that will survive long after the donor has passed away.  SDHDF engages skilled professional investment managers to increase the value of the endowed principle gifts, maximizing the benefit to the community over time.

A public board of directors that reflects our community oversees SDHDF. An annual independent financial audit and other key financial information, including Form 990, are available to the public.

A donor-advised fund at SDHDF is simple to establish and operate.

As a donor advisor, you recommend how the income from your fund is spent, suggesting the charities you want to benefit. SDHDF makes sure that legal requirements for investment, distributions and payouts are met.

  • Minimum to open a donor-advised fund: $10,000
  • Many donor advisors name additional family members as advisors, thereby creating a legacy of philanthropy for children and other family members.
  • Gifts to your donor-advised fund are eligible for the maximum charitable tax deductions allowed by federal law.
  • You may contribute to the fund and recommend grants whenever you wish, with SDHDF handling all investment and administrative details.