How to name a donor-advised fund

Happy couple naming their donor-advised fund

Opening a donor-advised fund is a simple, three-step process, but one of those steps—naming the fund—represents a significant choice for many donors. Choosing a name for your donor-advised fund brings up questions related to your philanthropic mission and goals and how you would like your generosity to be represented to the nonprofits you support. Would you like the donor-advised fund to bear you or your family’s name? Would you prefer to highlight your giving mission or values? And do you have a special purpose for creating the fund, as in a memorial fund for a loved one?

Before establishing your donor-advised fund, known at Fidelity Charitable as a Giving Account, ask yourself these questions to help choose a name that works best for your personal situation.

How will your Giving Account name be used?

Your Giving Account name at Fidelity Charitable will be used on Giving Account statements, but will only be provided externally for grant acknowledgement purposes. With the flexibility to use any of the following grant acknowledgment options, it takes the pressure off you to select a Giving Account name that meets the need of each grant you recommend.

  • A full name and address: Whether it’s yours or someone else’s, the charity receives contact information so they can acknowledge the gift.
  • Giving Account name only: By being mindful of what you select as your Giving Account name, you can disclose enough information for the charity to track the gifts coming from your account without providing additional contact information like an address. This is also a great way for the mission of your donor-advised fund to shine, especially if you have an individual or cause you are honoring with your Giving Account.
  • Granting anonymously: In most cases you can grant anonymously so that no Giving Account or contact information is disclosed to the charity.

Are there any naming limitations?

With up to 150 characters available to create your own custom Giving Account name, the possibilities are endless. Fidelity Charitable does reserve the right to reject a Giving Account name, but it’s rare and knowledgeable representatives are available to help find the best possible alternative.

TIP: Though a donor-advised fund is not technically a foundation or a trust, many donors choose to grant from their donor-advised fund as they would from a family or private foundation. Because of this, some elect to use this language in their Giving Account name.

Examples: The Frank Smith Giving Foundation, The Francis Williams Missions Trust

Will this be a shared family Giving Account or a personal one?

If this will be a shared Giving Account, consult with the other Account Holders to find a name on which everyone agrees. This is a great opportunity to discuss your family’s charitable mission and goals and your granting strategy for the donor-advised fund. View our family philanthropy resources for additional insight and tools on how to engage in these conversations.

Example: The Williamson Family Charitable Account

Is there a specific theme or mission on which you would like to focus your giving through this Giving Account?

A theme or charitable mission statement to reflect your philanthropic purpose can be a great tool for focusing your grant recommendations. Your Giving Account name can be used as a guiding statement to help you keep your giving goals on course. If your Giving Account will be used for a more diverse portfolio of giving, then using a more generic name may be a better option.

Example: Heart for Health and Healing Charitable Account, Help for the Animals, Faith Family and Friends Philanthropy Fund, The Stella Simmons Philanthropy Foundation

TIP: Boost your Giving IQ - Create a personal charitable mission statement to guide your giving with these easy-to-use tools and resources.

Will you be using this Giving Account in memory or honor of someone?

Giving in honor of a loved one can be a great way to carry on their legacy. The name of your Giving Account is a blank canvas for creating a special way to memorializing a family member, friend or even a pet.

Example: The Maurice Wright Memorial Fund, Bubbles the Bunny Memorial Philanthropic Fund

Can you change your donor-advised fund name later?

A name is required to establish your Giving Account, but once set up you can change the name at any time and as frequently as you need by calling us or via a Giving Account Change Form.

When choosing a name for your donor-advised fund, think about where you are in your giving and what your true philanthropic aspirations are. Whether honoring a loved one, opening an account to support a specific cause, or kicking off your philanthropy and making mission decisions later, the options to best suit your acknowledgement needs are endless.

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Since 1991, we have been a leader in charitable planning and giving solutions, helping donors like you support their favorite charities in smart ways.

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