What Is a Donor-Advised Fund?

A donor-advised fund is a charitable account sponsored by a public charity that donors use to support their philanthropy. Increasingly, DAFs are meeting an important need for people who want to be
thoughtful and systematic about their giving, and who are looking to ways to maximize their philanthropy. From 2008 to 2012, in fact, individual donor-advised fund accounts grew 17 percent.2



Donors make an irrevocable, tax-deductible contribution
of cash, securities, or other assets to the public charity that
sponsors the DAF program. The charity then establishes a
DAF in the donor's name. Donors can make additional
contributions at any time.


Donors advise the DAF program sponsor how they
would like their contributions allocated among various
investment options. Any investment growth is tax-free.


Donors recommend grants from their DAF to other nonprofit
organizations—virtually any qualified 501(c)(3) public charity.

By using a Giving Account ®, donors—sometimes with the assistance of their
advisors—are able to plan their giving over the course of time. Fidelity Chari–
table also provides donors around the clock online access to their Giving Ac–
count, information such as a history of granting activity and features such as
the ability to schedule grant recommendations in advance. In a recent survey,
Fidelity Charitable donors identified the ease of recommending grants and the
ease of recordkeeping among the top features of their Giving Accounts.3

2 2013 Donor-Advised Fund Report, the National Philanthropic Trust—individual DAF accounts grew from 172,139 to 201,631

3 Fidelity Charitable 2013 Annual Donor Survey The top four features in the survey were ease of recommending grants, ease of making
  contributions, online capabilities, and ease of recordkeeping.