Blog: Donor-Advised Funds

News and information on Donor-Advised Funds
What is a donor-advised fund? Donor-advised funds are charitable gifting programs administered by a public charity and created to manage donations for donors (individuals, families or organizations). Many people find donor-advised funds flexible and easy-to-use – and they offer charitable, financial and tax planning advantages for many donors.
The 5.42* Reasons Why Financial Advisors Need the Universal Charitable Deduction

The 5.42* Reasons Why Financial Advisors Need the Universal Charitable Deduction

Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina has proposed the Universal Charitable Deduction which would allow non-itemizers to deduct their gifts in addition to taking the standard deduction.  The bill caps the deduction at one-third of the standard deduction. The charitable community likes the universal concept, but many are wondering if the cap is needed as it can impact gifts from donors who don’t use the itemized deduction.

Financial advisors often speak with their clients about charitable giving and, currently, many of those clients itemize their deductions.  However, if as proposed in the “Big Six” in the Senate’s 9-page plan, the standard deduction would double and the itemized deduction for state and local taxes would not.  If tax reform results in changes that affect the standard deduction, here are the reasons why financial advisors should support the Universal Charitable Deduction:

On Capital Hill: Talking About the Fate of the Charitable Deduction

On Capital Hill: Talking About the Fate of the Charitable Deduction

On May 30, 1985, I skipped high school. No, it was not senior skip day, nor did I really desire a break from school. I wanted to travel from Appleton to Oshkosh to see President Reagan speak. He had just introduced his plan on what would eventually become the Tax Reform Act of 1986 and first went to Wisconsin to sell it to the American people. Contrary to my parents wishes, I did hear the speech in person and watched the ensuing process that produced the new tax code. It was something that sparked my interest in learning about taxes and how (and why) they work the way they do.

In law school, my intellectual curiosity about taxes turned towards the charitable deduction and was one of the major factors that drove me to pursue a career in charitable gift planning. I fell in love with the fact that our country effectively allowed citizens to choose where their tax dollars could make a difference. Read more on the blog…

A Window of Opportunity: Donor Advised Fund before December 31?

A Window of Opportunity: Donor Advised Fund before December 31?

On December 9th, the markets hit their 13th record close since the November elections. Accompanying the records in the market, we have also seen what feels like a record number of opinions of what the change in administrations will mean for taxes. Some of these opinions have focused on the potential tax changes and their effects on the charities and the charitable deduction. Fidelity Charitable offered what I consider a measured and reasonable framework for the possibilities. It is safe to conclude that there is at least a good likelihood that the benefits of giving in 2016 may be more tax wise than in future years. If you believe that to be true, these next few days may be ideal for starting a donor advised fund.

A Charity’s Reflection on Giving Tuesday

A Charity’s Reflection on Giving Tuesday

As founder of The Advise Us Fund, I recognize the power of giving. Since starting this nonprofit organization, I’ve seen firsthand that philanthropy makes our communities stronger by helping those in need and supporting causes that are closest to our hearts. We are all motivated by these passions, and The Advise Us Fund is how I exhibit what’s closest to my heart: philanthropy. Read more…

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