Focused Philanthropy – Charity Goals and Themes

Focused Philanthropy – Charity Goals and Themes

“This whole idea of philanthropy is such a new thing for us. It’s a beautiful situation.”

David Marck and his sisters, Roberta and Sarah, learned about their parents’ philanthropic gift “the day of their mother’s funeral.”

“We couldn’t believe how much they had contributed,” David said. His parents, local businesspeople and active volunteers in La Crosse, WI, inspired the community focus of the donor-advised fund. The fund, advised by their children, supports free live music events in La Crosse. It also continues their family connection and community legacy.

Donors often use donor-advised funds with specific charitable goals and themes in mind. Sometimes the name of the fund describes the cause. Other times donor-advised funds do not describe cause(s) they support in their name, but still have a specific charitable focus.

5 Ways Donor-Advised Fund Flexibility Offers Unique Advantages to Focused Philanthropy

Donor-advised funds offer flexibility for donors with specific charitable goals or thematic interests. Here are five ways you can benefit from donor-advised fund flexibility with a philanthropic focus.

1. Flexible Naming. You have almost unlimited naming options for your donor-advised fund.

2. Flexible Charitable Beneficiaries. Donor-advised funds offer donors the right to advise grants to 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations. That means over 1 million well-known and lesser known charity options. These charities benefit a tremendous number of causes with diverse offerings that likely include those you seek to support.

3. Flexible Grant Advisement Decision-Making. Legally advisor(s) listed on a donor-advised fund can make grant advisements. But donors may name as many or as few advisors as they like. Advisors may also, informally, come up with any charitable grant advisement decision-making process they like, with anyone they like, as long as a legally listed advisor makes the actual charitable grant advisement.

4. Flexible Donation Funding. By separating your charitable contribution of stock or funds from your charitable grant making, you have more options to fund your donor-advised fund when the time is right for you. You can make a charitable contribution when you sell a business, get a bonus or have highly valued appreciated stock. You can give to the charities you support from your fund at virtually any time.

5. Flexible Grant Advisements. As just mentioned, you can send a grant advisement almost any time for almost any amount up to the fund balance you have in your donor-advised fund. You can also schedule grant advisements to charities in advance as increasing numbers of donors do. Scheduled advisements permit decision-making to occur when it’s right for you – and grants to charities when it’s right for you too.

Contributing to Your Unique Charity Goals

Donors with specific charitable goals or thematic interests want to follow their passion and achieve their goals. Donor-advised funds offer a flexible solution that contributes to the great experience of achieving your unique donor goals.


Hiram Wurf is Charitable Catalyst, Managing Director of The Advise Us Fund®. The Advise Us Fund is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that offers a donor-centric approach to charitable giving. Hiram formerly served as Executive Director and Founder of the nonprofit 12 State, Inc. and as Marketing Communications Manager for Cool Choices, Inc. He has more than 16 years experience in nonprofit development, marketing and communications including nine years administering grants at a family foundation.

The information in this blog post is general and educational. It is not intended nor should it be construed as legal, tax, investing or financial advice. Individuals should consult with their own advisor about charitable giving arrangements The Advise Us Fund® may describe.

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