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We understand choosing the right charitable vehicle may be overwhelming, so we created a series of videos that answer some of our most frequently asked questions. We hope you find these helpful.

Donor-Advised Fund FAQs

Think of a donor-advised fund as a combined charitable savings and checking account that allows you to support the causes and charities that are important to you now, while also growing your charitable dollars for the future. A great alternative to a private foundation, donor-advised funds offer a simplified, flexible and affordable approach to charity for those who are serious about their giving. You can name the fund for your family, business or a loved one.

Donor-advised funds streamline your giving through one charitable vehicle, while allowing you to continue giving to the causes you believe in – now or in the future, here or across the country.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

If you live or work in Greater Akron, your local donor-advised fund partner is Akron Community Foundation. We offer everything commercial providers like Vanguard do, but in your backyard. Plus, Akron Community Foundation knows the nonprofits that are moving the needle on key issues in our community. We can share with you our nearly 70 years of experience – including which organizations are collaborating, which ones meet a service gap, and where your grantmaking will be most effective – but only if you ask: We won't interfere with your personal charity.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

There is no fee to establish a donor-advised fund. Once your fund is established, Akron Community Foundation charges a combined administrative and investment fee of approximately 2%, but only after you have received your full tax deduction for gifts to the fund. Our administrative fee is one of the lowest in the industry and stays right here in Greater Akron to benefit your community.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Benefits of a Donor-Advised Fund

Donor-advised funds offer many of the same benefits as a private foundation, but without the costs and burden of administration. Akron Community Foundation handles all the due diligence, record keeping, check writing, gift acceptance and tax filings so you can focus on supporting the charities you love.

In addition, donations to donor-advised funds are deductible up to 60% of adjusted gross income on gifts of cash, and 30% on gifts of appreciated assets like stock, mutual funds and real estate. Deduction limits on gifts to private foundations are 30% and 20%, respectively. Donating long-term appreciated assets to a donor-advised fund may even eliminate capital gains taxes.

And while private foundation giving is public record, grants made through donor-advised funds can be made anonymously if you wish. You can also name your fund in such a way that fully protects you from funding appeals.

Unlike private foundations, donor-advised funds do not have annual payout requirements or pay excise taxes. They can also be started with just $5,000, compared to the recommended $5-10 million for private foundations.

Finally, just like a private foundation, donor-advised funds can involve your children, grandchildren and even future generations of family members in your philanthropy. You can also endow your donor-advised fund so it will grow in perpetuity and later select a specific nonprofit or cause for your fund to permanently support upon your death.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Establishing a donor-advised fund at Akron Community Foundation is just as easy as starting a fund at Vanguard or Fidelity. And unlike the large national organizations, the community foundation is based right in the heart of Akron. We’re experts on local issues and nonprofits, and we offer personal grantmaking assistance that commercial funds cannot match. We also offer a broader range of charitable options, including permanent endowments that honor a family’s legacy.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Involvement in your philanthropy is one of the greatest gifts you can give your children. We welcome the opportunity to engage your children and grandchildren in your fund, especially through our Center for Family Philanthropy. Our highly trained staff can help your family create and implement a shared charitable vision that can be passed from generation to generation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes, Akron Community Foundation allows fundholders to name successor advisors to their fund. This is an excellent way to pass your philanthropic legacy to your children and grandchildren.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Opening a Donor-Advised Fund

Anyone can open a donor-advised fund. We work with individuals, families and corporations who are very strategic in their philanthropy, as well as those who are still learning what they want to support. Wherever you are in your charitable journey, we’re here to make sure your gifts go the furthest for the benefit of the community.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Akron Community Foundation requires a minimum of $5,000 to open a donor-advised fund, whereas a private family foundation recommends $5-$10 million.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

We understand how important your relationships are with your legal and financial advisors. We welcome your advisor at the table when discussing your charitable goals and establishing your donor-advised fund. Under certain guidelines we'll even let your advisor continue to manage your fund's assets. We also have relationships with nearly all of the region's banks.

To learn more, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

You can name your fund anything you'd like! Many donors choose to name their fund for their family or in honor or memory of a loved one. You can even choose to name your fund anonymously to protect your family from funding appeals.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Akron Community Foundation can create your fund in as little as 20 minutes, depending on the type of asset you are using to establish it. In comparison, starting a private foundation requires upfront fees, tax filings and IRS approval, which can take months.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Gifts to a Donor-Advised Fund

Akron Community Foundation can accept a wide range of gifts, including cash, stock, retirement assets and life insurance. We also accept more complex gifts, such as S-corp stock and real estate, that many organizations cannot.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

IRA assets cannot be contributed to a donor-advised fund. However, a qualified charitable distribution is a great choice for making tax-free gifts to designated or scholarship funds at Akron Community Foundation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes, gifts to Akron Community Foundation are irrevocable. This means you have transferred the total asset to Akron Community Foundation and you no longer own it.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes. Akron Community Foundation will mail your tax acknowledgment within five business days of gift receipt.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes, gifts to Akron Community Foundation and your donor-advised fund are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. For taxpayers who itemize, donations to donor-advised funds are deductible up to 60% of adjusted gross income on gifts of cash, and 30% on gifts of appreciated assets like stock, mutual funds and real estate. Donating long-term appreciated assets to a donor-advised fund may even eliminate capital gains taxes. We recommend consulting with a tax advisor to determine the most tax-advantageous assets for your situation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes. Donations to donor-advised funds are deductible up to 60% of adjusted gross income on gifts of cash, and 30% on gifts of appreciated assets like stock, mutual funds and real estate. Donating long-term appreciated assets to a donor-advised fund may even eliminate capital gains taxes. Akron Community Foundation recommends consulting with a tax advisor to determine the most tax-advantageous assets for your situation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Tax benefits are an important consideration when partnering with Akron Community Foundation. We recommend working closely with your accountant to ensure you receive all the tax benefits that apply to your specific situation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Akron Community Foundation pools the assets of all of our funds and invests them according to our strategic, long-term investment policy.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

The income that accrues in your donor-advised fund is not deductible by the donor. However, all new contributions are fully tax deductible and the assets in your fund will grow tax-free.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Grants from a Donor-Advised Fund

At Akron Community Foundation, we welcome a conversation about your charitable interests. We’re also happy to introduce you to nonprofits in your areas of interest that you may not be aware of. As a fundholder, you have the opportunity to participate in Akron Community Foundation’s grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Grants from our donor-advised funds can support any qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – right here in Akron or across the nation.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

You can recommend as few or as many grants as you would like each year. Akron Community Foundation processes grants twice a month, on the first and the fifteenth.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

At Akron Community Foundation, the minimum grant amount is $250.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Unlike a private foundation, donor-advised funds at Akron Community Foundation do not have an annual payout requirement. You are welcome to make as many or as few grants as you would like each year, as the foundation as a whole meets the federal 5% spending requirement. Many of our fundholders choose to build their fund balance during their working years so they can continue to support their favorite charities during retirement.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Once the foundation receives a grant recommendation, we review it to ensure the organization is a qualified charity under IRS regulations and that the purpose of the grant is charitable in nature. Akron Community Foundation processes grant recommendations on the same days each month – the 1st and 15th (or the following business day).

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

Yes, Akron Community Foundation is happy to accommodate requests for anonymous grants when needed. You can also choose to name your fund in a way that preserves your anonymity.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

There are no fees for grant recommendations. This cost is covered by the administrative fee we charge to all of our funds.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

The IRS prohibits donor-advised funds from making grants to private non-operating foundations, international organizations or individuals. All donor-advised fund grants must be made to a charitable organization within the United States that meets the requirements of a public charity under IRS Publication 78. All grantees must have a valid EIN/Tax ID. Grants cannot be made from donor-advised funds for memberships or for tickets to events. Grants also cannot be made to a nonprofit to satisfy or reduce a pledge previously made by the donor. Federal law prohibits grants from donor-advised funds that provide anything more than an incidental benefit to the donor or related parties. Examples of permissible incidental or token benefits are items such as calendars, mugs, posters or key chains. Donors, their advisors and related parties may not receive grants, loans, compensation or similar payments (including expense reimbursements) from their donor-advised fund.

For more information about starting a donor-advised fund, contact Margaret Medzie, Akron Community Foundation’s vice president and chief development officer, at mmedzie@akroncf.org or 330-436-5610.

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