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How does a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) work?

For many who practice regular charitable giving, a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is an appealing option. DAFs are private philanthropic accounts that have grown in popularity over the last few years due to the control that donors maintain over their contributions and their ease of use.  

Donations can be made to the account without a specific recipient, and when the donor decides which charity should be the recipient, those funds are awarded to the charity in a grant format.

DAFs have certain perks, especially in terms of tax-smart contributions. These funds allow donors to receive immediate tax deductions, while deferring giving to charities until later dates of the donor’s choosing.

Donors can donate to a DAF as frequently as they prefer, and these accounts can be subject to a degree of personalization. You can appoint charitable beneficiaries as part of a legacy plan that will outlive you, and appoint your family members or friends as partners that help manage the responsibilities of the account when you are no longer able.