DAFs

Donor Advised Funds

What is a Donor Advised Fund?

A Donor Advised Fund (DAF) is a charitable giving account established at a sponsoring, qualified charitable organization like Crewe Foundation.  A DAF has the sole purpose of financially supporting charitable organizations of your choice over time.  You can contribute to a DAF with cash, publicly traded stock, and many other types of assets.  Assets contributed to a DAF generate immediate income tax deductions, generally bypass capital gains tax, are removed from your estate and exempt from estate tax, and can be invested tax-free.  You can then recommend grants to financially support your favorite charities that are out doing good in the world all while creating an ongoing, family charitable legacy for generations to come.

Setting up a DAF at Crewe Foundation

Crewe Foundation Donor Advised Fund Process
Step 1:
Complete and Sign the Account Setup Form
Step 2:

Transfer cash, publicly traded stock, real estate and other appreciated assets

Step 3:

Sell and reinvest assets tax-free

Step 4:

Recommend grants to your favorite charities

Setting up a DAF at Crewe Foundation

Step 1:
Complete and Sign the Account Setup Form
Step 2:

Transfer cash, publicly traded stock, real estate and other appreciated assets

Step 3:

Sell and reinvest assets tax-free

Step 4:

Recommend grants to your favorite charities

Ready to Open Your DAF Account?

How Does a Donor-Advised Fund Work?

DAF’s are designed to be a simple and effective solution for donor who want to make annual gifts to charitable organizations, build a family legacy of giving and receive the best tax deductions available.

The first step is to set up and make a donation to DAF. This donation can be made with cash, securities, real estate, business interests, cryptocurrencies and other types of assets. Crewe Foundation professionals will help you and your advisors through the process to properly document your fit and qualify your deductions.

Once the funds are in your donor advised fund account they can be invested and grow tax-free. Crewe Foundation works closely with your trusted professional advisors to establish an investment allocation that meets your goals for growth and income to your DAF for grant making.

Once funded, you or your assigned charitable advisor on the account can then make grant requests for the charities that you would like to support. At Crewe Foundation we make this process simple and painless. Our online system allows you to select the amounts that you would like to send to qualified charitable organizations. We ensure that the organization is qualified and that the grant is received and used for it’s intended purpose.

How Much Can I Contribute to a Donor-Advised Fund?

There is no limit on how much you can contribute to a DAF. This is something you should carefully consider with your family and trusted professional advisors. There may be times when it makes more sense to make a larger gift than others. The good news is that you don’t only have one chance to contribute. You can contribute to your DAF every year or even more if you want.

What are Donor-Advised Fund Tax Benefits?

When considering the tax benefits of DAF’s one of the first questions that is usually asked is, “Do I get a tax deduction for donating to a donor advised fund?” The quick answer is yes! When you make a contribution to a donor-advised fund a tax deduction is generated.

Deductions, How Much Can You Take?

You have to carefully plan to get the most out of your deduction. Not all deductions are equal. Depending on the Type of asset that is contributed to the donor advised fund could affect how much of the deduction you can use. 

For example, if you donate cash to a donor advised fund you and deduct up to 60% of your adjusted gross income or AGI. If you compare that to donating some publicly traded stock like Tesla for example, you can only deduct up to 30% of your AGI.

Bypass Capital Gains Tax

Another tax benefit of contributing to a donor-advised fund is that you bypass capital gains tax when you donate appreciated assets.Here is a quick table of the tax brackets for capital gains on the federal level:
 For Unmarried Individuals, Taxable Income OverFor Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns, Taxable Income OverFor Heads of Households, Taxable Income Over
0%$0$0$0
15%$41,675
$83,350
$55,800

20%$459,750$517,200
$488,500

*Source: Internal Revenue Service

A majority of taxpayers fall into the 15% bracket, but there are some situations when you might be in the higher bracket, such as selling an investment, business or other highly appreciated asset. In these situations you might end up in the higher tax bracket. 

Another consideration is that the IRS has some exceptions as well and that rate can go up to 25% or even 28% when selling qualified small business stock or collectibles. 

In addition to the Federal capital gains tax rate you would also need to consider your state rate. Many states consider capital gains the same as income and are taxed at the state’s rate. Some can be as high as 13.3% like in California. When adding that to a potential 28% you could be paying as much as 41.3% in tax depending on the asset you are planning on selling. When you make a contribution to your donor-advised fund you bypass the capital gains tax that you would normally pay in taxes. The government is rewarding you for helping in charitable endeavors.

Reduce Estate Taxes

When you make a donation to your DAF you could save some money in real estate taxes. The estate tax exemption for a married couple in 2022 is $12,060,000. If your estate is greater than that it will be subject to estate taxes. This starts as low as 18% but quickly escalates to 40% for anything that exceeds the exemption amount by $1,000,000. For some this can be a significant tax. Any amount you contribute to your DAF reduces your estate, which is equivalent to an estate tax deduction. Planning with your advisors for donations is an effective use of donor-advised funds.

 

Who Owns the Money in a Donor-Advised Fund?

When you create a DAF and contribute to it, you are making a gift to the sponsoring charity. Once you do this, you relinquish your ownership of the cash or asset and it is owned by Crewe Foundation and considered by the IRS as a completed gift. For doing this, the IRS allows you to claim a tax deduction, bypass any capital gains tax on appreciated assets, and potentially reduce your future estate taxes.

You also have the ability to make grants from your new Crewe Foundation DAF as well as coordinate the investments of the fund.

 

What are Donor-Advised Fund Rules?

The rules for donor advised funds with Crewe Foundation are pretty simple. First, any DAF needs to be set up with a qualified sponsoring organization, like Crewe Foundation. Unfortunately you can’t just segregate some of your own funds and fall it a DAF. 

Once you have a DAF account set up with Crewe Foundation there are a few things you need to be aware of. Grants can only be made to qualified public charities and in some cases private operating foundations.

Donor advised funds can be used to fund or start a scholarship fund at an existing charitable organization. The DAF donors can be part of the selection process of the scholarship fund but can’t control the process nor can they, or anyone related to them, be a recipient of the scholarship.

You can make international grants with your DAF, but keep in mind that the IRS has specific rules regarding international grants and the due diligence and follow up with the recipient organization.

DAF’s can not be used to satisfy personal pledges, pay for memberships or other events with charitable organizations.

DAF’s can not be used for the benefit of the donor or the donor’s family. Having any benefit that is more than incidental thanks to a donation is not a permissible outcome, and donors nor charitable advisors are permitted to claim charitable contribution deductions or grants.

 

How Long Can Money Stay in a Donor Advised Fund?

We encourage our donors to make grants, however we realize there are times when donors are looking to hold their funds in their donor-advised fund account. This often occurs when they are working towards a goal of creating future gifting streams or saving for a specific project.

Unlike a private foundation that is required by the IRS to make at least 5% in grants of its balance each year, your donor advised fund is not subject to this rule. In fact, the IRS does not impose a specific grant amount each year from DAF’s. However,  we’ve seen that most donors end up donating more than 5% on average annually.

Can You Move a Donor-Advised Fund?

The short answer is yes. You can move a DAF from Crewe Foundation to another qualified organization that sponsors DAF’s. At Crewe Foundation, our goal is to provide you with excellent service and a great charitable giving experience. If at any time you would like to move your fund to another organization, we’d be sad to see you go, but would be happy to help. If you’d like to move your DAF from another organization to Crewe Foundation, we’d be more than happy to help you there as well.

Advanced Planning and Deferred Gifts

Your DAF can be the recipient and beneficiary of many types of assets from your estate and is a very effective planning tool.  Your will or other testamentary vehicle can identify your DAF with Crewe Foundation as a beneficiary and can include gifts such as:

  • Life Insurance Policies
  • Brokerage Accounts that allow Transfer on Death Beneficiaries
  • Retirement Plans such as IRA’s and 401 (k) Plans
  • Real Estate
  • Closely-Held Business Ownership
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts and other Planned Gifts

Contact us at Crewe Foundation to begin the planning process.  Our foundation specialists will work with you and your trusted tax and legal professionals to design the most efficient and effective plan for you and your family.