How to Give

Donor advised funds

Gifts through a donor advised fund

The benefits of using a donor advised fund are strong and, with the new tax laws, are expected to grow in appeal to strategic donors. They are far easier to establish than a private foundation and allow you to support Virginia Commonwealth University when the time is right for you.

How does it work?

When you open a donor advised funds (DAF), you are creating a separate entity with the sole purpose of using the assets under management to support qualified charities. You can fund it by irrevocably contributing assets such as cash, appreciated stock, insurance proceeds, or various other forms of capital. Given that your DAF is a separate entity, you can take an immediate tax deduction for the amount of the gift.

As adviser to the fund, you may be able to manage the investments personally or choose to have an investment adviser manage the portfolio. The two primary avenues of supporting VCU with your donor advised fund are through a beneficiary designation and recommending grants.


By assigning VCU or other charitable organizations as a beneficiary, you are ensuring that when the DAF ceases to have an adviser the assets in the account get transferred to VCU.


While you or your assigned successor(s) are advising the fund, you can recommend grants from the fund to support VCU or other charitable organizations.

What are the benefits?

  • Receive an immediate deduction on your taxes.
  • Assets in the fund grow tax free.
  • Easier, and less expensive than establishing a private foundation.
  • Tax smart for those using a “lumping” strategy under the new tax laws.
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© Planned Giving Marketing. This document is informational and educational in nature. It is not offering professional tax, legal, or accounting advice. For specific advice about the effect of any planning concept on your tax or financial situation or with your estate, please consult a qualified professional adviser.