Donor-advised fund

What is a donor-advised fund?

An increasingly popular method of charitable giving, a donor-advised fund – or DAF – can be an easy and flexible way to manage your giving and help you achieve your strategic philanthropic goals.

A DAF is an account established through a sponsoring non-profit organization, community foundation, or financial institution. Many people think of a DAF as similar to a “charitable savings account” because you can add funds to it whenever you like. Others choose to open a DAF rather than creating a private foundation.

When you make a contribution to your DAF, you receive an immediate tax benefit. Then you can determine where, how, and who receives donations from the fund. Give to one charity or several. Give a lot or a little. Gifts from the fund to the charities of your choice are completely up to you.

Your DAF gift to Mercy Corps supports our work around the world. Together, we can empower people to recover from crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good.

How it works:

  1. Establish your DAF through a sponsoring charity or foundation.
  2. Receive an immediate tax-deduction when you contribute to your DAF.
  3. Recommend how much - and how often - you want to distribute money from your DAF to charities or nonprofits of your choice, like Mercy Corps. You can make a gift to Mercy Corps from your DAF* by using the DAF Direct application on this page!
*DAF Direct connects to the following sponsoring charitable organizations: Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, BNY Melon, and the Great Kansas City Community Foundation.

Advantages include:

  • DAFs grow tax-free, so you can have a bigger impact on the causes you support.
  • Opening a DAF is surprisingly simple and affordable, and can often be done online.
  • For most DAFs, you can contribute a wide range of assets including cash, mutual funds, publicly traded securities or real estate.
  • Many DAFs offer an easy way to track your gifts, so you can use your charitable dollars in a smart and strategic way.
  • You can leave a legacy gift by naming a nonprofit like Mercy Corps as a charitable beneficiary of your DAF.

Is a donor-advised fund right for you?

If you’ve been looking for a way to expand your impact and manage your philanthropy, giving through a DAF is a great option to consider! Contact your financial or legal advisor, or specific DAF representative for detailed information.