5 Smart Ways to Maximize Your Donor-Advised Fund

Illustration of raised hands with hearts
Portrait of Kaye Ridolfi

Guest blog by Cleveland Foundation Senior Vice President of Advancement Kaye Ridolfi 

Donor-advised funds have become a universally popular tool in charitable giving, and with good reason! With careful planning they can bring you great tax savings, flexibility and the benefit of centralizing your charitable dollars in one convenient account.

Some simple strategies can help you fully realize the impact of your fund and boost the satisfaction you get from giving:

  1. Choose the Right Partner

You have some options in who you choose to establish your donor-advised fund; consider what is most important to you. When you choose us as your charitable partner, you gain access to our expert grantmaking and financial teams. A dedicated advisor can share our understanding of the community’s needs and connect you to the most effective nonprofits that serve them.

  1. Involve Your Family

We routinely work one-on-one with donors and their families to customize giving plans and create a family vision. Many donors like the idea of teaching their children how to make grantmaking decisions while experiencing the transformative power they have in the community. You can designate family members as current advisors or successor advisors to your fund and invite them to be a part of the bigger picture.

  1. Maximize Flexibility

Timing: Make grantmaking decisions whenever it works for you! Take an immediate tax reduction.

Assets: We accept a wide variety of assets. We can even facilitate your fund’s gift of appreciated securities to smaller charities that may not have the means to handle your donation directly.

Convert Your Private Foundation: Easily convert your private foundation into a donor-advised fund in order to focus on grantmaking and leave the administrative matters to us.

Gifts from Others: Share news of your fund with friends and family, encouraging donations in memory of a loved one, or in place of wedding, anniversary, retirement, birthday or bar and bat mitzvah gifts.

  1. Connect to the Community

We can connect you with other fund holders, as well as nonprofit organizations doing meaningful work. Whether you support causes here at home or other communities that you care about, you can use your fund to contribute to any 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S.

  1. Leave a Permanent Legacy

As you review your estate planning options, consider using your donor-advised fund to design creative solutions so your fund remains part of your larger estate, or so your favorite charitable organizations are supported by you in perpetuity.

The Cleveland Foundation advancement team stands ready to serve you, especially during this busy time of year end giving. Happy Holidays!