Donor Advised Funds

A popular fund option, donor advised funds provide maximum convenience and flexibility to address your charitable interests and priorities.

The Oliver Family uses donor advised funds to accomplish their charitable goals.

What is a donor advised fund?


A donor advised fund is a fund for which the donor and his or her family members make recommendations for grants, subject to the approval of the Foundation’s board of directors. The Foundation manages check writing, reporting and paperwork. Many donors choose this type of fund to simplify their annual giving.

Interested in learning about how the Oliver Family started their donor advised fund? Read their story.

Friends of Shannon Christy opened a donor advised fund to honor her memory and support her passions. The Shannon Christy Memorial Fund awards grants to nonprofits that empower girls and women, protect the environment and rivers, relate to kayaking or the outdoors and more.

When you choose a donor advised fund

  • You can create a flexible endowment fund, which allows you to make grants from principal and earnings as you wish, as long as you maintain a balance of at least $10,000.
  • Or consider an endowed fund, designed to grow charitable assets over time. Each year, 4.5% of the fund’s value is available for grantmaking, allowing principal to grow.
  • An initial gift of $10,000 or more establishes your fund; you can add gifts in any amount and with a variety of assets – cash, publicly traded securities, real estate and more.
  • Your gifts are fully tax-deductible in the year of donation to the fund.
  • You can recommend a grant to any 501(c)(3) charity in the United States, and internationally as well – including houses of worship, schools and universities.
  • Online tools make it easy to track your giving and make grants.

Additional benefits at The Community Foundation

  • Access CFWNC’s expertise and experience to learn about community needs and potential grantees.
  • Increase your impact by co-investing with CFWNC and other fundholders to support competitive grants across the region.
  • Leave a legacy for children or grandchildren by naming them to advise your fund after your lifetime.

Contact our Development Staff about creating a donor advised fund.

For more details, download The Community Foundation's Donor Advised Funds Handbook and take a look at a sample Donor Advised Fund Agreement form.

Choose a donor advised fund when you have an interest in supporting a number of causes and want to remain involved with your charitable choices.