Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Your personal information is only accessible to you and AEF. If you approve, your advisor can be granted access to your DonorCentral account.

You can reset your password online through DonorCentral. However, if you forget your user name, please call us at 1-888-402-9179 and we will be happy to assist you.

Click here to go to DonorCentral If you do not have your Password, please call us at1-888-402-9179.

AEF takes great care to comply with all laws governing charitable gift giving and all IRS guidelines affecting donor advised funds. The fund will not approve any grants that:

  • Are made to individuals or non-qualified charities;
  • Fulfill a donor’s pre-existing pledge to an organization;
  • Provide benefit to the donor or individual;
  • Support lobbying, political campaigns or other political activities;
  • Support a charitable event that would constitute a quid-pro-quo arrangement (e.g., tickets for a fundraiser dinner.)

You will receive a copy of the letter sent to the charity.


The check will bear the name of the American Endowment Foundation; however, the accompanying letter will recognize the donor or account name (per your instructions) who recommended the particular grant. You may also remain anonymous if you wish.

If we have worked with the charity before, the check will ordinarily be issued within five business days. If we have not granted to the charity before, we perform due diligence on your behalf to verify that it is a 501(c)3 charity.

$250 is the minimum grant amount.

Grants can be made to any IRS-approved public charity. Approved organizations are U.S.-based organizations that qualify as tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are public charities as defined by Section 509(a) of the code. AEF provides you the ability to research through CharitySearch, from GuideStar®, a database of over 1 million IRS-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. Note: All grant recommendations are subject to approval of the Fund. We are also able to make grants to international charities through CAF America and GlobalGiving.

Tax laws require that your charitable contribution must be irrevocable and unconditional in order for you to receive the associated tax benefits. Your role as donor advisor to those funds does allow you to recommend how the funds are invested and distributed.

You can recommend a grant online once you have logged into DonorCentral, or you can fill out the Grant Recommendation Form and fax, mail or email ( it to us.

No. All account earnings accrue within your donor advised fund, thereby increasing the amount that you can recommend for grants to public charities. The earnings in the fund do not increase any tax deduction you can claim for contributing to the account, since you receive your deduction at the time of contribution.

No. At this time we have chosen to focus our efforts on ensuring the simplicity and efficiency of our donor advised fund.

Yes the financial advisor manages investments in their client's fund on their familiar custodial platform. Assets may be invested in a wide variety of publicly traded securities, including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds, in any combination.

Yes. Contribution statements are mailed for each contribution. You will also receive quarterly statements.

Typically, your account is open and funded within 24 hours from the receipt of your contribution. On some occasions (particularly if assets are being transferred from a financial institution to another.), the process can take from two to six weeks. If the assets are coming from another financial institution and you are concerned about timing, we recommend you contact us for strategies to expedite the transfer.

Fair Market Value (for purposes of the charitable contribution deduction) is determined on the date that contributions are received by the fund. In the case of contributions of stock, Fair Market Value is the average of the high and the low for the day that the assets were received by the fund. In the case of contributions of mutual funds, Fair Market Value is the closing price on the date of receipt. Securities are typically liquidated the following business day after receipt, so the Fair Market Value for tax purposes may be different from the amount of sales proceeds credits to your donor advised fund.

You may designate your donor advised fund as a beneficiary to a portion or all of your IRA. We encourage you to consult with your tax advisor to discuss the tax consequences of utilizing an IRA for charitable giving.

With proper guidance from an adult, you can get involve your children or grandchildren as young as 8 years old and can create donor advised funds in their name.

Yes. We encourage our donors to see their account as a vehicle with which to leave a lasting legacy of giving. You may name one or more designated individuals as the successor(s) on your account, to take over as donor-advisors when you are no longer able to, or no longer want to. Alternatively, you may designate a specified charity as the beneficiary, and the account will be distributed to the charity according to your distribution plan.

We will mail you quarterly statements that itemize contributions and grants and list the value of your account.You will receive acknowledgement that can be used to support your tax deduction. If you recommend a grant to charity, you will also receive a copy of the letter we mail to the charity.

Individuals, as well as organizations or businesses, can open an account with a minimum of $10,000. After the initial contribution, you may make contributions of $1000 or more at a time.

AEF incurs expenses in operating your donor advised fund. These include donor services, phone support, mailed notices, statements and communications, grants administration, and online services. To cover the costs associated with these services, the fund assesses an account administrative fee. Fee schedules vary depending upon custodian and account size.To find out more, call us at 1-888-440-4233.

Yes. If you request anonymity on the Grant Recommendation Form, AEF will make the grant without disclosing your identity to the grantee organization. This can be done selectively or for all grants.


No. Unfortunately, tax regulations prohibit grants that satisfy personal pledges from a donor advised fund.

AEF can make grants to any US-based, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organization (other than non-operating private foundations) as well as approved international charities.

Yes, you can name anyone you want as successor advisor. Simply name your successor advisor in the Disposition section of the Fund Application. If you want to name more than one successor advisor, please identify who will serve as spokesperson of the group. When they succeed you, they will be able to name successor advisors.

Yes. As a public charity, AEF can be named as a CRT remainderman.

Yes. You can recommend that we work with your financial advisor to determine how the assets in your Fund will be invested, and invest in a broad range of securities, including individual stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

No. Upon review, AEF can hold assets in-kind. When they are eventually sold, the advisor and their client recommend how they would like to reinvest the proceeds.

In addition to cash and publicly traded securities, AEF can accept closely held stock, life insurance policies, real estate, and interests in limited liability partnerships and LLC's.

Yes. AEF can work with almost any custodian. When discussing a new fund with AEF, make certain to let us know which custodian your firm uses.

AEF provides donor advised fund services for clients of accountants, attorneys, brokers, registered investment advisors, investment managers, financial planners, banks, and other financial institutions.

We are a full-service donor advised fund company and provide concierge-level services. Please note: AEF does not offer investment management services, nor sell investment products. Donors can recommend that their trusted advisors manage the investment of their donor advised fund assets. This is unique from most other donor advised fund programs, which typically require DAF assets to be held in a limited menu of pooled investments, proprietary mutual funds, and managed by the institution. AEF does not cross-sell other products. Our sole focus is donor advised fund administration.


Tom Tobin

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