Getting Started with a Donor Advised Fund

Establishing a donor advised fund (DAF) is a great way to contribute to charity, receive an immediate tax benefit, and recommend grants to qualified nonprofits at any time afterward. A DAF allows you to support charities during your lifetime or can help you create an enduring legacy that reflects your values and makes a positive impact for generations to come.

Establishing your AEF Donor Advised Fund is easy:

  1. Download and print out a Program Description and Application, or contact us to have one mailed to you.
  2. Complete the application and send it back to AEF by email, fax (330-656-2063), or mail.
  3. When we receive your completed application, we will contact you or your professional advisor to arrange transfer of the assets you intend to give and arrange the fund’s investment program.
  4. Contribute assets to your fund. AEF accepts as little as $10,000 as an initial contribution.
  5. When we accept your contribution, we send a letter acknowledging your gift, and you receive secure online access to our Internet giving portal, DonorCentral. An example page is included for review: DonorCentral Example Page
  6. You retain the right to advise AEF in administering the affairs of your fund. Your role is that of an advisor – hence the name, donor advised fund. Please note:
    • Contributions received and accepted by AEF are irrevocable.
    • All recommendations from you are advisory. IRS regulations common to all donor advised funds require that the sponsoring charity (in this case, AEF) must have the final say on all recommendations.
    • Each donor advised fund must be operated exclusively for charitable purposes.
    • AEF can only consider grants from your fund to US-based, tax-exempt, public charities, qualified governmental organizations, or approved international charities through our arrangements with CAF America and GlobalGiving.
    • AEF will contact you immediately regarding any grant recommendation that does not comply with tax regulations.

Obviously, AEF incurs expenses in operating your donor advised fund. These include donor services, phone support, mailed notices, statements and communications, tax reporting, compliance, grants administration, and online services. To cover the costs associated with these services, the fund assesses an account administrative fee. AEF charges fees directly to a fund – not to the donor.

Much of the information above can be downloaded in the following form: New DAF Procedure

For our latest fee schedule, please call: 1-888-440-4233

For other important documents you will need, see Forms.

Our experienced staff is available to assist you or your professional advisor in tailoring a charitable giving plan that fits your needs, goals, and charitable interests.

Call us or use our contact form if you have questions.


Tom Tobin

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