Donor-Advised Funds

Donor-advised funds are convenient, flexible tools, allowing you to support the causes and organizations you care about. Once you establish a fund using cash, stock, or other assets, you can recommend grants to the nonprofit organizations of your choice - without geographic restrictions. Grants will be made in the name of the fund or they can be made anonymously.

You can establish a fund today, make charitable grants now or in the future, and add to the fund at any time. And unlike donor-advised funds offered by commercial entities, we can provide you with guidance on local issues and organizations, drawing upon the Foundation’s century of philanthropic experience in Forsyth County.

Ten Reasons to Set up a Donor-Advised Fund at the Foundation

  1. Local Knowledge. Many people want to give to worthy causes, but may need assistance in determining which organizations to support. We work with nonprofits in our community every day, and we’re able to offer information when you need it. Our staff can help you research organizations addressing your charitable interests, and then we’ll facilitate your grants to support them.
  2. Simplified Recordkeeping. We keep track of your donations, providing timely gift acknowledgments, and we utilize professional money managers for endowed assets. Statement access is provided securely online or through quarterly printed statements.
  3. Tax Timing Advantages. From a tax perspective, it may make sense to make larger charitable contributions in some years more than in others. With a donor-advised fund, you can make contributions in years when it’s more tax advantageous, and then make charitable distributions in subsequent years—without having to add to the fund each year.
  4. Fast and Easy Set-up. A non-endowed donor-advised fund can be opened in a day, with a simple one-page agreement and an initial gift of $1,000 or more. An endowed donor-advised fund is established with a trust agreement and can be set up in a few days with an initial gift of at least $25,000.
  5. Modest Fees. A donor-advised fund is typically less costly and easier to administer than other forms of organized giving, such as family or corporate foundations. Non-endowed donor-advised funds are assessed an annual administrative fee of $120. Endowed donor-advised funds have a 1% administrative fee based on the fund’s prior quarter-end market value.
  6. Make Charitable Grants Anonymously. If desired, you can make grants anonymously on a grant-by-grant basis.
  7. Avoid Capital Gains Taxes on Appreciated Securities. If you have stocks or bonds purchased more than a year ago that are worth more now than when you bought them, you will not have to pay capital gains taxes on the earnings if you gift them to the Foundation.
  8. Give Strategically. You can choose to partner with the Foundation to fund Community Grants in a variety of areas to strengthen the community.
  9. Grow Your Giving Capacity. If you choose to endow a donor-advised fund, your initial gift can grow significantly over time, and all growth in the fund is tax-free.
  10. Make a Difference in Perpetuity. You can name a second generation of advisors to an endowed donor-advised fund. After the second generation, the fund will continue to distribute grants for changing community needs or to the nonprofits you designate.

Donor-Advised Funds: at a Glance

Non-Endowed Donor-Advised Funds

Donors often use this type of fund to simplify their annual giving to nonprofits or to become more familiar with the Foundation. The full balance (above a $1,000 minimum) is available for grantmaking at any time to support your favorite causes.

Minimum balance: $1,000
Administrative fee: $120 annually ($10 monthly)
Minimum grant amount: $100

Fund is not invested, and all income is retained by the Foundation

Endowed Donor-Advised Funds

These funds are invested for growth, with a portion of the income accessible for grantmaking. Donors with a longer-term vision typically establish this type of fund to achieve lasting community impact. Other benefits include membership in the Legacy Society and the ability to name children as a second generation of advisors.

Minimum balance: $25,000
Administrative fee: 1% annually, based on quarterly market values
Minimum grant amount: $100

Endowment is invested with an approved investment manager

Contact us to complete an endowed donor-advised fund trust agreement.

stories of impact: donors

Making Giving More Meaningful

When online publishing entrepreneurs Alex and Michelle Schenker sold one of their company’s websites in 2015, the couple decided to use proceeds from the sale to be more strategic in their charitable giving.

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For more information
Annette Lynch
Vice President, Advancement
alynch@wsfoundation.org
(336) 714-3455
Susan Elster
Philanthropic Advisor
selster@wsfoundation.org
(336) 714-3451