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Donor Advised Fund

What is a Donor Advised Fund?

Donor Advised Funds are like charitable checking accounts within the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota that allow you to make grant recommendations to your favorite nonprofit organizations. Gifts to Donor Advised Funds are tax-deductible at the time they are made. Grants can be recommended from the fund by the donor (or person designated by the donor) at any time.

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How it Works

Opening a donor advised fund allows you to:

  • build up your philanthropic wealth over time
  • increase the impact of your contributions
  • include your family members in meaningful ways
  • invest within a budget that feels comfortable to you.

Additionally, you can align your values with work happening in your community or elsewhere, support the causes you care about the most, and benefit the work of the Women’s Foundation, overall.

Significant Tax Benefits of a Donor Advised Fund

Contributions to a Donor Advised Fund are tax-deductible in the year they are made, and there are no legal costs to establish your fund. In addition, donations receive the most favorable tax treatment because the Women’s Foundation is a public charity. Giving long-term appreciated securities, privately held business interests, or other long-term, appreciated assets can generate larger tax benefits for you than giving cash. And, there is no required payout, so you can make thoughtful grants at your convenience.

Inspiring the Next Generation

Donor Advised Funds can help donors build a legacy of philanthropy for their family. By becoming an advisor to the fund with their parents, children or nephews/nieces can learn about charitable giving and extend their philanthropy to a future generation. The Women’s Foundation honors a second generation of advisors to encourage a tradition of philanthropy.

Interested in Learning More?

If you have questions or are looking for more information, please contact:

Amanda Storm Schuster
Vice President of Advancement

Types of Donor Advised Funds Offered

Fund advisors may recommend grants at any time. The Foundation provides due diligence, gift verification, and transmits checks in a timely manner. Quarterly fund statements from the Foundation give donor advisors a record of all contributions and grantmaking from their Donor Advised Fund.

Unrestricted Donor Advised Fund

Donor or other designate advises the Foundation about grants they wish to make from the fund. *may be setup as annual funds or long-term funds

Designated Fund

Used by donors who want their fund to support specific charitable agencies. This fund is generally long-term (see below). *may be setup as annual funds or long-term funds


Used by donors who want to support an area of special interest, such as education, the arts, or a specific geographic area, without being locked into naming specific recipient organizations. *may be setup as annual funds or long-term funds

Annual Funds

These are non-permanent funds. Generally, grants are distributed over a short period-of-time, within one year. The minimum initial contribution is $5,000.

Long-Term Funds

These funds are permanently endowed. The Women’s Foundation invests the capital in an endowment fund in accordance with its investment policy. The donor may choose the spending rule for the fund: income only, or income and principal. Often, a portion of the income is reinvested so that the capital of the endowment fund will keep up with inflation and will preferably increase on a net basis over the years. Long-term funds must maintain a minimum balance of $25,000. Additional contributions of any size can be made at any time to Donor Advised Funds. Others may also contribute to the fund (birthday, holiday, or memorial/honorary gifts, for example.) And, just like the initial contribution, additional ones are tax deductible in the year they are made.

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Donor Advised Fund Fees

Fees are payable on a monthly basis and based on the fund’s market value as of the previous month-end. The Administrative Fee is charged to all funds. The Investment Fee is charged to endowed funds only.

Fund Size Administrative Fee Investment Fee Total Fee
$5,000 – $999,999 (Minimum Fee $250) 1% 0.66% 1.66%
$1 – 2.4 Million 0.70% 0.66% 1.36%
2.5+ Million 0.35% 0.66% 1.01%