Ahh… the billionaire lifestyle. Personal jets, luxurious estates around the world, private foundations…
Actually, I’m pretty happy with what I have. I don’t think I’d make a very good billionaire. Who ever heard of a billionaire waiting for a handbag to go on sale?
But having my own philanthropic fund? That’s where I can keep up with my billionaire friends! (Ok, I don’t have any billionaire friends, but if there is one reading this, we’d love to work with you. I'm at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
My philanthropic fund is a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF), and in some ways it’s even better than a private foundation. So let me tell you how you too can give like a billionaire. Here are the ABCs of DAFs:
• What is a DAF?
A DAF is a charitable giving account, set up at a brokerage firm like Charles Schwab, or at a non-profit such as JUF or the Chicago Foundation for Women (two terrific organizations I am involved with). The account can be titled in your name, such as the Reiches Family Charitable Fund. That has a nice ring to it!
• How do I contribute do a DAF?
You can contribute cash or securities like stocks, bonds or mutual fund shares. Many DAFs accept non-publicly traded assets such as private company stock as well. Once you contribute, you have made an irrevocable gift to charity. No take-backs!
Contributing appreciated stocks or mutual fund shares with large long-term gains provides an extra benefit. You get rid of the capital gains you would have incurred if you had sold the securities and donated the cash proceeds, which may increase the amount available for charity by up to 20%.
• I just write a lot of checks to my favorite charities. $100 here, $100 there… Is giving to a DAF easier?
DAFs make the charitable giving process easy and streamlined. Once you have funded a DAF, you can go online to the DAF website, and make a grant recommendation to virtually any IRS-qualified public charity. No more checks, envelopes, stamps, keeping track of all of those receipts for tax purposes.
• Do I get a charitable deduction when I give to my DAF?
Yes! You are eligible for a deduction when you contribute to your DAF. So remember, if you contribute $10,000 in 2020, but recommend a $5,000 grant in 2021 and a $5,000 grant in 2022, you get the entire $10,000 deduction upon contributing this year. You can “bunch” contributions that you would have made over several years into a single year, which may have tax advantages. As always, check with your tax advisor.
• What happens to the money while it’s in the DAF?
Funds in your DAF can be invested in a variety of options. The funds grow tax-free, just like in a private foundation.
• Will I feel like a billionaire with my DAF?
Well, I don’t know about that, but if giving back is one of your Core Values, you will feel great giving from your DAF.
• How do I learn more?
I love to talk about DAFs! Please connect with me below.
Shari Greco Reiches
Shari co-founded Rappaport Reiches Capital Management with one goal - to maximize the return on life for her clients. Please connect with Shari below. She loves to talk about investing, financial planning, and Barry Manilow.
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