A Donor Advised Fund is a type of charitable giving program that allows you to get most of the benefits of your own family foundation without incurring the legal expenses or hassles of setting up your own foundation. They are often times marketed or promoted as Charitable Gift Funds.
Here is how it works—You make a contribution to your Donor Advised Fund and set up a “Foundation Account” that you name— such as, “The Smith Family Fund” — and claim an immediate tax deduction.
You’re eligible (assuming you itemize your tax deductions) to take an immediate tax deduction for each contribution. Because the Donor Advised Fund is an independent public charity, contributions usually qualify for larger tax deductions than those you’d get from setting up your own foundation!
You can donate appreciated stocks, mutual funds or real estate by contributing assets with unrealized long-term capital gains directly to your Donor Advised Fund. Instead of selling the assets and then donating the proceeds, you can give more to charity and claim even bigger tax savings.
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