Donor Advised Funds act as personal charitable accounts


As 2018 came to an end, the Jewish Federation Foundation of Greater Rhode Island saw an upswing in the number of donors interested in creating Donor Advised Funds. The use of DAFs remains a relatively small part of philanthropy, but their popularity has mushroomed in recent years.


A Donor Advised Fund is a charitable-giving fund created, at the JFF, with an irrevocable gift of $2,500 or more, which can be replenished at any time. The money is added to the JFF’s $60-million endowment fund, which is invested with the Rhode Island Foundation. This allows the donors to recommend grants to their favorite Jewish and secular nonprofit organizations, or even to pay synagogue dues, from their DAF.

Creating a DAF centralizes a donor’s charitable dollars in one convenient account, providing maximum tax advantages and flexibility in grant-making. The donor may be an individual, a family or a corporation. Funds are started with a simple letter of agreement, which can be completed in minutes.

DAFs are like personal charitable savings accounts, allowing the donor to pool his money in one place and decide where to donate it later. Among the many benefits and advantages of creating a Donor Advised Fund with the Jewish Federation Foundation of Greater Rhode Island:

Household benefits

  • Streamline your charitable giving: Your online DAF account enables you to minimize your donation receipts for tax records, download a copy of your contributions, view your account balances and recommend grants to any IRS-qualified 501(c)(3) organizations in good standing.
  • Involve your whole family: By collaborating as a family to allocate your philanthropic gifts, you can start a conversation with children about values, financial responsibility and giving back. Some families, for example, have members of all ages research charities during the year, then come together during the holidays to decide which charities to support.
  • Donors have almost unlimited time to decide which charities to support.



Tax benefits

  • Donate to your DAF this year to gain immediate tax benefits.
  • Avoid capital gains taxes on gifts of appreciated assets held for at least one year.
  • DAFs are not subject to any estate taxes.




And more

  • Leave a legacy: Your DAF can convert into an endowment fund upon your passing, so the fund will benefit your preferred charitable organization(s) for years. Or, you can assign successors, such as your children, to recommend grants from the fund into the future.
  • Minimal costs: The Jewish Federation Foundation charges a 1 percent annual fee to manage your fund, which benefits the Jewish community.
  • Retain anonymity: Rest assured that other organizations or individuals will not be informed as to your account’s assets, contact information, or to which organizations you donate. Your fund can even be listed anonymously, if desired.


For more information on easy ways to establish a Donor Advised Fund with the Jewish Federation Foundation at the Jewish Alliance, contact Trine Lustig, chief development officer, at or 401-421-4111, ext. 223.