What Is a Donor Advised Fund?

A donor advised fund is a simple, tax-wise, and meaningful way to create your very own lasting legacy. The way it works is simple:

  • You can establish the fund quickly, and adjust the details over time.
  • You can contribute a wide range of assets.
  • Your contributions qualify for immediate and maximum tax benefits (better than those of a private foundation).
  • You can support qualified charities of your choice and according to your own flexible schedule.
  • Your financial advisor can manage investments in your fund.
  • You can appoint successors.


A Platform as Unique as You

Because not all donor advised fund programs are alike (and many are less flexible), we offer an agenda-free platform for maximum investment flexibility and grant making, as well as gifting and administrative expertise for your individual needs.

At iGiftFund, we recognize and celebrate the uniqueness of donors like you. That’s why we place such a strong emphasis on true independence:

  • iGiftFund is not affiliated with any financial institution, brokerage firm, mutual fund company, or other charity.
  • iGiftFund does not accrue benefits from brokerage services, commissions, finder fees, or product sales.
  • iGiftFund does not offer or promote financial products or services.
  • iGiftFund has no hidden agenda: geographic, investment, programmatic, grant, or succession.

Your Legacy is in Experienced, Responsible Hands

With iGiftFund, you and your advisors will work with professionals who have more than 30 years of experience with donor advised funds. We offer several advantages over other donor advised funds, including:

  • Independence – true independence provides a conflict-free platform that serves your unique needs.
  • Flexibility – regarding the types of assets you contribute, where those assets will be kept, who will manage those investments, what qualified charities or causes you support, and how you choose to engage your family for generations to come.
  • Permanence – with the ability to pass on family values to successor advisors, your fund becomes the platform for your enduring legacy, which can continue in perpetuity through those you elect.
  • Stewardship – we believe that philanthropy is fundamentally more than just “charity” or “charitable giving.” It is an investment: You, your trusted advisors, and iGiftFund become “joint stewards” of your legacy.

Most importantly, when you work with us, you will enjoy personal access and a high-touch service that you simply won’t receive anywhere else. At iGiftFund, you can expect to receive the individualized care and attention that you deserve.

Have any questions? Give us a call. We’re here to discuss, personally and confidentially, any concern that you may have.

Want to hear about some of our donor experiences? We’d love to share them with you.

Phone: 330.400.2768/800.810.0366

Email: DonorSupport@iGiftFund.org

Why Work with Us

The Independent Charitable Gift Fund (iGiftFund) is an IRS-recognized public charity that administers a uniquely independent donor advised fund program. True independence allows us to provide flexible solutions, tools, resources, and support to make your charitable giving free of conflicts of interest and unspoken agendas.

With the longest experience in the donor advised fund industry, our team looks forward to sharing our vast knowledge and offering in-depth technical assistance in working with you and your family, as well as with your trusted financial, tax, and legal advisors.

There are a number of advantages to establishing a donor advised fund at iGiftFund. These include:

 Administrative Expertise

The Primary benefit of establishing your fund at iGiftFund is enjoying the accesible service of professionals with extensive experience in managing donor advised funds. Our ability to provide technical assistance, professional guidance, and a personalized service can make navigating an otherwise complex path much easier.

 Truly Independent

You are welcome to recommend your trusted investment advisor (Broker dealer or RIA) to manage your fund’s investments to meet your unique objectives, on your familiar platform, at all fund size levels.


Our IT platform is Stellar Technology Solutions, the largest independent DAF IT platform in the country.

Fewer Headaches

Setting up your fund is significantly less costly and time-consuming than establishing a private foundation. We take care of the following on your behalf: filing all necessary tax returns, handling all administrative affairs, and complying with all regulatory authorities.


 Lower Administrative Costs

Because of our design and systems efficiency, our administrative fees are the lowest in the marketplace.

 Oversight and Accountability

Our independent, volunteer Board of Directors provides oversight, and our financial statements are certified annually by independent auditors.


iGiftFund specializes in delivering a high-touch, personalized service. We’re here to address any questions or concerns that you may have. We do not operate a call center.

 Tax Benefits

Because of our public charity status, you’ll enjoy any immediate and maximum tax benefits that are available. You’ll also have the flexibility to separate tax decisions from grant making decisions. You can recommend grants whenever it best suits you.

Program Description and Guidelines

Establishing a Donor Advised Fund

Individuals, families, companies, trusts, estates, and private foundations are all eligible to open a donor advised fund with iGiftFund. The individual or entity that opens a fund is considered the primary donor.

Opening a donor advised fund is straightforward:

  • Complete the online donor advised application by going to our website www.iGiftFund.org and click OPEN YOUR FUND HERE.
  • Make an initial irrevocable contribution of $25,000 or more.

You or your advisor can obtain a pdf form of the application by visiting the Forms section of our website at www.iGiftFund.org/forms.


To establish a fund, your initial contribution may be made in a variety of ways, including:

  • Cash
  • Publicly traded securities
  • Closely held securities
  • Assets from an existing foundation
  • A gift from your company or corporation
  • Life insurance
  • Real estate
  • Illiquid assets
  • Patents, copyrights, or other interests held by the donor
  • Any combination of the above, or other items of net worth

At iGiftFund, we specialize in complex assets such as S-Corp and C-Corp shares, limited liability arrangements, real estate, and life insurance.

So, no matter how complex your situation may be, you can count on us for assistance. We partner with Bryan Clontz, the leading authority in the country on gifts of illiquid assets.

Contributions to iGiftFund are irrevocable and tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Contributions to the fund can be made at times that are most beneficial from a tax or financial planning perspective, while grant recommendations to IRS-qualified public charities may be made on a separate timetable to support your favorite charities.

 Contribution Process

Depending on the type of assets that you’re contributing, iGiftFund’s review and acceptance procedures may vary. We encourage you to call us early when considering complex assets, as each contribution is approved and processed on a case-by-case basis. If, for any reason, we are unable to accept a contribution, you’ll be notified as soon as possible.

Commonly contributed assets and their respective delivery instructions include:

  • Cash Contributions: You may deliver cash by check, ACH or wire. Checks should be made payable to the Independent Charitable Gift Fund and reference your Fund name.
  • Publicly Traded Securities: You may transfer stocks (“in kind”) directly into your fund’s respective investment account. If you’re contributing thinly traded stock or restricted securities, iGiftFund must approve any proposed liquidation schedule.
  • Other Property: Such contributions may include non-publicly traded assets (such as shares of a privately held company), real estate, mineral rights, etc. iGiftFund will work with you to liquidate the asset at the ideal time with the goal of maximizing its value. Any costs that iGiftFund incurs during the sale of said assets (e.g., legal or consulting fees) will reduce the net proceeds of your fund. You are responsible for securing and paying for a qualified appraisal
    to substantiate your charitable tax deduction.

Certain assets, such as publicly traded stock, can be liquidated immediately, while other contributions may be liquidated on a specific schedule to maximize the asset value. We listen closely to your intentions. The net proceeds of all liquidated contributions are reflected in the asset value of your fund, and can then be reinvested.

Contributions Are Irrevocable

Once we approve and accept your contribution, it is irrevocable, and iGiftFund retains exclusive legal control over the contributed assets. Per the IRS, you may not impose any material restriction or condition on the gift. Donor advised fund assets are exclusively for charitable purposes.


Donors often like the idea of establishing their fund in their own name, that of a loved one, or even a cause in which they deeply believe.

 Testamentary Gifts / Gifts from Trusts

Contributions to your fund may be made as part of your estate planning. Your fund can be the beneficiary of:

  • A bequest
  • A retirement plan such as an individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) plan
  • A life insurance policy
  • A brokerage account or other accounts that allow you to designate beneficiaries
  • A charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust

While many people prefer to establish and work with a fund while they are alive, some choose to make their gift in the form of a bequest at the time of their passing. Whatever your unique needs and financial situation, we can help you shape your legacy and realize your charitable intentions now or at a later time.

Please contact us for more information on how to designate your fund as the beneficiary of your estate planning vehicle. There are many ways for iGiftFund to distribute your testamentary gifts to the charities that you support. You should always consult your financial, tax, or legal advisor when setting up any testamentary gift, trust, or other deferred gift.

Special Liquidation Considerations

If you have special considerations, iGiftFund can work with you and your advisors to liquidate in a reasonable time period. Certain assets can be held in kind. As always, please call us if you have any questions or concerns. We’re on standby to help!

Naming Fund Holders (Primary Advisors)

When establishing a donor advised fund, you may assign an additional fund holder as well as successor advisors. The fund holders may recommend grants as well as choose a succession plan for their fund.

Naming a Financial Advisor (BD or RIA)

You may recommend a financial advisor to your fund who will be granted the authority to manage investments and who may be able to recommend grants on your behalf.

You may change successor or financial advisor (BD & RIA) at any time by completing the Financial Advisor Form Change Form which can be found on our website at www.iGiftFund.org/forms.

Please note that a financial advisor (BD or RIA) can be both a fund holder and investment advisor in a fund, provided the financial advisor doesn’t collect a fee.

 Succession Options

When creating your fund, you will select a succession plan to guide iGiftFund on how your fund will make grants after your death or inability to advise. You can make changes to your succession plan by completing a Fund Change Form which can be found on our website by visiting the forms section of our website at www.iGiftFund.org/forms.

The process of assigning successor privileges can continue in perpetuity. Common succession options include:

  • Appointing Successors – You may name one or more successors, typically your spouse, child, or other descendant, heir, or representative who will assume full responsibility for advising your fund after the death of both Fund Holders (Primary and Joint Advisors). Successors then become the primary advisors and are able to make contributions, recommend grants, reallocate investments, and name their own succesors. In the case of more than 2 successor advisors, Successor A & B will become the Primary and Joint and the remaining will continue on as successors in the fund.
  • Creating New Funds for Multiple Successors – Rather than naming multiple successors for a single fund, you may recommend that two or more donor advised funds be established, and name individual successors to each. If you select this option, the new fund will be funded from the remaining fund balance.

Upon assuming primary advisor privileges, the successor(s) may designate their own successor(s). Each successor fund must be funded with a minimum of $25,000.

  • Naming Charitable Beneficiaries – You may recommend that one or more public charities receive grants from the fund upon the death of the last primary advisor. These organizations are subject to the same grant approval process as those that occur during the primary advisor’s lifetime. If the designated organization no longer exists, iGiftFund will make every effort to make a grant to an organization that supports similar purposes.
  • Endowment Program

Donors can opt to recommend that one or more charities receive a recurring grant based on a percentage of the account’s remaining balance through an endowment plan. All recommended grants will be subject to iGiftFund’s review and approval process. Funds with balances of at least $100,000 are eligible to participate in the endowment program.


Investment Choice

iGiftFund provides open investment architecture, offering the widest array of investment choices.

When you open your fund, you may recommend an investment strategy for your assets. Unlike other programs, iGiftFund does not offer a limited menu of proprietary investment options. A fund can have different objectives as well as various risk/reward profiles. Our Board of Directors has final responsibility for the investments in the donor advised fund.

Please note that if you don’t specify an investment option, your contributions will be held in the liquidity account until further direction. For more information, please review our Investment Guidelines, which can be found on our website at www.iGiftFund.org/forms.

 Investment Advisor

You must appoint a trusted financial advisor (BD or RIA) to manage the investments in your fund.

 Custodial Flexibility

iGiftFund is unique in that it works on all investment platforms. To provide you with additional transparency, we can set up duplicate statements with your selected custodian.

Grant Making

The assets in your fund are available only for public charitable purposes. You may, however, recommend grants to qualified charitable organizations at any time, provided that your fund has available funds and that the charity meets the eligibility conditions under IRS regulations.

Grant Recommendation Process

To initiate an online grant recommendation, visit DonorView (iGiftFund’s secure online site). Instructions on how to recommend grants and grantees can be found on our website www.iGiftFund.org/forms, under DonorView How To’s.

Once a grant recommendation is received, we will carefully review and verify that the charitable organization is eligible to receive the grant.

If your grant recommendation has issues that need clarification within the IRS rules, we will contact you. We’ll make every effort to suggest alternatives, or you may choose to submit an alternative grant recommendation.

Grant Making Considerations

  • Grant minimum is $100.
  • Grants are reviewed daily and we make every effort to process within 7 business days.
  • We offer several recognition options.
  • You may set up recurring grants.

Eligible Grant Recipients

iGiftFund can make grants to charitable organizations that are tax-exempt under IRS Code Section 501(c)(3) and that are public charities under Code Section 509(a)(1), (2), or (3). iGiftFund can also make grants to private operating foundations.

Eligible recipient charities include, but are not limited to:

  • Religious organizations and places of worship
  • Schools and educational institutions
  • Museums and arts organizations
  • Environmental organizations
  • Hospitals and healthcare organizations
  • Scientific and medical research institutes
  • Any other IRS-approved charitable organizations established for charitable purposes

Ineligible Grant Recipients

Under IRS regulations, iGiftFund cannot approve grants to:

  • Individuals
  • Private foundations (except for private operating foundations, as noted above)
  • Non-functionally integrated Type III supporting organizations
  • Political campaigns, or candidates, or to support lobbying activity
  • Fulfill an existing pledge (grants cannot be made to fulfill a financial obligation or legally binding commitment)
  • Pay for dues, membership fees, tuition, goods from charitable auctions, admission fees or a portion of the cost of attendance (this includes bifurcated gifts where a donor pays for the non-tax deductible portion of the admission fee out of pocket and recommends the tax-deductible portion from their fund)
  • Goods or services provided by the grant recipient charity, unless the items are of low value

International Charitable Organizations

iGiftFund can make grants to foreign charities that have a US-based sponsor. There are other options to make an impact overseas. Please contact us for more information.

Donor Recognition or Anonymity

You can be recognized in any of the following ways:

  • Full Recognition – your name/address and fund name
  • Partial Recognition – your fund name only
  • Anonymously

Your grant check will include a personalized letter to the recipient charity with the donor recognition that you requested.


iGiftFund will not release your name or contact information to any recipient charity without consent.

Number of Grants

You can make an unlimited number of grants from your fund, provided that there are sufficient funds. Additional fees may apply to high-volume grant making.

Grant Minimum

The minimum grant amount is $100. If the amount of a grant recommendation exceeds your fund balance, iGiftFund will ask you to either recommend a grant in a different amount or make an additional contribution to the fund.

Minimum Account Activity

If you have not made grant recommendations for three years, iGiftFund will make every effort to contact you or your
advisor(s) to request that a recommendation be made.

Tax Information

Tax Considerations

iGiftFund is a public charity that enables donors to take advantage of the most favorable charitable tax deductions.  You should consult your tax advisor to determine the appropriate deduction limits.

 Tax Eligibility

You are eligible for an itemized income tax deduction on the date that you irrevocably gift your asset to iGiftFund. Any deduction that you receive will depend on the type of asset that you contribute and your personal financial circumstances. Rules and regulations regarding tax deductions for charitable giving vary by state. Additional tax rules and regulations may apply, and you should always consult a tax or legal advisor before making a charitable contribution to your fund. (This guide addresses only federal taxes.)

 Tax Treatment Benefits

Your gift will qualify for immediate and maximum tax benefits.

 Income tax

Contributions are eligible for immediate federal income tax deductions, subject to the following annual adjusted gross
income (AGI) limits.

  • Cash: 60% of AGI
  • Non-cash assets: 30% of AGI

If your contribution exceeds this limit, you may carry the deduction forward for up to five additional years.

 Capital Gains

One of the most rewarding benefits of the program is theability to contribute appreciated assets without incurring capital gains tax liability.

 Estate Taxes

Assets in your fund are not subject to estate taxes or probate.

 Investment Growth

Any growth of your fund resulting from investment growth is exempt from taxes.

 Alternative Minimum Tax

If you are otherwise subject to alternative minimum tax (AMT), contributions to your gift fund may reduce your AMT liability. Please consult your legal or tax advisor for more information.


  • Check/Wire: Amount of the cash contribution.
  • Publicly Traded Securities: Fair market value of the securities for those held longer than one year.
  • Mutual Fund Shares: The fair market value of the mutual fund shares contributed for those held longer than one year. iGiftFund calculates the fair market value of mutual fund shares as the closing price on the date of the contribution.
  • Securities Not Publicly Traded: Typically the fair market value of securities that have been held for longer than one year. In most circumstances, the IRS requires a qualified independent appraisal to determine the fair market value of securities that are not publicly traded. Appraisal costs are the responsibility of the donor.
  • Short-Term Securities: Limited to the cost basis or the current market value (whichever is lower) for assets that have been held for one year or less.

Gift Receipts & Tax Forms

iGiftFund provides a gift acceptance confirmation letter, which serves as your gift receipt for tax purposes.

Donors are responsible for the value that they claim as a deduction on their tax returns.

If you’re considering a contribution of non-publicly traded assets, you should consult your tax advisor to ensure compliance with IRS requirements, which may include obtaining a qualified independent appraisal and reporting such valuation to the IRS on IRS Form 8283. The donor is responsible for the cost of the appraisal.

Privacy Policy

At iGiftFund, we recognize that what often discourages individuals from donating more is the unwelcome solicitations that they receive as a result of their personal information being sold, rented, or given to other nonprofits.

We respect your privacy and take its protection seriously. That includes your contribution, investment, and grant making privacy. You have our word that we will never sell, rent, lease, or give away your personal information.

Program Fees and Expenses

 Charitable Administrative Fee

As shown in the tiered fee schedule below, iGiftFund assesses an Administrative Fee quarterly, based on the fund’s value at the beginning of the quarter. This fee covers fund operating expenses such as grant making, record-keeping, annual audits, tax filing, quarterly statements, and other legal and fiscal responsibilities.

 Tiered Fee Schedule

We assess fees quarterly based on the account’s value at the beginning of the quarter. The fee covers fund operating expenses, such as online donor services, phone support, grant due diligence, administration, tax filings and annual account summaries.

Annual Administrative Fees

This schedule results in a weighted average of the basis points associated with each asset tier.

First $500,000 ($0 – $.5M)45.00 bps
Next $500,000 ($.5M – $1M)22.50 bps
Next $1,500,000 ($1M – $2.5M)15.00 bps
Next $2,500,000 ($2.5M – $5M)11.25 bps
Next $10,000,000 ($5M – $15M)9.375 bps
Over $15,000,000 ($15M and up)7.50 bps
Minimum Fee:$600.00

 Investment Management Fees

Reasonable professional investment management fees, transaction expenses, etc. are charged directly to the respective fund.

 Pass-Through Account Fee

In some circumstances, iGiftFund may deem a fund to be pass-through in nature—that is, contributions are being quickly distributed from the fund. In these cases, iGiftFund reserves the right, in any particular quarter, to substitute the above-described fee approach with an administrative fee equal to 1% of grants made from the fund during that quarter.

While these guidelines are universal, each fund is fully customizable to suit your unique needs and goals.

Please click here for a pdf version of our Program Description and Guidelines.