You may think a private foundation is the only charitable giving option for your clients to invest and grant out charitable assets.

While private foundations are powerful giving vehicles for individuals and families, starting and maintaining them can be challenging. They require exhaustive time and resources, not to mention significant expertise to ensure all legal requirements are met.

Through donor-advised funds (DAFs), your clients receive the benefits of a private foundation with less overhead, improved tax deductions, increased grant flexibility and access to local giving experts.

More about DAFs and Private Foundations

Comparison Chart:
Donor-Advised Fund vs. Private Foundation

Donor-Advised Fund Private Foundation
Startup costs
Grant anonymously
Annual taxes
Annual 5% payout required
Maximum tax benefits
Grant and admin services
Form 990 required
Community knowledge
Fees re-invested into community
Network with local donors
Philanthropic advisors
Donor owns brand

Donor-Advised Funds

A DAF acts as a charitable giving account for your clients and provides maximum tax benefits.

Clients receive the benefits of a private foundation, without being subject to start-up costs, obtaining tax-exempt status or annual income excise tax.

Unlike a private foundation, a donor-advised fund does not require you to disclose certain financial information, including private tax return details. There are no complex legal requirements, and they do not require the annual 5 percent payout requirement that private foundations do.

Learn More about DAFs

“Converting our private foundation to a donor-advised fund at San Diego Foundation allowed our large extended family the ease of grantmaking and carrying on the legacy of our grandparents without the headache of managing a private foundation.”

Bob Fletcher
Ed & Mary Fletcher Family Fund Advisor

We Can Help

Since 1975, SDF has helped passionate, socially minded citizens find ways to create positive impacts in communities across San Diego and beyond.

Interested in learning how donor-advised funds can meet your clients’ financial planning and charitable giving goals? Contact our charitable giving experts.

Submit a Contact Form

Leslie S. Klein

Leslie S. Klein, CFP®, AEP®
Director, Gift Planning Advisor
(619) 814-1353


Jason Rogers

Jason Rogers, AIF, CWS
Director, Wealth Advisor Relations
(858) 245-1508