Three Things to Know:
If doing your taxes to you means hours of scrolling through your email to find receipts, or squinting back to remember exactly how much you gave, we’re here to tell you — there’s a better way.
A Donor Advised Fund can help you centralize your tax receipts
A Donor Advised Fund can help you find find meaning in your overall giving and tax exemptions
A Donor Advised Fund can help you save on taxes
Let’s Get to it:
Donor Advised Funds centralize your giving into one central account so you can easily track exactly how much you’ve donated throughout the year. No surprises and no searching for receipts. Instead, it’s an easy place you can go to not only see your tax write-offs, but actually reflect on the impact your dollars have had on your local and global community.
How does it work?
A Donor Advised Fund works kind of like a debit card for philanthropy. You seed the account with a certain amount of money (which you can “top off” or add to at any point). When you put money into the account, you automatically ear-mark it for donations.
When you’re ready to donate to your friend’s 5k fundraiser for Heart Disease, or make your monthly donation to your local soup kitchen, the funds are pulled from your Donor Advised Fund. The fund acts as a central place where you can track all the organizations you’ve given to. At tax season, rather than submitting receipts for all of the nonprofits you gave to, you only submit one line item — the amount you transferred into your Fund.
Still have money left in your Fund at the end of the year? That’s ok too.
All the money in your Donor Advised Fund rolls over to the next year… and the next. Since you only ever write off your contributions into the fund (and not out of the fund), you don’t have to worry about double counting your donations. Having money left in your account can also be a great reminder in the middle of tax season that you also have some choice in the type of programs to fund.
During the year, you may have spent down your Donor Advised Fund by giving reactively to all of your friends’ and family fundraisers. And while being able to fulfill our friends’ requests and support their passions does feel good, it’s also important to align your giving with your own passions. With money left in your fund at the end of the year, take the opportunity to reflect on your own passions and give the remainder of your Donor Advised Fund to a cause close to your own heart. (Bonus: Check out our GivingStyle quiz to find out what type of philanthropist you are)
Tax Incentives to save up your donation dollars
Alternatively, some people like to roll-over their contributions each year to “save up” for a big philanthropic donation, or to endow a scholarship fund. By keeping the money in a Donor Advised Fund as you save-up, you can invest this money tax-free. That means not only does the principal amount you have in your fund not get taxed, but neither does any returns you make on investments. See more on that in our blog on funding scholarships.
Ready to make doing your taxes more joyful? Sign up to join the waiting list to use our Donor Advised Fund product and we’ll add you to our community.