Donor Advised Funds

Donor Advised Funds

A Donor Advised Fund is a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organisation, family, or individual.

A Donor Advised Fund offers the opportunity to create an easy-to-establish, low cost, flexible vehicle for charitable giving as an alternative to direct giving or a private foundation.


How does it work?

Community foundations are pioneers of Donor Advised Funds which provide many of the same benefits to a donor as a charitable foundation (including all tax reliefs) but donors are also able to access our grant making expertise, due diligence, monitoring and reporting processes. So how does it work?

  • A donor makes an irrevocable gift to The Community Foundation for Ireland (in cash or shares).
  • They choose the type of fund that best suits their needs.
  • We set up a Donor Advised Fund in a chosen name. Management fees are agreed up front and there are no hidden charges.
  • Any eligible income tax relief on that donation will be claimed and allocated by us to the Donor Advised Fund (to be allocated to the chosen charitable cause).
  • The donor identifies the cause(s) which they would like to support and our staff will assist in identifying relevant non-profit organisations and projects to support, ensuring that the money goes to the project where it can make most impact.
  • We handle all the administration and issue grants in the name of the fund or anonymously (as the donor chooses).
  • The donor receives agreed feedback and outcome reports so that they learn from their grant making and we also keep them informed of relevant developments in their field of interest to help inform their philanthropy in the future.
  • The donor can choose to increase or reduce their level of grant making periodically based on their time and financial demands.

We have extensive experience in advising and guiding donors on how to give strategically and efficiently and whether such a fund is suited to their needs. Our in-depth knowledge of the community sector allows us to provide insights into societal issues, ensuring our donors make an impact and create lasting change.

Type of Funds

By creating a donor advised fund, you can organise all your charitable activities through one expertly-managed and cost-effective charitable vehicle. You can choose if you would like to give anonymously or not and you can take your time deciding which organisations to recommend for grants. The type of fund chosen will be determined by the size of the donation, the donor’s philanthropic interests and their selected timescale.

  1. Flow through (current) fund through which the funds are held by The Community Foundation for Ireland and allocated in grants according to the donor’s wishes.
  2. Endowed (perpetual, long term) fund through which the capital is invested in The Community Foundation for Ireland's pooled endowed funds and an agreed return is available for grant making each year.
  3. Term fund provides an additional model for a donor where neither a flow through nor an endowment model suits their grant making aims, as the donor may wish to disburse funds at a slower rate than a flow through fund and a faster rate than from an endowment fund.
  4. combination of the above (for example a mix of flow through and term/endowed).


What are the benefits of this type of fund? 

  • A Donor Advised Fund is tailored to the donor’s needs and is a flexible and convenient way to engage in philanthropy.
  • In handing over legal and administrative responsibility, the donor has the comfort of knowing that we take responsibility for governance, compliance and due diligence in relation to any donation they choose to make.
  • We offer guidance on the art and science of giving effectively. Our expert staff have in-depth knowledge to help develop the right charitable giving strategy, select the right cause or non-profit organisation to support and to ensure that the donor gets feedback on how their donation was used.
  • The donor can avail of our charitable status so that they can give tax efficiently and with immediate effect.
  • The donor can choose to give anonymously if they so wish.
  • A donor advised fund is a pathway to planned, engaged and strategic giving.

Please contact our Head of Development, Jackie Harrison if you would like to learn more or discuss your options, E: jharrison@foundation.ie  T: 01 874 7354

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