What is a Donor Advised Fund?

A donor establishes a donor advised fund (DAF) with a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit DAF sponsor like The Signatry and makes tax-deductible donations into the fund.

The sponsor has legal control over the fund and gives the donor advisory privileges to recommend how those dollars are granted to other nonprofit organizations over time. Donors can also recommend investments within the donor advised fund in order to grow the fund balance over time.

Multi-generational family walking up hill discussing donor advised funds and generosity
Grandparents and grandchildren excited about their generosity through a donor advised fund

Donor Advised Funds:

A Tool to Jumpstart Generosity

A donor advised fund with The Signatry empowers your family to establish a lifestyle and legacy of generosity.

Practicing revolutionary generosity is one way we help build the kingdom of God. With a donor advised fund, your family can set your vision for the future, choose your causes, and maximize your generosity together. Partner with us to solve the world’s greatest problems and spread the hope of the gospel to all.

How Does a Donor Advised Fund Work?

A donor advised fund works like a partnership between the donor and the sponsor. As a donor, you work together with The Signatry to pursue generosity and strategic giving to maximize the dollars that are sent out to build God’s kingdom.

icon of a hand placing a coin into a cup symbolizing charitable contributions through a donor advised fund

1. Make your contribution

After you open a donor advised fund through The Signatry’s online portal, you can make a charitable contribution to the fund that may be tax deductible for the year in which it is made.

icon of hands holding each other representing a donor partnering with a donor advised fund sponsor

2. Establish the relationship & simplify your giving

Your contribution is an irrevocable donation to The Signatry. The Signatry will become your partner in generosity by holding your charitable contributions in a donor advised fund and vetting the nonprofits you recommend supporting to ensure legal status and values alignment. We can help take the guesswork and the paperwork out of your generosity.

icon of a heart being placed in an open container; the heart has a dollar sign on it symbolizing giving to charity

3. Maximize generosity to build God’s kingdom

Getting dollars out the door and into the kingdom is the goal. Donor advised funds are our tools. As a donor advisor, there are two primary ways you can use a donor advised fund to support kingdom causes:

  • Recommend a grant to a nonprofit organization. Our team will vet the nonprofit and complete the donation with the fund balance from your contributions.
  • Recommend investing part or all of the fund balance in biblically responsible investment pools, where funds may grow to enable greater generosity later.

Donor advised funds are flexible giving tools that your family can use to accomplish a variety of generosity goals. To learn more about how a donor advised fund can fit with your current and long-term charitable giving strategies, visit Other Ways to Give.

Why Use a Donor Advised Fund?

Giving generously is part of a life of faithful stewardship. A donor advised fund is not meant to be an alternative to your current giving rhythms, but a complement. How can this giving tool help you expand on what you are already doing?

an icon of dollars and coins symbolizing charitable tax deductions

Charitable Tax Deductions

Receive a tax deduction for the year you make your charitable contribution.

an icon of a calendar and coins symbolizing charitable bunching

Bunch Itemized Deductions

Strategically timing your charitable tax deductions may help you maximize your giving in the long term. Learn more about charitable bunching.

icon of a heart connecting five people representing family giving plans and growing generosity

Give Together

You can add multiple users to a donor advised fund online. Create a collaborative giving pool with family members or friends to plan your giving together.

an icon of an irs building in a circle with a slash symbolizing growing charitable contributions tax free

Grow Your Charitable Contributions Tax-Free

Investments in a donor advised fund can grow tax-free. When it is time to send out a grant, 100% of the gains (net of investment fees ) can be sent directly to your favorite charity.

an icon of a form with a dollar sign and percentage sign symbolizing simplifying tax receipt

Simplify Your Tax Receipts

Rather than donating separately to different nonprofits and receiving tax receipts from each, you can simplify by giving through The Signatry – receiving one tax receipt – then recommending grants to different nonprofits.


Be Generous with All Your Resources, including Noncash Assets

Most Americans hold the bulk of their wealth in noncash assets, not in cash. If you are planning to sell an asset—like real estate or a family business—you may be able to give much more than you thought by donating the asset to a donor advised fund before it sells.

Learn More about Noncash Asset Donations

Donor Advised Fund Rules & FAQs

When will I be able to claim my charitable tax deduction?

If you claim a charitable tax deduction for your contribution to a donor advised fund, the deduction will apply to the tax year that you made the contribution.

For example, if you make a charitable contribution to a DAF in December 2023, your charitable tax deduction will apply to the 2023 tax year. This is true even if your first grant recommendation occurs in 2024.

Who has legal ownership of the funds in a donor advised fund?

As soon as you make a contribution to a donor advised fund with The Signatry, The Signatry gains ownership of the contribution. We invite grant recommendations from donors, but we reserve the right to deny the grant recommendation if the recipient does not align with our granting policy.

What organizations can I recommend grants to?

Donor advised fund sponsors like The Signatry may send grants to nonprofit organizations that comply with our granting policy. A donor advised fund may not send grants to individuals or to organizations that are not recognized by the IRS as a nonprofit.

How much does a donor advised fund cost?

A donor advised fund with The Signatry does not cost anything to set up, and we have no minimum requirements for contributions. Additionally, The Signatry does not charge an administrative fee (sometimes called an “assets under management” or “AUM” fee) on the balance of a donor advised fund. See a full explanation of our fees and requirements.

How does a contribution become a grant?

Watch the video below to follow the journey of a dollar from contribution to grant.


Why Set Up a Donor Advised Fund with The Signatry?

Discover the benefits of a faith-based Donor Advised Fund!

Learn More

Large Call to Action Background