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Donor-Advised Funds: What You Need to Know Before Colorado Gives Day!

Vickie Wilson, Vice President of Development

Donor-advised funds have rapidly grown into an $8 billion market. As year-end fast approaches, some of your donors may want to consider establishing a fund. Community First Foundation encourages you to learn the facts about how donor-advised funds work and how they can best serve your donors and support your organization.

Donor-advised funds were introduced back in the 1930s as a tool for community foundations to increase philanthropy, but it was not until 1969 that Congress and the IRS legally formalized their structure. By the early 1990’s, commercial providers such as Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, and Vanguard Charitable had entered the market.  Since then, donor-advised funds have grown in visibility and popularity to become one of the country’s fastest growing philanthropic vehicles.

For community foundations, donor-advised funds serve to engage donors and nurture greater charitable activity in the community. Donor-advised funds also help democratize philanthropy by offering donors from all walks of life the opportunity to support the charitable causes that are most important to them, both today and tomorrow.

If you know of donors who want to support multiple charities, who want their giving to be strategic and impactful and who want to become better informed, more engaged philanthropists, we encourage you to connect them with us. We want to work with you and your donor to establish a donor-advised fund offering high quality, personalized service and recognizing the value that your organization places on the donor relationship.

A donor-advised fund at Community First Foundation is:

  • Easy – simple to set up, with a DAF Application and Fund Agreement
  • Cost Effective – $5,000 minimum to establish, with an annual fee of $200 or up to 1% on the first $1,000,000
  • Flexible – whether the gift comes from a windfall, bonus or funds set aside for charitable giving, we provide a structure for current and future gifts, with minimal administration
  • Tax Advantaged – donations are eligible for an immediate tax benefit in the year the gift is made
  • Investment – contributions are invested and grow tax-free 
  • 24/7 Access – online statement, account balances
  • Grant Administration – recommendations can be made at any time online in support of 501(c)(3) nonprofits
  • Complex Gifts – acceptance of not only cash and securities, but also illiquid gifts such as privately held company stock and real estate  
  • Anonymity – donors can remain under the radar
  • A Community First Foundation donor-advised fund offers your donors the added benefit of working with a partner that you know who offers full service support and is uniquely familiar with the nonprofit community.  Through our ColoradoGives platform, we are able to provide donors with current and comprehensive nonprofit information.
  • Review our brochure >

In addition, as a special service, donor-advised fund holders will be able to use their donor-advised fund to donate to their favorite charities on Colorado Gives Day, December 5, 2017. This will be the first time that this opportunity will be available to all Community First Foundation donor-advised fund holders. We hope that your donors will be able to take advantage of this convenient and strategic way to support all of their favorite charitable organizations.

For more information on donor-advised funds and how Community First Foundation can serve your donors, please contact Lynda Ricketson, vice president of philanthropic services at 720.898.5916 or


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