Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is The Family Foundation Giving Way to The Donor-Advised Fund?

A charitable family foundation can be much more involved than a donor-advised fund.  It is important to understand a client’s expectations before recommending one or the other.  A recent Wall Street Journal article, Family Charities Shift Assets to Donor Funds, provides a few recent examples where foundations were dissolved in favor of donor-advised funds.  In reading the examples provided, the underlying theme seemed to be that the donor-advised fund was easier and much less time-consuming.

 The Columbus Foundation’s website discusses the advantages of the donor-advised fund versus the private foundation.  If you look at the list of these advantages, it is clear why the donor-advised fund is easier to establish.  Additionally, one nice thing about the donor-advised fund is that it can be set up with as little as $10,000.  It is not cost-effective to set up a family foundation with that amount.

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