Advancement Services Report

Provided as a service of Bentz Whaley Flessner

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fidelity's Gift Fund Surpasses $1 Billion In Donations

Fidelity, the best known donor-advised fund, reported that they gave away $1.7 billion last year, according to a report in the Boston Globe.

Donor advised funds are growing in popularity. They are no longer just for the very wealthy, but are now geared for any sophisticated donor who wants to manage their charitable dollars like investments.

We in the services are need to be absolutely sure that our organizations are following the IRS rules regarding these donations, especially when it comes to pledges. As a reminder, a donor advised fund cannot fulfill the pledge of an individual. You have to be sure that there is no connection between a donors' pledge and his donor advised fund gifts. Also, donors would not be eligible for premiums at many institutions because of their rules and the rules of the fund.

However, the donors need to be treated just as if they gave a regular gift. They need to be properly thanked and stewarded. They just don't need an official IRS receipt.

Be sure that your organization has ways of stewarding donors who give through these funds, and if it does not, then there is no time like the present to create a policy to handle these gifts.


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