Plan Your Giving

Image Start a Donor Advised Fund

Donor-Advised Funds are a popular tool for managing giving, and one that you should consider. This can be a good option for you if you support charities in Arlington or beyond, want to maximize your tax savings while minimizing paperwork, and get back to the joy that comes from supporting the organizations and causes you care about. Establishing a donor advised fund allows donors to fulfill their charitable interests as they evolve over time and to easily integrate charitable giving with their financial and tax planning.

Getting started is easy.

You can use cash, stock, real estate or other assets to fund the gift and will receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction.

It starts with a few easy steps:

Using the fund is simple.

As the donor, you can be actively engaged in the grantmaking process. ACF gives you the right to advise on distributions from your fund to specific charities—locally, nationally, and across the globe—as long as the organization is a qualified 501(c)(3) or other public entity like a school or municipality. At any time, you may direct ACF to make gifts from the fund through the online donor portal. Staff is also available to identify organizations that match your charitable interests. Additional gifts may be made to your Donor-Advised Fund at any time. 

To make a stock transfer, complete and submit this online form.

Reasons to create a Donor Advised Fund

It’s Personal. As a donor advisor to the Community Foundation, you not only recommend distributions from your fund to specific charities, you may also designate a successor advisor to the fund – an effective way to engage other family members in charitable giving. We’re here to offer individualized service and strategies to help you carry out your goals and suggest ways to increase your impact.

It Makes Sound Financial Sense. Donors receive an immediate charitable income tax deduction at the time they make a gift to establish or add to their fund. Some donors may find it advantageous to bundle their giving in years when they have a windfall like a large salary bonus or receipt of an inheritance. You can make gifts to the fund in years when a larger tax deduction makes sense and then spread your charitable distributions over time.

Establishing a donor advised fund makes giving stock easier. It can be challenging to give stock to multiple organizations. You can donate to your donor advised fund in a single transaction. ACF sells the stock and, because ACF is a 501 (c)(3) organization, you avoid any capital gains tax on the transaction. The net proceeds of the sale of the stock is credited in full to your fund and you can then direct distributions the charities you wish to support. Any investment growth accrued to your fund is not taxed.

It’s Efficient. ACF handles the managerial tasks of your fund – from investment administration to grants management – all for a nominal administrative fee that steps down as your balance increases. When tax time rolls around, all you need is one receipt from ACF for your gift to your fund. You do not need to keep any thank you letters or receipts provided to you by the charities that receive support from you through your fund.

Contact us with questions or to get started

We love meeting new people! Contact Christy Cole, Director of Philanthropy, at or 703-243-4785×206 to discuss your charitable giving plans, needs, and questions.

Already have a fund and want to make a grant?

To recommend a grant from your donor-advised fund at any time, please log in to our online donor portal. If you are not already set up with an account on our online platform, please email Christy Cole at to receive your credentials.