Donor-Advised Fund

What is a Donor-Advised Fund?

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is a method of charitable giving in which a third party manages charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual. A DAF is an easy-to- establish, low cost and flexible alternative to giving directly or creating a private foundation. When donors conduct their grantmaking through a DAF, they enjoy administrative convenience, immediate tax advantages, and the expert resources of the third-party group managing their charitable investments.

How does a CFW Donor-Advised Fund work?

A CFW donor-advised fund is established with an initial minimum contribution of $5,000 in the form of cash, mutual funds, bonds and/or publicly traded securities at a financial institution of your choice. Subsequent contributions can be made by any person in any amount at any time. Once established, the donor will be able to request that grants be distributed from their fund to organizations whose mission, vision and philosophy are consistent with the mission, vision and philosophy of Chicago Foundation for Women. The minimum grant amount is $250 and you may direct as many or as few contributions as you wish annually

Why contribute to a Donor-Advised Fund rather than directly to a charity?

Donor-Advised Funds provide a number of benefits that direct donations do not, Including:

  • Streamlined grantmaking and tax planning — you receive an immediate tax deduction when a contribution is made to your fund, but grants from your fund can be made at any time — and CFW handles all of the paperwork.
  • Access to the Foundation’s extensive knowledge of charities that reflect your values and charitable goals — we can help you identify innovative, best-practice organizations to maximize the impact of your gift.
  • Increased privacy, if the donor desires it. You can choose to name your fund after yourself, your family, in honor of another person, or not at all. Public forms filed by DAF administrators do not list individual accounts.
  • A legacy that can ultimately benefit multiple charities, thanks to you.
  • The careful, diversified investment of your Chicago Foundation for Women contribution allows your gift to grow over time.

Have questions? Interested in establishing your own donor-advised fund? Contact Jessi Moon at

Already Have a Donor-Advised Fund?

If you already have a donor-advised fund (DAF) at another organization and are interested in recommending a grant from your DAF, you can do so directly from the widget below. Neither you nor CFW will incur any download or transaction fees!

Currently, the organizations supported by the DAF widget include Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, and BNY Mellon.


Have questions? Interested in establishing your own donor-advised fund? Contact the Development Team at