Penn Donor Advised Fund

Penn Donor Advised Fund

Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) have become increasingly popular giving vehicles in recent years and can be an efficient way for you to support your favorite charities. They are easy to establish, inexpensive to maintain, and flexible. DAFs provide a convenient way for you to make a gift now, providing you the opportunity to claim a charitable tax deduction the year the gift is made, while making decisions about where to designate your gifts at a later date. Donor Advised Funds can also be an attractive alternative to a private foundation, being both more cost-effective and tax-advantageous.

How The Penn Donor Advised Fund Works:

With a gift of $250,000 or more, you can establish your own Penn DAF account. You recommend grants to be made to Penn or to other charities. At least 50% of the grants must be designated over time to University programs, with the remaining balance available to be designated to Penn or to other charitable organizations of your choice. You can also make additional contributions to your account of $50,000 or more at any time.

In return for your gift, you may claim a charitable income tax deduction for the full value in the year your contribution is made, subject to IRS guidelines.

You have the flexibility to recommend an investment strategy for your DAF account within a range of portfolios offered by the University, including an option for socially responsible investing.

Once your Penn DAF account has been established, you (or your representative) may recommend charitable grants to Penn and to your other favorite charities. At least 5% of the value of your Donor Advised Fund must be distributed annually. You may make unlimited grant recommendations each quarter with a minimum distribution amount of $2,500 per grant.

Various assets can be used to fund your Penn DAF account. Cash and publicly-traded securities can easily be transferred into the account. Other assets, such as real estate or other financial instruments, may also (upon review and approval) be used to fund an account.

Penn Donor Advised Fund

Penn DAF At-A-Glance

  • Minimum initial contribution of $250,000 to establish a Penn DAF; additions of $50,000 or more.
  • At least 50% of the grants must be designated within the University. You will receive gift recognition as distributions are directed to Penn programs.
  • The annual minimum distribution is 5%.
  • Unlimited number of grant recommendations with a minimum of $2,500 per grant.
  • Penn offers quarterly grant reviews and distributions.
  • Penn provides notification to you and to the grantee upon issuance of any grant.
  • An annual report sent to you or your representative gives a yearly summary of your account activity.
  • The DAF account terminates at the passing of the donor or when the balance falls below $50,000; you have the option to appoint family members to continue the fund for one additional generation.


A Convenient Way to Give

Robert, W’54, and Ruth Warrant Segall find their Penn DAF account is a convenient way to distribute their giving dollars and help designate their gifts to the Morris Arboretum and the Institute of Contempory Art, both Ruth’s passions, as well as Wharton campaign priorities, along with their many other charitable interests outside of Penn. They both agree that this flexible grant making feature helps reduce administrative details involved in managing their philanthropy.