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Answers to the following six questions will determine if a donor advised fund may be right for you.

1. Do you support multiple causes and/or organizations in any given year?

A donor advised fund (DAF) simplifies giving to multiple organizations. You donate the funds once, potentially take a tax credit on that donation, and then have the flexibility to recommend grants to multiple causes and organizations. These gifts are generally tax-deductible at the time of the contribution and are invested to grow over time.

By partnering with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, you will have the time to focus on giving — while we handle all the accounting, legal and investment services.

2. Would you be interested in donating real estate, farm equipment, business interests or other assets?

While cash and stocks are the most common charitable donations, there are advantages to donating other assets to start or grow a charitable fund. We have a lot of experience accepting non-cash asset gifts such as:

  • Real estate
  • Retirement assets
  • Charitable life insurance
  • Farm assets, such as crops and equipment
  • Business assets, such as privately held stock
  • Virtual currency, such as Bitcoin

Many of these non-cash giving options, such as charitable remainder trusts or retained life estate, can provide income during a donor’s lifetime or significant tax benefits — or both.

3. Are you interested in working with a partner who can advise you on how to make the biggest impact with your charitable giving?

When you open a DAF, your dollars are wisely invested and grow tax-free, allowing you to give more than your initial donation over time. If you're going to have a large taxable event, such as selling a business, a gift planner can partner with you and your advisors to help determine the best assets for you to give and when.

4. Would you like recommendations on nonprofits that match your giving passions?

One of the benefits to partnering with a community foundation over other options is having a local dedicated relationship manager to work with you to fulfill your charitable mission. These philanthropic advisors work closely with community members and nonprofits throughout their areas and have the experience to help you start, continue or grow your giving.

Our promise to you:

  • Your goals are our goals.
  • You will be guided each step of the way.
  • You will work with a local partner who will act in your best interest at all times.
  • You will get more than a transaction. You will get a trusted partner in giving.
  • You will work with a local team who knows the community.

5. Do you want to have an impact on your community for years to come?

If you want to stay involved in your philanthropy, a DAF gives you the flexibility to support causes and organizations you care about during your lifetime and beyond. A DAF is also a great tool to engage multiple generations of your family in giving. Our team will work with you to identify who you would like to include and how you would like them to be involved in your giving legacy.

6. Are you interested in being anonymous when you give?

Whether you’d like to share your name with the organizations you support through your fund or remain anonymous, a DAF allows you control. You can customize this for each gift you recommend.

The minimum gift to establish a donor advised fund with the Foundation is $25,000. If you are interested in opening a donor advised fund or learning more about the benefits of having a DAF, contact one of our experienced gift planners at 651.224.5463 or

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