Donor-Advised Funds

Photo of a happy familyEstablishing a donor-advised fund (DAF) at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia enables you to provide critical financial support to the charitable organizations about which you feel the most passionately.

A philanthropic donor-advised fund with the Jewish Federation is an investment in our community and an efficient way to manage charitable giving to make the greatest possible difference where there is the greatest need. With tax benefits, unique opportunities for multi-generational giving, and a variety of ways to establish this giving vehicle with a beginning balance of $5,000 or more, a donor-advised fund is an impactful way to ensure our Jewish communities remain vibrant and strong, now and in the future.

To establish a DAF, first choose a name for your fund. This can be in honor or memory of a loved one or anything else that holds meaning.

Next, make a gift of cash or securities to the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. You can establish a DAF with a minimum gift of $5,000 and make additions to your fund at any time.

The Jewish Federation will invest and administer the fund’s assets, process your recommendations for charitable distributions, mail checks to organizations, and send you regular updates. You can check the fund balance and contribution history as well as recommend grants through your own secure online portfolio at your convenience.

When you are ready, notify the Jewish Federation of your recommendations for charitable distributions. Our staff verifies the tax status, mission, and viability of all charitable organizations that receive grants from the Jewish Federation, which has significant resources to identify and organize your giving to charities matching your philanthropic interests.

There are many!

A DAF enables you to support the causes you care about most without having to track receipts from multiple charities. The experts at the Jewish Federation can help you choose qualified charities that best align with your personal interests and philanthropic goals.

DAFs are simple to establish and can be built using a wide variety of assets. The assets in your fund grow tax-free, generating greater resources to support the causes you care about. You do not pay tax on the income generated by your fund. But because your DAF contributions are charitable donations to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity, you are entitled to receive the maximum tax deduction allowed by law for your contribution(s). If you use appreciated securities or property to establish or augment the fund, you can realize additional tax savings.

You can involve other family members as advisors, showing them the value of philanthropy and demonstrating to them the importance of providing for the future of our community. And you can preserve your privacy: a donor-advised fund is not required to publicly disclose the grant making activities of individual donors, and grants may be made anonymously.

The most gratifying of benefits: your investment in the future of our Jewish communities ensures that they remain vibrant for generations to come.

Choosing the Jewish Federation to house a fund offers you the unique opportunity to focus your philanthropy through a Jewish lens. A DAF would serve to:

  • Make a true impact in our Jewish communities.
  • Organize your charitable giving. 
  • Encourage multi-generational giving.
  • Preserve resources for those causes about which you are most passionate.
  • Name successors of your choice.
  • Grow tax-free assets for charitable giving.

In light of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, many people no longer have a reason to itemize their taxes. You may wish to take advantage of “bundling”—this means making a larger charitable donation that exceeds the standard deduction to a DAF in one year, claiming the charitable deduction in that year and in later years using the assets in the DAF for charitable gifts when you are not itemizing.

You can start yourself by securely completing an application at, or contact the Jewish Federation to discuss how to best use DAFs and other giving tools to meet your philanthropic goals. Please contact Jennifer Brier, Esq., at or 215.832.0528 for more information. I look forward to hearing from you.

We thank you for your support!

Allocation Worksheet

DAF Planning Guide




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