Greater Houston Community Foundation is the preferred partner for donor advised funds in the Houston area. A donor advised fund is a simple, yet highly effective giving tool that allows you to personalize your contributions and recommend grants to the causes most important to you.
Donor Advised Funds in Houston.
A donor advised fund is a tax-efficient giving account that makes it easy to give to the causes you care about.
Donors Making a Difference
“One of the greatest things about the foundation is that it will live well beyond any of us. Having a place where you can have your funds deposited, which you know will be safe and last for literally generations to come, is real peace of mind.”
“My donor advised fund at Greater Houston Community Foundation is more than a legal structure – they are my philanthropic partner. I have also found value in Greater Houston Community Foundation’s flexibility and offering of custom solutions. For example, the Foundation allows my trusted financial advisor to manage the donor advised fund investment portfolio. Most of all, I appreciate Greater Houston Community Foundation’s willingness to explore innovative ways to help me achieve meaningful impact.”
Molly Gochman (Donor)
Why Partner With Greater Houston Community Foundation For Your Donor Advised Fund
Greater Houston Community Foundation is the region’s preferred provider of donor advised funds. By partnering with us for your donor advised fund, you can feel confident that every dollar you invest is positioned for deep community impact. Together with fellow fundholders, you’re making the city of Houston better one donation at a time.
Personal Care and Philanthropic Advising
Our philanthropic advisors work with you directly, providing a high level of personal care and attention. We can help you strategize your giving to maximize your impact while removing many details that consume your time and energy. We also offer a variety of services designed to amplify the positive impact donors have across the Greater Houston region and beyond including disaster relief funds, family philanthropy, foundation services, legacy and planned giving, and scholarship funds.
24/7 Access to Your Funds
Our donors are able to access their funds and make grants at any time they choose via DonorSphere, a secure online donor portal. This intuitive, modern platform gives you the ability to customize and generate reports on your giving history. Additionally, DonorSphere provides real-time integration with CharityCheck and GuideStar reports to support your charitable research efforts.
Broaden Your Philanthropic Network
It’s a well-known sentiment that we are better together. This is especially true when it comes to our philanthropic impact. When you partner with Greater Houston Community Foundation for your donor advised fund, you gain access to both our specialized team of industry experts and our broad network of like-minded leading philanthropic individuals and families, local Houston nonprofits, and charitable businesses — all working together to develop a greater Houston.
We Accept Complex Assets in Donor Advised Funds
Unlike many donor advised fund providers, Greater Houston Community Foundation accepts donations of complex assets including business interests, life insurance policies, real estate, closely-held stock, and more. Not only can this lessen the capital gains tax burden on these assets, but it also allows you to make a greater impact on the causes that matter in our communities by using illiquid assets.
Make An Investment in Houston
At Greater Houston Community Foundation, your donor advised fund fees cover more than just setting up and administering your fund. You also gain access to a spectrum of philanthropic strategizing and advising services, including charitable consulting, all aimed to help you spark meaningful change in your community and encourage philanthropic conversations in generations to come. Additionally, you are supporting a Houston-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has a positive impact on our city through critical disaster relief and recovery as well as community leadership initiatives like Understanding Houston, an important regional data indicators project.
Work With Your Investment Manager
Have a trusted relationship with an investment management team supporting you today? You can continue to work with your own partners on the investment of assets in your donor advised fund. This is a service available for all donors with $500,000 or more in their funds. Alternatively, donors may select from a diverse group of investment pools managed by a leading investment management firm and overseen by a committee of Houston’s most respected investment professionals.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Donor Advised Fund?
A donor advised fund is a personal giving account that allows you to make tax-deductible charitable contributions to your own investment fund. These investments can then be used to recommend grants to nonprofit organizations. In other words, you can support all the causes you care about with one, easy-to-use, tax-advantaged fund.
How Do Donor Advised Funds Work?
Think of your donor advised fund as a charitable investment account. Once you open your fund, you are able to make charitable contributions as frequently as you like and recommend grants to your favorite charities when it feels right for you. The assets in your donor advised fund will be invested at your discretion, and any growth will be tax-free — allowing you the ability to increase your philanthropic impact, helping more of those in need around the Greater Houston area.
What Are the Benefits of Establishing a Donor Advised Fund With Greater Houston Community Foundation?
In addition to helping you give back to the causes that matter to you, donor advised fund benefits also include maximizing your tax benefits and supporting your legacy plan.
The benefits of a donor-advised fund include:
- Easy to establish and manage
- Gifts are tax-deductible and earnings are tax-exempt
- More confidential than a private foundation; assets and donations are not public
- You are able to work with your own investment manager for funds over $500,000
- You can donate complex assets such as real estate, royalty interests, and closely held stock
- Can be endowed to support giving beyond your lifetime and create a lasting charitable legacy
- Opportunity to engage children and future generations in your charitable giving
- Use as a channel for gifts from your estate after your lifetime
- Access streamlined gift tax receipt management online through our donor portal
What Are the Tax Advantages of a Donor Advised Fund?
The tax advantages of a donor advised fund include:
- Full tax deductibility in the year the contribution is made to your fund, but distribute grants when you’re inspired to give (no annual giving requirement)
- Higher deductibility than private foundations: 60% AGI limit on cash, 30% on appreciated assets
- Five-year carry-forward for unused deductions
- Earnings grow tax-free; no excise tax on net investment income
- No capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated assets including securities, real estate, and complex assets
- Reduce estate taxes by including giving through a donor advised fund in your estate plan
How Much Does It Cost?
An annual advisory fee is charged based on the level of assets in your account. Fees are deducted from your account on a monthly basis. Your fee supports the costs associated with administering your donor advised fund, including online account management, gift and grant processing, philanthropic advising, and educational opportunities. Your fees at Greater Houston Community Foundation are also an investment in Houston. As the primary steward of philanthropy in Houston, we are a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works to inspire meaningful and positive change with our donors and for our community and delivers impact through programs like disaster relief and Understanding Houston.
How Do I Start a Donor Advised Fund?
Starting a donor advised fund at Greater Houston Community Foundation is easy. Contact Andrea Mayes, Senior Director of Charitable Solutions, at 713.333.2203 or [email protected], to open a fund today. All you need is your personal information (name, address, and date of birth) to get started. We encourage you to also elect a successor advisor to direct your fund after your lifetime. For donors who wish to invest at least $500,00, you can retain third-party investment management and name your professional advisor if you would like for them to have access to your account.
The link to your new donor advised fund will be emailed to you within 3-5 days. Once you have that link, you will be granted online access to your personal account where you can add funds — including complex assets — watch your investments grow, and make grant recommendations.
How Are My Fund Assets Invested?
You may elect to have your fund assets invested in one of four investment pools: Growth, Growth and Income, Income or Money Market. These investments pools are overseen by the Investment Committee and professionally managed by Angeles Investments. You get to leverage the cumulative assets of the Foundation to provide competitive returns at cost-effective rates. Additionally, for funds with assets over $500,000, you may work with your independent investment advisor through the Foundation’s third-party management program.
Tell Me About Performance Returns
Learn more about the investment performance returns associated with your donor advised fund.