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Donor Advised Fund: FAQs

Will I be able to claim tax deductions for the annual distributions my donor advised fund makes to Audubon and other charities?

No. You may claim an income tax deduction for each year in which you make a gift to your donor advised fund, but you may not claim a deduction for the amounts the donor advised fund later distributes to Audubon or other charities.

Will I be able to tell Audubon or another charity how I want it to use the money it gets from my donor advised fund?

Yes. When you recommend distributions from your donor advised fund, you'll be able to recommend a particular use for the funds - for example, to support Audubon's educational programs or help fund research in a particular medical field. Note, however, that you may not exercise control over the use of the funds once they are in the hands of Audubon or another charity.

How often can I recommend distributions from my donor advised fund, and is there a limit to how much I can I recommend for distribution each year?

Most DAFs allow for unlimited distributions throughout the year. Check with your DAF manager for other specifics they may require.

Is there a minimum requirement for opening a DAF?

It varies depending on the DAF manager; many start at $5,000. Fees are typically less than one percent annually.

Can I access funds in my DAF account?

No. Once the assets are deposited, they must eventually go to a nonprofit.

Can I use DAF funds to purchase event tickets or memberships from charities?

No. All donations from a DAF must be considered 100 percent philanthropic, with no associated benefits to the donor.

Can my gifts go to any organization?

DAF distributions may only go to public charities with a 501(c)(3) designation, such as Audubon. You should ask your DAF manager if they have any other restrictions.

Why didn’t I get a receipt from the charity for my gift?

You receive a charitable deduction when you deposit funds into your DAF, and your account manager issues the official tax receipt. Audubon sends additional thanks for these gifts whenever possible.



We’re Here To Help! Please contact us for further assistance.

Office of Gift Planning
National Audubon Society
225 Varick Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014

Your team
Rose Tesone, left, Audubon’s Bequest Manager and Shari S. Kolding, Audubon’s Director of Gift Planning. Photo: Luke Franke/Audubon

The National Audubon Society is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our federal tax ID number is 13-1624102.