Why Donor-Advised Funds?

What is a Donor-Advised Fund?

You can think of a donor-advised fund as a charitable-giving investment account. You give assets to your donor-advised fund and get an immediate tax benefit. Then, CCF invests the assets in your account, allowing them to grow tax-free. Whenever you’re ready, you request a grant from your donor-advised fund to the IRS-recognized nonprofit organization of your choice and CCF handles the administration. A DAF is a simple, effective way to increase your giving power and be strategic about philanthropy. 

Why Givers like CCF Donor-Advised Funds

Immediate Tax Benefits

In most cases, you get an immediate tax benefit when you give to a donor-advised fund. Talk with your financial advisor about the tax implications of creating and giving to a donor-advised fund. 

Amplified Giving Power

While your assets are in the donor-advised fund, CCF judiciously invests them. We use investment best practices to choose safe and trustworthy investment options that are most likely to increase the value of your donor-advised fund. While all investments can incur risk, we prayerfully and strategically invest our fundholder dollars to minimize risk and maximize growth. The best part: your DAF grows tax-free.

Expansive Giving Options

You can give to any IRS-recognized nonprofit organization from your donor-advised fund – whether or not they’re a Christian organization. As the Christian Community Foundation, the only requirement we set is that any grants from our fundholders do not go to organizations that work directly against Christian values. 

Easy Grant Admission

You don’t have to keep up with giving receipts, writing and mailing checks, or processing online gifts once you open a donor-advised fund with CCF. Simply request a grant from your fund online with the click of a button and we handle the rest. And because you get the tax benefit at the time you put assets into your account, you don’t have to worry about cataloging all of your gifts on the backend. 

Ultimate Grant Authority

Want to give anonymously? All it takes is the click of a button for your grants to be administered anonymously. Want to give on a recurring basis? Set up the cadence of your gift online and we’ll make sure your grants are distributed accordingly. 

Legacy Building Options

We offer special funds for givers who want to create a culture of giving within their families or spheres of influence. NexGen funds allow parents, grandparents, guardians or mentors to open a donor-advised fund in a minor’s name and administer it alongside them. 

Emphasized Donor Discretion

At the Christian Community Foundation, we closely guard our list of fundholders and givers. We treat you like family and believe that how you share your giving story is up to you. We won’t ever publish our list of donors and only share giver stories with their expressed consent.

Donor-Advised Funds Help Givers of All Kinds

There isn’t a single portrait of a donor-advised fund holder. No matter your income or stage of life, opening a donor-advised fund can help you reach your giving goals.

Meet Rebecca – a burgeoning young philanthropist. 

As a single professional at the start of her career, Rebecca is especially fiscally responsible. She knows that sticking to a budget is the best way to maintain her lifestyle and meet her savings goals. She has a heart for education and has several nonprofits she wants to support, but she knows that if she doesn’t plan ahead those donations may not happen. Rebecca opens a donor-advised fund through CCF and donates a portion of her year-end bonus each year to request grants for organizations she loves throughout the following year. By making this an annual practice, she creates a rhythm that will guide her giving as she progresses professionally.

Meet Alex – a new donor by opportunity. 

After unexpectedly inheriting property from his grandparents, Alex had a windfall of assets that he needed to arrange financially. After speaking with his trusted financial advisor, he decided to open a donor-advised fund through CCF. His fund softened the tax burden he was facing in the year he received his inheritance but didn’t require him to give all of the money earmarked for philanthropy away at once. Instead, he can make a plan to impact the organization he loves while his funds grow tax-free through CCF. Creating a donor-advised fund was a helpful element in Alex’s investment portfolio, and will help him ultimately give more money away in the future. 

Meet Bill and Anna – empty nesters who are not quite ready to retire. 

With two children off the payroll and stable careers, Bill and Anna have started thinking about how they’ll make an impact through philanthropy into retirement. They want to continue to live comfortably and continue making donations to the nonprofits they love but recognize that their income will be reduced once they stop working. With a goal of retiring in 10 years, Bill and Anna open a donor-advised fund through CCF and start investing funds that they can use to continue their giving well into retirement. 

Meet Jordan and Shelby – new parents seeking to set an example. 

With three young children at home, Jordan and Shelby are doing all they can to set strong examples for their family. They recognize that generosity is modeled behavior and want to lead by example. Jordan and Shelby care deeply about the arts and volunteer regularly with their children at a local art camp. To strengthen their connection to the organization, Jordan and Shelby set up NexGen donor-advised funds for their children. They contribute small amounts to the funds each year, so when the children are old enough to learn about budgeting and making donations, they have money to invest in the organization and make an impact. 

Meet Clark and Melinda – discreet donors. 

Humility is important to Clark and Melinda. Their income well exceeds their expenses, and they choose to invest a large portion of their expendable income in local nonprofits. Because they make sizable financial contributions each year, it’s important to them that they remain anonymous to limit the number of direct asks they receive throughout the year. Through their donor-advised fund, they are able to easily request grants, and CCF processes and fulfills them anonymously. Not only do Clark and Melinda get to remain discreet, but they also don’t have to manage any of the giving processes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the minimum amount needed to create a donor-advised fund?

To open a noninvested donor-advised fund, the initial tax-deductible gift must be $2,500 or more. To establish an invested fund, the minimum gift is $10,000.

What is an invested fund?

With a balance of more than $10,000 or more, a donor can change to invest their fund.  CCF will charge its customary administrative fees based on the prevailing schedule for such fees (which is subject to revision or amendment per requirement). Please see the donor-advised fund agreement for schedule details.

What are the administrative expenses for an invested donor-advised fund?

Administrative fees vary based on account balances. Please see the number 6 on the donor-advised fund agreement for fee structure details. 

Fees charged on invested funds are generally more than offset by the income and capital gains that are earned and retained by the fund. In addition, since July 1, 2006, fees earned by Christian Community Foundation are given away to ministries making a difference in Memphis through our Hope for Memphis Fund. The Hope for Memphis Fund allows donors to give twice: once through your fund and once through the Hope for Memphis Fund.

How do I make a grant recommendation from my fund?

All grant recommendations must be properly documented according to IRS standards. These can be easily made online at Donor Central. Please call our office at 901-682-6201 if you need assistance.

What organizations are eligible to receive grants?

Any United States-based agency that is a recognized 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may receive a grant from a Christian Community Foundation donor-advised fund. However, all grant requests are reviewed and approved by the grant review committee of the Christian Community Foundation board of directors.

Organizations openly antithetical to Christian beliefs will not be approved. Grants cannot be awarded to individuals. Donors also may not receive tangible benefits from a grant. These include items such as tuition, meals, concert tickets and museum membership benefits.

What is the minimum grant I may recommend?

We request a minimum grant recommendation of $50.

What is the fee charged for recommending grants?

No fees are charged for recommending grants.

How often can I add to my fund?

You can add to your fund at any time with a gift of any amount.

Can I give assets other than cash to my fund?

You can give stock, mutual funds, retirement fund assets, real estate and/or other tangible property.

Can I remain anonymous when establishing a fund or recommending grants?

Yes, advisors can request that grants be awarded anonymously. You can also choose a name for your fund other than your name or your family’s name.

How often will I receive a statement?

Statements are uploaded to Donor Central quarterly, usually a week before the end of the following month.

How can I determine the balance in my fund?

Your fund’s balance can be determined by accessing Donor Central. If you have any issues, please call or email us.

What is the Hope for Memphis Fund?

The Hope for Memphis Fund was established by the Christian Community Foundation in 2006 to invest strategically in Christian organizations seeking city transformation spiritually, academically, economically and relationally.

The Hope for Memphis Fund issues grants from the surplus and earnings of the Christian Community Foundation and from donations made to the Fund. Grant recipients are Christian ministries primarily serving the economically disadvantaged residents of Memphis and the Mid-South region. A primary focus of the Fund is to make grants that improve effectiveness and build capacity of existing ministries. 

The Hope for Memphis Fund committee considers grant applications twice a year based on the designated time frame related to each cycle.

What are the tax advantages of establishing a fund at CCF?

Donors who contribute stock and other appreciated assets are eligible for tax deductions and may reduce or eliminate liability for capital gains taxes. It is also useful to take charitable deductions in years of high income but make grant requests in years of lower income or retirement. Donors are strongly advised to consult with their tax advisors when making these decisions.

Donors may wish to make larger contributions to their fund in high income years prior to retirement. This allows donors to take maximum advantage of tax deductions during their highest income earning years and have it invested tax-free, allowing them to give during retirement when their income is reduced.

There are also many ways a charitable fund can help a donor reduce estate taxes, preserve retirement assets for family members and provide gifts for charity. CCF’s professional staff works closely with attorneys, accountants and other advisors to help donors make the best choices for their families.

What are the advantages of establishing a fund at CCF versus a private foundation?

Since CCF is a public charity, there are fewer Internal Revenue restrictions for gifts and grants compared to a private foundation. Generally, donors receive a higher tax deduction for contributions. Additionally, donor-advised funds are not subject to excise taxes and have no payout requirement. An alternative to creating a donor-advised fund is establishing a supporting organization at the Foundation. Supporting organizations offer the advantages of a donor-advised fund but are governed more like a private foundation.

What is CCF’s privacy policy?

At CCF, we are committed to protecting individual privacy and will not share personal information with outside parties. 

We limit access of personal information to only those who need to know in order to produce compliance reporting, service your account and provide you with a broad range of services and products. Our employees, representatives and agents are required to maintain and protect the confidentiality of your personal information and must follow established privacy procedures. Donor names or amounts of donations are not revealed to the board of directors of the Foundation. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to protect your personal information.

We strive to keep our donor and agency records complete and accurate. We will give you reasonable access to the information we have about you. Most of this information is contained in account statements you receive from us and applications you submit to obtain our services. We encourage you to review this information and notify us if you believe any information should be corrected or updated.

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6075 Poplar Ave., Suite 130
Memphis, TN 38119



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