How Double Impact Advisor Funds Make Giving Good — and Easy
I can’t remember how old I was when I realized I enjoyed helping others. It started with class trips to the local senior center. It grew into selling candy as a volunteer to raise money for a nearby hospital, then volunteering at that same hospital as a senior in high school.
For as long as I can remember giving back has been a part of my DNA — and my family’s, too. When my son was interested in service, he decided to volunteer at an orphanage in Senegal the summer before his junior year in high school. Now a college senior, he is pursuing a career in public service.
My daughter volunteered at the Rift Valley Children’s Village in Tanzania. When speaking to her about what she might want to do in life, her response was, “I’m not exactly sure. I just know I want to help people.” Today, she’s considering medical school. Even my 83-year-old father is active at a charter school in the city working with at-risk youth.
But you don’t have to go to Africa or be a doctor to make a difference. We all give in different ways — some through hands-on service, others through skills developed from experiences in other parts of life, some through financial means acquired or inherited, and some, via all of the above.
But with all we have going on in our lives, giving needs to be easy. A donor advised fund (DAF) is a great tool to simplify the process.
The fastest-growing charitable giving vehicles in the U.S., DAFs operate as savings accounts for money you plan to give to charity.
Here’s how it works: You allocate the funds you wish to donate, put them into the DAF of your choice, then decide which charities you’d like to give to. In the meantime, the funds are invested so the money can grow tax-free. It’s that easy.
Another plus? You receive an immediate tax deduction when you contribute to your account. Plus, you have more control over your giving, since DAFs allow you to make recommendations to your advisor regarding what to give to your favorite charities over time.
Donor advised funds can be a better option than giving to the charity of your choice directly, because they provide anonymity, allow time to decide which charities to give to while still collecting a tax deduction (and allowing the money to grow tax-free), and can be a valuable teaching tool for children and other family members on the importance of giving.
Want even more impact? Consider a double impact DAF, which works in a similar way as a traditional DAF, except that when the money is invested, it’s invested based on your charitable values, doing more good with the same dollars.
This means that if clean water and sensitivity to the environment are important values to you, your double impact DAF advisor will invest your account in companies or other investment instruments with values consistent with yours.
For example, let’s say Olivia cares about clean water and the environment. Olivia meets with a double impact DAF advisor and explains these values. She decides to open an account, and names it the Inspire Fund.
She contributes $25,000, money she plans to give away to five charities later. Based on her values, her double impact DAF advisor recommends investing her $25,000 in clean energy companies and environmentally responsible mutual funds, some of which are fossil fuel-free.
Once she decides on her gifts, Olivia contacts her advisor, who sends gifts from her account to the charities she recommends. As a result, Olivia is happy because she has created, invested, and given all in a way that is consistent with her values.