Almost all major financial corporations have set up donor-advised funds (DAFs) in some form or another to facilitate the continuing management of their philanthropic clients’ assets and to facilitate the distribution of funds to multiple charitable organizations. Some DAFs allow distributions of capital in addition to income, and other DAFs are set up on a temporary or flow-through basis to accept complex assets until they are finally sold.  Most DAFs are set up as endowments where the earned income is available annually and allow the donor to ‘advise’ the directors of the financial institution on preferred grant recommendations.

As a registered charity, Carleton University is eligible for distributions from DAFs, and many generous grants have been received over the years to benefit students, various programs and research.  It is possible to continue support after the donor’s lifetime, by naming Carleton as a beneficiary/successor of your DAF account, or by designating Carleton to receive a portion of the account value, leaving the remaining portion to be advised by your heirs.

The contract you enter into when you create a donor-advised fund will determine how the contributions in your fund are distributed. This is a good way to direct your generosity to support Carleton University at the same time as the other causes you believe in.