It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will someday give shade to people he may never meet.

D. Elton Trueblood

Sterling’s donor-advised fund (DAF) offers clients an easy and flexible way to support causes important to them. 

Basically, a DAF is a charitable savings account that lets you make a tax-deductible donation without having to designate a specific charity at the time the donation is made. The money can be sent to one or more qualified charities now or over time – in the amounts and timeframes that work best for you. In the meantime, the money in the DAF can grow tax-free, providing you with more resources to support your favorite charities.

On the surface, it’s as simple as that. But there are other key advantages to donor-advised funds:

  • An easy way to contribute cash and non-cash assets – A DAF accepts cash and other donations, such as publicly traded securities, real estate, interests in privately held companies, etc.
  • Significant tax benefits – As soon as the donation is made to a DAF, you are eligible for a tax deduction. You do not need to wait until the money is sent to the qualifying charity to take the deduction. Some donations, such as long-term appreciated assets, may offer additional tax benefits. 
  • Ability to grow your charitable nest egg – Money donated to a DAF is invested at your direction, potentially growing your account tax-free and making more money available for the charities you support.
  • Make donations when you’re ready – Deciding what charities deserve your support is not always easy or straightforward. A DAF gives you time to evaluate the options that best fit your philanthropic vision and values.
  • Anonymity – A DAF is able to make charitable contributions on your behalf anonymously, if you so choose. Of course, donations can also be made identifying you as the donor.
  • Centralized record-keeping – A DAF provides a central place from which you can make your charitable contributions, allowing you to easily track your contributions as well as having streamlined information available for tax purposes.

Sterling’s DAF was designed based on our decades of experience working with philanthropists across the country and offers additional benefits to our clients:

  • Maximum flexibilityThe unique open architecture of Sterling’s DAF means that it is independent and is not part of a financial services firm. This provides donors with maximum flexibility to invest account assets with a custodial firm of their choice.
  • Coordination with existing team of advisors* – We work collaboratively with our client’s existing financial and investment advisors to provide flexibility and a centralized management option for the investment of donated assets.
  • Preservation of donor intent – Sterling knows the business of philanthropy and works with DAF donors to ensure their charitable contributions align with their values and vision while maximizing effectiveness.
  • Enhanced reportingSterling applies our deep philanthropic experience to our DAF, with enhanced reporting services including grant due diligence, disbursement, IRS reporting, account status, etc.

Our DAF was created in response to our clients’ needs and is just one more tool that we have to help our clients achieve their philanthropic goals. Together, we’re Making Philanthropy Make a Difference.

* Since Sterling does not custody assets or provide direct tax, legal or investment advice, our services are complementary to those of financial advisors, attorneys and CPAs. We work closely with each client’s team of professionals as a trusted advisor who has one goal in mind – to do what’s best for our clients.