Are there any restrictions in naming an account?

In general, you may choose any name for your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Pooled Income Fund (PIF) Account and it may reflect your philanthropic intentions. If you do not choose a name, the default title of your account will be “The (Donor Name) Charitable Fund.”

Can grants be made anonymously?

Yes. Both the US Charitable Gift Trust’s forms and website allow you to request that the account name and/or or the donor's information not be provided to the grant recipient.

May I recommend grants from the DAF to complete a pledge to charity that I have already made?

In rare circumstances, a grant from a DAF account may be used to fulfill a pre-existing pledge. Many pledges however, are considered to be enforceable and are legally binding debt obligations of the donor. These pledges cannot be fulfilled by grants from a DAF. The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust strongly recommends that you consult with your financial advisor or other tax professional for further information.

As an alternative to a pledge, indicate your intention to recommend a grant from your DAF account. This lets the organization know that you plan to support it without committing you to a formal pledge.

May I recommend grants from the DAF to any charity I choose?

Only IRS-approved, 501(c)3 charities that are based in the United States are eligible for grants. The following are examples of situations where grant recommendations should not be made from a DAF account:

  • To provide a private benefit, such as a scholarship naming a specific student as the recipient;
  • To pay dues or membership fees unless the membership is 100% tax deductible;
  • To purchase tickets to an event sponsored by a charitable organization;
  • To purchase goods at charitable auctions; and/or
  • To be used for lobbying, political contributions, or political campaigns


May I recommend grants from the DAF to a private foundation?


Yes, you may recommend grants to a private foundation if it is considered a "private operating foundation”. According to the IRS, “a private operating foundation is a private foundation that devotes most of its resources to the active conduct of its exempt activities.”

Can I dissolve my private foundation and move the proceeds to a DAF?

Yes, you may move assets from a private foundation to a DAF. You will not receive another income tax deduction for those assets. The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust recommends contacting a tax professional regarding the tax treatment of future gifts.

May I transfer privately held, closely held, or restricted stock?

The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust may accept such securities only in certain cases. Please contact the Trustee at 800-664-6901 if you are interested in making such a gift.

May I change my investment approach at a later date?

Donor advisors may reallocate assets within the DAF investment pools up to two times per year.

With respect to PIF accounts, reallocations or changes to investment options may not be made, since the income tax calculation received by the Donor is directly related to the investment option selected.

May I withdraw my assets at a later time?

No. All contributions to the U.S. Charitable Gift Trust represent an irrevocable charitable contribution to the Trust.

Can the DAF support my corporate philanthropy efforts?

Yes. A DAF can be used by organizations wishing to establish a corporate giving program. Please review the U.S. Charitable Gift Trust’s Corporate Giving page for more information.

Will the U.S. Charitable Gift Trust recommend charities to donors?

The U.S. Charitable Gift Trust does not recommend charities to Donors. Links to research websites such as Guidestar, are available in the Charitable Resources section of the Trust’s website.

May I change the designated income beneficiaries on my PIF after the account is established?

No. Income beneficiary designations cannot be changed because the income tax deduction is based on the life expectancy of the income beneficiary(ies). You may however, reserve the right to revoke by will the income interest of the second income beneficiary. This option should be noted in section 3 of the Donor Information Form.