A donor advised fund (often called a “DAF”) is a charitable investment account maintained and operated by the LCMS Foundation (we handle all the paperwork and administration), but where the donor recommends which ministries will receive grants, how much they’ll receive and the timing of those grants. Donors can easily add to the fund, providing a great option to grow the fund, and its impact, over time. Many families use donor advised funds as part of a Thanksgiving or Christmas tradition, meeting to discuss the ministries they want to support in the coming year.
First, donor advised funds are simple to create and use. Any asset can be used to fund the account, but using appreciated assets can often provide even greater tax benefits. The fund can be created while you're alive, or after you leave this Earth, as part of your estate plan.
Donor advised funds are often used to lower taxes after a windfall, such as receiving an inheritance or selling a business. You receive an immediate tax deduction when you make a contribution to a DAF, and, better yet, you aren’t taxed on any growth your DAF experiences, allowing the fund to grow tax-free.
A donor advised fund can be opened with the LCMS Foundation with an initial deposit of $10,000. There are no minimums for the amounts of subsequent contributions. Grants must be for at least $250, can be to any official tax-exempt public organization, and can be made anytime during the year. Donors can request as many grants, to multiple organizations, as they like. The first 10 distributions requested annually are free, but a $25 fee will be charged for each additional grant that year. The LCMS Foundation charges 1/12 of 1.1 percent, monthly, to administer the fund. This fee supports our efforts to invest and grow the fund, as well as the cost to handle all transactions into and out of the fund.
Donor advised funds have become a popular way for individuals and families to support the ministries they cherish. A donor advised fund may also help you minimize taxes, either in the current tax year, or on your estate, so that more of your God-given gifts can be passed on to your heirs and to support ministries you care about. Our gift planning counselors can show you how a donor advised fund might fit well into your current lifestyle and be a valuable part of your estate plan. To be contacted by a gift planning counselor fill out the form below.
Our straightforward process begins with discussing what’s important to you. Then, with our knowledge and expertise, we'll help you establish goals, take full advantage of tax benefits, and thoughtfully provide for and your family and your faith, even after you've left this Earth.
Many wonder if they have “enough” to create a gift plan. The answer is always yes. All people possess God’s gifts, and even the humblest gifts can make a positive impact. And regardless of the gifts you wish to share, our counselors will work with you, at no charge. Learn more in our FAQ section..
Just as everyone has different goals and needs, we offer a variety of different options to structure your gift plan. Each option has its respective strengths and variables, and each can be of benefit to someone if applied thoughtfully, and with guidance.
Helping our people walk through their Lifetime Plan for Giving not only reminds them why we give, but it also has opened the opportunity for them to support the ministries that are near and dear to their hearts in an intentional way.
Rev. Ted Laesch
St. Louis, MO
What a blessing it was to have a knowledgeable person help us set aside time, give us a structure for our planning, and most of all to share our faith and give us brotherly encouragement in Christ throughout the process!
Rusty & Sarah Becker
My wife and I had been talking about making a will for several years. To our surprise we found out that the church we attend has a gift planning counselor to do just that and at no cost to its members.
We had no idea of the opportunities available to us before this consultation! What a great opportunity this is for anyone to use.
Bob & Linda Olsen
How can we help you today? If you're a current donor, or if you're new to the LCMS Foundation and would like more information, we'd love to hear from you. Please use the "I have a question or comment about" drop-down field below to get your comment to the correct person or department faster.