CAF America assists donors looking to leave a charitable legacy by making donor-advised grants to programs funded by their will or estate. Our Donor Advised Fund (DAF) services allow donors to design a philanthropic legacy to include support for charitable programs beyond the standard list of US 501(c)(3) organizations.
OPTION 1: Leave a Legacy Gift
Donors may name CAF America as a beneficiary of their will or estate, and leave instructions for their Executor to communicate their grant advice once CAF America receives the gift. Under this option, the responsibility to ensure that we follow the correct grant advice rests with the executor.
OPTION 2: Build your Legacy with a Donor Advised Fund
Donors may set up a Donor Advised Fund at CAF America and name the Fund as the beneficiary of their will or estate. Establishing a Legacy DAF at CAF America allows donors to more easily design, adapt, and target the impact of their donations.
At the time the Legacy DAF is created, the donor will be able to designate standing grant advice for the use of any donations made into the Fund. The DAF remains inactive until the first contribution is made into it, at which point CAF America will carry out the standing grant advice. This may be initiated during the donor’s lifetime or it can begin in the event of their demise. Donors may designate their family members, or any other individuals, as Advisors to the DAF, as part of a legacy plan that engages the next generation in philanthropic giving.
Donors may also designate CAF America as the Fund Advisor to carry out their wishes. In such cases, the donor does not need to name a specific grantee but simply leave instructions based on their philanthropic goals. CAF America then leverages its extensive network, decades of experience, and knowledge of the regulatory landscape to ensure the Fund achieves its intended impact.
Legacy DAFs at CAF America streamline the process of giving. Donors have the option to use their Fund to advise grants to both domestic and foreign organizations.
Donors may choose between four strategies for advising their Legacy DAF. They may advise CAF America to:
- Disburse the entirety of the Fund to a designated organization
- Make regular grants from the Fund to a designated organization or group of organizations to create lasting impact through your invested DAF
- Advise grants to a specific issue area and/or geography
- Create a unique plan for the grantmaking or investment of the Fund developed in partnership with CAF America, based on donor preferences and philanthropic goals.
For donors wishing to grow the impact of their contributions over time, CAF America offers the option of establishing an Invested Donor Advised Fund (IDAF). With an IDAF, you may recommend investment allocations based on your appetite for risk and goals for growth. Invested DAFs at CAF America enable donors to receive immediate tax benefits while providing the opportunity to grow their giving over time in the interests of contributing even more to their preferred organizations in the future.
Case Study | The Legacy of Helen L. Rinker Ashley
For the people of Voditsa, Bulgaria, it would seem as if an unlikely angel from a distant land has adopted their village and made its development her mission. Yet for Helen L. Rinker Ashley, it was inevitable that Voditsa should become the beneficiary of her philanthropy.
Helen’s lawyers contacted CAF America and explained her desire to provide financial support for improvement projects in Voditsa. Helen did not designate specific charity beneficiaries to undertake this work, but instead relied on CAF America’s expertise and local networks to undertake the planning and program coordination that were necessary to achieve her philanthropic goals. Helen and her lawyers decided to open a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) at CAF America to be financed from the sale of her property and other assets upon her death. After Helen passed at the age of 93 and her estate was settled, the monies available for the Fund provided by the estate were precisely $1,467,284.70 USD (which is equivalent to 2,610,543.43 Bulgarian Lev (BGN)).
Through 2019, the Helen L. Rinker Ashley Fund has provided over $1.15 million USD ($2.04 million Bulgarian Lev (BGN)) toward more than 15 critical projects in the two areas Helen specified as her priorities: infrastructure and education. CAF America facilitated these projects through our close collaboration with our CAF Global Alliance partner, BCause. BCause was instrumental in building connections with the local community to understand their needs and to coordinate projects that would be most impactful for the community, and this partnership enabled us to make Helen’s dream a reality.
From rebuilding nearly every community building in the village, to adding closed-circuit TV cameras in public areas for security, to installing a new water supply system, to rebuilding and repairing the clock tower that was damaged by an earthquake some four decades ago, Helen’s gift is improving the quality of life in Voditsa and making a difference where it is most needed. The Fund has also financed cultural events (giving birth to the local folk dancing festival), teacher training sessions, and new computers for the elementary school.