Donor Advised Funds

Support the American Heart Association by making a grant from your existing Donor Advised Fund.

couple sitting in their livingroom looking over paperwork together

Make a Grant from Your Donor Advised Fund

You can make a grant from your existing donor advised fund to make a difference on a future free of cardiovascular disease and stroke today.

A donor advised fund, or DAF, is like a charitable investment account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations you care about. When you contribute cash, securities, or other assets to a donor advised fund, you are generally eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. Then those funds can be invested for tax-free growth, and you can recommend grants to virtually any IRS-qualified public charity.

How It Works

Fund your account: To establish your donor advised fund, you make an irrevocable contribution—which could include cash, stock, real estate and more.

Receive an immediate tax deduction: When you contribute to your donor-advised fund, you may be eligible to claim an itemized tax deduction for federal and/or state income tax purposes. Because donor advised fund sponsors are public charities, your donation is considered a tax-deductible charitable contribution. The amount of the deduction will depend on several factors, including the type of asset donated and how long you have owned it. This arrangement allows you to plan your gift when it makes sense for you and to recommend grants to your favorite charitable organizations, like the American Heart Association, at any point in the future.

Personalize your DAF account: As you establish your donor advised fund account, you can structure it in a way that best meets your charitable goals. You can name your donor advised fund anything you would like; appoint friends and family members to help you manage the responsibilities of your DAF; and design a legacy plan to determine what will be done with your DAF assets beyond your lifetime, which may include appointing successor advisors or charitable beneficiaries.

Invest your DAF assets for growth: You can recommend an investment strategy for the assets in your donor advised fund account. The assets in your DAF are invested following your recommendations. Any investment growth is tax-free, giving you the potential to create even more money for grantmaking.

Support your favorite charities, now or in the future: As soon as your donor advised fund is established and funded, you can recommend grants to the charitable organizations closest to your heart. You can make single or recurring grants, either with recognition or with total anonymity.

Use your fund to make a gift now: Donors may recommend grants at any time to qualified U.S. charities. Typically, a grant check accompanying a letter will be sent to the recipient organization. The letter is personalized per the donor’s instructions and can also have a special purpose noted, such as “In honor of” or “In memory of …”.

Create a legacy gift: The final distribution of contributions remaining in your donor advised fund after your lifetime can be designated when you create or update your fund. By simply completing the beneficiary designation form assigned to your fund, you can name successor advisors to your fund or a specific charity(ies) to receive a portion of your fund balance.

Resources to Help You Make Your Gift

Download a complimentary one-page guide about donor advised funds.

Ready to get started?

Visit your Donor Advised Fund. Conveniently sign into your existing Donor Advised Fund account to initiate your gift to the American Heart Association.

The links provided below are for convenience only and are not intended as an endorsement of any products or services.

Donor Spotlight: Eric and Autumn Edwards

Some people have a calling so strong that it simply cannot be ignored. For Richmond, Virginia native Eric Edwards, that calling was to help people and felt an inexplicable draw to the medical field. After several experiences shadowing various physicians while in high school, that calling led him to join the local rescue squad and become an EMT right out of high school while simultaneously pursuing his medical degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. Working in and studying the emergency medical field, he saw firsthand how crucial CPR and urgent medication delivery methods are in the chain of survival.

Not only did this realization motivate Eric to become a CPR instructor educating those in his community, it also spurred a brief hiatus from medical school where he teamed up with his twin brother to launch a pharmaceutical company that went on to invent an epinephrine injection device for the treatment of allergic emergencies (anaphylaxis) as well as an emergency injector to treat a person who has overdosed on opiates. Eric went on to not only finish medical school but also obtain his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, all while continuing to ride on the ambulance and support in training other advanced life support providers as a medical director.

During his calls as a first responder, Eric was exposed to the most vulnerable patients in need of life saving care, and he frequently encountered people with uncontrolled blood pressure and other health challenges that stemmed directly from inequities in access to healthcare. In addition to the health disparities he encountered through his profession, Eric and wife Autumn were both touched by heart disease in their own close circles of family and friends. Both of their fathers suffered, and recovered from, massive heart attacks and their world was rocked when a close friend and employee of their then company died on a business trip from sudden cardiac arrest. “When it’s personal and happens to a loved one,” said Eric, “it’s different. It makes it real.”

When just a few years ago they were approached to get more involved with the AHA in Richmond, Eric heeded the calling to help others was once again and he came to Autumn with the opportunity. Despite initial hesitations based on their impossibly busy schedules as working parents of three teens, Autumn was on board. “No wasn’t even a choice,” she said. “We felt like the work of the AHA was so important, it felt like perfect timing.” The two dove in head first, making a substantial three-year corporate gift from Eric’s current medication manufacturing company that focused on blood pressure education in the community. The couple then stepped up as chairs of the 2022 Richmond Heart Ball and wanted to ensure they were leading their community by example. “We wanted to play a significant role,” they said. And so they began to explore various options to make a personal contribution to the campaign as well. When their financial advisor floated the concept of a DAF – a Donor Advised Fund – they were unfamiliar but intrigued. “There were a lot of great reasons to consider giving through a DAF,” said Eric. In addition to the tax benefits, they enjoyed knowing that through a DAF, their gift would be invested and would increase over time. “What better way to show our commitment to a cause we really believe in than through a process that allows our contribution to grow above and beyond the initial investment.” They also were particularly interested in being able to advise where the funds would be used, in their case in funding research and addressing health disparities in their community.

The Edwards say they would highly recommend others to look into giving through a DAF. “The process is easy to do, seamless, and it’s a unique way to have a greater impact that just a single gift.”

Additional Information

How to Fund It

You can create a donor advised fund using the following assets:

  • Cash
  • Appreciated Securities
  • Retirement Plan Assets
  • Real Estate

For More Information

For more information about Donor Advised Funds, please email [email protected] or call 888-227-5242.

American Heart Association Tax Identification Number: 13-5613797