Establishing Your Own Donor Advised Fund

A Donor Advised Fund is a great way to support your favorite charities and can be created from a gift of cash, stocks, bonds, life insurance, real estate, or other assets. You can make gifts to the projects or organizations of your choice through your Donor Advised Fund. Community West Foundation provides fund management and administrative support, taking care of the accounting, auditing, IRS reporting and fiscal management, making giving easy for donors while allowing gifts to have a greater impact on the community.

The Foundation provides a complete menu of giving vehicles to realize your philanthropic goals and to help increase your fund’s grant-making potential.

Outright Gifts

Outright gifts are gifts made today, to be used today.


Contact us to establish a Donor Advised Fund with cash or check.


Publicly traded and closely held stocks and bonds will be accepted at fair market value as determined under Internal Revenue Service rules. It is the donor’s responsibility to obtain any necessary appraisals of closely held securities; however, the Foundation’s general counsel may be engaged to perform the appraisal. In the preparation of gift proposals, special attention will be given to tax restrictions such as the restriction on excess business holdings, restricted or controlled stock, and the capital gains treatment of discounted bonds when they mature.

Paid-up Life Insurance Policy

The Foundation may accept gifts of paid-up whole or variable life insurance policies. The cash value of the policy is deductible for federal income tax purposes.

Real Property

Real property will be accepted at fair market value as established by at least one qualified appraisal. In some instances, the Foundation will obtain a formal appraisal and the donor will obtain a second appraisal to eliminate any question of conflict of interest. In most cases, a single appraisal paid for by either the Foundation or the donor, as negotiated, will be adequate.

Real property that is encumbered by a trust, deed, loan or mortgage will be accepted only in exceptional circumstances and upon advice from the Foundation’s general counsel.

Assets Related to Real Property

Trust deed notes and mortgages will be accepted as gifts using the unpaid principal balance as the fair market value in most cases. When current interest rates differ widely from the interest rate payable under the terms of the loan, it may be necessary to adjust the value to take into account the yield on investment an informed buyer would expect to receive. If the loan is a purchase money encumbrance, the donor must be advised in writing that all capital gains unpaid at the date of transfer will become due and payable when the gift is made.

Tangible Personal Property

Tangible personal property may be accepted as a gift. The Foundation and the donor must comply with Treasury regulations for obtaining and reporting qualified appraisals.

A Donor Advised Fund at Community West Foundation is like having your own personal foundation to support your favorite causes, but without all of the work. The process is very simple and makes giving efficient, effective and flexible. For more information, download our free guide 10 Things You Need to Know About Establishing A Donor Advised Fund or contact us.