Donor-Advised Funds

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) are charitable savings accounts managed by third-party institutions that enable you to claim immediate tax benefits as you consider the timing and impact of grants you request from the fund to support charitable organizations you care about. If you are looking to support a strong, visionary university that continues to educate the brightest minds and boldly confront some of the world’s biggest research challenges, then today is a great time to tap your DAF to support the work and mission of Rice.

Rice is grateful to receive your support through a grant from your donor-advised fund. For more information about making this wonderful grant from your DAF to support Rice, please contact us at giving@rice.edu or 713-348-4991.


Donor-Advised Fund FAQ

What are donor-advised funds, and how do they work?

A donor-advised fund is like a personal savings account that you set up with a nonprofit organization (i.e. sponsoring organization), or a brokerage firm or bank that has an existing donor-advised fund, to manage your charitable giving. You qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction at the time you contribute to the DAF account, and it grows tax-free. You may also eliminate capital gains taxes if you contribute appreciated assets instead of cash. Once your fund is established, you can then advise the fund administrator on how much and how often to distribute a grant to a qualifying charity like Rice.

Can I make a grant to Rice through a donor-advised fund?

Yes, as a qualified charity, we accept and welcome grants made through DAFs. Rice donors use DAFs to support a range of worthy causes, from making yearly gifts to the Rice Annual Fund, to funding creative arts and innovative research, to establishing a permanent legacy through a named scholarship or other endowment. If you would like to discuss how giving to Rice can meet your philanthropic goals, contact us at giving@rice.edu or 713-348-4991.

Can I use my donor-advised fund to pay on a multi-year pledge to Rice?

A DAF cannot be used to fulfill an existing pledge. However, assets from a DAF may be given, along with a written communication from the sponsoring DAF organization, you, or your advisor, indicating that you wish the grant to be used to set up a “multi-year, non-binding gift intention to Rice.”

Can I use my donor-advised fund to purchase a membership or tickets to a charitable Rice event?

Unfortunately, no. Because the money in a DAF has already been subject to a tax deduction, a gift from a DAF cannot garner personal benefits, including those received from a membership or Rice event (food and entertainment). Also, the IRS is very clear that a DAF cannot be used to make a charitable gift that is also combined with any type of benefit, such as memberships, event tickets, etc. In the case where you would like to contribute to event tickets or a membership, or any charitable giving that also has a benefit, then you can do so by making the gift from your personal account, and you will receive a tax deduction for the portion of the amount that is considered a charitable gift.

Does the CARES Act affect my grant from my donor-advised fund?

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is an economic stimulus package passed in March 2020. For the 2020 tax year, a provision in the law allows an income adjustment of up to $300 per taxpaying unit in annual charitable donations for those who take the standard deduction. It is considered an “above the line” adjustment to income that will reduce a donor’s adjusted gross income and thereby reduce taxable income. For those who do itemize, donors may make cash contributions to qualified charities of up to the amount of their adjusted gross income. (Normally a taxpayer can only deduct up to 60% of their adjusted gross income for cash donations.) Donations to a DAF do not qualify for either of these giving options; however, since you have already contributed to your DAF, a great way to support Rice during this unprecedented time without adding pressure around your income or assets is to make a grant to Rice from your DAF.

Can I give an IRA rollover gift to a donor-advised fund?

No, an IRA charitable rollover gift, also known as a qualified charitable distribution from your individual retirement account (IRA), cannot be made to a donor-advised fund. If you would like to make a charitable rollover gift to Rice from your IRA, you will need to do this directly from your IRA to Rice.

I am ready to make a grant to Rice from my donor-advised fund! How long does it take?

It depends on the sponsoring organization, but it can generally take 3-5 business days to process a grant recommendation for mail, plus an additional few days to allow the post office to deliver the check to your charity. Some funds have web portals that streamline the process. Keep in mind that during peak giving periods (calendar year-end in December and fiscal year-end in June), grants may sometimes take longer to issue. Rice will acknowledge the gift as of the date it is received, either electronically or by mail.

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Giving to Rice

Development & Alumni Relations
P.O. BOX 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Phone: 713-348-4991
Email: giving@rice.edu

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