Studies show that a majority of Americans give less than one percent of their disposable personal income to charity, but most people assume they give more. Donor-advised funds offer a combination of convenience, tax benefits and flexibility that make them uniquely positioned to help people increase charitable giving and provide high-impact support to their favorite causes, according to Kim Laughton, President of Schwab Charitable, a national provider of donor-advised funds and other philanthropic services.
Donor-advised funds are special purpose accounts for charitable giving, much like IRAs or 401ks for retirement and 529 plans for college savings. Individuals can contribute cash, securities or appreciated assets, potentially receive a currentyear tax deduction, avoid capital gains taxes on the sale of the asset, and invest the proceeds with the goal of increasing the amount available for granting. Grants can be recommended to charities of their choice immediately or over time at the donor’s convenience.
“Donor-advised funds help to integrate charitable giving into investors’ daily lives by making it more strategic, thoughtful and tax-effective,” Laughton said. She offered four ways donors can maximize their positive impact this year with a donor-advised fund.
 Donate Appreciated Assets
Individuals can contribute tax-advantaged appreciated investments and assets that have been held for more than a year, i