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Donor-Advised Funds Versus Private Foundations

If you are considering a private foundation, there is an alternative through Stifel Charitable Inc. The Stifel Donor-Advised Fund has all the elements of a private foundation but with greater tax benefits and without the administrative hassles.

Fund Type Donor-Advised Fund Traditional Private Foundation
Grantmaking and Investments Donor recommends grants to qualified nonprofit

Donor recommends investment advisor
Donor appoints board, which controls investments and grantmaking
Tax Status Covered under the Stifel Charitable Inc. public charity status Must apply to IRS for private foundation tax-exempt status
Income Tax Deductions Greater overall tax deductions:
  • Cash: Up to 60% of adjusted gross income
  • Publicly traded securities: Fair market value up to 30% of adjusted gross income
  • Real estate and closely held securities: Fair market value up to 30% of adjusted gross income
Less advantageous tax deductions:
  • Cash: Up to 30% of adjusted gross income
  • Publicly traded securities: Fair market value up to 20% of adjusted gross income
  • Real estate and closely held securities: Deductible at cost basis up to 20% of adjusted gross income 
Grantmaking Expertise Access to a team of experienced professionals who help identify and assess grantees

Extensive research, tools, and tips on effective grantmaking and other resources available
Must research and make its own grants
Distribution Requirements None At least 5% of net asset value annually


For more information, contact your Stifel Financial Advisor.

Stifel Donor-Advised Funds are handled by Stifel Charitable Inc., which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Stifel Financial Corp. companies, including Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, Stifel Bank, and Stifel Trust Company, N.A., provide services to Stifel Charitable Inc. Stifel does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult with your legal and tax advisors regarding your particular situation.

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