Why Choose a Christian Charitable Gift Fund?

As the benefits of donor advised funds (DAF) become more widely known, givers are increasingly choosing them as their preferred tool for charitable giving. Over $47 billion was contributed to DAFs in 2020, and donations continue to grow each year. For Christians — especially those who intend to continue making grants from their DAF to Christian ministries in future years — selecting the organization that will sponsor the DAF is a pivotal decision.

Givers have many options in selecting a DAF sponsor, including commercial broker-dealers (i.e., Fidelity, Schwab, or Vanguard), community foundations, and Christian foundations. However, there are five key reasons Christians should consider partnering with a Christian DAF sponsor:

1. Shared Values. A contribution to a DAF is a gift to the sponsoring organization. The DAF sponsor owns the assets in the DAF and ultimately decides how the funds will be used. Grant recommendations by the givers are truly recommendations. It is essential to know the moral compass of the DAF sponsor. A lot can be learned by reviewing the sponsor’s mission statement, business focus, and board of directors.

2. Kingdom Causes. Christian DAF sponsors routinely allow grant requests to most secular organizations, but it is not always as certain that secular DAF sponsors will permit grants to Christian ministries. With modern culture wars, it is not difficult to envision a day when secular DAF sponsors unapologetically proclaim they will no longer approve grant requests to Christian ministries who don’t embrace their definition of morality. This is within their legal right to decide at any time. If this happens, the best protection is to choose now to work with a DAF sponsor that loves the same ministries as you.

3. Faith Based Investments. Christian DAF sponsors offer investments that uphold biblical principles regarding the sanctity of life, family, stewardship, health, and safety. They do not invest assets in the stocks or bonds of companies that provide abortion, gambling, pornography, and similar products or services that are antithetical to Christian beliefs. Simply put, it matters where believers invest the resources God has entrusted to them.

4. Fees. Every DAF sponsor charges some sort of administrative and investment fee. Since the fee supports the vision and mission of the sponsor, choosing a DAF sponsor that is advancing the kingdom multiplies the impact of the DAF.

5. Creating Legacy. Christian DAF sponsors seek to influence current and future generations for Christ. They do this by walking alongside the givers and successor Advisors — who may be children and grandchildren — and by faithfully stewarding the DAF until has all been gifted.

If you are considering opening a DAF, selecting the right sponsor is vital. If you have an existing DAF with a broker-dealer or community foundation, carefully consider how its current and future values align with yours. The DAF agreement may allow you to request a transfer of the assets to another sponsor. Choose well!

The Southern Baptist Foundation, which is dedicated to sharing Christ and is aligned with a traditional evangelical understanding of Scripture, is a trusted IMB partner. If you have questions about opening a DAF with the Foundation or other giving strategies, it will be our pleasure to assist you.

Please contact generosity@imb.org for more information on creating a new DAF or transferring your existing one.