Donor Advised Fund

A flexible, transparent & fee free DAF that helps communities in the United States and abroad

Image by Alfred Schrock

What is a Donor Advised Fund?

Setting up an account with a donor-advised fund (DAF) can help you donate on a regular basis to the charities you want to support while maximizing your tax benefits. In short, DAFs allow donors to make tax-deductible contributions of cash or non-cash assets (such as stocks or real estate) to an account held by a charitable organization when it is tax prudent for the donor, then distributed to various charities when the donor has time to decide which charities they want their funds to benefit. Donors receive the tax benefits in the same year as the donation without the added pressure of having to immediately decide where their donation goes.

Generally, a DAF fund is maintained and operated by a 501c3 sponsoring organization or a 501c3 charitable organization. This means that, once a donor makes a contribution, they relinquish legal control over the funds. However, the donor retains advisory privileges with respect to the distribution of funds and/or the investment of assets in the account.

Funds managed by companies that provide financial services such as Fidelity Charitable, Vanguard Charitable, and Schwab Charitable (a.k.a. "sponsoring organizations") are currently the largest DAFs. However, "larger" does not always mean bigger or better benefit to community.

Image by Joshua J. Cotten

Serious Issues with Donor Advised Funds

Contrary to what many may assume, large DAFs and most DAFs held at community foundations are often not in the business of giving. Instead, large DAFs typically try to grow the funds by investing them. However, this practice has a reputation for getting the funds stranded in an account rather than distributed. Right now, more than $160 billion is currently stockpiled in DAFs, and that amount is increasing every day.

In addition, the absence of adequate regulation and transparency of DAFs focused on “growing funds” make these funds ripe for abuse by donors and for-profit actors alike. Fund management fees, DAF administrators’ salaries, and bonuses for account advisors who recommend the DAF to their clients are often based on the amount of assets held in the DAF. (see comparison chart below)

This means that each year, disproportionately more and more charitable revenue is being diverted into DAFs while nonprofits on the ground struggle harder for funds. According to a recent analysis, the explosive growth of DAF giving has led to the diversion of $300 billion from working charities into intermediaries such as large DAFs and community foundation DAFs over the past five years alone.

Image by Ann Kelly

The chart below demonstrates the differences between the largest DAFs and Ventana del Soul's DAF:

A Unique and Powerful Donor Advised Fund by Ventana del Soul

Ventana del Soul’s DAF helps support nonprofit Butterfly Garden Projects within the United States and abroad, does not charge any fees, and requires all donated funds to be distributed within 6 months. The law requires Ventana del Soul to maintain full discretion and control over donor funds. However, donors can move funds, see how the funds are spent and monitor the progress of funded projects 24/7. In other words - 100% transparency.

Donors interested in helping internationally may find that many large DAFs have little to no interest in distributing funds outside the United States due to higher transparency requirements and federal consequences for not vetting recipient organizations.

In contrast, Ventana del Soul's DAF allows donors to give internationally to fully vetted recipient projects that comply with Ventana’s charitable practices and reporting standards. In addition, all projects must comply with IRS protocols of expenditure responsibility, applicable anti-money laundering (AML), anti-terrorist financing and other requirements which mitigates risks and protects the donor’s reputation.

To sum it up, Ventana del Soul's DAF is a powerful, easy, transparent and safe tool for donors who want to get a tax-break, but want to be able to enjoy their giving experience without being rushed into a decision or bombarded with a bunch of fees and money growing gimmicks. 

Image by Krzysztof  Niewolny

12 Great Reasons to Choose

Ventana del Soul’s DAF

  • NO FEES or Money Growing Gimmicks

  • 100% of your donation goes to support the Butterfly Garden(s) you choose in the United States and/or abroad

  • 100% Control of when and where your donated funds are distributed

  • 24/7 online access to send funds globally to the Butterfly Garden(s) you choose when you're ready

  • Each garden maintains a needs list. This allows you to donate a lump sum or choose exactly what you want your donation to purchase

  • 100% Financial Transparency – 24/7 online access to the recipient Butterfly Garden’s Donor Fund bank statement enables you to verify that your donation was appropriated according to your wishes

  • Ventana del Soul does not “invest” your funds so funds do not get stranded in an investment account, and you don’t have to worry about losing your donation due to market fluctuations

  • Ventana del Soul is an IRS-qualified 501c3 public charity. We recruit, train, monitor and support Butterfly Gardens that provide food, housing and utilities to communities globally by donation or volunteer service to reduce financial burdens that hinder freedom, independence and growth

  • All Butterfly Gardens are organized and run by dedicated community volunteers, a.k.a. Queen Bees

  • Get your tax deduction immediately but take the time you need to decide which Butterfly Garden(s) receive your donation

  • In addition to providing financial support to charitable Butterfly Gardens, donor-advised funds can provide more immediate income tax deductions for donors, as well as potentially reduce capital gains taxes and estate taxes

  • Anonymity – Some individuals gravitate toward donor-advised funds because of the anonymity these funds provide. You can choose to withhold your identity and gift grants anonymously if you don’t want your donations to become public knowledge

  • Ventana del Soul requires all donated funds to be distributed within 6 months to ensure they are quickly distributed to the communities that desperately need it