You can support the organizations and causes you care most about today and after your lifetime, all while maximizing your financial and tax advantages. We can help you put your passion into action through a Donor Advised Fund at the Foundation.

To learn more about what a Donor Advised Fund is, read this flyer. [PDF]

There are many reasons why individuals and families create a donor advised fund rather then establish a private foundation. This chart outlines many considerations. Please reach out to the donor services team with any questions.

The Foundation charges an annualized administrative fee for Donor Advised Funds that is currently set at 1.25% of the fund’s total market value; this amount is drawn on a monthly basis. Balances above $5 million are charged a reduced 1% administrative fee. Investment fees are set by our fund managers and are approximately 0.90% of the fund’s market value.

The minimum size for a Named Fund is $10,000. There is no maximum; we have funds that are quite large, more than $15 million.

The agreement you sign when you establish the Fund governs whether invasion of principal is permitted. We allow you to establish either a permanent or an unrestricted fund. We request that a minimum of $10,000 be maintained in the Fund since the Foundation's mission is to build lasting endowments.

We use a total return spending policy and have established a 4.0% payout rate, based on the Fund’s market value averaged over twenty trailing quarters.

Yes. Once a Fund is created, additional gifts of any amount may be contributed to it at any time.

When you open your fund, you will receive access to our on-line donor portal. Through the portal you will be able to view financial information, monthly fund statements and recommend grants.

You may make grant recommendations at any time. Grants are processed and paid within two to three weeks. All grants are made payable to the charitable organization. You will be able to view the process of the grant payment through the on-line donor portal.

Yes; we will accommodate your needs for anonymity in our annual report and in grantee correspondence, as you wish.

Recommendations may be made through

  1. Our on-line donor portal;
  2. By submitting a donor recommendation form through the mail or by fax; or
  3. You may contact us directly via email or telephone with your grant list.

You will be automatically signed up for our donor portal when your fund is opened. If you prefer to submit recommendations on paper, forms are available to download from our website,

There is a minimum grant amount of $100.

Yes; you may award grants to any qualified charitable organization in the United States

Grant recommendations must be for a charitable purpose. Distributions to individuals are prohibited from Donor Advised Funds; this includes earmarking a grant to a nonprofit to sponsor or support fees for any named person. By law, you cannot suggest a grant to fulfill a charitable pledge, pay for a membership, buy a ticket to a charitable event, or anything for which you receive a personal benefit.

We are not able to send grant checks to the Donor or any party other than the organization. Checks are mailed directly by the Foundation to the nonprofit.

Yes, we can. Our Program Officers will be happy to share their knowledge with you and assist you in any way possible.

We hope that the Fund will continue after your lifetime. You are invited to name up to one generation of successor advisors; this may be a family member or others whom you name to serve as donor advisor after your lifetime. After that, the Fund is typically maintained as a permanent endowed in your name. It may continue to support the causes and organizations you cared for during your lifetime. Alternately, you have the option of suggesting that the Fund be used for changing community needs or for a particular area of interest.

Todd and Shelley Rodman Fund

Shelley and Todd created this donor advised fund to nurture their community in perpetuity.

“Our careers brought us here 30 years ago,” says Shelley. “We stayed for the access to nature and culture. We have great affection and appreciation for Worcester and the quality of life we enjoy here.”

Formerly a fundraiser, Shelley, a Foundation corporator, and Todd, an attorney, serve on multiple nonprofit boards. They regard the Foundation as a trusted partner for philanthropy. “With such endeavors as its nonprofit training program and equity and inclusion initiative, the Foundation leads on region-wide priorities,” says Shelley. “It’s also flexible, supporting emerging organizations as well as anchor institutions.

“We’ll enjoy advising on our fund’s grants during our lifetime. And thinking of the future, we have designated our fund to eventually add to the Foundation’s discretionary funds. We want to help the Foundation remain nimble and address this community’s changing needs.” - Shelley Rodman