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By Cybil Guess  

Donor advised funds (DAFs) have become a popular charitable planning tool in recent years. While commercial providers offer this philanthropic tool, an account established at Austin Community Foundation is, in most cases, a far better fit for donors looking for a stronger connection to the place they call home. ACF offers donor advised fundholders customizable services, more personal attention, and a deeper understanding of local issues and the nonprofits working to make Central Texas a better place for everyone.   

As you (or your clients) begin year-end planning, we encourage you to consider partnering with ACF. We offer fundholders the same tax and administrative benefits as a commercial DAF, including:  

  • Online access to the account balance, contributions, and grants  
  • Simple process for making gifts and requesting grants to favorite charities  
  • Streamlined tax reporting, often represented by one document, even when supporting multiple charities annually  
  • All back-office administration, tax receipts, recordkeeping, and other charitable requirements 
  • Several options for investing to grow your philanthropic dollars.

The ACF Advantage  

Unlike standard commercial DAFs, Austin Community Foundation offers the following benefits to its fundholders:  

  • Customized service – ACF has a service model that fits every donor’s need, personality, and giving budget. Structure charitable gifts to achieve your goals and donate complex assets such as real estate or closely held stock.  
  • Knowledgeable, local team – Staff members who live in the community they serve and help you understand the unique challenges and opportunities through resources and innovative solutions.  
  • Opportunities to engage – Connect and collaborate with other donors who care about similar issues and make a greater impact by giving collectively.  
  • Fees that contribute to local impact – Fees charged by the commercial fund providers seem lower, but may not be on close examination. Our administrative fees are reinvested into the community foundation to help support our mission and cultivate an ecosystem of philanthropy. 
  • Creative funding opportunities – Go beyond traditional grantmaking with impact investments that address local issues in Central Texas.  
  • Separately managed options – Donors can continue their relationships with financial advisors while benefiting from best-in-class donor and grantmaking services at ACF. 

As one fundholder said, “There is no one better suited than Austin Community Foundation to partner with in your philanthropy … they have the tools and desire to create solutions together.” 

If you want to make a greater impact here at home and beyond, please get in touch with us. We would be happy to discuss the ease and benefits of establishing a DAF or moving your fund to ACF.    


Cybil Guess is Austin Community Foundation’s Vice President of Donor Relations.