Search form

How to help

Support the IRC through your donor-advised fund

Last updated 

One way you can make a lifesaving difference for refugees is by making a gift through your donor-advised fund (DAF). If you have a DAF, you can simply fill out the DAF Direct form on this page and log into your account to make your grant recommendation.

Your gift today will help the IRC:

  • provide medical care, clean water, emergency shelter, and other lifesaving support to refugees caught in crisis;
  • support recently resettled refugees in the United States as they adjust to their new homes, learn English, pursue job opportunities, and reclaim control over their future;
  • deliver education opportunities for millions of refugee children;
  • and provide safety and protection to the most vulnerable populations around the world.

How donor-advised funds work

As a donor, you have the option of directing gifts to a charitable organization through a donor-advised fund. Your contribution to qualifying DAFs (often held at community foundations) is treated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as a charitable contribution at the time that it’s made. You then gain the flexibility of advising the DAF when and to which charitable organizations you’d like to make a gift.

IRS guidelines around donor-advised funds

IRS regulations prohibit the donor, donor advisor, or the donor’s family member from receiving any benefit in excess of an incidental one as a result of a DAF distribution. A donor’s receipt of a benefit that is more than incidental (referred to as an “impermissible benefit”), may result in problems for the entity maintaining the DAF (e.g., loss of tax-exempt status) and/or the donor and/or family member (e.g., significant excise taxes). It could also put the charitable organization to which the gift was given at risk of losing future funding from the DAF.

A ticket or table purchase to an event may be considered an impermissible benefit resulting from a DAF distribution as it is viewed as a quid pro quo for the DAF distribution, conferring a more than incidental benefit on the donor and/or family member. Furthermore, guidelines published by several DAFs prohibit the donor from using the DAF distribution to cover the deductible portion of an event ticket or table price and use other (non-DAF) funds to cover the non-deductible portion. Such guidelines also specify that a donor may not contribute to the charitable organization through a DAF and, in connection with that DAF donation, receive complimentary admittance to an event. If a donor also wishes to purchase a ticket or table to a charitable event and receive the corresponding benefits, a separate non-DAF gift may be made for a ticket purchase.

A donor may still support an organization through a DAF gift if the donor declines all benefits that would have otherwise been provided as a result of the gift. Such gifts support the work of the organization–if given to IRC, can provide support of our work with refugees around the world and in the United States.

And, as always, for information regarding your legal or tax situation, please consult your own professional advisor.