How DAFs work

Making Impact: How DAFs Work

Opening a donor advised fund (DAF) at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven allows you or your family to make a gift now, and then remain actively involved in how your gifts are used.

As a donor advisor, you are part of The Community Foundation family accessing:  

  • Personal service to meet your goals and build your giving plan
  • In-depth information on the nonprofit sector in our region
  • Special Briefings on the critical issues facing our community
  • A network of people dedicated to strengthening Greater New Haven

Getting Started

The first step to establishing your donor advised fund is to complete an application. This can be done online, in person or through the mail. Establishing a DAF can start with a $10,000 tax-deductible gift.* Then, you may: 

  • recommend how these funds are granted to your favorite causes 
  • select investment options that best support your goals and plan

* to meet the $10,000 minimum, contributions may be made over a period of time, typically 3-5 years per written agreement

What You Can Contribute

Your gifts may take any number of forms, including:


If you want to make a gift to The Community Foundation, you can give a gift via cash, check, wire transfer or credit card securely online.


Publicly traded securities
Mutual Fund shares
Restricted Securities & Closely-Held or Founders Stock


The Community Foundation can accept gifts of real estate and tangible personal property, such as art, antiques and collectibles. Gifts of property and other assets are accepted on a case-by-case basis.

The Community Foundation’s knowledgeable team of philanthropic advisors can assist you with your preferred giving options.

What are the Investment Options?

You have the opportunity to invest in three different investment vehicles for your donor advised fund. They provide you the flexibility to meet your charitable giving objectives:


With the Cash option, your donor advised fund is held in cash or cash equivalent to preserve capital without risk or appreciation, and is readily available for grantmaking at all times.

Intermediate Fund

The Intermediate Fund is a diversified portfolio of liquid assets to provide you the opportunity for some appreciation with moderate risk. Assets are readily available for grantmaking at all times.

Perpetual Fund

The Perpetual Fund seeks to preserve the real economic spending power of your donor advised fund over time. To meet this objective, only a percentage (%) of your fund's market value is available to recommend for grantmaking each year.


A minimum of of $10,000 is required to establish a DAF. You may invest in any combination of these vehicles. 

If you are looking to retain the services of your personal financial advisor, a customized program is available for funds of $100,000 or more.* 

For more information, please call 203-777-7067 or email

*An amount above the Spending Rule rate may be requested twice per year (by October 1st or March 31st) of up to 25% of fund’s then market value.  

What are the Costs?

The work of The Community Foundation is supported, in part, by a fee assessed on the funds entrusted to its care. This fee is assessed each year and is currently one percent of the value of your donor advised fund. 

Investment management fees are also applied and based on your selected investment options. The average of 0.75% is currently used for the Perpetual Fund option.

All fees are deducted from the donor advised fund assets.

DAFs in action

Ready to get started? 
Set up your fund now


70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510



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