Donor Advised Funds Make Giving Easy

A donor advised fund (DAF) is your personal giving vehicle. You receive an immediate tax benefit when you contribute to your DAF and are then able to make grants to nonprofits at a time of your own choosing. You can think about your DAF as an investment account for organizing your personal charitable giving. Instead of writing multiple checks to individual nonprofits, you make contributions to your DAF and then use its growth for supporting nonprofits working locally or anywhere in the world.

Gifts to a DAF at The Community Foundation may be made in the form of cash, stock, real estate or other non-cash assets, such as restricted securities or personal property. When you transfer non-cash assets to a Donor Advised Fund properly, they can be gifted without incurring capital gains taxes, allowing 100 percent of the proceeds to be given to charity. You can add to or replenish your funds at any time, with no minimum requirement for additional contributions.

How a Donor Advised Fund Works

Establish a fund

Contribute to your fund and be eligible for a tax deduction for the current year.

Grow your fund balance

While you decide on which nonprofits to support, your contributions are invested, and all growth is tax free.

Support nonprofits

When you’re ready, make a grant to support a cause you care about. We do all the paperwork.

Why create a fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven?

Since 1928, The Community Foundation has been Greater New Haven’s leader in charitable solutions, helping donors make the positive changes they want to see in the world now and forever. Our experienced team of philanthropic advisors will help you personalize and plan your charitable giving.

Personal service

When opening a DAF at The Community Foundation, you will be matched with a member of our donor services team who can help you with your giving goals, identify and evaluate nonprofits or connect with other donors who share your interests. We can help you create a future plan for the fund or enable your family and loved ones to participate in your grantmaking. In addition, we have extensive experience with converting non-cash assets into charitable gifts, helping you maximize the impact of your philanthropy. We aim to provide you with exceptional philanthropic service, whatever your needs.

Supporting your community

When establishing a DAF at The Community Foundation, you are also contributing to the Greater New Haven community. Unlike commercial funds, our fund management fee goes directly into supporting work to improve our community, not to a for-profit company.

Give locally and globally

While we work with donors who care deeply about Greater New Haven, many also have philanthropic interests nationally or even globally. A DAF can be used to make grants to any qualified charity in the United States or around the world.

Investment management

Our investment management follows the highest industry standards, ensuring the growth of your charitable dollars to support the causes you care about. We offer different investment options based on your time-horizon for giving. 


The Community Foundation provides millions of dollars in grants every year, giving us extensive knowledge of the nonprofit landscape and needs and opportunities in the region. We also fund and co-sponsor independent research about the health and wellbeing of our community, and hold forums and events about the most pressing issues in our time. We are a local resource for donors to come together, learn and make a difference.

Donor Advised Fund vs. Private Foundations

Donor Advised Funds offer many of the same advantages as a private foundation but are simpler and cost much less to create.

The following chart from National Philanthropic Trust compares the major differences between donor advised funds, supporting organizations and private foundations. Depending on your interests and needs, this chart can help assist you in determining the most appropriate charitable giving vehicle.

Getting Started

Opening a donor advised fund at The Community Foundation is quick and easy. You can complete our online application or download our application form. Or, contact Sharon Cappetta by email or by phone at 203-777-7071.

You can establish a DAF with a $10,000 minimum tax-deductible gift. To meet the $10,000 minimum, contributions may be made over a period of time, typically 3-5 years per written agreement. Then you make grants to any qualified 501c(3) public charity.

Starting a DAF

Learn more about your investment options, costs and how to manage your DAF at The Community Foundation.

More Giving Vehicles

Learn more about the different funds you can establish at The Foundation to meet your charitable giving needs.

Giving Guidelines

Our comprehensive giving guidelines provide you with information you need to contemplate your philanthropy.

How Can We Help?

Sharon Cappetta, CAP®

Director of Development


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Erica G. Bradley

Manager of Community Philanthropy


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Liana Garcia, MS, PMP, CAP®

Director of Gift Planning


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Dotty Weston-Murphy, CAP®

Sr. Vice President, Development and Donor Services


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