October 4, 2023

How to Set Up a Donor-Advised Fund (DAF) with GivingPoint

Author Rachel Mele, IT Business Systems Manager

The world today is more interconnected than ever, and with that heightened sense of connection, philanthropists are motivated to support the causes and nonprofits they are passionate about efficiently and effectively.

Donor-advised funds (DAFs) have continued to rise in popularity in recent years because they offer donors relative convenience and flexibility. If you or your clients are new to the world of donor-advised funds, you may be wondering where and how to start. To help you navigate the process, we are providing this step-by-step guide.

With every DAF, donors can conveniently recommend grants to qualifying nonprofits both at home and around the world. Donors often use their DAF to establish a charitable legacy, and contributions to your DAF may provide immediate tax benefits. In contrast with private foundations, a DAF can be established within a comparatively short period of time and does not have accompanying start-up costs. The DAF sponsor handles the administrative side of grantmaking, thus simplifying the process for donors and allowing them to focus on fulfilling their philanthropic vision. At National Philanthropic Trust (NPT), contributions can be made as soon as the donor completes the DAF set-up process via NPT’s online portal, GivingPoint:

Setting Up a DAF

1. To establish a DAF, a donor would reach out to NPT to review the ins and outs of the DAF program and ensure it is right for them. At NPT, donors can consult our Donor Guide which thoroughly explains how to create and maintain a DAF.

2. Next, a donor – or an advisor, working on behalf of their client – will need to complete the Donor Application and register via GivingPoint. There are three pieces of information needed at the start: naming the DAF, identifying a Primary Advisor and setting the investment allocation preference for the assets in the DAF. All other information can be updated at any time upon opening the DAF account.

3. The final stage of the set-up process is contributing to the DAF. To contribute, a donor must complete a Contribution Agreement form, which can be accessed through their GivingPoint account. NPT’s initial contribution minimum is $10,000.

Upon hitting “Submit,” all aspects of DAF account management are immediately available, and donors can begin recommending grants to their favorite 501(c)(3) organizations.

Using a DAF for charitable giving provides benefits for both donors and nonprofits. For donors, DAFs can streamline the giving process, provide tax benefits, and remove administrative burdens. For nonprofits, critical support can be received rapidly thanks to DAFs’ tech-forward digital giving tools. National DAF sponsors like NPT offer a convenient mix of expertise, resources, services and technology which provides donors and their advisors with a head start in developing an effective philanthropic strategy.

Get Started

Learn more about NPT’s uniquely flexible DAF and how to establish yours here. For advisors, NPT has curated a host of resources to round out your DAF knowledge here.

About the Author

Rachel Mele is the IT Business Systems Manager at NPT. She leads development of the GivingPoint portal, guiding the digital experience to power a donor’s philanthropic needs. Ms. Mele holds a Bachelor of Arts from Temple University and Professional Certificates in Creativity & Innovation, Nonprofit Management, and Product Strategy from varying universities.