The Benevolent Barista: The Art of Concocting, Crafting and Refining Donor Advised Funds and Charitable Gift Agreements

By Megan Sanders


When a client comes to your office announcing their desire to make a gift to ABC charity for the building of a new park, the high school’s new stadium, or for the relief efforts after a tragic natural disaster, where do you start on reducing that intent to paper? What about the client who says they want to start their own foundation, but without all of the administrative burdens? Either of these scenarios means we need to thoroughly explore the donor’s true vision. In the first case, it is crucial that we consider various aspects of the donor’s gift and the donee’s use of the gift in crafting the gift agreement. In the second case, the best alternative may be the use of a Donor Advised Fund (“DAF”) – but do you really want to direct your client to use the charity’s form DAF agreement, without tailoring it to their specific vision?

This article is intended to be a resource for those aspects of both a gift agreement and a DAF agreement we should consider in working with our donor clients, mainly focusing on inter vivos gifts. Typically, a gift agreement memorializes the intention behind a single gift, or multiple gifts to one charity for a single purpose, while a DAF can be used for multiple charitable purposes over time, with a more fluid charitable intention. Thus, we begin our discussion with the very essence of the philanthropic mind: refining our donor’s charitable intent…

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Megan C. Sanders

Megan C. Sanders joined the firm in 2011. An honors graduate of Baylor University School of Law and Texas Christian University, her practice focuses primarily on estate planning, probate, charitable entity formation, charitable giving, and tax planning issues. She represents…Read More

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