Donor Advised Funds


Donor Advised Funds

Individuals and Families
Professional Advisors
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About AEF Donor Advised Funds:
Donor Benefits
Tax Benefits

Grantmaking Basics
Why a Donor Advised Fund
How a Donor Advised Fund Works
What to Give
Investment Options
Socially Responsible Investing

Enhancing Charitable Trusts
Terminating Charitable Trusts

Program Related Investments
Success Stories
Philanthropy 101
Private Foundation
Private Foundation Comparison

In the News
About AEF
In the News
Charity Navigator Letter
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About AEF

American Endowment Foundation (AEF) is an IRS-recognized, 501(c)(3) public charity serving a national constituency.

Our sole business is Donor Advised Fund administration. This involves compliance monitoring, state and federal filings, charity review, and grant disbursements - all in accordance with IRS guidelines.

Our Founding Principles


  • AEF is not affiliated with financial institutions.
  • AEF accrues no benefit from brokerage services, commissions, finder fees, or product sales.
  • AEF does not sell financial products or service.

AEF offers flexible options in the types of assets donors can contribute, investments donors can recommend, and the range of charities that donors can support.

Phil Tobin

AEF maximizes funds available for grantmaking by minimizing fees and expenses.

Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, has awarded AEF its highest rating for the eighth consecutive year. According to their report, AEF “…demonstrated exceptional financial management, outperforming most of its peers in its efforts to allocate and grow its finances in the most responsible way possible.”

AEF encourages donor family involvement over successive generations.

Our Vision

  • A trusted leader: Promoting the highest values, principals, and practices to ensure accountability, objectivity and effectiveness in philanthropy.
  • A valued resource: Supporting learning, open dialogue, and information exchange about Donor Advised Funds and philanthropy.
  • A respectful partner: Collaborating with a network of donors, professional advisors and other organizations to promote responsible and effective philanthropy.

AEF Today
We are pleased to report that AEF celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013.

  • In 2012, AEF accepted $127 million in new contributions to Donor Advised Funds.
  • Total assets under administration now exceed $329 million.
  • Donors recommended $44 million in grants in 2012.

AEF's 2012 Audited Financial Statements

AEF's 2012 990

Key personnel



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