As the nation’s largest independent provider of donor advised funds (DAFs), we give you the freedom to focus on your giving while we take care of all the operational details. DAFs are increasingly the most popular charitable giving vehicle because they are simple to create and use, there is no charge to establish them, fees are minimal, and are a very efficient way to make grants to your favorite charities. We currently serve donors in all 50 states. Feel free to review our library of articles and information that can help you learn more about charitable giving, donor advised funds, and the AEF difference.
What Makes AEF Different?
- Types of Assets Accepted: We can accept simple assets such as cash and publicly traded securities, as well as privately-held stock, real estate, life insurance, and interests in LPs and LLCs that other charities and DAFs or charities cannot accept. Learn more here.
- Assets held if desired: We do not require the immediate sale of donated assets.
- Investment choices: You may choose to allow your wealth advisor to manage the assets in your AEF donor advised fund account at all levels, regardless if the account size is $10,000 or $10,000,000. This enables you to receive consistent and optimal investment management of these assets.
- Greater reach: You can make your grant recommendations to help causes in your local community, across the USA and the world. AEF does not advocate a particular charitable organization or cause.
- Timetable and amount of giving: You decide when you want to make a grant and how much you want to grant now, during your lifetime, at death, or for generations in the future.
We are unbiased in our work with donors and their advisors. Because we are not the charitable arm of a financial firm, we allow our donors and advisors to manage the investments as they wish. Because we are not affiliated with a local or national charity with a single mission, we strive to help our donors achieve their charitable goals, not ours.
Because of our size, experience and efficiency, our fees are some of the lowest in the industry.
Education and Resources
AEF strives to provide education and resources to enable donors to achieve their charitable goals.
The country's leading philanthropic thought leaders have provided some of the following articles to help our donors:
11 Best Practices for Setting Up Your Family Philanthropy
Engaging the Next Generation in Building Your Family Legacy
Focused Mission Statements Help Donors Decide Where to Direct Their Money
Strategic Philanthropy: 6 Steps to Get the Most Bang from your Philanthropic Buck
How We Give: Ten Tips for Donors and Families
8 Tools Grantmakers Frequently Forget to Use
The Keys to Effective Partnerships Between Donors and Grantees
How to Determine the Best Charities
Smart Giving in Response to Disasters
Teaching Teens About Charitable Giving
Six Questions Every Family With Philanthropic Interests Should Ask
AEF and other financial experts continue to provide additional content for our donors:
" Giving with Benefits" - Interview with Laura Malone - Life Planning 101 Podcast
Helpful Suggestions for Donors Who Have Created Donor Advised Fund Accounts
Tips for Donors from Leading Philanthropic Advisors
Criteria to Use When Evaluating a Charity
Why Donors Work with Philanthropic Advisory Firms
Building Your Legacy Through Scholarships
Annual Giving Doesn't Have to Wait Until the End of the Year
Cash Isn't Always King
Generosity Doesn't Stop at a Border
Giving While Living: Continuing to Do Good When Your Working Days are Done
DonorCentral: As Easy as 1-2-3
The Importance of the Right Paperwork at the Right Time: The Contemporaneous Written Acknowledgement
Helping Research Lead to Results
Using Foundation Center to Find Additional Sources of Funding
Charitable Planning Questions Families Can Discuss
Should our donors need additional assistance, AEF offers an innovative Philanthropic Advisory Firm Referral Program, through which AEF can introduce them to the leading firms in the industry. Stay up-to-date with thoughts and best practices on how to be the best donor you can be through our Guidance for Good e-newsletter. Sign up here
AEF offers an unparalleled level of personal service. While some donors prefer to grant online and do not need any help, we are always available to talk with you and your advisor to help you engage in your charitable interests.
Our team acts as your virtual staff to ensure that you get all of your questions answered, your mission met, and that your donor advised fund always runs smoothly and in compliance with IRS regulation.
Convenience and Simplicity
American Endowment Foundation provides simple and effective solutions for philanthropic goals. After consulting with you, we can typically establish a fund within the workday.
Since AEF is a public charity, donors benefit from maximum tax deductions and other advantages not available to private foundations. Upon making a contribution, you’ll receive an immediate and maximum allowable tax deduction separating the tax decision from the grant making decisions. You can then support your favorite charities on your own timetable.
We submit to an independent certified audit annually to ensure the quality and security of our operations. Additionally, AEF makes this audit available to the public upon request and our most recent IRS Form 990 is available for public inspection as well.
You may choose complete anonymity or full recognition for your gifts.
Our experienced staff is available to assist you or your professional advisers in customizing a charitable-giving plan that fits your charitable needs and will effectively meet your goals. Many donors find our FAQs for Donors an excellent resource.
Call us at 1-888-402-9179 or use our contact form to learn more.