Donor-advised funds offer individuals a powerful tool for managing their charitable giving. Some donor-advised fund sponsors such as American Endowment Foundation (AEF) enable the donor’s financial manager to administer their fund’s investments while others do not.

Here are five advantages to having a donor-advised fund with sponsor that allows outside investment administration:

  1. Client Trust and Confidence
    Clients often trust their financial advisors to select the appropriate investments for all their accounts, including donor-advised funds. Choosing their own investment administrator can instill confidence in how the charitable assets are managed.
  2. Customization and Flexibility
    Advisors can customize investment portfolios for donor-advised fund accounts based on clients’ philanthropic goals and asset levels, ensuring alignment with their preferences and objectives.
  3. Investment Performance
    Many donor-advised fund donors are unaware of their account’s investment performance without advisor This lack of oversight can lead to surprises, especially during times of market fluctuations. Financial advisor administration creates opportunities for conversation and education.
  4. Long-Term Giving Strategy
    Donor-advised fund donors typically have a long-term approach to giving, wishing to maximize asset growth over time for sustained charitable giving in the future. Their financial advisor can help with this.
  5. Consideration of Alternatives
    In challenging market conditions, donors may seek alternatives to optimize their fund’s performance. Transferring accounts to a donor-advised fund sponsor that accepts illiquid assets and investment administration by the donor’s financial advisor may be a good option.


American Endowment Foundation (AEF) is one of the nation’s largest independent donor-advised fund sponsors. AEF expands philanthropy by partnering with firms and advisors in the financial services industry, enabling more donors to create a significant charitable impact. To learn more about AEF’s resources for donors and financial advisors, or to open a donor-advised fund, visit or call us at 1-888-966-8170.