Do I have a choice in where fund assets are held?

Yes. AEF can work with almost any custodian. When discussing a new fund with AEF, make certain to let us know which custodian your firm uses.

How do you charge for your services?

Our fees are competitive and are based on the value of the assets in a fund. We may charge additional fees for legal and professional services in connection with accepting special illiquid assets. See Fee Schedule.

How is AEF different from other donor advised fund programs?

AEF provides donor advised fund services for clients of accountants, attorneys, brokers, registered investment advisors, investment managers, financial planners, banks, and other financial institutions. We are a full-service donor advised fund company and provide concierge-level services. Please note: AEF does not offer investment management services, nor sell investment products.

Donors can recommend that their trusted advisors manage the investment of their Donor Advised Fund assets. This is unique from most other donor advised fund programs, which typically require DAF assets to be held in a limited menu of pooled investments, proprietary mutual funds, and managed by the institution. AEF does not cross-sell other products. Our sole focus is donor advised fund administration.

Is AEF approved by my platform?

AEF has numerous approved institutional relationships. In short, AEF works on all platforms and custodians just like any other investment client. If you work with multiple platforms, AEF enables you to consolidate all of your investment accounts tied to AEF donor advised funds through our tax ID. If you have questions, please call us at 1-888-440-4233. We are likely working with other advisors on your platform.

How do advisors get compensated for their work?

Investment advisors receive compensation via asset management fees or commissions in much the same way advisors are paid for managing their client’s personal investments.

What are the contribution and balance requirements?

Individuals, as well as organizations or businesses, can open an account with a minimum of $25,000. After the initial contribution, you may make contributions of $1000 or more at a time.

Can I transfer an existing donor advised fund to AEF?

Yes. AEF can assist advisors and their clients in weighing the benefits of moving an existing donor advised fund, and, where appropriate, in completing the transfer.

What types of assets are eligible for contribution to a donor advised fund?

In addition to cash and publicly traded securities, AEF can accept closely held stock, life insurance policies, real estate, and interests in limited liability partnerships and LLC’s.

Does AEF compete with advisors?

No. Our business model is unique in that we do not compete with advisors. We provide donor advised fund administration services, while the advisor acts as investment manager. Occasionally, donors will come to AEF directly and recommend an investment approach in a fund.

Another donor-advised program I saw required that contributed assets be immediately sold. Does AEF have such a requirement?

No. Upon review, AEF can hold assets in-kind. When they are eventually sold, the advisor and their client recommend how they would like to reinvest the proceeds.

Is there a minimum grant amount?

$250 is the minimum grant amount.

Will AEF employees speak personally with my clients?

We encourage advisors to participate in conversations directly with the client regarding portfolio investment. In most cases, advisors feel comfortable with our administrators speaking directly with their clients concerning grantmaking matters.

Do you sponsor a pooled income fund or gift annuity?

No. At this time we have chosen to focus our efforts on ensuring the simplicity and efficiency of our donor advised fund.

How do you determine the fair market value of a contribution?

Fair Market Value (for purposes of the charitable contribution deduction) is determined on the date that contributions are received by the fund. In the case of contributions of stock, Fair Market Value is the average of the high and the low for the day that the assets were received by the fund. In the case of contributions of mutual funds, Fair Market Value is the closing price on the date of receipt. Securities are typically liquidated the following business day after receipt, so the Fair Market Value for tax purposes may be different from the amount of sales proceeds credited to your donor advised fund.