Donor Advised Fund

Simplify Your Giving_

Already have a DAF with another organization, and want to support the Smithsonian Institution?

A donor advised fund gives you the flexibility to recommend how much and how often money is granted to the Smithsonian Institution and other charities. Evaluate the fund and its sponsoring organization to make sure it supports your interests, values, and the type of asset you are considering as a funding source. One option is to contribute to the Smithsonian Institution Donor Advised Fund, a fund within the BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund. The initial gift must be at least $100,000 and you can make additional smaller contributions to your fund at any time.

The contributions are invested in one of a variety of funds available. You make the recommendations that various amounts be distributed to charitable organizations of your choice, such as the Smithsonian Institution. Half your gift goes to a Smithsonian-only fund, and half goes to a discretionary fund.

There are a number of benefits including:

  • You may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you make a gift to the fund.
  • You eliminate capital gains taxes when you use long-term appreciated assets.
  • You don’t have to retain records for each contribution.
  • Families can build a tradition of giving by involving children in the decisions about what grants to recommend.
  • You can recommend investment strategies for your fund including index and environmental and socially responsible options.
  • You cannot make a grant to fulfill a pledge or for membership with benefits or an event with benefits. A membership without benefits is permitted.

You can also create a lasting impact by naming the Smithsonian Institution to receive all or part of the account balance after your lifetime.

An Example of How It Works

Happy family Joe and Laura want to support the Smithsonian and other charities by putting their money where it will do the most good. They make a $100,000 gift to the Smithsonian Institution Donor Advised Fund. The couple receives an immediate federal income tax charitable deduction for the amount of the gift, as they itemize. They also get all the time they need to decide which charities to support.

After researching community needs, Joe and Laura recommend grants for the Smithsonian (which they’ve supported for years) and their local Community Hospital. BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund, presents the charities with checks from the Megan Fund, which Joe and Laura established and named in honor of their daughter. Joe and Laura are delighted to start this personal legacy of giving.

Gifts That Pay

Your payments depend on your age at the time of the donation. If you are younger than 60, we recommend that you learn more about your options and download this FREE guide Plan for Retirement With a Deferred Gift Annuity.

Next Steps

  1. Evaluate the fund and its sponsoring organization to make sure it supports your interests, values and the type of asset you are considering as a funding source. One option is to contribute to the Smithsonian Institution Donor Advised Fund, a fund within the BNY Mellon Charitable Gift Fund.
  2. Get to know the organization’s policies and procedures—from minimum contributions to administrative fees. Each organization handles these details differently.
  3. Contact the Office of Gift Planning at 888-419-7584 or legacy@si.edu to discuss using donor advised funds to support the Smithsonian and our mission.
  4. Seek the advice of your financial or legal advisor.
  5. If you include the Smithsonian Institution in your plans, please use our legal name and federal tax ID which is 53-0206027.

Legal Name: Smithsonian Institution
Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW, 4th Floor PO Box 37012 MRC 035 Washington, DC 20013-7012