FAQ's for Donor Advised Funds

Welcome to Greater Worcester Community Foundation. Our staff is committed to providing you with the best possible personalized service. We want to make everything from creating a fund to grantmaking a rewarding experience for you.

Below are some frequently asked questions about Donor Advised Funds (DAF) at Greater Worcester Community Foundation.

What are the benefits of opening a Donor Advised Fund vs a Private Foundation?

There are many reasons why individuals and families create a donor advised fund rather then establish a private foundation. This chart outlines many considerations. Please reach out to the donor services team with any questions.

What are the fees for having a Donor Advised Fund?

The Foundation charges an annualized administrative fee for Donor Advised Funds. Investment fees are set by our fund managers and are approximately 1.25% of the fund’s market value.

Is there a minimum or maximum size for a Fund?

The minimum size for a Named Fund is $10,000. There is no maximum; we have funds that are quite large, more than $15 million.

Is the Fund permanent?

The agreement you sign when you establish the Fund governs whether invasion of principal is permitted. We allow you to establish either a permanent or an unrestricted fund. We request that a minimum of $10,000 be maintained in the Fund since the Foundation's mission is to build lasting endowments.

If my Fund is permanent, how much is available for grants?

We use a total return spending policy based on the Fund's market value averaged over twenty trailing quarters.

Once the Fund is established may I or others make additional gifts?

Yes. Once a Fund is created, additional gifts of any amount may be contributed to it at any time.

How often will I receive information about the Fund?

You will receive financial information about your Fund on a quarterly basis, unless you request otherwise. You will receive notification about grants paid at the time it occurs and you may elect to receive correspondence that we receive from the charity.

How often may I make grant recommendations from my Fund?

You may elect to recommend grants at once or throughout the year. Grant recommendations are approved at Board of Directors meetings (except May). The final year end grants should be suggested by early December in order to be presented for a vote.

May I recommend grants to organizations outside Worcester County?

Yes; we may award grants to any qualified charitable organization in the United States and beyond.

How can I submit a grant recommendation and is there a minimum grant amount?

A grant recommendation can be made in the following ways:

  1. By using DonorCentral - This secure web portal is for the exclusive use of Donor Advisors. DonorCentral allows donors to make grant recommendations and access fund information including gift and grant history, pending grants, and ending monthly balances. Contact Donor Services at donorservices@greaterworcester.org for login and password information.
  2. By downloading and completing a donor recommendation form [DOC]. This form can be saved to your computer for future use. Complete the form and either email to donorservices@greaterworcester.org or print and mail directly to the Foundation for processing.
The minimum grant amount is $100.

Are there restrictions on the types of grants I can make from my Donor Advised Fund?

Grant recommendations must be for a charitable purpose. We can accommodate most grant recommendations. By law, you cannot suggest a grant to fulfill a charitable pledge, pay for a membership, buy a ticket to a charitable event, or anything for which you receive a personal benefit. All grant checks are mailed directly to the charity.

If I have questions about a particular charity or want to find an effective organization working in an area of interest, can you help me?

Yes, we can. Our Program Officers will be happy to share their knowledge with you and assist you in any way possible.

I don't want a charity to know I made a gift. Can I be anonymous?

Yes; we will accommodate your needs for anonymity in our annual report and in grantee correspondence, as you wish.

What happens to my Donor Advised Fund after I die?

The Fund will continue to grant after your lifetime. You are invited to name up to one generation of successor advisors; this may be a family member or others whom you name to serve as donor advisor after your lifetime. After that, the Fund is typically maintained as permanently endowed in your name. It may continue to support the causes and organizations you cared for during your lifetime. Alternately, you have the option of suggesting that the Fund be used for changing community needs or for a particular area of interest. To let us know your preferences, please complete and return the instruction form [PDF].

Geoffrey Dancey and Rashida Garcia-Dancey Family Fund

Geoffrey Dancey and Rashida Garcia-Dancey, whose daughter Nia is 16 months old, are eager to make philanthropy a family affair. “We want giving to be part of our life together,” says Geoffrey. “We want to raise Nia with the same values we grew up with—including the importance of giving back.”

Nia has also influenced the couple’s outlook on philanthropy.

Having our first child makes us concerned about helping vulnerable children."

— Rashida Garcia-Dancey

"Our fund is a great vehicle to organize our giving," says Geoffrey, president of Cutler Capital Management. "We support a variety of local causes, including Clark, our alma mater, and our fund makes this easy to do."

Rashida adds, "We want to give back to the community that’s had such positive impact on our lives."

Kelly Stimson - Photo

Questions on granting from your Donor Advised Fund?

Contact Kelly Stimson
Vice President of Donor Services and Relations
508-755-0980, ext. 112
Send email

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